I was recently invited to FOX5 San Diego morning news to prepare heart-healthy meals in time for Valentine’s Day. A delicious and sumptuous meal, filled with good-for-the-heart fresh ingredients, was easy for me make because we have tons of ingredients which can keep your heart pumping – and get the heart of the object of your eye racing. You know what they say about the way to their hearts is through that stomach.
My 3-course meal was filled with heart-healthy goodies:
Butternut squash and beet puree
Salmon and asparagus en Papillote with Romesco Sauce
TruWhip almond cloud with fresh berries and almond paste
And these are some of the queens of a heart-healthy diet:
Always go wild-caught with this sumptuous fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids. “Omega-3s have an anti-clotting effect, so they keep your blood flowing,” says Rachel Johnson, PhD, RD, Bickford Professor of Nutrition at the University of Vermont. They also help lower your triglycerides (a type of fat that can lead to heart disease). The farm-raised varieties, on the other hand, can be high in the inflammatory Omega-6 variety, so avoid getting caught in that net.
Nibbling on 5 ounces of nuts each week may cut your risk of heart disease in half. Almonds have lots of “good” fats. When you use these monounsaturated fats in place of saturated fats, such as butter, you cut your “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise your “good” HDL cholesterol.
- Raspberries and Blueberries
These berries are loaded with polyphenols — antioxidants that mop up damage-causing free radicals in your body. They also deliver fiber and vitamin C, which are both linked to a lower risk of stroke. Plus, they’re low glycemic index so they won’t spike your blood sugar.
- Plain Greek Yogurt
Dairy products with no sugar added are high in potassium, and that has a blood-pressure-lowering effect. When you choose low-fat or fat-free dairy, you get little to no saturated fat, the kind of fat that can raise your cholesterol. Non-fat, plain Greek yogurt is a great choice because it’s high in protein, which helps you feel more satiated.
- Dark Chocolate
Cacao, the plant from which chocolate is made, is rich in flavonols, which can help lower your blood pressure and prevent blood clots. It also acts as an antioxidant, which can keep “bad” cholesterol from sticking to your artery walls. Dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa, is the way to go to get more flavonols and less sugar.
Now, watch the segment and treat your honey to a meal worthy of the Queen of Hearts – or prepare it together. There’s nothing that brings loved ones closer than making a beautiful meal together. You can even feed them dessert if you like, we approve!
Salmon en Papillote with Asparagus and Romesco Sauce
1 lb Wild caught salmon fillet
1/2 lb asparagus
- 1 large roasted red bell pepper or 3 miniature bells and 2 garlic cloves, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and roasted in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until skin crackles.
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup tomato purée
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1) Preheat oven to 400F. Wash all produce with Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash.
2) Cut a large piece of parchment paper and position salmon fillet skin side up, with half of asparagus on each side. Fold sides over, then ends. Flip pouch over and place on baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes.
3) in the meantime, In a food processor, combine all Romesco sauce ingredients except broth. Pulse until well combined. Add broth and pulse for 30 seconds or until relatively smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and heat thoroughly.
4) Tear open parchment and transfer to a plate. Drizzle Romesco sauce over the top of fish and asparagus. Dust with a little smoked paprika to finish. Enjoy!
Mixed Berries and Cream Tartlet with Almond Drizzle
– Two cups of Truwhip whipped topping
– One pack of unflavored gelatin
– 1 cup boiling water
– 2 tsp monk fruit extract
– A drizzle of Buff Bake red velvet almond spread or your favorite almond butter
– Two teaspoons 70% or more unsweetened dark chocolate
1) Prep gelatin by mixing it with boiling water and letting it set for 5 min.
2) Mix in TruWhip and monk fruit sweetener and beat for about 2 minutes or until even and fluffy. Pour into cups and let set up in the freezer for about 1 hour.
3) Top with fresh blueberries and raspberries washed with our Eat Cleaner Fruit & Veggie Wash to remove the nasties. Drizzle with Buff Bake red velvet spread and chunks of dark chocolate. Enjoy with a big spoon!
Here’s to your healthy ️…and major points if you feed it to someone you!
When it comes to your heart, what you eat does matter. Follow these tips for heart-healthy eating:
- Eat less saturated and trans fat. Stay away from fatty meats, fried foods, cakes, and cookies.
- Cut down on sodium (salt). Look for the low-sodium or “no salt added” types of canned soups, vegetables, snack foods, and lunch meats.
- Get more fiber. Fiber is in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
And it’s a wrap! Have a heart-happy month everyone!
ENJOY & REMEMBER TO EAT CLEANER, EVERYDAY!
For more great tips and recipes from Chef Mareya, The Fit Foodie, visit www.eatcleaner.com or text EATCLEANER to 22828 to Join The Cleaner Plate Club!
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