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3 Mouthwatering heart-healthy recipes

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Heart-healthy recipes do your body good

Here's to a healthy heart! Since it's American Heart Month, why not celebrate by trying a new heart-healthy recipe? Here are three that will take you from breakfast to dinner.

These mouthwatering recipes are enough to get your heart pumping — in a good way! Heart disease kills an estimated 630,000 Americans each year. Since it's American Heart Month, I though you might like a few recipes that not only taste good but are good for you, too.

To start or continue a healthy diet, consider eating foods low in saturated fats, high in omega-3s and fiber and low in salt. These three recipes are easy to make, and they are perfect to add to your heart-healthy meal repertoire!

1

Pink grapefruit yogurt parfait recipe

Pink grapefruit yogurt parfaits

Studies show that enjoying one grapefruit a day can help lower your "bad" LDL cholesterol levels and that can be good for your heart! Grapefruit are also high in fiber (which helps you feel full), and they're low in calories. And who can resist their cheery color and flavor?

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup low-fat granola
  • 12 ounces low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 pink grapefruit, one supreme cut, one peeled and sectioned
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions:

  1. To make the grapefruit sauce, first add the cornstarch and water to a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
  2. Add the sectioned grapefruit to a pan over high heat. Add the orange juice and honey, and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the cornstarch mixture. Continue to boil for a few minutes until the grapefruit begins to break apart.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Pour the mixture through a mesh strainer to separate the grapefruit pith and membranes. Add the liquid mixture to the refrigerator until chilled.
  4. To supreme cut the grapefruit, slice off the top and bottom portions of the grapefruit. Then use a paring knife to slice the peel away from the flesh of the grapefruit (follow the curve of the grapefruit) from the top to the bottom. Cut into the grapefruit sections and remove them from the membranes.
  5. Evenly divide your ingredients for 2 servings, and layer them in your 2 serving dishes. Begin by adding a layer of granola, followed by the grapefruit sauce, the grapefruit, then the yogurt. Repeat your layers.
  6. Serve cold.
2

Lemony chickpea and greens salad recipe

Lemony chickpea and greens salad

Chickpeas (sometimes called garbanzo beans) are rich in protein and fiber (as well as vitamins and minerals) and, as a bean, can help lower your blood cholesterol. Let’s not forget they taste great and can be served in many different ways (hummus, anyone?). This tasty salad, with its lemony dressing, makes a hearty lunch or light dinner.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • Juice from 1 lemon (about 1/2 cup)
  • Zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6-8 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed if using canned
  • 3 green onions, whites and greens diced
  • 3 radishes, sliced thin and cut in half
  • 2 celery ribs, diced

Directions:

  1. To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice and zest, olive oil, garlic, salt and ground black pepper in a small bowl and whisk. Set aside.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to large bowl and toss together. Drizzle the dressing, a little at a time, over the ingredients and toss to coat.
  3. Taste and add more dressing if needed.
  4. Serve in individual bowls and season with added ground black pepper if you'd like.
3

Sweet chili-glazed salmon recipe

Sweet chili-glazed salmon

You've probably heard of omega-3 fatty acids, right? While the term might not sound like something healthy, these are actually the good-for-you fats that can help lower your risk of heart disease. You'll find them in walnuts, spinach and salmon. This recipe includes a little sweet and a little spicy to make a great dish.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 (6 ounce) salmon fillets, about 1-1/2 inches thick
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 red chili pepper, seeds and membrane removed, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine the orange juice, soy sauce, garlic chili paste, honey, chili peppers and ground black pepper in a large sealable plastic bag.
  2. Add the salmon to the bag, close it and massage it lightly with your hands. Refrigerate to marinade for 30-45 minutes.
  3. When you're ready to cook your salmon, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly spray a glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Add the salmon to the baking dish so they are not touching. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until they are opaque and flake with a fork.
  5. Remove from the oven.
  6. Serve warm.

More healthy recipes

Lentil and veggie shepherd's pie
Roasted beet salad with tangerine-rosemary vinaigrette
Carrot-mushroom barley stew

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