Heart Opening Health


By Chef Deborah Lieder

February, the month of love, when pink and red decorate our stores and we are reminded to focus upon those we love most. With the advent of psychology, we’ve learned that in order to love others most effectively, we first need to love ourselves. And loving ourselves means opening up to our heart center, in touch with what our body and soul are telling us. The way we allow our body to function to its fullest while staying healthy lies in the food we eat.

Heart honoring foods stem back to our cardiovascular system. This system brings oxygen, nutrients, blood, and water to our cells as well as transports and removes waste. We all know if the waste is not expelled properly, it leads to disease. Back-ups and blockages affect other systems and our body is not allowed to function to its fullest. In order to keep these places free and clear, there are some heart-healthy foods we can incorporate into our diet.

We need healthy fats in the form of olive oil, nuts, and avocado along with salmon and tuna. These omega-3’s and 6’s allow our organs extra cushion and lower cholesterol. High potassium foods like potatoes, tomatoes, and banana help lower blood pressure along with keeping blood sugar levels low. Legumes, a great source of protein without the unhealthy fats, also help lower blood sugar.

Dark leafy greens, green tea, and avocado all are high in antioxidants which help fuel your body and rid it of toxins. All these aspects help contribute to heart honoring foods, our source, our center that allows all other aspects of our body to function.

Living from a space of love starts with ourselves. As we learn self-love, whether it be through food, taking a nap, having a spa day, or whatever our version to rejuvenate is, it will allow us to connect with our heart center and love those around us even more.

Seared Salmon, Moroccan Lentil, Shaved Carrot, Mint, Avocado Salad


Olive Oil
4 ea Salmon Filet
Salt and Pepper

1 ea Onion, diced
3 ea Carrot, diced
2 ea Celery, diced
1 c. Lentil
1/4 c. White Wine
2 1/4 c. Stock, Chicken or Vegetable
1 t. Garlic Powder
1 t. Onion Powder
1 T. Cumin
2 t. Coriander
1 t. Cinnamon
1 t. Ginger, ground
1/4 t. Clove
1/4 t. Allspice

2 ea Carrot
1 bunch Mint
1 ea Avocado
12 ea Grape Tomatoes, sliced
1/4 c Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 c Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper


Preheat oven to 350. For the lentils, in a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté onion until translucent over medium heat. Add in carrot, sauté for five minutes and then add in the celery. Add in lentils. Turn heat to high and allow the pan to heat. Deglaze with white wine. Add in spices. (Feel free to use a pre-mixed Moroccan spice blend). Once the liquid has evaporated, add in chicken stock. Stir, bring to a boil, place lid on and allow to cook on medium low heat for 30 to 45 minutes. Or until lentils are tender.

In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the salmon with salt and pepper to taste. Once sauté pan is heated, sear salmon. Finish in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes depending on temperature preferred.

In a small bowl, using a peeler, shave carrots. Pick mint leaves, rough chop and place them in the bowl. Slice avocado into medium chunks or slices, depending on preference, and add in tomatoes. Pour vinegar and olive oil over vegetables, toss and season with salt and pepper.

Once lentils are finished, place on the plate. Top with salmon and vegetable salad. Serves 4. Enjoy!


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