America's Heart Month is February. The heart is arguably one of the most important organs in the human body and taking care of it can be complex. Enjoy these hearty, heart-healthy recipes this February!
1. Lentil-Stuffed Bell Peppers(serves 2)
This dish is packed with flavor and cooks quickly. Serve with long-grain rice for a perfect heart healthy meal.
--> 6 red, yellow or orange bell peppers (or a mix; see headnote)
--> 1/4 cup vegetable oil
--> 1 teaspoon cumin seed
--> 2 medium onions, chopped (2 cups)
--> 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
--> 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger root
--> 1 cup dried red lentils
--> 1 1/2 cups homemade or no-salt-added vegetable broth (see related recipe)
--> 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or more as needed
--> 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
--> 1 teaspoon ground coriander
--> 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for optional garnish
Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and reserve them; discard the seeds and membranes from inside the peppers. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat in a large skillet for which there is a tightfitting lid. Add the bell peppers and cook, turning frequently, until they are lightly browned on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer them to a plate. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seed and cook for 2 minutes, until they begin to pop and brown. Add the onions and jalapeño (to taste); cook, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly browned, 8 minutes. Stir in the ginger, lentils and broth.
Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, so the liquid is barely bubbling. Cover with the lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, coriander and cilantro; taste, and add more salt and pepper, as needed. This is your filling.
While the lentils are cooking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Transfer the bell peppers to an ovenproof casserole dish, trimming their bottoms, as needed, to help them stand upright. Divide the filling mixture among them, filling the peppers up to the rim. Top with the reserved bell pepper caps. Bake (middle rack) until the peppers are just tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes.
Garnish with more chopped cilantro or whole leaves, if desired; serve warm.
2. Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Apple and Sunflower Seeds (serves 4)
--> 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
--> 2 tablespoons olive oil
--> 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
--> 2 tablespoons hulled, unsalted sunflower seeds
--> 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
--> 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
--> 1/2 teaspoon honey
--> 1/3 cup diced red apple (1/4-inch pieces; unpeeled)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet, and then toss them with 1 tablespoon of the oil and the salt. Roast (middle rack) for 30 to 40 minutes, until they are deep golden brown, crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
Meanwhile, place the sunflower seeds on a small baking sheet, place in the oven (lower rack) and toast for 6 to 8 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool.
Whisk together the remaining tablespoon of oil, the vinegar, mustard and honey in a liquid measuring cup, to form an emulsified vinaigrette.
Once the Brussels sprouts are done, transfer them to a serving bowl. Toss with the apple, sunflower seeds and dressing; serve right away.
Recipes were taken from this article.