Salad night happens at least once a week at my house. I find it to be both a nice light meal and quick to prepare. It is a great way to get in a well rounded meal without a lot of fuss. Salads with vegetables, fruits, nuts, and protein all mixed together make for a colorful plate of goodness. It can be very heart healthy with the right ingredients. One I particularly enjoy is an apple walnut spinach salad. Every bit of it is good for keeping me healthy and my heart strong.
Today we are joining together to help raise awareness for Heart Disease. Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic lost her Mom to heart disease when her mother was 47, and Kim was 15. Each year on the day her Mom passed she shares stories and photos of her Mom. This year she joined forces with Jen of Juanita’s Cocina, whose life was also touched by heart disease when her Stepfather had a heart attack. Jen’s Stepfather is alive and well more than a decade later, and for that, Jen is thankful every day. The ladies got in touch with other bloggers to ask them to share their own stories about how heart disease has touched their lives. So today we share stories and recipes from our hearts to yours, in memory and honor of Momzie, Kim’s Mom. We hope you will share your stories with us today as well.
Heart disease has touched my life in a quiet way. I have high blood pressure. It is called the silent killer. For me it wasn’t so silent. I knew something was wrong. I felt “off”. It is hard to explain. I went for a checkup and my blood pressure was a little high, just over the borderline mark. I decided to take action and fix it through following a heart healthy diet. I cut back on salt to a bare minimum and went full-on with home cooked meals watching every single ingredient, especially sodium. I lost weight. I exercised. After a year I went for a checkup. My blood pressure was higher. Yes, higher. Almost to the point where they would not let me leave the doctor’s office.
My doctor visit that day was 3 hours long. After extensive discussion and detail it was determined my high blood pressure is due to genetics and there’s no diet that can help it. I was given medication which has kept it at a normal level since then. I still watch the sodium level in foods. Moderation is key. The important part is that I am taking action to help prevent heart damage. Hypertensive heart disease is the number 1 cause of death associated with high blood pressure (source: WebMD & lots of other medical sites).
Eating heart healthy food is a good choice. There are so many delicious ways to eat right. Gone are the days of bland and boring health food. Take a look at these wonderful heart healthy recipes:
- Spicy Oven Fries by Cravings of a Lunatic
- Healthy Snacking with Creamy Radish Dip by Juanita’s Cocina
- Arugula Walnut Pesto by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Farro, Apple & Pecan Salad by It’s Yummilicious
- Chicken-Quinoa Burgers with an Avocado Yogurt Sauce by The Spiffy Cookie
- Rich & Charlie’s Salad by Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
- Gooey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars by The Cooking Actress
- Dark Chocolate Covered Walnuts by All Day I Dream About Food
- Mini Pear Walnut Crisps with Blood Orange Caramel Sauce by Chocolate Moosey
- Kung Pao Chicken Tacos by The Dutch Baker’s Daughter
- Honey Soy Glazed Salmon by Curry and Comfort
- Apple Walnut Spinach Salad by Magnolia Days
- Broiled Salmon Gyros with Cucumber Feta Yogurt Dip by Damn Delicious
- Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Make-Ahead Chocolate Oatmeal by Crumb
- Hoisin Flounder by Taking on Magazines
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Veggie Nachos by Dine & Dish
- Cheesy Quinoa and Asparagus Bake by Hungry Couple
- Ahi Tuna Salad by Noshing with the Nolands
- Canapes of Apricot, Goat Cheese, Almonds and Rosemary by Cook the Story
- Thai Chicken Coconut Soup by From Cupcakes to Caviar
- Italian Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf by Rachel Cooks
- Black Bean Quesadillas by Pastry Chef Online
- Sautéed Rataouille with Quinoa by Whipped
- Polenta Cakes with Apples and Cheddar by Diethood
Are you keeping your heart healthy? It’s easy with exercise, regular checkups, and a balanced diet. Take care of yourself and your family. May your heart be strong and full of love.
Apple Walnut Spinach Salad
For the salad:
- 1 package baby spinach 5 ounces
- 1 apple cored and thinly sliced Pink Lady or sweet/tart variety
- 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
- 1/4 to 1/2 shallot thinly sliced
For the apple cider vinaigrette:
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon minced or chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped shallot
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- Couple of grinds of fresh ground pepper
- 2/3 cup olive oil
For the salad:
Place the spinach equally on two plates. Top with apple slices, goat cheese, walnuts, and shallots. Serve with apple cider vinaigrette.
For the apple cider vinaigrette:
Place the mustard, honey, garlic, shallot, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a blender. Blend on high speed to combine. Slowly pour in the olive oil while blending on low speed. Taste and adjust flavor with more vinegar or oil to your taste preference. Transfer to a salad dressing container. Serve immediately.
Refrigerate leftovers. When using leftovers, take vinaigrette out of the refrigerator an hour before as oil will solidify when cold. Shake well prior to serving.