Heart Healthy Spinach Walnut Pesto Pasta

It’s National Woman’s Health and Fitness Day! The last Wednesday of every September is dedicated to bringing awareness to the importance of health and fitness in a woman’s life. The number one health concern for women these days is heart disease. It’s killing more of us every year than any other disease around.

We ladies keep our hearts busy as bees. We dole out love like it’s nobody’s business. We feel every let down our children experience; we pour our hearts into them trying to create a shield from the harsh realities of the world. We try to give whatever is left of our hearts to our partners, making sure they feel loved, wanted, and fulfilled. Somehow we manage to save enough for family and friends. We share in a girlfriend’s heartbreak without thinking twice about it, we feel a loved one’s disappointment as if it were our own, and our hearts break a little inside with every tragic story on the news. Sometimes we feel more for others than we do for ourselves. Let’s not forget about all of that pesky blood pumping business the heart must also take on - that activity is pretty important as well I suppose. So how is it that while keeping every life around us running cool and collected, not to mention keeping the world beautiful and tidy, we manage to overlook the upkeep of this overworked organ? If any heart is in need of some tender loving care, it’s a woman’s heart. Statistics show that only 54 percent of women are aware that heart disease is our number one killer, so let’s talk about it ladies! There are many choices we make that can raise our risk of being affected by heart disease.

  1. Smoking- we all know this is bad for us right? With all of the stress we take on sometimes a cigarette gives the relief we are looking for. Time to think about cutting it out and finding new ways to take care of stress relief. Try painting, cooking, writing, dancing, or meditation.
  2. Living a non-active lifestyle- Not getting enough exercise raises the risk of developing high blood pressure and cholesterol which can then lead to fatal heart disease. It also helps reduce daily stress which can also affect our chances of developing heart disease. If you’re looking for some stress relief, maybe you’ve quit smoking recently, try brisk walks, weight lifting, or even running. Our hearts can use some good stress relief along with the physical benefits of an active lifestyle. Thirty minutes a day most days of the week is all it takes!
  3. Poor diet- diets high in fats and sodium can be detrimental to our hearts health. It’s easy to figure out what to cut out, but what foods are best to put in? Foods that specifically keep our hearts healthy are oatmeal, salmon, avocado, nuts, olive oil, berries, legumes, spinach, flaxseed, and soy. Adding these ingredients to our diets on a regular basis can really give a kick start to heart health.

Heart Healthy Pesto Heart Healthy Pesto

 

Here is a recipe that will make it easy to begin implementing many of these heart healthy foods into your daily diet. Nuts, flaxseed, spinach, and olive oil are blended together with Litehouse Instantly Fresh Herbs to make a delicious pesto, which is used in a creamy goat cheese pasta dish. Make a double batch of the pesto and use the extras in eggs, on a sandwich, in soup, on meats, or give a kick of flavor to your vegetables at dinner! One scoop is all it takes to make your heart and your mouth happy as can be. It’s time to take our heart health seriously ladies, the world needs us!

Tomatoes Tossed in Herbs Tomatoes Tossed in Herbs

 

 

Heart Healthy Spinach Walnut Pesto Pasta

Serves 3 | Finish in 15 minutes
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Heart healthy ingredients are used with herbs to make a pesto which can be stored for future use or used in the goat cheese and tomato pasta recipe provided!

Ingredients

1 pint cherry tomatoes,
2 tsp. Litehouse Instantly Fresh Italian Herb Blend
½ c. walnuts
2 Tbsp. Litehouse Instantly Fresh Garlic
½ c. fresh spinach leaves, torn into small pieces
1 c. fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
¼ c. sundried tomatoes
6 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling over tomatoes
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼-1/2 c. crumbled goat cheese
Shredded spinach leaves for garnish.
8 oz. whole wheat linguine cooked according to package directions

Directions

1. Turn the ovens broiler on to high and place the ovens rack in the center position.

2. Pour cherry tomatoes onto a baking sheet.

3. Drizzle with olive oil and toss in Litehouse Instantly Fresh Italian Herb Blend.

4. Cook under the broiler until tomatoes burst and begin to char, stirring occasionally approximately 20 minutes.

5. Place the walnuts, Litehouse Instantly Fresh Garlic, spinach, basil, salt, and pepper into a food processor.

6. Pulse until well combine, thick and paste like.

7. While pulsing slowly drizzle in the olive oil.

8. Toss the cooked linguine with ½ c. of the prepared spinach walnut pesto and ¼-1/2 c. of crumbled goat cheese. Goat cheese will melt creating a smooth, creamy, pesto sauce.

9. Store leftover pesto in the freezer until next time!

10. Carefully toss in the cherry tomatoes being careful to keep them as whole as possible.

11. Top each serving with shredded spinach leaves and more goat cheese if desired.


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