February 12, 2016

Heart Healthy Treats for Valentine’s Day

This “Serving of Health” is brought to you by Diana, Retail Dietitian Supervisor at ShopRite

The great thing about Valentine’s Day is that it’s a holiday all about love! One easy way to show how much you care for your significant other, your family, your friends, and heck, maybe even your co-workers, is by cooking something that’s not only sumptuous and delicious, but ‘heart healthy’ as well. There are lots of nutritious choices that will fill your palette and warm your heart. If you want to get creative with colors and foods, you can’t beat, beets. Bought raw or pre-cooked, you can roast them to perfection, or pair them with a salad of fresh spinach, chopped red onions, slivered almonds and a sprinkle of goat cheese for a high-fiber salad. Best of all, beets are easy to cut and shape, use a heart-shaped cookie press to transform your beets into something magical. And not so ironically, did you know that one of the first known uses of beets was by the ancient Romans, who used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac.

For dessert, you can always tell the object of your hearts desire that you love them “berry” much by dipping strawberries in chocolate. Or, if it’s more “appealing” try dipping banana pieces in melted dark chocolate and freeze for a yummy treat. And here’s the great news, chocolate, according to a study put out last year by the journal Heart, is good for you! You already know that dark chocolate has important antioxidants (and if you didn’t know, you do now!) but this study found that habitual chocolate eaters had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes compared to people who didn’t eat chocolate. So go ahead, indulge!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your loved ones from all of us on the ShopRite Health & Wellness Team!

Salad with Beetroot

Roasted Beet Salad
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
3 large beets, washed and cut into wedges (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
6 sprigs fresh thyme plus 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
7 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 large ribs celery, sliced 1-inch thick
1 tsp walnut oil
3 Tbs rice vinegar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic pepper
4 cups loosely packed spring salad greens or arugula
3 oz firm goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place beets and thyme sprigs in a large bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; toss to coat evenly. Spread beets on a baking sheet. Roast 35 to 40 minutes or until just tender and can be pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. Discard thyme.
Peel beets; cut into bite-size pieces. Place beets and celery in a large bowl; set aside. Place remaining 5 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl; add thyme leaves, walnut oil, cumin and garlic pepper; stir. Pour over beet mixture; toss lightly to coat.
Arrange salad greens on chilled salad plates. Top with beet mixture, sprinkle with cheese, and serve.

Click here for more Diana-approved Valentine’s Day ideas: