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Heart healthy Valentine’s Day
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Heart healthy Valentine’s Day

By Jessica Pickens on February 7, 2017

On Valentine's Day, we often want to pull out all the stops to cook a romantic meal. Why not keep your heart healthy in the process?

Laura Stille is a dietitian in the Spartanburg community, a member of the Spartanburg Regional Foundation Heart Division, and District 4 City Council member. And she has a passion for heart healthy meals. Laura shares a tasty — and heart healthy — Valentine's Day meal for your holiday. It's delicious and perfect for a romantic dinner for two or a celebratory family meal. Celebrate heart month with us!

The meal includes:

  • Roasted Chili-Lime Salmon
  • Red Quinoa and Almond Pilaf
  • Mixed Green Salad with Citrus Sections and Citrus Vinaigrette
  • Strawberries with Dark Chocolate


Roasted Chili-Lime Salmon


4 (6-ounce)

salmon fillets, skinned (1-inch thick)

1 lime (grated rind and juice)

1 orange/tangerine (grated rind, sections and juice)

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more if you like heat)

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Italian parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees 
  2. Rinse salmon and pat dry. Cover a roasting pan with foil for easy clean-up. Drizzle pan with olive oil and place salmon fillets on pan. Lightly salt and pepper each fillet.
  3. Using a hand-held microplane grater, grate the rind of the lime and orange evenly over the fillets. Be careful not to grate into the bitter white part.
  4. Combine honey, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon orange juice and spices in a bowl and stir well. Using a brush, spread some of the mixture on each fillet – just enough to run down sides. (May heat leftover sauce to serve with garnish of orange sections and parsley).
  5. Bake at 425 F degrees for 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.


Red Quinoa and Almond Pilaf


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon shallot, minced

1-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or water)

1 cup red quinoa

1/2 cup toasted unsalted almonds, slices or slivers

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper


  1. In medium saucepan, sauté shallots in olive oil over medium-high heat until soft, about 2 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Add quinoa and cook 1 minute.
  3. Add broth, bring to simmer and cover. Cook until water is absorbed, about 15-17 minutes.
  4. Let stand 10 minutes, then fluff with fork. Stir in almonds and parsley.


Mixed Green Salad with Citrus Sections


Mixed greens / spinach / Italian parsley

Grapefruit, blood orange, navel orange sections

Pomegranate seeds

Red pepper rings

Toasted pecans 

Goat cheese, optional


Citrus Vinaigrette


1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

6+ dashes hot sauce


  1. Combine honey and vinegar then other ingredients. Shake/stir vigorously.
  2. Arrange greens, fruit, pepper and nuts on each plate and top with goat cheese sprinkles, if desired.
  3. Add a splash or two of vinaigrette on each portion.


Strawberries with Dark Chocolate Morsels

Hull or cut off the top of the strawberry and place a dark chocolate baking morsel inside the hollow space.