You might think that being heart smart starts with the gym, but the kitchen plays just as big a role in keeping your ticker, well, ticking.
Realistically speaking, most of the delicious foods we know and love aren’t exactly ones a cardiologist would give the thumbs up; fried foods, sugar-laden fat bombs, cream-based soups and sauces and salty snacks that satisfy cravings that broccoli just won't touch. Admit it; "health food" just isn't an appealing phrase. Many of us are tempted by foods on the so-called "No No List" and for good reason, as those are the ones that seem to pack the most flavor.
Fortunately, all it takes is a few substitutions for fatty or calorie-heavy ingredients, as well as some new cooking techniques, et voila! A satisfying meal or snack that’s every bit as tempting and tasty as its less-healthy counterpart. Your heart will thank you over the fact that you’re showing it some love, while your taste buds will do a happy dance with every bite you take. As you get 2022 off to a healthier start, take a look at some of our favorite heart-smart recipes from the hearts of some of Alexandria's local restaurants. Whatever you’re craving, we’ve got some tasty noshes that’ll make your heart flutter with pleasure.
Submitted by Barca Pier & Wine Bar
• 1 oz Lemon Juice
• 2 oz Urfa Oil (recipe below)
• 2 g Dill
• 1 oz Marinated Pomegranate
• 2 oz Hamachi (Cleaned & Sliced ¼” Thick)
• 7 g Maldon Sea Salt
Slice 2 oz of Hamachi ¼” thickness, should yield approximately five pieces. Once Hamachi is portioned, toss into small mixing bowl with lemon juice, maldon sea salt and urfa oil. Remove marinated Hamachi from mixing bowl and plate on small rectangular plate, top with dill on alternate sides. Drizzle marinated pomegranate in 3 separate locations alternating diagonally across the plated crudo. Wipe excess oil from the plate.
Urfa Oil Recipe (yields 1 gram)
• 100 g Urfa Beiber Pepper
• 20 g Schezuan pepper
• 5 g Ground Cinnamon
• 20 g Star Anise
• 50 g Hibiscus
• 50 g Thyme
• 50 g Black Cardamom
• 10 g Clove 10 g
• 1 g Canola Oil
Place all ingredients, except Urfa pepper, into oil and heat. Once oil is brought to a slow simmer, maintain temperature for 15 minutes, strain and reserve hot oil. While oil is still warm place in blender with Urfa Bieber and blend for 10 seconds. Reserve oil and cool in an ice bath until 32°F.
Wine Suggestion by Wine Gallery 108
Le Fraghe Bardolino
This wine would pair with light meat dishes as well as this delicate hamachi crudo. The wine is medium bodied with a fruity essence expressing sour cherry blueberry notes. It displays nuances of cinnamon & a slight black pepper component that will sing with the dressing on this fresh fish dish.
SEARED SALMON WITH LENTILS
Submitted by Cafe 44
• 1 - 6 oz Fillet Salmon, Skin-off
• 1/3 c. Smashed Avocado
• 1 - 7 oz container Plain Greek Yogurt (Fage 2%)
• 1 box Melissa's Steamed Lentils
• 1 small bunch Cilantro, remove stems
• 1 bunch Asparagus, trimmed
• 1 Lemon
• Harissa Olive Oil (Optional)
• Extra Virgina Olive Oil
• Salt & Pepper
Combine Avocado, Yogurt, Cilantro, juice of half a Lemon, 6 tbsp water and Salt & Pepper (to taste) in food processor. Blend until smooth.
Sear Salmon with Salt and Pepper in EVOO over medium heat (skin side up) for ten minutes, flip and cook for 5 minutes. Cook Asparagus with Salt and Pepper in EVOO over medium heat until desired tenderness. Prepared Lentils according to the package. Once plated drizzle with Harissa Olive Oil for a touch of spice.
Wine Suggestion by Wine Gallery 108
BENCH PINOT NOIR
Bench pinot noir is deep ruby red in color and full of dark berry fruit with hints of rose petal, and baking spice. The silky texture will pair nicely with the richness of salmon and the earthiness of lentils. The wine finishes with ripe fig, cedar wood and possesses a long seamless finish.
Submitted by Kaizen Tavern
Dashi is a basic stock used in Japanese cooking, which is made by boiling dried kelp (seaweed) and dried bonito (fish). Instant dashi granules are sold in conveniently-sized jars or packets and vary in strength. Add more dashi to your soup if you want a stronger stock. You can use yellow, white or red miso paste for this soup. Yellow miso is sweet and creamy, red miso is stronger and saltier.
• 4 cups water
• 1 6-inch (15 cm) pieces Japanese kombu or dried kelp, rinsed
• 1 oz. (30 g) dried, shaved bonito flakes
• 1 oz. (30 g) dried seaweed, soaked in warm water and drained
• 4 oz. (115 g) tofu, cut into small pieces
• 2 1/2 - 3 tablespoons mispo paste
• 1 tablespoon chopped scallion
Bring the water and kombu to boil in a stock pot on medium heat. Remove the kombu and add the bonito flakes, simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the foams and scums on the surface using a ladle. Strain the dashi through a fine sieve. Do not squeeze or press the bonito flakes. Discard the bonito flakes. Bring the dashi to boil, then add the seaweed and tofu and cook for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the miso paste into the soup. Stir the soup with a pair of chopsticks until the miso paste is completely dissolved. Top with the scallion and serve immediately. He
Wine Suggestion by Wine Gallery 108
Treveri sparkling syrah
The saltiness of the Dashi & miso in this soup begs for a fruity wine with a touch of acidity to balance all of the flavors. This dry style sparkling Syrah from Treveri is just the right fit. Its exudes berry fruitiness on the front with a nice effervescence to compliment the savory flavors in this recipe. This combination will surprise you.
CALIFORNIA SUNSET SALAD WITH SALMON
Submitted by Sonoma Cellar
• Bag/head of Kale
• 2 medium sized beets – gold or red
• 1 orange – segmented
• ½ cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
• Salt and pepper
• Four salmon fillets – 4 – 6 oz. each.
• 1-2 TBLS Olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
To prepare the roasted beets
Coat them lightly in olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil. Roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until soft. Dice into small wedges or cubes – your preference.
To prepare the orange
Cut off the peel by starting with removing the top and bottom, then to cut off the sides and any remaining pith. Cut into each segment to remove the fruit from the membrane. Squeeze the de-segmented orange and save the remaining orange juice for the kale.
Wash the cherry tomatoes and slice in half or keep whole. Set aside.
Massaging the Kale
Put the kale in a large bowl and lightly sprinkle with olive oil, orange juice and a pinch of salt. With your hands “massage” or “bruise” the kale to a darker color and to release the fibers and bitterness from the kale. This will take a few minutes. The kale will last 2-3 days after bruising.
• 1 cup apple cider
• 1.5 cups honey
• 2 teaspoons tahini
• Juice of one lemon
• 1 cup of olive oil
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon pepper
Blend the first 4 ingredients in a blender and then emulsify the olive oil by adding slowly from top. (I just add to a large jar and shake hard.)
Construct the salad with the kale, beets, orange segments, tomatoes, and lightly dressing with tahini dressing.
Pan sear the salmon
• 4 salmon fillets 4-6 ounces each
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 teaspoon thyme
• 1 teaspoon rosemary
• 1 clove minced garlic
• salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season the salmon fillets with thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Place the salmon fillets, skin side up, in the pan. Cook undisturbed for 5 minutes, or until a golden-brown crust forms. Carefully flip the salmon and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes or until fish is opaque and easily flakes.
Place seared salmon on top of the salad and enjoy.