With the New Year come New Year resolutions, and many people vow to eat healthier and lose weight. After several weeks into the New Year, it is not surprising to find most of these resolutions fall to the wayside. But what if your health is dependent on eating healthy, on eating a heart healthy diet?
The month of February isn’t just about hearts and valentines, but is also heart awareness month. Unfortunately, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. But, the good news is, heart disease can often be prevented with changes in diet and lifestyle.
Two key factors in a heart healthy diet is the reduction of salt and saturated fats. Just because you reduce salt in your diet doesn’t mean you have to reduce flavor. Using bold ingredients like oranges, shallots and raisins are a wonderful way to boost flavor to make up for the reduction of sodium. Heart friendly extra virgin olive oil is high in polyphenols, a natural antioxidant that reduces inflammation and blood pressure. Olive oil is also very low in saturated fat.
Brussels sprouts can be eaten raw, as well as cooked. Shredding them for a salad makes a healthier alternative to the usual lettuce salad. If you don’t care for the bitterness of the sprouts, but still want the health benefits, mix the shredded Brussels sprouts with lettuce leaves.
Brussels Sprouts Salad with Raisins
20 oz. Brussels sprouts (approximately 40)
2 oranges, zest and segments
4 radishes, thinly sliced
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup almond slices
1/2 cup raisins
2 TBS fresh basil, julienned
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 TBS lemon juice
2 tsp fresh basil, minced
1/4 tsp black pepper
To make the dressing, whisk together ingredients until oil is emulsified and set aside.
For the salad, using a grater, food processor or sharp knife, shred Brussels sprouts and place in a serving bowl. Grate orange zest and add to the shredded Brussels sprouts. Using a sharp knife, remove the remaining skin and pith of the orange. Cut orange segments out and add to the salad. Toss in radishes, shallots, almond slices, raisins and fresh basil. Serve with citrus dressing.
Laura Bashar blogs at Family Spice, and is the photographer and co-author of the cookbook: Cooking Techniques and Recipes with Olive Oil. She’s also chaos manager of a family of five while soaking up the sun in San Diego, California.