February is here and we are ready to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day with chocolate, roses and much love.  It’s also American Heart Month!

This celebration reminds us we have to take care of our hearts. For our Nutrition Department, that also means raising awareness about cardiovascular disease and helping clients find ways to prevent heart disease and live heart healthy lives.

As part of our efforts, we visit our direct distribution sites and partner agencies to do cooking demonstrations that inspire clients to add more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other healthy foods to their diets.

Below are some of the hearty recipes with ingredients distributed by Second Harvest that we are planning to share with our clients this month.

Warm your heart with Apple and Pear oatmeal

Our senior clients love this recipe because it softens the fruit which makes is easier for them to chew. It’s also very popular among children because heat brings out the sweetness in the fruit.

Hearty Tip: Oats and fruit are high in fiber

Simple Ingredients

  • 1 cup of quick oats
  • 1 apple diced
  • 1 pear diced
  • ½ water
  • ¼ tbsp. of nutmeg
  • ¼ tbsp. of cinnamon

Simple Steps

  • Place a skillet on the stove and add oats, apples, pears and water; turn to medium heat and stir constantly until the fruit softens, approximately 7 minutes.
  • Add the nutmeg and cinnamon and stir for 2 more minutes.
  • Serve warm. Enjoy!

Bok Choy stir-fry with a hint of love

Our Asian clients are very comfortable cooking this healthy vegetable and they’ve given us some great ideas to make it more savory. Other clients who didn’t grow up eating bok choy sometimes are hesitant to take it. We have created this simple recipe to help everyone include bok choy in their menu.

Hearty Tip: Bok choy is rich in fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B-6, all important nutrients to keep not only the heart, but the body functioning well.

Simple Ingredients

  • 5 bok choy stalks, chopped
  • 2 tsp. of minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. of Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. of low sodium soy sauce

Simple Steps

  • Place a skill on the stove and add olive oil; turn to medium heat and add the garlic. Stir constantly until you smell the aroma.
  • Add the bok choy and keep stirring for 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle garlic powder throughout and keep stirring; make sure the bok choy leaves still look bright green.
  • Drizzle with the soy sauce, keep stirring for one more minute. Serve!

We hope that you enjoy making these recipes at home. Check out our YouTube playlist to watch our cooking videos!