A heart-healthy Valentine’s Day dinner
Thursday, February 1, 2018
It’s heart month! Along with Valentine’s Day, February also brings the start of American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“What you eat affects how you feel. Making smart choices when eating helps keep you and your body healthy. Know that one of your greatest tools to prevent heart disease is a diet rich in heart-healthy foods,” says Dr. Lynn K. Wagner, an integrative lifestyle medicine physician with BayCare Clinic.
Start dinner with this heart-healthy salad. Spinach is high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which all help reduce the risk of heart disease. The fiber, potassium, and antioxidants in strawberries help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which can cause heart disease.
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 10 ounces fresh spinach, rinsed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 quart strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and sliced
- ¼ cup almonds, blanched and slivered
1. In a medium bowl, whisk the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and onion. Cover and chill for one hour.
2. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries, and almonds. Pour dressing over salad and toss.
3. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Source: Perfect Bar
Omega-3 fatty acids, or unsaturated fats, are good for your heart, and salmon has plenty of it. These fats may lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, decrease stroke and heart failure risk, and reduce irregular heartbeats. You get all this in just two servings, or 7 ounces, of salmon a week.
- 4 6-ounce salmon fillets
- 1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 lemon wedges
- Cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Place fish on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray and lightly coat fish with cooking spray. Sprinkle fish with dill, salt, and pepper. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with lemon wedges.
Source: My Recipes
End dinner with this dark chocolate dessert. The chocolate can reduce cholesterol levels and your risk of a stroke, lower blood pressure and the risk of blood clots, and improve blood flow to the heart. Raspberries can be just as beneficial, helping to lower cholesterol levels and decrease your risk of heart disease.
- 6-ounce 70% cacao dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 15-ounce. container part-skim ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup fat-free half-and-half
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Mint leaves (optional)
1. Place chopped chocolate in a 2-cup measuring cup or small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, for 1 minute, then stir. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until chocolate is melted, stirring every 15 seconds.
2. In a food processor bowl, combine cheese, half-and-half, and vanilla. Cover and process until combined. Add melted chocolate while food processor is running. Process until combined well. Spoon into small bowls or cups. Serve immediately, or cover and chill for up to 24 hours. If desired, garnish with fresh berries and mint leaves.
Source: Perfect Bar