Celebrate Heart Health Month with My Heart Healthy Salmon Bowl

Celebrate Heart Health Month with My Heart Healthy Salmon Bowl

Photo courtesy of Kristen Massad

This post was sponsored by NOW®. All thoughts are my own.

February is American Heart Month and it’s a time to become armed with information that can keep your heart healthy. According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have some type of cardiovascular disease. I have a very strong family history of heart disease with my paternal grandfather dying of a heart attack by the age of 60. Both my parents have high cholesterol, and when I hit the age of 40 my cholesterol numbers started creeping up too. That’s why I try to eat a heart healthy diet, which includes my share of salmon and omega-3s.

Omega-3s and Heart Health

Omega-3s are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). There are three major types of omega-3s including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is essential to our diets because our bodies cannot make it on its own. ALA is found in seeds like flax and chia, nuts like walnuts, and oils like soybean and canola. ALA can be converted to EPA and DHA in the body, but the process is very inefficient.

EPA and DHA are fatty acids naturally found in marine sources. The most common food source of both EPA and DHA are fatty fish. EPA and DHA have been shown to be the most protective of the heart.

To support heart health, the recommended amounts of EPA and DHA is between 250 to 500 milligrams per day. One way to get your omega-3s is by eating fatty fish like in my Heart Healthy Salmon Bowl (recipe below). Besides salmon, other fish that are high in omega-3s include mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and trout.

Photo courtesy of Kristen Massad

A Heart Healthy Meal

Below is my Heart Healthy Salmon Bowl that is perfect for lunch or dinner. I used several ingredients that are heart healthy including:

  • Ellyndale® Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: This unrefined oil can be used in hot or cold dishes. It has a pleasantly fruity, well-balanced flavor that compliments the flavors in my salmon bowl. The smoke point of this EVOO is 375° In addition, there is some limited evidence that suggests consuming 2 tablespoons of olive oil a day in place of other fats or oils may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. Although the science is not conclusive, I certainly use this this EVOO in my daily dishes because it’s so delicious!
  • NOW Real Food® Sprouted Brown Rice: This U.S. grown sprouted rice consists of wholesome young grains that have been sprouted and harvested at their peak for maximum nutrient content. This sprouted brown rice has a subtle nutty flavor that’s slightly sweeter than regular brown rice.
  • NOW Real Food® Raw Almonds: Like many nuts, almonds have a ton of good-for-you nutrients. They’re a good source of fiber and have essential fatty acids. According to the FDA, “Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”
  • NOW Real Food® Organic Triple Omega Seed Mix: This combo of hemp, chia, and flax seed delivers a great deal of nutrition, including omega-3 and omega-6. Three tablespoons provide 170 calories, 12 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbs, and 7 grams each of fiber and protein. I used it as part of a dry rub for the salmon in the recipe below but you can add it to your morning smoothie or sprinkle it over cooked vegetables or a green salad.
  • Salmon: This fatty fish is brimming with omega-3 fats, which research has shown to be a heart healthy fat

Photo courtesy of Kristen Massad

Heart Healthy Salmon Bowl

Serves: 4
Serving Size: 1 bowl

Ingredients
3 tablespoons Ellyndale Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (8-ounce) container baby bella mushrooms, chopped
4 cups baby spinach
1 cup dry NOW Real Food® Sprouted Brown Rice
2½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup NOW Real Food® Raw Almonds
1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed, cleaned, and halved
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons NOW Real Food® Organic Triple Omega Seed Mix
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 (5-ounce) salmon filets
Nonstick cooking spray

Instructions
To make the rice:
1. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the spinach until wilted, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to low and simmer until the rice is tender, 45-50 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir to combine.

To make the almonds:
2. Heat the almonds in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook the almonds until toasted, stirring regularly, about 5 minutes. Remove the almonds from the saucepan and place in a clean bowl.

To make the Brussels sprouts:
3. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
4. In a large bowl, add the Brussels sprouts, ¼ teaspoon of the Kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Toss to evenly coat.
5. Place the Brussel sprouts on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to slightly cool.

To make the salmon:
6. In a small bowl, combine the omega seed mix, Italian seasoning, the remaining ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt, and black pepper.
7. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning mixture onto the salmon filets.
8. Coat a grill pan or sauté pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the salmon filets skin-side down and cook for 4 minutes. Flip the filets and continue cooking until the internal cooking temperature of the fish is 145°F, an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the salmon filets onto a clean plate and allow to slightly cool.

To assemble:
9. In four bowls, Place1 cup of the rice and 3/4 cup of the roasted Brussels sprouts side by side. Top with 1 salmon filet and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon toasted almonds. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information (per serving):
Calories: 589; Total Fat: 24g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Protein: 45g; Total Carbs: 56g; Fiber: 11g; Sugars: 6g; Added Sugars: 0g; Cholesterol: 71mg; Sodium: 534mg

Photo courtesy of Kristen Massad

You can also include an omega-3 supplement in your day such as NOW® Ultra Omega-3. When choosing a supplement look for the amount of EPA and DHA per serving and how much you need to get a full serving. Most health professionals recommend 250mg to 500mg of combined EPA and DHA per day for adults. NOW® Ultra Omega-3 contains 500 mg EPA and 250 mg DHA. The fish oil concentrate is manufactured under strict quality control standards and is tested to be free of potentially harmful levels of contaminant like PCBs, dioxins, mercury and other heavy metals.

Bottom Line: Whether you get it from food or supplements, make sure to take in plenty of omega-3s in your heart healthy diet.

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