I Heart Beet Salad (and ancient Romans loved beets, too!)

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.  In case you need a little help this weekend, just know that according to some sources, ancient Romans considered beet juice to be an aphrodisiac.  It was said that even Aphrodite, the goddess of Love, and mother of Cupid, ate beets to maintain her beauty.  Although the color was different during those times (a little less festive for Valentine's Day), both Romans and Greeks valued beets.  It was the Romans who brought beets to all ends of the empire.

A fun way to get your vegetables and antioxidants, make your table bright, and try something new (and maybe romance-inspiring...) is a simple beet salad!  This can be easy or super easy; let me explain.

While in the grocery store last week, I found a wonderful new way to incorporate more vegetables into my meals.  Sometimes I find I need a vegetable side dish quickly, so these Love Beets worked out perfectly.  I will not often advocate buying pre-packaged items when it is relatively easy to do it yourself, but these are pretty reasonably-priced and if you're just getting into beets, they're a great place to start.  It may not be wise to rely on them, considering they are a convenience food, but they are vacuum sealed and therefore will last a little in the refrigerator.  Check out their website for more information, the variety of flavors available, and some other recipes.  In case you're wondering, the photo below is what the package looks like.

Source: lovebeets.com

- cooked beets
- feta cheese
(Optional: balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper)

Cook beets (Martha can help) and remove skins OR open a package of Love Beets.  Slice cooked beets and arrange on a plate or platter.  Top with feta cheese.  (You may also want to experiment with the other toppings, but I stopped at beets and feta and it was delicious.)

No exaggeration, I ate the whole plate myself, in one swoop. 

In terms of (actual) health benefits, see below.

Beets: actually do assist with sex hormones and act as an aphrodisiac (the Romans knew!), due to the presence of boron.  Beets also contain potassium, magnesium, fiber, iron, vitamins A, B and C, and beta-carotene.  They also help prevent cancer and cleanse the liver and blood.

Not the best picture, but it was delicious!

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