Valentine’s Day isn’t just candy hearts and candlelight dinners (although those things are always fun!) It’s also taking good care of the people you love. February is American Heart Month, which makes it a great time to make some heart-healthy changes to your family meal plan. I love it when you can make healthy changes to your favorite recipes without sacrificing flavor. What’s not to love about making delicious food that’s better for you?
You can make meals healthier for your whole family by swapping ingredients rich in heart-healthy vitamins and nutrients for ingredients which are high in sodium, saturated and trans fats. Omega-3s help slow plaque build-up in the arteries, and lower blood triglyceride levels. Fiber can help lower cholesterol. Antioxidants can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack. Choosing salmon over steak a little more often, or tossing some toasted walnuts into a spinach salad is a simple way you can care for your loved ones’ hearts.
Changing up recipe ingredients is another super easy way to make healthy swaps your family won’t even notice. This American Heart Association article recommends switching to nontropical vegetable oils like canola, corn and olive to lower saturated and trans fat intake. They also recommend picking low-sodium canned goods, or rinsing away some of the salt. Everyday Health has 13 delicious swaps for a heart-healthy diet. They recommend you increase your intake of fish, walnuts and flaxseed to get more omega-3s. They also suggest making your own simple salad dressing, because bottled dressings are usually high in sodium.
Looking for some delicious, heart-healthy meals? Call Secret Ingredient today and treat yourself to healthy chef-prepared meals like this one.
Chicken with Wilted Greens , Lentils and Charred Red Onion
Serves 4, total time to prepare is 35 minutes.
1 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained (or 3 cups purchased steamed lentils)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
6 tsp olive oil
1 1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
4 cups baby kale (or other hearty green)
3 cups radicchio halved, cored and sliced
4 chicken breast
1 cup sliced pear
1 2 oz Parmesan cheese wedge, shaved
Prepare lentils according to package directions. Make the dressing with the next 6 ingredients, balsamic vinegar – olive oil. In a 12 inch skillet heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add red onion, salt and pepper and cook until onion is charred. Remove. Add 1/2 tsp oil and add kale and radicchio. Cook and stir over medium high heat until wilted, Remove from skillet.
Sprinkle chicken with remaining salt and pepper, add remaining oil to skillet, add chicken. Cook over medium high heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove chicken and cut into bite size pieces. Divide lentils, wilted greens, pear, charred red onion and chicken, Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with cheese.
Thaw and bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes
Now you know some simple ways to help your whole family eat healthier. An even easier solution? Take advantage of our personal chef services! Treat yourself and your whole family to healthy, freshly-prepared customized meals, and skip the unhealthy take-out.