Bringing February to life with beets & citrus!

When you think of February, do you picture the color red, matters of the heart and that Hallmark holiday right in the middle of the month? I remember those old-fashioned paper valentines! Sitting at the table, filling them out, and taking them to school, one for every classmate. And the cupcakes parents would bring in, iced with colors not found in nature. And those hard little pastel, heart-shaped candies stamped with messages (BE MINE). As I got older, it was all about, am I going to get a valentine from a CERTAIN PERSON? And then, am I going to have a date?

Fast forward: when I was 44, I met the love of my life. And he wooed me by cooking me dinner on Valentine’s Day!  

The irony is, Gregg Kellogg does not cook. He can make toast. He can pick up Thai food. He can go to the market with a very specific list, with pictures. He can make a pumpkin pie, too, but that’s it. He really doesn’t cook.


To make dinner for a person who makes their living cooking was a bold, brave, and romantic gesture, which I loved!!! He could have made reservations, but he decided he was going to cook for me. He called on his cousin who’s a really great cook and she said, do salmon en papillote, (salmon in parchment). She told him exactly how to do it, and he did it! He even had baby beets tucked into the parchment with the salmon, very small beets so they would roast in the same amount of time. I was very impressed with that. His cousin really did a super job.

Then he attempted chocolate fondue for dessert. Um, not quite on target (you have to watch fondue like a hawk, which he learned), but he cut up a glorious, shimmering pile of fruit—lots of red with strawberries and raspberries, along with golden pineapple. It was totally fun, dipping the fruit and enjoying it together, and total amore.

We’ve been married 15 years now. (I’m still waiting for him to cook for me again. 🙂

Cook for someone you love this month

Food is love! Show somebody you love—the kids, your husband, wife or girlfriend, or maybe a neighbor or someone you want to get to know better— that you care about them this Valentine’s Day. Food is a great vehicle to connect in a deep and meaningful way, even without everything being perfect. 🙂 The gesture alone is really quite remarkable.

What to cook? If you’re not feeling up to salmon en papillote, explore these options and paint your plate with the glorious colors of roasted beets and the bright flavors of citrus!

Beets - Rebecca Katz

A wonderful blend of citrus and crunch, with fennel, sweet roasted beets, and walnuts all joyfully dancing together in a nourishing, light one-dish meal or splendid side.TRY LENTIL SALAD WITH ROASTED BEETS

Avocado Citrus Salad - Rebecca Katz

Make this delicate salad a meal by adding a protein. Seared Scallops (minus the curry powder), sautéed shrimp, baked salmon/fish, or white beans pair beautifully with this. Elegant enough for a special occasion!TRY AVOCADO CITRUS SALAD

Ruby Red Beet Soup - Rebecca Katz

Sometimes the colors that nature comes up with blow me away. Take the ruby red beets and red cabbage in this soup; they’re as brilliant as the dahlias that grow in my backyard. So, too, is their taste, and when combined with sautéed onion, fennel, and celery, plus cumin, coriander, and caraway, the result is simply luscious.TRY RUBY RED BEET SOUP

Lola’s Favorite Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies - Rebecca Katz

Looking for something sweet? These are exceptional chocolate chip cookies, if I do say so myself. Lola, my beloved Portuguese Water Dog, certainly thought so. 🙂TRY LOLA’S FAVORITE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

GOOD NEWS: ALL OF THESE RECIPES ARE DELICIOUS ANY TIME OF YEAR! BUT DON’T YOU THINK FEBRUARY NEEDS THE BRILLIANT RED OF BEETS AND THE BRIGHT TASTE OF CITRUS? AND, OF COURSE, SOME AMAZING CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES? HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Rebecca Katz
contributor
Rebecca Katz is a nationally-recognized author and expert on the role of food in supporting health. She has a Masters of Science degree in Health and Nutrition Education, and received her culinary training from New York's Natural Gourmet Institute. Rebecca consults for health care facilities, hotels, spas and resorts; offers custom workshops for physicians, nurses, and wellness professionals; and is a sought-after speaker at medical centers, wellness conferences and corporate events. She is the founder and director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal in Bolinas, CA, a program dedicated to transforming lives through nutritional science and culinary alchemy. She is the author of Clean Soups: Simple, Nourishing Recipes for Health and Vitality (Ten Speed Press, 2016), The Healthy Mind Cookbook: Big Flavor Recipes to Enhance Brain Function, Mood, Memory and Mental Clarity (Ten Speed Press, 2015); The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age Busting Power Foods (Ten Speed Press,2013), the award-winning cookbook The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Beyond (Ten Speed Press, 2009, 2017), and One Bite at a Time: Nourishing Recipes for Cancer Survivors and their Friends (Ten Speed Press 2004, 2008). For more information, please visit: http://www.rebeccakatz.com
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