Our heart is one of the most vital organs in our bodies, our very lives depend on it functioning without stopping. The heart will beat anywhere from about 60 to 100 times per minute. That’s roughly 4,800 times per hour and 115,200 times a day. What a hard worker!
With that in mind, don’t you think that it’s extremely important to ensure that our hearts function well always? It would do you good to consider what’s good for your heart rather than just for your appetite.
So to help you out with that we bring you these 5 delicious healthy heart meal suggestions and their recipes; credits to Irene McGuinness.
1. Sheet Pan Citrus Salmon with Roasted Onions and Peppers
Salmon is an excellent source of essential omega-3, a good friend of a healthy heart. The red bell peppers are full of healthy lycopene for a heart-healthy easy dish. This dish offers simplicity while focusing on wholesome ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
- In small blender, combine marinade ingredients and whirl until emulsified. Set aside.
- In bowl, place asparagus, bell peppers, and onion. Drizzle with half the marinade and stir to coat. Onto large baking sheet with shallow sides, spread mixture evenly. Bake in oven for 15 minutes.
- While vegetables are baking, rub remaining marinade into salmon and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Remove sheet pan with bell peppers from oven. Push vegetables to edges of baking sheet and place marinated salmon, skin side down, in a single layer in center. Scatter jalapeño pepper overtop. Return sheet pan to oven and continue to bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until salmon is almost opaque in center.
- Remove salmon and vegetables from oven and place on platter. Drizzle with lime juice and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately with a timber of rice or whipped potato on the side, if you wish.
2. Nutty Shredded Reds
The key to this meal, lies in shredded red cabbage, with are low in calories and high in fiber. Topped up with heart friendly walnuts coupled with roasted garlic, this light and crunchy meal brings together the important materials needed build on the heart’s and one’s immunity.
- Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
- Slice top from garlic to expose cloves. Place cut side up in small baking dish. Drizzle cut cloves with olive oil. Add 3 to 4 Tbsp (45 to 60 ml) water to small dish. Cover tightly and bake in oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until cloves are soft. Remove from oven. Place garlic in bowl until cool enough to handle.
- Pop cooled cloves from their skins into high-speed blender. Add remaining dressing ingredients. Whirl, scraping down sides of blender, adding in a couple splashes of water until dressing is of pourable consistency. Add a pinch more salt to taste, if you wish. Transfer to jar, seal tightly, and refrigerate until ready to use, or for up to a week.
- Bring pan of water to a boil. Remove from heat. Add cabbage and immediately drain in sieve and then plunge into ice water. You want cabbage to be brightly colored but still crisp. Shake well, and spin in salad spinner. Add to large serving bowl along with radicchio and Belgian endive. Gently toss to evenly distribute.
- Spoon into large serving dish and drizzle with Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing. Sprinkle with nuts and dried berries, and serve.
3. Pomegranate Chicken with Warm Kisir
Mediterranean dishes are known for their amazing healthy heart qualities with their healthy oils and bright-colored vegetables. This dish naturally has all that plus the addition of pomegranates and lightly touched up with Kisir, a traditional Turkish side dish made with bulgur.
- To make the chicken, preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
- In small bowl, combine sumac, cardamom, and salt. Stir to blend. Divide equally among chicken thighs, massaging seasoning under skin with your fingers.
- Heat 10 in (25 cm) ovenproof or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add ghee or butter and heat till it almost begins to smoke. Add chicken thighs, skin side down, allowing for space in between each. Fry until skin becomes a rich golden color, about 5 minutes. Flip chicken and sear underside just until lightly browned. Remove to dish.
- Whisk stock, pomegranate molasses, and maple syrup in skillet. Boil vigorously, with lid ajar, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Return chicken to skillet along with any juices that may have collected. Tuck thyme sprigs around chicken and sprinkle with red chilies.
- Bake, uncovered, in oven for 35 minutes or until meat registers 165 F (75 C) when tested with a meat thermometer in thickest portion of meat. Remove from oven when done.
- Meanwhile, in dry saucepan over medium heat, toast rice or millet just until grains are pale golden and they begin to smell aromatic, about 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in boiling water and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat; keep covered and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- While rice or millet cooks, whisk oil, pomegranate molasses, tomato paste, and salt in small bowl. Set aside. Combine tomatoes and their juice, cucumber, and yellow pepper in large bowl and set aside.
- When rice or millet is cooked and has finished resting, stir in oil mixture to evenly coat. Transfer to bowl with tomatoes and gently fold in.
- To serve, place a generous ladle of kisir into each of 4 serving bowls. Rest a chicken thigh on top. Drizzle with some pan juices and scatter with pomegranate seeds, toasted almonds, and chopped herbs. Add black pepper to taste.
4. Big Red Vegetarian Pasta Sauce
The rich red tomatoes and tomato paste are already excellent for healthy heart eating. But being eaten with the mirepoix of very soft and almost caramelized vegetables, brings out in the meal a rich satisfying flavor.
- In medium-sized saucepan, cover lentils with 3 cups (750 ml) cold water. Bring to a gentle boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until lentils are tender but still have a bit of bite to them. Drain thoroughly and set aside when done.
- In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic; sauté until softened and vegetables begin to caramelize. Stir in tomato paste. Then add balsamic or red wine and stir to loosen any bits from bottom of saucepan. Add tomatoes and their juices, breaking up tomatoes with fork. Add stock, bay leaf, thyme, minced oregano, maple syrup, and salt. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes for flavors to blend. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Remove bay leaf and woody stems from thyme. Fold in cooked lentils and simmer until warmed through. Cover and set aside while cooking pasta.
- Bring large saucepan with lightly salted water to a full boil. Add noodles and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain well. Stir a little olive oil into pasta to prevent it from sticking.
- To serve, spoon noodles into serving bowl. Add a ladle of Bolognese sauce and scatter with some minced basil and toasted pine nuts. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and serve with crushed chilies, if using.
5. No-Bake Orange Berry Crumble
Did anyone say dessert? This crumble is easy to assemble and guaranteed to impress. The best part, this rich red dessert certainly doesn’t even need to be baked. More importantly, the dish is chock full of antioxidants which are absolutely essential for health heart.
- In medium-sized bowl, combine flour, oats, nuts, sugar, and seasonings. Stir to blend.
- In 10 in (25 cm) skillet, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in flour mixture until crumbly. Return to medium heat and stir until streusel is as toasted as you like. Transfer to bowl. Cool and store in sealed container at room temperature for up to 1 week, if you’d like.
- In large bowl, combine berries, orange zest, and juice. Gently toss. Divide among 4 serving bowls. Sprinkle toasted streusel over the top. Serve with dollops of yogurt.