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Heart Healthy - Be Your Own Valentine
IconBy Cheryl Tallman     Give the heart closest to you a special gift on Valentine's Day by treating yourself to heart healthy foods. It's been proven that exercise and eating right are two steps can be reduce your risk of heart-related illnesses and diseases.   Here are 3 Simple Heart Healthy Eating Habits Limit high fat foods such as red meats, cheeses, fried foods and baked goods. Eat more fruits & vegetables.  Raw, baked or steamed are best. Avoid salt (aka sodium in processed foods) by eating less canned, prepared and fast foods. Stay away from salty snacks too.   When it comes to lowering your risk of heart-related illnesses and diseases some foods do it better than others.  These heart healthy foods are often called SUPER foods because they contain high amounts of the special nutrients that have been proven to be beneficial to the heart: Antioxidants are nutrients that help to fight off cancers Fiber which can lower cholesterol and reduce buildup of plaque in arteries Omega-3 Fatty Acids reduce risks of irregular heartbeats which cause heart attacks The SUPER Foods of Heart Healthy Eating include: Blueberries Avocado Spinach Oatmeal Salmon Tuna Nuts Legumes (Dried Beans) Create a Heart Healthy Valentine's Dinner with these recipes.  Both your taste buds and your heart are sure to love them! Heart Healthy Valentine's Dinner Menu: Sliced Avocado with Balsamic Cilantro Dressing Salmon with ginger and scallions over noodles Sautéed Spinach Blueberries with Lemon Cream Sliced Avocado with Balsamic Cilantro Dressing   1-2 Avocados, pitted and skinned   Cut avocado lengthwise.  Place slices in a heart shaped pattern on a plate.   Balsamic Cilantro Dressing 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar 1/2 cup olive oil 2 Tbsp. Sugar 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro 1 Tbsp. Minced garlic Salt and fresh ground pepper   Whisk all ingredients together. Drizzle over avocado slices and serve.   Salmon with ginger and scallions over noodles   1/4 cup sake or white wine 1/4 cup mirin or dry sherry 1/4 cup soy sauce 2" piece of ginger grated 2 cloves of garlic crushed 6-8 scallions chopped 4 - 1/2 lb. salmon fillets Whole-Wheat Linguine or Spaghetti   Place salmon skin side down in a skillet.  In a small bowl combine sake, mirin, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Pour over salmon and sprinkle the scallions over top of the salmon.  Place skillet on stove and bring to boil at medium-high heat.  Turn heat down and simmer 3-4 minutes.  Turn salmon over and continue simmering until salmon is cooked 3-4 minutes.    Cook linguine according to package directions.  Remove salmon from stove.  Break salmon into pieces and discard skin.  Serve salmon and sauce over linguine.    Sautéed Spinach   1 Tbsp. Olive Oil 1 garlic clove, peeled and thin sliced 1 bag (9 -10 oz.) baby spinach   Heat olive in a stock pot over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and sauté until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add spinach leaves and toss gently as the spinach wilts about 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat.   Blueberries with Lemon Banana Cream   1/3 cup ricotta cheese 1 tsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. lemon zest 1 banana, peeled and sliced 2 Tbsp. milk 2 Tbsp. honey 11/2 cups blueberries, rinsed and drained   In a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients except the blueberries. Puree until very smooth (about 2 minutes). Pour into a medium-sized mixing bowl and fold in the blueberries gently. Serve in bowls with a big spoon!   Happy Valentine's Day from all your friends at Fresh Baby!   About the author: Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit, and author of the So Easy Baby Food and the new book So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips and Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years . Visit Cheryl online at for more delicious tips.
Tags: Health, Holidays, Valentine's Day
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