Gluten Free, Paleo Recipe: Heart “Beet” and Carrot Salad for Valentine’s Day!

Valentine's Day Heart, printed with beet "ink"

Valentine’s Day Heart, printed with beet “ink”

Red.  Pink.  Purple. Valentine’s Day is a very colorful holiday.  So, in the midst of all of the chocolate and flower swapping, why not add some color to your plate as well? It’s a nice way to brighten up the winter, and strengthen your immune system at the same time.

The one thing most health care providers agree upon is that the more vegetables you eat, and the deeper their colors, the more likely it is that your body will be able to fight off germs, toxins, and illnesses.  Beets are so full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that when you cut them, their juice makes a nice “ink” that young children will love to create all kinds of artwork with.  From finger painting to making thumbprints of people and animals to stamping out all kinds of shapes, kids can stay busy while you chop and cook.

Since my children are now teenagers, I created the above artwork myself. You can just cut off the bottom of each beet and use the stems to grab onto, while you stamp out all kinds of artwork.  A lesson about circles could even follow, if you want to pull some math in there too!

Here’s a photo of the stampers:

Beet art "stampers"

Beet art “stampers”

And if you cut off the stems and skin, you’ll have even more “ink” you can use:


Such a hands-on activity might make it more likely that your child will try the following, very simple recipe for Carrot/Beet Salad:

Love on a Plate: Heart Beet and Carrot Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Love on a Plate: Heart Beet and Carrot Salad

A simple, 4 to 5 ingredient recipe that's packed with color, flavor, and nutrients.


  • 1 bunch fresh beets
  • 3 to 5 carrots
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon honey, preferably raw and warmed slightly to melt (optional)


  1. Cut off stems and leaves of beets and carrots. Keep beet greens for later use, if you wish.
  2. Scrub each with a vegetable brush.
  3. Cut skin off of beets and chop.
  4. Peel carrots and chop.
  5. Place carrots and beets in food processor.
  6. Grate.
  7. Transfer to bowl.
  8. Add olive oil and vinegar to taste (amount will vary depending on size of beets and carrots).
  9. Add honey, if a sweeter taste is desired.
  10. Serve, or chill for later.

Food for thought:

I recommend using organic ingredients whenever possible. If they're local, that's even better!

Feel free to substitute another vinegar of your choice, if preferred. Red wine or balsamic can work as well.

You can mix with leafy greens, like arugula or romaine, to make it even healthier. Small pieces of cucumber would work well too.


As you can tell, I’m no professional chef. My philosophy is that if you use the highest quality of fresh ingredients, you don’t need complicated cooking techniques or fancy recipes. Who has time for that on a regular basis anyway?

Real food tastes great on its own.  The more you transition away from processed foods, the more you’ll reawaken your taste buds to those subtle, natural flavors.  And the more love will be on your plate!

The same goes for the learning process for children. The simplest of tools and strategies can sometimes be more powerful than any piece of advanced technology.  Did you know that I have a literacy blog too? I don’t spend nearly as much time there as I used to, but you can find some related picture book recommendations at the following Moms Inspire Learning blog posts:

Healthy eating.  Avid reading.  Let’s spread the love, one bite and one book at a time.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wishing you peace,  joy, and colorful veggies,





About Dawn

As a Certified Health Coach, I provide motivated individuals with the resources, tools, support and encouragement they need to make the gradual changes in food and lifestyle that could completely transform their lives. Contact me.
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