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Four Heavenly, Heart-Healthy Entrees

Warm heart and soul this Valentine's Day with easy-to-make entrees that are as good for you as they are delicious.
By
WebMD Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

You love your family and friends, right? Show them how much by whipping up comfort food this winter that is as heart-healthy as it is delicious. You can start by trying our four fabulous entrées -- one for every week leading up to Valentine's Day. Extra bonus? They're easy to make and kid-friendly. Add a few healthy sides -- vegetables, a green salad, or whole grains -- and you've got an appetizing, nutritious dinner that will please the heart and soul of everyone you love. Be sure to check below for our guide to heart-healthy foods at the supermarket, too.

Winter Stew With Lean Beef, Beans, and Veggies

This beefy one-pot entrée is loaded with heart-friendly ingredients -- lean protein, veggies, and fiber --that fill you up and help maintain a healthy blood cholesterol level. Plus, simmering this stew on your stove will fill your house with heart-warming smells on a cold winter's night.

2 tsp canola oil, divided
1 cup frozen pearl onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb lean beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup red wine (can substitute low-sodium beef broth or water)
1 15 oz can low-sodium kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can low-sodium black beans, rinsed  and drained
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups low-sodium, low-fat beef broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
1 bay leaf

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. 
2. Heat 1 tsp oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottom Dutch oven coated with cooking spray.
3. Sauté onions and garlic for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan. 
4. Add 1 tsp oil to pan; cook stew meat in pan without crowding for 6 to 8 minutes until browned; set aside meat. 
5. Add wine to pan and bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits on bottom of pan.
6. Stir in remaining ingredients, including meat, and bring to a low boil. Cover and bake stew in the preheated oven for 1.5 hours or until beef is fork tender. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Makes:  8 servings

Nutrition Information: Per serving: Calories: 255, 55 calories from fat; 6 g fat; 2 g saturated fat; 23 mg cholesterol; 346 mg sodium; 25 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 20 g protein. Calories from fat: 21%.

Mediterranean Chicken With Artichokes, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Portabella

Mediterranean cuisine is one of the heart-healthiest in the world. That's because it's high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and monounsaturated fats (think olive oil), all of which help reduce LDL (or "bad") cholesterol -- and low in saturated fats, which help boost HDL (or "good") cholesterol levels. It's also a diet that celebrates love and connection: Mediterraneans often eat with friends and family, and social support may help protect against heart disease.

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