Thank goodness I don’t do winter sports. Otherwise last weekend’s post-Valentine’s Day trip up to a ski resort and spa in New Hampshire may have been a little disappointing. Lucky for me and my husband, we prefer the spa to the slopes and took full advantage. And even more fortunately, lack of winter weather kept the crowds away.
This week, as temperatures are expected to “soar” into the 50’s, I expect the place will be a total ghost town. (Actually, that would describe the resort at any given time, considering it’s rumored to be haunted.) But for real I wouldn’t be surprised if they have to open the outdoor pool to entertain all the kiddos on February vacation.
Just about the only thing that feels like February to me is how fast it’s flying by. I can’t believe it’s already time for dinner at Love Your Heart!
The answer to the question, “What’s for heart-healthy dinner?” came easily to me. Salmon, perhaps the most widely-recognized heart-healthy protein due to its high omega-3 content, is without a question one of my favorite foods. In honor of American Heart Month, I made it my personal mission to round out our plates with other heart-healthy ingredients:
Kale contains a slew of antioxidants, plenty of heart-protecting fiber, and even omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, providing anti-inflammatory benefits.
Tahini, or sesame seed paste, is a nut butter rich in phytosterols, which have been shown to reduce bad cholesterol. It is also a good source of magnesium, which relaxes blood vessels and thus can promote good blood pressure.
Cranberries rank among the highest of antioxidant-containing fruits. They are also rich in flavenoids and polyphenolics, which have a wide variety of health benefits including potential to reduce total cholesterol. (Tip: when buying dried cranberries, look for those sweetened with juice instead of sugar!)
And of course, I couldn’t resist pouring a glass of red wine. Enjoying red wine in moderation will give you the benefits of resveratrol, a unique polyphenol that has been shown to reduce cholesterol and prevent damage to blood vessels.
As usual, I hope you’ll check out what my Love Your Heart ladies have put together this week!
Nicole is wowing me with a heart-healthy version of Fettuccine Alfredo.
Amy’s Fish Tacos with Avocado are calling my name!
And our hostess this week, Lauren, brings new flair to heart-healthy dinner with Spicy Chipotle Black Bean Soup with Crispy Sweet Potato “Croutons”. Whatever you do, make sure to visit Healthy Food for Living for a chance to win this week’s giveaways!
Our heart-healthy prizes include a copy of The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester (see my review here!) and a 12-pack of canned salmon from Pure Alaska Salmon. This is a product I’ve recently gotten the chance to sample, and I can tell you, it’s really delicious and high quality!
I’m always happier when healthy and delicious comes with quick and easy as well, and that’s exactly what this salmon dish is. Salmon doesn’t need to be too dressed up and cooks quickly in the oven, so it’s paired with a simple saute of dark leafy greens and nutty tahini. Both components are kissed with a touch of lemon for brightness. Can’t imagine how it all comes together? Well, I guess you’ll just have to try it! But trust me on this one.
Want more salmon? Don’t miss my latest Clean Eating Magazine recipe for Slow-Cooker Pomegranate Poached Salmon with Fennel Orange Salad!
Roasted Salmon with Kale, Tahini and Cranberries
Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
A quick and easy dinner bursting with heart-health!
2 6oz filets of salmon, preferably wild Alaskan sockeye
1-2 teaspoons lemon zest
salt & freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons (20gm) dried cranberries
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 lb chopped kale
1 tablespoon tahini
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Place salmon on a foil-lined baking sheet. (If the salmon has its skin on, you will not need to grease the foil, and you can easily slide a spatula between the meat and skin when the salmon is done cooking, leaving the skin behind. If the skin has already been removed, spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Sprinkle salmon with lemon zest, salt and pepper. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until just opaque in the center.
Meanwhile, place cranberries in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions with a splash of water, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the kale (a few handfuls at a time if it doesn't all fit) and cook, turning with tongs, for about 10 minutes, or until all the kale is wilted. Season with a pinch of salt. Stir together tahini, lemon juice and water, and add freshly ground pepper to taste. Pour the tahini sauce over the kale. Drain the cranberries and add to the pan. Stir until everything is coated and heated through.
Plate the salmon with the warm kale, and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 19.6 g
Saturated Fat 3.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Cholesterol 104.9 mg
Sodium 263.4 mg
Potassium 338.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.7 g
Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
Sugars 8.0 g
Protein 39.7 g
Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com