d o c t o r a n d m a m a

Linda Shiue

Linda Shiue
San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
December 31
I am a physician and spend my free time with my husband and kids, reading everything in sight, eating, traveling, and cooking meals inspired by my travels. These days I'm spending more time at my food blog, spiceboxtravels.com. Please visit me there and follow me on Twitter @spiceboxtravels. Disclaimer: Health information presented here is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions. © 2010-12 Linda Shiue. All Rights Reserved.

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FEBRUARY 11, 2011 10:30AM

Valentine's Day Aphrodisiacs, with Recipe

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beets by Linda Shiue

I read an alluring post on Saveur.com that is just in time for Valentine's Day.  It's a slideshow on foods from around the globe that are thought to be aphrodisiacs.  Some of them are universal: chocolate, oysters, and chillies.  Others, while well known by the ancients, were new to me: anise, saffron, basil, nutmeg, honey, avocado and truffles. It's definitely worth a look-- the photos are luscious, the recommendations enticing, and there is a fabulous recipe included for each aphrodisiac.  It might give you some ideas.  And if know of others, feel free to share!  

I thought this would be a perfect time to repost an aphrodisiac recipe of my own.  This is a less common variation of the classic Greek yogurt dip called tzatziki, this time made with beets. Beets have been considered aphrodisiacs since the time of the ancient Romans and Greeks.  This recipe will invigorate your senses, at least with its vibrant hue and zesty garlic flavor.  (I make no other promises.) It can be eaten as a salad, as a dip served with fresh pita or pita chips, or as a condiment to complement kebabs and other grilled meats.

Enjoy, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

*     *     *

Beet Tzatziki

beet tzatziki by Linda Shiue


1 pound beets

3 garlic cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cups thick Greek style yogurt

Black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon finely chopped dill or mint, or a combination


1.  Remove greens from beets, and wash and dry unpeeled beets.

2.  Wrap each beet root in foil, making individual packets.  Make sure to leave a little room around each beet and then seal tightly, so that they can steam inside their foil wrappers.

beets by Linda Shiue

3.  Place wrapped beets on a baking sheet in a 400 oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until just tender. (Check for tenderness with a fork.  For this recipe, you do not want beets to be too soft or else they will not keep their texture when grated.)   Allow to cool for about an hour.

4.  Peel cooled, roasted beets.  The skins should slip off easily by rubbing with your fingers.

5. Grate the peeled, roasted beets with the large holes of a box grater.  Set aside.

6. Mash the garlic with the salt in a mortar and pestle. Add the lemon juice, and let stand for 10 minutes.

7.  Stir garlic-lemon mixture into the yogurt.

8.  Add black pepper to taste, and adjust salt.

9.  Stir in the beets and the dill and/or mint.

beet tzatziki ingr

Yield:  2 cups.

© 2010-11 Linda Shiue

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Type your comment below:
oookay! Linda! I've got the yogurt in supply from last week's foray into the kitchen, and just bought some beets -- 'cuz they're so pretty and very Valentine-stylish, especially with clementines... but this recipe looks too good to pass up. On the menu this weekend.
Looking forward to seeing what you do with the Citrus Challenge.
You raise the bar... am a fan!
Linda, do you think roasted beets would work? That's the way we eat them at our house...:) ~r
Bonnie, I did! Got to love the California light.

Thanks Vivian. I look forward to yours, too.

Joan- I do believe so!
Beets are colorful, bright and enticing!