I just love Valentine’s Day. It is full of my favorite color, pink. While I do LOVE flowers I hate that they cost so much and die so quickly so I prefer to not receive them. I also love seeing all of the sweet gestures everyone does for one another posted on Facebook. Obviously I love chocolate, cookies and all of the other yummy treats the sweet day brings. Everyone loves a new puppy eyed doggy holding an “I <3 you” heart. It is just a feel good month! To keep the end of this “love month” festive I thought it would be fun to come up with a list of heart healthy foods and expand upon them. I went through and chose the healthiest options in each category and then I made a menu out of all of them for one day. You could definitely do a weeks worth of meal prep with all of these options, just buy the necessary amount to make more than one serving of each. I will also share my favorite preparation for each. With that being said, let’s see the list!
Heart Healthy Foods
Bright colored vegetables: Sweet potato
Cruciferous Vegetables: Brocoli
From this list I came up with three meals, 1 snack and dessert.
Meal 1: Breakfast
Oatmeal with slivered almonds, cubed papaya and flax seed meal.
•Cook 3/4 cup oatmeal with 11/2cup water for 2 minutes and add a bit of almond milk, honey or pure maple syrup and cinnamon for sweetness. Add chunks of papaya, sprinkle with slivered or sliced almonds and finally 1-2tbls flax meal.
Meal 2: Lunch
Black bean and spinach stuffed sweet potato
•Bake sweet potato on 350℉ until fork tender. Sauté spinach in a tiny drip of EVOO. You can either make a pot of black beans from scratch(personal fave) or use canned organic. Cut down center of sweet potato and loosen flesh with fork, stuff in the black beans and top with spinach. I love sprinkling a bit of “everything seasoning” by Flavor God.
Snack or mini meal
toasted tofu with broccoli
•I like to use medium or firm tofu, sautéed in a tiny bit of sesame oil and low sodium soy sauce. Steam the broccoli and sprinkle both with pink sea salt and some toasted sesame seeds.
Meal 3: Dinner
1 pan baked salmon and asparagus
•Heat oven to 400℉. Line pan with tinfoil. brush salmon with EVOO and sprinkle with pink Himalayan sea salt and pepper, top with slices of lemon. Do the same with the clean, trimmed asparagus, you can leave the lemon off if you prefer. Cook for about 20min, until salmon is done to your liking and asparagus is tender, this will depend on how thick the stalks are.
Dark chocolate drizzled blueberries
•Wash and lay blueberries out to dry, melt dark chocolate(double boiler works best). I like Ghirardelli 70% or higher dark chocolate or dark chocolate IsaDelights. Drizzle melted dark chocolate over the blueberries and enjoy!
These meals are simple to prepare and do not break the bank when you are trying to prep for more than one days worth. These amazing ideas are not only heart healthy but they are full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that your body needs daily to function optimally. It is so important that while you are on the journey for better health that you focus on counting nutrients and not so much on calories. We need a certain amount of calories per day but when is that last time you worried about how many nutrients you were taking in? -Topic for a future post!