Two Heart Healthy Recipes for a Taste of Spring

Now that Springtime is here (let’s ignore that light snow the other morning) it is time to shift our food focus to incorporate the fresh heart healthy foods of the season. I found two to help get you in the mind set.

This first recipe is great for the heart because it provides a good amount of protein and omega-3 fats through the fish which helps to improve our blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. It also provides vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from the fruit which aids in lowering inflammation, controlling blood pressure, and clotting. An added perk of this recipe is garlic, which is known for boosting the immune system.

Blackened Fish with Strawberry Kiwi Salsa

For the Blackened Fish:

  • 4-4 oz fillet fish (4 ounces each; flaky white fish like tilapia, flounder or sole, or red fish work well – look for something you like that’s on sale)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt

 

For the Strawberry Kiwi Salsa:

  • 1 1/2 cup diced strawberries (about ½ pound) (you can substitute cantaloupe melon or mango based on what is in season or on sale)
  • 1 medium peeled, diced kiwi
  • 1/2 medium peeled, diced cucumber
  • 2 Tbsp chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (optional)
  • 1/4 medium seeded, minced jalapeño (optional)

 

For the Blackened Fish:

  1. In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients (chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika and salt)
  2. Generously coat fish with seasoning mixture on one side.
  3. Spray frying pan or skillet with cooking spray, heat over high heat. Place fish in pan, seasoning side down and cook for 3 minutes. While cooking generously coat the other side with seasoning mixture. Flip fish and cook for 3 minutes longer.

 

For the Strawberry Kiwi Salsa:

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss. Keep chilled until serving. Serve salsa over fish.

 

This next recipe peaked my interest because I love avocados and the recipe has a nice fresh lunch vibe. This meal provides a large amount of omega-3 fat from the tuna and monosaturated fat and potassium from the avocado. Both help to lower cholesterol and decrease risk of heart disease. Necessary protein is found in the tuna, avocado, and the Greek yogurt.  The tomatoes give us lycopene, which has antioxidants, to help lower and prevent inflammation. In addition, the lime and lemon juice provide flavonoids (anti-inflammatory properties) as well as other vitamins and minerals.

 

Tuna Stuffed Avocados with Corn Salsa

For the Salsa:

  • 2 ears corn, shucked and kernels cut off
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup chopped tomato (about 1 medium tomato)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped jalapeño
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice, plus more if needed (from 1 lime)

For the Tuna:

  • 1 (12.6-ounce) pouch chunk light tuna in water
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 avocados (halved, pitted)

 

For the Salsa:

  1. Use a knife to slice the kernels off 2 ears of corn. Add corn into a heatproof container with 1 tablespoon water, cover, and heat until cooked, about 1 to 2 minutes. Cool to use in the salsa.
  2. Prepare the other ingredients, chopping the tomato, cilantro, red onion, and jalapeno. Add into a bowl, along with the corn and lime juice.
  3. Stir together to combine. Taste, adding more lime juice or jalapeno depending on desired taste. Let sit for flavors to mingle.

 

For the Tuna:

  1. In a medium bowl, add the tuna. Chop the celery and add to the tuna.
  2. Into the tuna, stir in yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Mix the prepared corn salsa into the tuna.
  4. Halve and remove the pit from each avocado. Drizzle a little lemon juice on the top of each avocado half to prevent from browning. Spoon tuna mixture into each avocado half, packing as much tuna into each one as possible. (If the pit doesn’t leave large enough of a “cup” for the tuna, spoon a tiny bit of the avocado out to fill it up with tuna.)
  5. Serve immediately or place in the fridge to chill before serving.

 

To find out more about this recipe and other heart health related information please visit the American Heart Association website at: https://www.heart.org/en

 

By: Kathryn Chambers

Counseling Intern

Olive Branch Counseling Associates

 

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