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Love Your Heart: Healthy Recipes for Valentine's Day

February 07, 2019

Cook your sweetie a meal from the heart and for the heart this Valentine’s Day with these tasty healthy recipes from the American Heart Association.

Salmon with Tomato - Basil Salsa



Cooking spray

4 salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each), rinsed and patted dry

3 tablespoons light mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika


6 ounces grape tomatoes

1/4 cup fresh basil

1 to 1 1/4 ounces sweet onion

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Lightly spray a shallow baking pan with cooking spray. Place the fish in the pan.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining salmon ingredients. Lightly spread on each fillet.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes, basil and onion. Put in a small bowl. Add the vinegar, stirring gently to combine. Spoon over or beside the cooked fish.

Cook’s Tip

Some produce areas indicate “sweet onions” and others specify certain types, such as Vidalia, OsoSweet, Maui, Walla Walla or Texas 1015. As the term indicates, these onions are less pungent than most other onions.

Nutritional Analysis

Calories Per Serving 200

Total Fat 8.5g

Saturated Fat 1.5g

Trans Fat 0.0

Polyunsaturated Fat 4.0g

Monounsaturated Fat 2.0g

Cholesterol 68mg

Sodium 175mg

Carbohydrates 5g

Fiber 1g

Sugar 2g

Protein 26g


Chicken Rotini Salad with Rosemary


4 ounces dried multigrain rotini

1 1/2 cups cubed cooked skinless chicken breasts, cooked without salt

(about 7 1/2 ounces cooked) (see Cook’s Tip at end of recipe)

1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (about 5 ounces)

1 cup fresh baby spinach (about 1 ounce)

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1 2.25-ounce can sliced black olives, drained

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil (extra-virgin preferred)

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

1/4 cup crumbled low-fat blue cheese

Cooking Instructions

In a stockpot or large saucepan, prepare the pasta using the package directions, omitting the salt and oil. Drain in a colander. Run under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool the pasta quickly.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients except the blue cheese.

Stir in the pasta. Gently fold in the blue cheese.

Cook’s Tip

It is so convenient to prepare extra chicken breasts to keep in the freezer for those hectic nights, but if you don’t have any available for this dish, discard all the visible fat from 10 ounces of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, then cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Remove the skillet from the burner and lightly spray with cooking spray (keeping far from a gas flame). Cook the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center, stirring constantly.

Nutritional Analysis

Calories Per Serving 296

Total Fat 9.0g

Saturated Fat 2.0g

Trans Fat 0.0

Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0g

Monounsaturated Fat 4.5g

Cholesterol 48mg

Sodium 444mg

Carbohydrates 29g

Fiber 5g

Sugar 3g

Protein 25g


Lemon Green Beans with Parsley and Almonds


8 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces  (about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons sliced almonds, dry-roasted

1 tablespoon finely snipped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cooking Instructions

In a large saucepan, steam the beans for 10 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining ingredients. Stir gently to coat. Serve immediately for the best texture.

Cook’s Tip

Dry-roasting nuts brings out their flavor. Put the nuts in a single layer in an ungreased skillet. Dry-roast over medium heat for about 4 minutes, or until just fragrant, stirring frequently and watching carefully so they don't burn. Remove the skillet from the burner so the nuts don't continue to cook.

Nutritional Analysis

Calories Per Serving 35

Total Fat 1.5g

Saturated Fat 0.0g

Trans Fat 0.0g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g

Monounsaturated Fat 1.0g

Cholesterol 0mg

Sodium 4mg

Carbohydrates 5g

Fiber 2g

Sugar 1g

Protein 2g


Chocolate Pudding Cake


Cake Layer:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 chopped pecans

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk

1 tablespoon canola or corn oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pudding Layer:

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Dust the bottom with 1 teaspoon cocoa powder.

For the cake layer, in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, pecans, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Add the evaporated milk, oil, and vanilla, stirring until well combined. Using a rubber scraper or the back of a large spoon, spread the batter in the pan. (The batter will be very thick.)

For the pudding layer, in another medium bowl, stir together the sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder. Whisk in the water and vanilla. Pour over the batter. Do not stir.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched lightly in the center. (A cake tester or wooden toothpick doesn’t work well for testing doneness here.) Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, spooning the pudding over the cake.

Nutritional Analysis

Calories Per Serving 175

Total Fat 4.0g

Saturated Fat 0.5g

Trans Fat 0.0g

Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0g

Monounsaturated Fat 2.0g

Cholesterol 0mg

Sodium 105mg

Carbohydrates 33mg

Fiber 1g

Sugar 23g

Protein 3g

Dr. Adesina from Kelsey-Seybold Clinic

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