February 2001
Two Valentine's Day Gifts for Your Sweetheart

On Valentine’s Day, you can make your sweetie’s heart beat stronger with two simple, heartfelt gifts:

Gift Number One:
A Romantic Valentine's Day
Dinner for Two
Gift Number Two:
A Longer Lasting
Valentine’s Day Present

Valentine's Day DinnerGift Number One:
A Romantic Valentine's Day Dinner for Two

Start with a light, heart-healthy meal like this one, suggests Deborah Zippel, RD, dietitian for Bridgeport Hospital’s Project Heart Smart cardiac wellness program.

Salmon Sorrento
The American Heart Association (AHA) now says that two servings a week of fatty fish such as swordfish, salmon, or tuna can help to protect against heart disease. With its thick, colorful sauce, this dish provides a way to dress up salmon without covering up its natural flavor.

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 medium Italian plum tomatoes, diced
  • 6 medium black olives, coarsely chopped
  • 6 medium green olives, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely or finely chopped fresh parsley (Italian, or flat-leaf, preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1–1/2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic or 3 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1–pound salmon fillet
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat bottom of skillet. Add tomatoes, black and green olives, lemon juice, parsley, capers, garlic, and pepper; stir to mix.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook until mixture is reduced by about one third, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, rinse salmon and pat dry with paper towels. Using a spoon, push reduced sauce to one side and place salmon in skillet. Spoon sauce over salmon.
  • Cook, covered, over medium heat for 15 to 17 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork.

The American Heart Association Meals in Minutes Cookbook


Swiss Chard Saute
Dark green leafy veggies are delicious—and great for your heart!

  • 2 tsp. olive or canola oil
  • 1-2 tsp. minced garlic, to taste
  • 1 small onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup sliced celery
  • 1 Tb broth or water
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard
  • Heat oil in large nonstick skillet, add garlic, onions, and celery. Sauté, stirring, for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the broth or water and Swiss chard, stirring to combine well. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, over low heat for about 5 minutes or until chard is wilted and tender.

Jane Brody’s Good Food Cook Book, WW Norton & Co, NY, 1985


Mocha-Chocolate Trifle
Of course we know we can’t pig out on chocolate, but it's nice to know that it does contain flavonoids (substances that are good for the heart). So a little Valentine’s Day chocolate won’t hurt us!

  • 1 (18.25–oz.) package light devil’s food cake
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 Tb. canola oil
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups cold fat-free milk
  • 1 (3.9-ounce) package chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup Kahlúa (coffee-flavored liqueur) or 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 (8-oz) carton frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
  • 1/2 cup (about 4 bars) chopped reduced fat chocolate toffee crips bars such as Hershey’s Sweet Escapes.
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl, beat at medium speed of a mixer until well blended. Spoon batter into 13 x 9” baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 350 for 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
  • Combine milk and pudding mix in medium bowl; prepare according to package directions
  • Tear half of cake into pieces; place in a 3-quart bowl or trifle dish. Pour half of Kahlúa or coffee over cake pieces; top with half of pudding, whipped topping, and chocolate bars. Repeat with remaining cake, Kahlúa/coffee, pudding, whipped topping, and chocolate bars. Cover; chill at least 4 hours.

© 1998 Cooking Light Magazine. for subscriptions call 1-800-336-0125.

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Gift Number Two:
A Longer Lasting Valentine’s Day Present

Treat yourself and your best-beloved to Project Heart Smart, an eight-week program co-sponsored by Bridgeport Hospital and Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers. This program, led by cardiologists, cardiac rehabilitation nurses, an exercise physiologist and a dietitian, includes personalized nutrition education and counseling, exercise, stress reduction, cardiac education, and gourmet heart-smart dinners.

Says Suzanne Pollard Quintner, cardiac rehabilitation coordinator at Bridgeport Hospital: "What's more romantic than telling your loved one you'd like to spend many more healthy years together!"

For information on Project Heart Smart times, dates, locations, and costs, call 888-357-2396.

For a copy of the AHA’s 2000 Dietary Guidelines, go to www.circulationaha.org.