What The Heart Desires For Valentine’s Day

Red hearts for valentines day Happy Valentine’s Day!  There’s no denying it.  If you listen to all the advertising and marketing, you know that you’re supposed to get that special someone a gift that’s sweet and heart-shaped to show your love.  And face it; red is definitely the colour of choice for this holiday of hearts.  While chocolate ranks right up there with top gift ideas, there is no shortage of other sugary, artificially-coloured red stuff that’s designed to fit the bill.  You don’t really want to feed that to your sweetheart, do you??

Even better than spending a ton of cash on some store-bought processed treats, why not impress your sweetheart by spending a bit of your time to make something special yourself?  I’m making this dish as a first course for tonight’s dinner.  It’s sweet, red, heart-shaped, delicious, and simple to make.  As a bonus, it doesn’t cost much and it’s healthy too!!

Beets are low in calories and they pack a lot of nutrients into those sweet red packages! They contain fibre, folate (essential for forming new cells), and  compounds called betanins which are believed to help keep your immune system functioning well.  They can be eaten raw, boiled, pickled, steamed or any way you like.  I’ve always loved roasting beets because it’s super easy, and it really brings out their sweet, earthy flavour.  I chose red beets for this recipe because it’s Valentine’s Day, but be sure to try the different varieties you can find at your local market.  They come in a whole rainbow of hues, including candy-cane striped!

Heart Beet Salad For Valentine’s Day

3 large or 4 medium beets, stems trimmed and scrubbed
extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon good quality balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

fresh goat cheese
walnut pieces (toast them for even more flavour!)
fresh mint (or whatever herbs you have on hand – basil works well)

  • Pierce each beet with a knife, place on tinfoil and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Wrap in foil to make a package, and roast in preheated oven at 375 degrees for about one hour.  (Check at about 45 minutes – if they are tender when you poke them, they’re done!)
  • Let beets cool in foil.  Slice off remaining root and stem ends and peel.  (The skin should slip off easily).
  • If you want to be fancy, carve each beet to resemble a heart, then slice.  If not, then just slice them into rounds – they’ll look just fine!
  • Arrange beet slices on serving dish.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice concentrate, balsamic and mustard.  Whisk in approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil, until well blended.
  • Crumble the goat cheese and scatter the walnut pieces over the beets.  Drizzle with the dressing and top with torn herbs.
  • Finish with a salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted beet salad for Valentine's DayNow won’t that make your loved one’s heart beet a little faster?

Happy Valentine’s Day!


If you’d like to book Janet as a speaker for an entertaining interactive workshop with your group or organization,  click here. 

1 Comment

  1. Casey Dow

    Hey Janet,
    Casey here, you taught me physiology at CCMH. I was talking to nicole and she told me you did it…so I looked it up and I am sooooo proud that you took your dream and made it a reality. And now the rest of the world can benefit from your amazing ideas. Hope all is well with you and your family.

    Casey Dow

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