What we eat has a huge impact on our heart health, and just because we’re eating healthier, it doesn’t mean that food needs to be bland, boring or boiled. When cooking for your heart, there are a few basic things to take into consideration. You need to start by cooking with less salt, sugar and processed ingredients. The kind of fat we eat also plays a big role. Fats or oils with omega fats are better choices, for example olive, avocado, canola and sunflower oil. Choosing cooking methods like roasting, grilling or even pan-frying in a thin layer of oil still adds lots of flavour to the food, but doesn’t use as much fat. Including lighter, easier to digest proteins in your diet – like chicken or fish – is also a healthy dietary change you can make.
This chicken and strawberry salad is colourful, appetising and always a hit. It’s packed with protein and plenty of fresh ingredients, and the heart-shaped silhouette of the strawberry is the first clue that it’s good for you. They’re full of antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and can also increase good cholesterol levels.
Chicken & Strawberry Salad
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive or avocado oil
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) apple or raspberry vinegar
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) wholegrain mustard
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) honey
- 2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) dried thyme
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 4-6 chicken breast fillets
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) olive or avocado oil
- 180 g thin green beans
- 100 g rocket or mixed salad leaves
- 2-3 spring onions, diagonally sliced
- 300 g strawberries, halved
- To make the salad dressing: Mix all ingredients together and season lightly, then set aside
- To make the salad: Pour 45 ml of the salad dressing over the chicken fillets and marinade for 10-15 minutes.
- Heat oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook chicken on both sides until golden brown. Reduce the heat and add marinade to the pan.
- Cover with a lid and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until just cooked through, but still juicy. Season lightly and spoon out of the pan.
- Cover green beans with boiling water and allow to stand for 5-7 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water and allow to cool.
- Slice chicken and arrange on a large salad platter with the rest of the ingredients. Serve with remaining salad dressing.
- You can substitute strawberries with peaches, mangoes or grapes. Avocado, asparagus and cucumber also works well in this salad.
Recipe: Food Consultant, Heleen Meyer.