Monday, February 13, 2017

Sexy Raw Vegan Heart-Shaped Valentine's Day Beet Appetizer

A popular proverb has it that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. On Valentine's Day this is true for everybody provided your food looks sexy and has ingredients that work on all the senses. Don't forget the ambience!

Aphrodisiacs have been used in many cultures for thousands of years and their use is fairly well documented. With an addition of some herbs and spices, any meal can be turned to a sensual experience. Raw food is not different.

There are a few simple rules to follow when you want to excite the senses. Color, shape and texture of used ingredients are as important as the spices and herbs you intend to use. If you are not well experienced with spices, start with very small amounts. You can always add more if you think a dish needs it. Use spices and herbs that harmonize and complement one another. You should create a complex gustatory and olfactory experience that is sensual and mysterious, not something that would kick your partner out of his or her socks at the first bite.

~ Heart Shaped Beet Stacks ~

  • 3 medium large beets
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil 
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 tsp cayenne
  • 1/3 tsp pink Himalaya salt
  • 1/3 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp maca powder
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch cardamom

  • Wash and peel the beets. Using a very sharp knife or a mandolin, cut beets into thin slices.Use the cut outs to make a juice or in a salad. Don't waste anything.
  • Using heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out hearts out of beet slices. I used three sizes of cookie cutters to add a little more dynamic to the dish. Set the beet hearts aside. You may want to keep them covered with a slightly moist tea towel to prevent them from drying out.
  • Toss all remaining ingredients into a food processor and pulse blend until well combined. The cranberry filling should not be too thin, but must be creamy enough, or you will have a hard time in assembling the beet stacks. 
  • Adjust the taste to your personal liking. You may want to add more cayenne or more cardamom. It is up to you. The amounts I used were perfect for me. 
  • To assemble the beet stacks divide your hearts into three groups. (Using different sizes of cookie cutters helps a lot.) Place a dollop of cranberry mass (about 1 tsp) on each heart and flatten it a bit with the back of a spoon. Put another beet heart on it and add another dollop of cranberry mass. Flatten it with a back of the spoon and place another beet heart on top of it. You can make the stacks taller, I stopped at three. 
  • To garnish the beet stacks you can use a small amount of cranberry mass and edible red heart confetti. You do not need to eat them, but they look nice.
  • Arrange the ready made heart stacks on a large platter and serve as an appetizer (for up to four people) or as a main course for two. Whatever you decide, these delicious beet hearts make a wonderful part of any sensual Valentine's Day dinner. Enjoy in good company!

Wishing everybody a wonderfully sensual Valentine's Day! While you are having fun, remember to celebrate love every day! - In radiant health, passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon@2017


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