Heart Healthy

Cheryl TallmanBy Cheryl Tallman

It's been proven that exercise and eating right are two steps that can reduce your risk of heart-related illness and disease. 
Here are 3 Simple Heart Healthy Eating Habits:
1. Limit high fat foods such as red meats, cheeses, fried foods and baked goods.

2. Eat more fruits and vegetables.  Raw, baked or steamed are best.

3. 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 illness and disease some foods do it better than others.  These SUPER foods are often called "heart healthy" foods because they contain high amounts of the special nutrients that have been proven to be beneficial to the heart, including:
Antioxidants, which are nutrients that help to fight off cancers
Fiber, which can lower cholesterol and reduce buildup of plaque in arteries
Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which reduce risks of irregular heartbeats that cause heart attacks
The SUPER Foods of Heart Healthy Eating include:

Legumes (Dried Beans)
Delicious Recipes for Heart Healthy Eating

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
¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
½ cup Olive oil
2 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Whisk all ingredients together. Drizzle over avocado slices and serve.

Salmon with Ginger and Scallions over Noodles
¼ cup Sake or white wine
¼ cup Mirin or dry sherry
¼ cup Soy sauce
2" piece Ginger, grated
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
6-8 Scallions, chopped
4 - 6-8oz. 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, about 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
1½ 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!
Your littlest can enjoy this meal too!
To include a baby (over 9-10 months old) at the dinner table, take these steps:
Avocado:  skip the dressing and mash/blend the avocado
Salmon: After cooking, rinse a piece of salmon quickly under water, mince with a fork or knife.  Be sure to check thoroughly for bones.
Noodles and Spinach:  Combine a serving of noodles and spinach together.  Puree in a blender or mince with knife.
Blueberries with Lemon Banana Cream:  Substitute maple syrup for the honey. Put a serving in the blender and puree it. If you want to skip the blueberries too, serve the banana cream for baby's dessert.   

So easy toddler foodAbout 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 www.FreshBaby.com for more delicious tips.