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Heart shaped cookie cutter dusted with cocoa powder
Photo by Jasmine Waheed on Unsplash

Whether you’ve got a date or you’re dining alone, you can keep your physical heart healthy this Valentine’s Day by trying some of these heart-healthy recipes!

Studies, like this one published in BMJ, have shown that pescetarians have a lower risk of ischemic heart disease and stroke than red meat eaters. But it can be intimidating trying to cook fish! For a simple and delicious recipe that’s hard to screw up, try this Slow Roasted Salmon with Fennel, Citrus, and Chiles. If you can’t find Fresno chiles you can substitute with a jalapeño, or, if you want to kick up the heat, with a serrano pepper.

If you’re vegetarian, you can also reap the benefits of heart-healthy foods like kale, sweet potatoes, and quinoa with this Southwestern Kale Power Salad. You can easily make the recipe vegan by omitting the feta cheese!

Who’s to say dessert can’t be good for your heart? This Triple Berry Crisp boasts heart-healthy berries and oats! Fresh berries may not be in season, but you can still find great options in the frozen fruit section.

And if you’re going for something truly decadent, these Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies are an indulgent treat with a hint of heart health.

Various herbs, lemon, and salt on a white table.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Welcome to the end of another wonderful semester! Whatever your winter break plans, know you have earned some rest and relaxation. So instead of stressing about what to bring to that ugly sweater party or holiday dinner, why not let us do the work for you and recommend a few simple, healthy recipes?

If you really want to impress your hosts/guests, look no further than this Roasted Fennel with Charred Tomatoes, Olives, and Pecorino. This simple recipe requires just a single dish (I suggest a sheet pan), so clean up is a cinch. If you want to make it a bit more substantial, add mild Italian sausages and some chunks of ciabatta to the mix!

Looking for something even easier? This Lemon Green Bean Almondine is a sure hit, and you can prep everything the night before. The bright, acidic lemon is a lovely counterpoint to all the rich, creamy foods we usually serve during the winter.

This Winter Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad is the lunch you need to hold you over until the holiday party spread. If you’re worried about how to remove pomegranate seeds without making a mess, have no fear! All you need to do is score four lines in the pomegranate to quarter it, then submerge it in a bowl of water while you pull it apart and remove the seeds. The pith will float, while the seeds sink.  Just remove the pith and drain the seeds. Voilà! A mess-free way of de-seeding a pomegranate.

Last but not least, a delicious host gift. Everyone brings wine, candles, and cookies, but you’ll stand out with this homemade Pistachio Dark Chocolate Bark. You can trade out the pistachios for just about any other kind of topping – different nuts and seeds, your favorite candy, shattered peppermints, coconut flakes, dried fruit. Mix and match whatever sounds good. I suggest sticking with the original, and adding a sprinkle of good chili powder if your hosts are fans of spicy food!

Happy Holidays, and we’ll see you in the new year!

Chef's Station by Todd Quackenbush

As the days grow shorter, we all feel the pull of starchy, heavy foods. Whether this is born of opportunity or a left over biological instinct is up for debate, but studies have shown our caloric intakes increase during colder months.  When you feel the cold-weather munchies coming, consider trying out one of these healthy, warming recipes!

This Comforting & Cozy Fall Power Bowl is vegan and gluten free. Cook the kale and mushrooms in the same pan to cut back on clean up.

Butternut squash is a fall staple. You can make Oven Roasted Butternut Squash by itself, or use the roasted squash as the base for a delicious Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.

For those of us with a love of heat, fall is better known as hatch chile season! Try dressing up this Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili with roasted hatch chiles. If you can’t find hatch chiles, you can always roast your own fresh chiles using one of these techniques. It’s not as hard as it sounds, and is a simple way to dress up any recipe that calls for canned chiles!

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