Is Your Heart Hungry?

By Natalie Reehl

 Being a woman is hard enough.  Being human, alone, is a lifelong task. So when it’s American Heart Month, and there’s pressure to be eating and exercising  “heart healthy” too, it’s another thing to groan about. But heart health is so very important- did you know heart disease is the #1 killer in women? As a proud media partner of the American Heart Association, we’re working to raise awareness of the risks or heart disease and to help women live their healthiest lives possible.

But when it comes to eating heart healthy, most of us don’t know where to begin. The American Heart Association’s website is overflowing with pages of recipes. These are some of our favorites!

Photo courtesy of the American Heart Association

Sweet Potato Nachos!

That’s right, even nachos can be healthy! Best surprise ever right? This easy-to-make game day to girl’s night recipe is not only 100% veggie and dairy product, but also high in protein and low in calories. Shave sweet potatoes, mix with spices, and bake to create the chips- and then sprinkle veggies, beans, cheese and avocado on top. Sounds like heart-happy perfection. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Recipes/Sweet-Potato-Nachos_UCM_468717_RecipeDetail.jsp

Creamy Tomato Fettuccine!

Yes, pasta and the word “creamy” can still be used when being heart healthy! Making your own sauce can cut out dozens of calories as well as cutting out unnecessary chemicals that are added into jarred sauces, and cooking it is also a fun way to spend the night. Whole-wheat pasta (fettuccine or angel-hair work best) is packed with nutrients, and it also fills you up more than bleached-grain pasta. Mince up some basil, onion, and garlic and mix it with canned low-sodium diced tomatoes for a zesty sauce, then top off with whatever veggies or protein you want! http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Recipes/Creamy-Tomato-Fettuccini_UCM_465441_RecipeDetail.jsp

Barbeque Glazed Chicken Tenders and Oven Fries!

First off, oven fries. The delicious, salty starch of fries without all the oils and fat! A dream comes true! There’s a common misconception that healthy food has to taste bad- and that’s simply not the case. It’s all about portion control and choosing the right mix of ingredients in a meal- for example, a hamburger and mozzarella sticks isn’t going to get you anywhere but closer to a heart attack. Boneless, skinless chicken tenders are filled with protein and also don’t leave you dehydrated or feeling sleepy after eating them, especially if you glaze them with sweet BBQ sauce and bake until they’re bubbling. For the fries, cut them into strips and sprinkle with spices and garlic powder for a Cajun surprise with dinner. Add some color by steaming baby broccoli- they taste amazing dipped in BBQ! http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Recipes/Barbeque-Glazed-Chicken-Tenders-and-Oven-Fries_UCM_465370_RecipeDetail.jsp

 Big Green Monster Smoothie!

You’re probably wondering- where are the salads? Where are the demands to eat copious amounts of fruit? Here you go- but in a more fad-friendly way. While juicing was the big thing in 2014, carry on with the healthy trend by blending up a mix of fruits and veggies to get all your vitamins in for the day. This smoothie calls for green apple, spinach, kiwi, and cucumber- sounds like a day at the spa in a cup! Not only is it great for your energy and metabolism but this “green monster” makes skin glow and hair grow stronger.  Who knew such a perfect morning meal existed? http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Recipes/Kid-Friendly-Big-Green-Monster-Smoothie_UCM_469475_RecipeDetail.jsp

Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Almond-Mocha Topping (Avec Raspberry Sauce)!

Dessert is definitely still on the menu, even when watching your sodium levels and trying to cut out the nasty stuff that clogs up arteries. One thing that will always make your heart happy however is a decadent cupcake that only comes in at 173 calories per serving! That’s almost unheard of! The devil’s food mix brings the delicious aroma of chocolate while the chocolate-coffee topping is perfectly bitter and sweet, and to pull it together boil raspberries in a sauce pan to drizzle on the plate.  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Recipes/Devils-Food-Cupcakes-with-Almond-Mocha-Topping-on-Raspberry-Sauce_UCM_465871_RecipeDetail.jsp

Do you have any favorite heart healthy recipes to share? Let us know what you think of these below- and remember, a healthy heart is a happy heart!  For more information and heart healthy recipes, please visit heart.org.

Leave A Comment