4 Heart-Healthy Recipes You and Your Ticker Will Love
When we love something, we love it with all of our heart—but when your ticker isn’t working properly, it makes it kind of hard to use. What won’t be hard is whipping up a homemade, four-course Valentine’s Day feast for your hunny this year — and, BONUS, it’s American Heart Month! So, since every recipe we’ve put together is made with heart-healthy benefits, you’ll know that the lucky partner on the receiving end of this meal will have a whole, happy, healthy heart capable of loving every last bite.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
What Makes This Heart-Healthy?
Spinach: This leafy green is high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, all of which are known to reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s full of vitamin C, beta-carotene which work together to prevent oxidized cholesterol from building up in the blood vessels. The folate in spinach is also known to lower homocysteine levels—high levels of homocysteine are an emerging risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases.
Strawberries: Ranking number 2 of top 10 most antioxidant-rich fruits, strawberries have tons of heart-healthy benefits. Full of fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, as well as being naturally free of fat, sodium, and cholesterol, this fruit helps control the risk factors associated with heart disease: high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high homocysteine levels.
10 oz. fresh spinach, rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
1 quart strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and onion. Cover, and chill for one hour.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds. Pour dressing over salad, and toss.
Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Crescent Wrapped Asparagus
What Makes This Heart-Healthy?
Asparagus: These are great for your ticker for multiple reasons. They’re high in vitamin K, which helps blood clot, and high in vitamin B, which regulates homocysteine levels. Its high fiber content, antioxidant levels, and anti-inflammatory effects also reduce the risk of heart disease.
Serves: 8-16 (If this is just for you and your honey, you’ll have leftovers—but you won’t be mad about it) Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 13 minutes
½ package Boursin Cheese, or similar product, room temperature
½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Ground black pepper
*Note: the package of crescent rolls and the whole package of Boursin cheese are enough to make twice as many asparagus strips as this recipes calls for.
Preheat oven to 350F and place rack in middle upper third of oven.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
Wash and dry asparagus and snap off thick end (or cut off 2” from thick end).
Salt and pepper asparagus.
Unroll crescent dough sheet and use a rolling pin to roll out dough into a thinner rectangle, approximately ¼” thick.
Spread Boursin cheese oven crescent dough.
Use a pizza cutter to cut dough into ⅛” strips.
Wrap dough strip around asparagus, but leave the tip-end exposed.
Gently roll wrapped asparagus in grated Parmesan cheese.
Place wrapped asparagus on the parchment or foil-lined baking sheet (leave 1 inch between stalks).
Sprinkle asparagus with more grated Parmesan and ground black pepper.
Bake 13-15 minutes or until dough is golden brown.
Serve as a side, appetizer or snack.
What Makes This Heart-Healthy?
Tomatoes: This little red fruit is high in heart-healthy nutrients like vitamin A & C, folic acid, and beta-carotene. Their vitamin B, potassium, and lycopene levels make them very effective in reducing cholesterol levels, clogged arteries, body inflammation, and blood pressure levels, which can otherwise cause heart attacks and strokes. Bonus: their high antioxidant levels aren’t affected by heat/cooking, so you can reap the fruit’s benefits both raw and cooked.
1 9-oz. package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (use only half)
½ cup finely shredded Romano cheese, divided
Cook orzo in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
Meanwhile, place 1 cup water, ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, plum tomato, garlic, 2 tsps marjoram, vinegar and 2 tsp oil in a blender. Blend until just a few chunks remain.
Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden outside and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and bring to a boil. Measure out ½ cup sauce to a small bowl. Add the remaining ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes to the pan along with the orzo, artichoke hearts and 6 Tbsp cheese. Cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide among 4 plates.
Slice the chicken. Top each portion of pasta with sliced chicken, 2 Tbsp of the reserved tomato sauce and a sprinkling of the remaining cheese and marjoram.
Chocolate Ricotta Mousse
What Makes This Heart-Healthy?
Dark chocolate: When it comes to dark chocolate’s health benefits, the higher the cacao percentage the better (upwards of 70%). Studies show that this mineral-rich sweet treat can reduce cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of stroke. It’s also rich in the antioxidant flavonoid, which helps repair cell damage and protects us from toxins. Flavanols are known to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, and lower the risk of blood clots.
Raspberries: These little guys have a lot to offer. Just one cup of raspberries contains a whopping 8 grams of fiber in a mere 64 calories—a high fiber diet means lower cholesterol levels. They are also low in total fat and have no saturated fat or added cholesterol. They are an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamin C, and contain a number of phytonutrients, which can decrease your risk of heart disease.
Place chopped chocolate in a 2-cup glass measure or small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on 70% power (medium-high) for 1 minute; stir. Microwave on 70% power for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until chocolate is melted, stirring every 15 seconds.
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 well combined. Spoon into demitasse cups or small bowls. Serve immediately, or cover and chill for up to 24 hours. If desired, garnish with fresh berries and mint leaves.
Now, get that apron on, set the mood with some of your favorite tunes, and get ready to whip up a meal your S.O. won’t forget!
Want more health hacks and wellness insights? We got you covered. You'll also receive a code 15% off your first order!
PLEASE READ THESE ONLINE SHOP TERMS AND CONDITIONS VERY CAREFULLY. THIS IS A LEGAL AGREEMENT (“AGREEMENT”) BETWEEN YOU AND PERFECT BAR, LLC, A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY (“PERFECT BAR”). BY CLICKING ON THE “I ACCEPT” BUTTON AND COMPLETING YOUR ORDER OF PERFECT BAR PRODUCTS (“PRODUCTS”), YOU ARE AGREEING TO BE BOUND BY, AND ARE BECOMING A PARTY TO, THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, DO NOT CLICK ON THE “I ACCEPT” BUTTON AND ABANDON YOUR PURCHASE OF PRODUCTS.
ONLINE SHOP. This Agreement covers the terms of our sale and your purchase of Products through our online shop located at http://shop.perfectbar.com (“Online Shop” and with the Home Page and the Site, the “Website”).
CREDENTIALS. You are solely responsible for the supervision, management, and control of your login credentials. PERFECT BAR DOES NOT PROTECT YOU FROM UNAUTHORIZED USE OF YOUR CREDENTIALS. Any person using your login credentials is conclusively deemed to have actual authority to engage in transactions in the Online Shop, and, accordingly, all sales of Products made by a person using your credential are hereby authorized by you. You shall immediately notify Perfect Bar if you become aware of any unauthorized use of your credentials and we will thereafter suspend your account as soon as practicable.
PURCHASES. You are responsible for all Product purchases and amounts due under your login credentials. You are responsible for paying in full the purchase price for Products, the shipping and handling charges and any taxes due as more fully set forth in your Online Shop order.
SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS. We will ship Products to the address you enter in our Online Shop order form using the shipping method you select.
PACKING AND HANDLING. All Products ordered by you shall be packed in accordance with our standard practices. We will not accept and cannot accommodate any special requests for custom containers, packing, crating, boxing or bundling.
RISK OF LOSS. All Products are shipped EXW and you shall bear the risk of loss upon our delivery of the Products to the common carrier at our shipping location. Any claims for loss, shortage or damage to the Products arising following our delivery to the common carrier should be submitted to the common carrier.
PAYMENTS. You hereby authorize Perfect Bar to charge the full purchase price for Products and the shipping and handling charges and taxes due as more fully set forth in your Online Shop order to the credit card or bank account you provided incident to the order. You assume all responsibility for notifying us of changes in credit card numbers and/or expiration dates or in any change in status of the applicable bank account, as the case may be. If your credit card is denied when charged or if an ACH or other debit to the depositary account is rejected, we may charge and collect from you a “bad account” fee of twenty five ($25.00) dollars for any declined or rejected transaction. You shall additionally be responsible for and shall immediately pay us, on demand, any payments that are made to us that are subject to a subsequent reversal. Questions regarding charges must be brought to the attention of Perfect Bar’s billing department within 90 days after the end of the questioned billing period. Charges beyond 90 days old are not subject to review, reversal or refund. YOU HEREBY REPRESENT AND WARRANT THAT (I) THE CREDIT CARD, DEBIT CARD OR BANK ACCOUNT INFORMATION SUPPLIED TO PERFECT BAR IS TRUE, CORRECT AND COMPLETE, (II) AMOUNTS DUE FROM YOU WILL BE HONORED BY YOUR BANK OR CREDIT CARD COMPANY, AND (III) YOU SHALL PAY FOR ALL YOUR PURCHASES ON THE ONLINE SHOP AT THE PRICES IN EFFECT AT THE TIME INCURRED. You remain solely responsible to pay for Product purchases following declination of your credit card, ACH transaction, eCheck or otherwise.
TAX. You shall be responsible for all sales, use and other taxes and all applicable duties, levies and export fees and similar charges imposed by any federal, state or local government entity with respect to your purchases of Products and authorize us to charge such due amounts in addition to the amounts set forth above.
PRODUCT WARRANTY. Perfect Bar hereby represents and warrants (the “Limited Warranty”) that the Products shall conform to their applicable FDA food label, and be fit for human consumption for the shorter period of (i) 9 months from production date if continuously refrigerated following delivery, or (ii) two weeks from the date of first removal from refrigeration following delivery, if not continuously refrigerated (as applicable, the “Warranty Period”). PERFECT BAR HEREBY DISCLAIMS ALL OTHER WARRANTIES REGARDING THE PRODUCTS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NONINFRINGEMENT.
LIMITED LIABILITY. PERFECT BAR’S LIABILITY TO YOU IS LIMITED. Perfect Bar will, as its sole liability and as your sole remedy for such failure, replace or refund the full purchase price of any Product that fails to meet the Limited Warranty during the applicable Warranty Period. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, IN NO EVENT SHALL PERFECT BAR BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, REGARDLESS OF THE FORESEEABILITY OF THOSE DAMAGES) ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH ANY BREACH OF THE LIMITED WARRANTY AND THE REPLACEMENT OR REFUND OF THE PURCHASE PRICE PAID FOR ANY PRODUCT SHALL BE YOUR SOLE REMEDY FOR ANY SUCH FAILURE AND PERFECT BAR’S SOLE LIABILITY IN SUCH EVENT.
SEVERABILITY; WAIVER. If, for whatever reason, a court of competent jurisdiction finds any term or condition in this Agreement to be unenforceable, all other terms and conditions will remain unaffected and in full force and effect. No waiver of any breach of any provision of this Agreement shall constitute a waiver of any prior, concurrent, or subsequent breach of the same or any other provisions hereof, and no waiver shall be effective unless made in writing and signed by an authorized representative of the waiving party.
MODIFICATIONS. Perfect Bar may, in its sole discretion and without prior notice, (a) revise this Agreement; (b) modify the ingredients of any Products; and (c) discontinue the Website or any Products at any time. Perfect Bar shall post any revision to this Agreement to the Website, and the revision shall be effective immediately on such posting. You agree to review this Agreement and other online policies posted on the Website periodically to be aware of any revisions. You agree that, by continuing to use or access the Website following notice of any revision, you shall abide by any such revision.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. BY CLICKING ON THE “I ACCEPT” BUTTON AND COMPLETING YOUR PURCHASE IN OUR ONLINE SHOP, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT YOU HAVE READ THIS AGREEMENT AND AGREE ENTER INTO AND BE BOUND BY IT.