Healthy You - Every Day

A Healthy Recipe to Make Your Heart Sing

LVHN cooking demo at Easton Public Market showcases Harvest Salad and Salmon

LVHN cooking demo at Easton Public Market

Famed Chef Julia Child once said you don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.

At Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), we know good-for-you food. We recently took our show on the road to the Easton Public Market to share a great recipe in honor of Heart Month.

Cardiologist Nidhi Mehta, MD, with Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute, kicked off the demonstration by Morrison Healthcare chefs, who serve LVHN hospitals in the region. “A lot about healthy eating is not adding ingredients, it’s looking at the foods the way they are,” she says.

Salmon and Harvest Salad…Mmmmm

The dish prepared by Morrison Healthcare chefs Gregory Davis, Ashley Ramos and Felix Gonzalez was as beautiful to look at as it was good to eat. It featured baked salmon with Harvest Salad, containing arugula, roasted sweet potatoes and sweet apples, pumpkin seeds, feta cheese and a lemon thyme vinaigrette salad dressing, featuring extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard and honey.

Not an arugula fan? Use mixed greens or baby spinach if you want.

“Nutrient-dense food where you can get all your vitamins and minerals is the way to go.” - Nidhi Mehta, MD, Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute

Mehta, the Morrison Healthcare chefs and Morrison Healthcare registered dietitian Philip Bobrowsky, all stressed substituting healthy ingredients for personal taste or variety. For instance, you can use sea bass or scallops in place of salmon or create a vegetarian version by substituting beans, peas or lentils for the seafood.

Cooking and shopping advice

Mehta says foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and pumpkin seeds, can lower triglycerides and are good for cardiovascular health. “You don’t need to take supplements (such as fish oil). You can get it in your food,” she says. “Nutrient-dense food where you can get all your vitamins and minerals is the way to go.”

Did You Know?

Pumpkin seeds have a high magnesium content, which can help lower and regulate blood pressure. Despite their small size, they’re high in calories, so go easy on the portion.

Other food advice included:

  • Leave peels or skins on fruits and vegetables, like apples, to get more vitamins, minerals and fiber.
  • Roasting is best. Boiling can rob the nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables are easy to use and are usually harvested at peak ripeness and nutrient value and are preferable over canned varieties.  
  • Your shopping cart should mimic your dinner plate with half fruits and vegetables, one quarter protein (fish/beans) and one quarter whole grains.

The bottom line is you can change the demonstration recipe, or any recipe, to your own preferences and still make it work for you in a heart healthy way.

Resources like the American Heart Association can help your diet become more heart healthy.

Watch the cooking demonstration on Facebook.

recipe Harvest Roasted Pumpkin Salad

Want to try it?

Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Feta and Pumpkin Seeds

Download the recipe

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