Category Archives: heart healthy

Pitaya (Dragonfruit) Breakfast Bowl

FullSizeRender_1

I’ve been sporadically buying these for a couple weeks down here in San Antonio, and realized lately I better learn how to make them myself, because $9 for a breakfast bowl is notttt happening. Dragonfruit (or Pitaya, if you want to be really fancy about it) is a crazy-looking fruit that’s packed with antioxidants and is a gorgeous bright pink color the stuff my eight year old birthday party dreams were made of. I combined a frozen smoothie pack of this with some coconut water and frozen cubes of fresh papaya and banana, plus about a tablespoon of chia seeds that I soaked overnight. Then, you blend it into “eat with a spoon,” not “drink with a straw” texture, top artfully with fruit and toppings of your choice and serve to your fiance, who will think this is so pretty he’ll instagram it (Hi Brendan!).

PITAYA (DRAGONFRUIT) BREAKFAST BOWL (makes 1)

  • 1 packet Pitaya Plus Smoothie Pack (NEPA friends – check Wegman’s)
  • 1/2 frozen banana (peeled and cut into slices)
  • small handful frozen papaya cubes
  • Coconut water, about 1/3 a cup
  • 1 tbsp. soaked chia seeds (optional)
  • Toppings (your choice): Sliced fresh banana, raspberries, blueberries, coconut flakes, granola, kiwi, etc.

1. In a Nutribullet or a blender, combine the smoothie pack, frozen banana and papaya, chia seeds and coconut water. Blend until it’s an “eat with a spoon” consistency (add more frozen banana or even ice to thicken it, or more coconut water to thin it).

FullSizeRender IMG_0981

2. Pour carefully into a smallish bowl.

3. Top creatively with fruit, granola, coconut etc. There are so many options for this beautiful, insanely healthy way to start your day. Enjoy!

FullSizeRender_2

 

 

Cauli-rice


FullSizeRender (3)

I swear, cauliflower is one of my favorite sneaky little foods. It seems so boring and basic, but then all of a sudden, it’s cauliflower mashed “potatoes” that would easily pass for the real thing. Or it’s an insanely flavorful roasted little snack. Or it’s blended with potatoes and a hearty, comfort-food-style soup.  I kept reading about cauliflower “rice” and – amazingly – doubting its ability to be awesome. And then I tried it, and once again, cauliflower surprised me. This was so delicious (and healthy!), I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the real deal.

CAULI-RICE (serves 2)

  • Half a head of cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp. EVOO
  1. Carefully cut away most of the stems of half a head of cauliflower. Working in batches, pulse in a food processor until the texture resembles rice.

FullSizeRender (1)

2. Heat EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat.

3. Add cauliflower to the skillet when oil is heated, then cover and let cook for about 10 minutes. You want to let this sit a bit to pick up some flavor from browning, so don’t stir it more than once or twice.

FullSizeRender (2)

4. When cauliflower is ready, serve alongside just about anything. We had ours with salmon in parchment for a super-simple, heart-healthy Sunday dinner.

FullSizeRender (4)

 

 

 

Holiday Detox Salmon Burger

 

Thanksgiving this year was the most delicious one ever, which meant I totally overdid it. So yesterday and today have been full of Nutribullets and limited carbs. For lunch today, Brendan came home and we made Wild for Salmon’s feta-dill salmon burgers, topped them with thin slices of avocado and a simple lemony dill sauce, then wrapped them in lettuce for a super healthy, quick and delicious lunch. I’ve tried to copy these burgers before, but have to admit defeat when I taste it. Nothing comes close to these burgers stuffed with feta and dill

HOLIDAY DETOX BURGER (makes 2)
– 3 large iceberg lettuce leaves
– 2 Wild for Salmon’s feta-dill salmon burgers
Lemon-Dill sauce
– 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced

1. Lightly spray a grill pan with cooking spray. Heat to medium.

2. Cook the salmon burgers, approx. 2 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Try to get those “sweet grill marks”, if you’re Brendan. Why do guys love these so much??

 

Continue reading

Salmon and Avocado Apps with Lemon, Dill and Sesame Seeds

Not gonna lie, I felt pretty pleased with myself making these. The saltiness/savoriness of the salmon combined with the creamy avocado is perfect, they have 4 ingredients, tops, are chock full of Omega-3s – the “good for you fats” – which help with your cardiovascular health, eyesight, joints and a whole bunch of other things, have a hint of the bright flavor of lemon (which adds detox benefits) and if you use Wild for Salmon’s Dill and Orange Gravlax, you can skip the dill altogether. I did a couple of these with a light coating of toasted sesame seeds, but that’s up to you. These were ready in no time, and gone in about that same amount too.

SALMON AND AVOCADO APPS WITH LEMON AND DILL (makes about 30)
– 3 avocados, cut into approx. 3/4 inch chunks
Wild for Salmon’s Dill and Orange Gravlax (or smoked salmon if you can’t find this, but please try because this is amazing.)
– juice of 1 lemon
– pinch of kosher salt
– sesame seeds (optional)

1. Cut the avocados into approx. 3/4 inch chunks. 



2. Add to a bowl and toss with the lemon juice and the pinch of salt – this will keep the avocado from browning.

Continue reading

Salmon Baked in Parchment with Spinach and Feta

 This is the easiest way to make fish ever. Ever. It’s pretty, packed with flavor, and healthy for you too. The fish basically steams itself in its own juices and whatever else you add to it, and the end result is incredible. Plus, cleanup is minimal, since you can just eat it right out of the parchment if you want. If you’re not a fan of feta, you can skip it, but why not just try it, because spinach and feta is awesome.

SALMON BAKED IN PARCHMENT WITH SPINACH AND FETA (serves 2)
– 2 salmon filets
– 2 cups spinach, divided
– 4 slices lemon
– curls of basil butter
– 1 shallot, sliced
– 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
– 1 tbsp EVOO, divided
– Couple crumbles of feta
– Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. Tear off a decent size of parchment paper. Fold it in half so you know which side you’re going to be working on.

3. Rub 1/2 a tbsp of EVOO on the right side of the parchment paper.


4. On top of that, add 1/2 a cup of the spinach, 1/2 a shallot, sliced, then 1 filet of salmon.


5. Cut a couple shallow slices into the salmon, then season it with Kosher salt & black pepper. Top with 2 of the slices of lemon, 1 clove garlic, sliced, & some curls of the basil butter.

6. Crimp up the ends of the parchment paper so it makes a little pouch. Follow steps 2-6 with the other piece of salmon.


7. Put the parchment packets on a baking tray on the lowest rack of the oven, cook for approx. 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.


8. Open up the salmon packets (don’t toss the juices in the bottom, because they’re the best), carefully arrange the salmon & the veggies on top of some fresh spinach, then add some feta crumbles.  We had this with tuna tartare for one of the prettiest dinners I’ve made in a long time.

Quinoa with Black Beans, Avocado, Tomatoes, Scallions & Mini Mozzarella with a Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

What do you make for a cardiothoracic surgeon and a journalist after watching open heart surgery on Valentine’s Day? This is what I came up with, and for someone who’s big on eating healthy (the surgeon) and someone who’d never tried quinoa before (the journalist), I think it was a pretty good pick. Quinoa is definitely my favorite grain – it’s an ancient source of protein and also high in iron, fiber & magnesium – and also, with its little pop of texture, it’s fun to eat. It goes well with just about everything, and has completely replaced rice in cooking for me at this point. Plus, heart-healthy avocados, tomatoes and scallions, fiber-rich organic black beans and a little mozz…yummo. This dish has a southwestern vibe but in a really clean, bright way. I love this.

QUINOA WITH BLACK BEANS, AVOCADO, TOMATOES, SCALLIONS & MINI MOZZARELLA WITH A CILANTRO-LIME VINAIGRETTE (serves 5-6)
 – 1 C. dry quinoa
– 2 C. chicken broth or water
– 1 can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
– ½ C. mini mozzarella balls (these just look cuter in the salad, otherwise dice up a larger mozzarella ball)
– 1 avocado, diced
– 1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
– 3 scallions, sliced
– 2 limes, juiced
– Zest of 1 lime
– 4 tbsp. EVOO
– ½ tsp. cumin
– Handful of cilantro, chopped
– Kosher salt & pepper, to taste
1.       Cook quinoa. You have to really rinse it well, otherwise the “dust” that’s on it makes it bitter. I have a really fine mesh strainer that I just dump the uncooked quinoa in, then run water over it, swishing it around in the strainer, until the water runs clear.

2.       Once the quinoa is rinsed and the chicken broth (or water) is boiling, add quinoa to the water, then turn heat down to low. Cover the pot and let the water incorporate into the quinoa, approx. 15 mins. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, still covered. Fluff with a fork.


3.       Meanwhile, dice the avocados and scallions, cut the tomatoes, and dry the mozzarella a little bit.


4.       Drain and rinse the black beans well.
5.       Make the dressing – in a mason jar, combine the lime juice, lime zest, cumin, salt & pepper. Mix to blend everything together in the acid of the lime juice before adding the EVOO. Add the EVOO and shake it all up.


6.       In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, mozz, scallions and avocado. Mix gently to blend.
7.       Add the dressing, and the cilantro, mix gently again. Serve, or cover and refrigerate to let flavors absorb into the quinoa.

8.       Make a mental note to take better care of your heart after watching someone have seven blockages cleared that morning (okay, that was just what I did).  For more information on heart health, visit www.heart.org