An Unromantic’s Guide to Valentine’s Food: Pomegranate and Beet Chicken Salad Recipe

Posted by on Feb 11, 2010

Valentine’s Day themed food has taken over!

I don’t understand the true meaning of Valentine’s Day, if there really is one. I’ve always stood passively in No-man’s Land and observed. So please don’t expect this post to conjure up romantic enlightenment. Instead, it’ll merely be a bunch of senseless ramblings with a recipe attached at the bottom.

Heart Paris

First, allow me to present 3 things that I’ve learned about Valentine’s Day:

  1. It’s the perfect time to re-gift Christmas chocolates.
  2. Children must give V-day cards to everyone in the class, or none at all.
  3. Avoid Valentine’s Day set menus at restaurants at all costs.

Then there’s also this thread from my Facebook Page where I ranted about heart-shaped food.

I smile when I see heart-shaped cookies and cakes start to pop up in February but am quickly desensitized as the market becomes saturated with them. Heart-shaped baked goods make sense but savory foods are a different matter. I draw the line at vegetables that become hearts under the mercy of cookie cutters. Or worse, I cringe at risottos, potatoes, and other compressible foods that are stuffed into heart-shape molds. Don’t get me started on heart-shaped steaks.

The kicker is seeing RED FOOD COLOURING, which immediately triggers my gag reflex. Gaggg!!

But if one must make themed-food, here is:

An unromantic’s guide to making Valentine’s Day food

1. Do not purposely buy Vday ingredients. Scrummage all the red and pink stuff you can find in the fridge and pantry.

2. K.I.S.S. – Keep it simple, stupid. The less effort, the better.

3. Try not to make it look like Pepto Bismol.

I didn’t use a touch of food colouring and this chicken salad turned out pretty tasty. This sandwich is best shared and also make good finger food for kids’ parties.

Pomegranate and Beet Chicken Salad


  • 1/2 cup roasted beet, diced
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, deseeded and diced finely
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced finely
  • 1 cooked chicken breast or thigh, diced
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt to taste

Combine ingredients. Spread the salad onto 4 slices of toasted bread of choice. Sprinkle more pomegranate seeds on top. Serves 2.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

  • Dawn@CocinaSavant

    hahaha love it! a nice way I think to make something real in the midst of phony themed dishes that depend on red food coloring for success :)

  • Rose

    I’m just Anti. Anti-Valentine’s, Anti-consumerism, anti-social peer pressure to conform to some stuuuupid marketing-oriented holiday and anti-overly cute crap that people exchange to celebrate the one time of year that they love each other.

    Obviously, we don’t celebrate. I told Adam if he bought flowers this week, I’d kick him in the knees (they double the price tag). I’m all for gender equality which INCLUDES men, which somehow so many people miss. I could go on a rant about this, but I think all people deserve to be special.

    Kudos on making a pink/red dish sans fake coloring. =D

  • Lee Ann

    I needed this post for my daughter who requested an easy, inexpensive and romantic menu for beau … this fits the bill and with good common sense.


  • Ginny

    haha! nice! I’m getting a little sick of the massive amount of food coloring being used too!

  • ValleyWriter

    The hopeless romantic in me loves the heart shape – and the foodie in me loves that there’s nothing “fake” about it. Bravo!

  • PT

    i once went to the mall with a girl (mistake #1) around v-day (mistake #2) and watched her touched/tried on EVERYTHING pink for what seems like an eternity…

    i should have just made her this salad instead… =)

    as always, great work mel!!

    ps – gung hay fat choy!! =)

  • Alta

    Where did you find pomegranates? I thought they were out of season. You are too funny with your recipe – but I love it! And I love even more that it’s not dyed red from artificial food coloring – yay!

  • sherry

    I love this!!! So artful! so creative and it would be tasty too? great post. best from Montecito, California

  • Jen @ Tiny Urban Kitchen

    I love it! Heart-shaped chicken breasts no less. This is super creative. Thanks for the mid-day work chuckle. :)

  • Pingback: Something yummy… at Just Get Floury()

  • Fearless Kitchen

    This is really interesting… I don’t think I’ve ever mixed pomegranates with beets.

  • justcooknyc

    ha, boy’s wallets get slaughtered… sigh

    i love the colors of this salad, btw.

  • Simone (junglefrog)

    Valentine’s day is not so big here in the Netherlands although we do see chocolate hearts and the like everywhere and this year is the first time I am noticing a trend in more ‘valentine food’ I love your take on it though…!

  • catty

    LOL what a cute post and I totally love your pomegranate and beet salad! Anyway, whichever side of the fence you’re on, have something red on Sunday anyway cos HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR (forget V day!!)… xx

  • Sean

    Wow that looks pretty good, I am surprised you didn’t use any food coloring.

  • Miriam/The Winter Guest

    Lovely! (I hate Valentine, though… we’ve never celebrated. But I must admit I tend to be less dogmatic with the years, after all it’s just another excuse to cook)