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Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Heart-Healthy Recipes

(ARA) - Valentine's Day is synonymous with hearts, flowers, candy, and extravagant meals with family members and loved ones. This year, try a new approach with healthy recipes and nutritious meals that will not only warm your heart, but help keep it healthy as well.

“A diet that includes five servings of fruits and vegetables a day is a way to show loved ones you care about them,” says Kathy Means of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA). Set a good example by incorporating these healthy foods into your own diet, and encourage friends and family members to do the same.

Means points out that coronary heart disease is the major cause of death in the United States, and is the most common and most serious form of cardiovascular disease. Current evidence suggests that fruits and vegetables help protect against coronary heart disease.

You can make sure you’re getting your “five a day” with a few simple changes. For example, instead of starting your morning with coffee, try a glass of fresh-squeezed juice instead. And instead of reaching for a candy bar or chips for an afternoon snack, reach for a piece of fruit or some crunchy vegetables.

You can also incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your cooking. For inspiration, visit www.aboutproduce.com. The recently redesigned site features hundreds of free recipes that can be sorted by dish size, salad, soup, sauce, snack, beverage, or dessert. Here’s a sample main dish recipe that can be prepared in less than 20 minutes:

French Style Chicken with Apples


6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 onion, sliced
1 can (10 ounces) condensed chicken broth
3 tablespoons apple brandy, cider, or apple juice
3 Empire apples, cored and sliced
6 to 8 artichoke hearts, cut in half
Pinch of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper
Minced fresh dill and parsley


Spray a large, non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Brown chicken breasts on both sides. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. 

Stir in sliced onion, apples, artichokes, broth, juice and spices. Cook 3 minutes. 

Spread chicken breasts in skillet; arrange apples, onion, and artichokes on top. Simmer covered, about 10 minutes or until chicken is tender and heated through. 

Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley or dill and apple slices before serving. 


Makes 6 servings.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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