Cooking for the Heart

heart healthHey, moms. Guess what? It’s not only old men who have heart problems. Actually, heart disease is the #1 killer of women! Seriously, I kid you not. You know what else? One of a woman’s most vulnerable times for heart issues is when they’re pregnant or have tiny babies. (Don’t we get all the luck?) If you think about it, it makes perfect sense what with all this pregnancy, lugging little people around, constantly lifting and bending – not to mention the fact that a lack of sleep puts a strain on your whole body, including your heart.

I’m a big proponent of making sure you take care of yourself, instead of just everybody else! Don’t let February be just about candy hearts for you; let it remind you to take care of your real heart. Cook some meals with plenty of heart healthy vegetables, whole grains, and heart healthy fish. Start with my pasta primavera below – it’s a one pan heart health powerhouse!

Heart Healthy Pasta Primavera
Serves 6
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  1. 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 lb leeks, white and light green parts only, washed and sliced thin
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 2 tsp fresh or ½ tsp dried thyme
  5. ¾ c low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  6. ¾ c frozen peas, thawed
  7. 3 Tb fresh lemon juice
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
  9. 1 lb asparagus (1 bunch), ends trimmed, sliced into 1 inch lengths (serve asparagus in spring and early summer when it’s in season, later in the year substitute zucchini sliced into half moons)
  10. 12 oz whole wheat pasta of choice (angel hair is a nice choice!)
  11. 4 oz small arugula (4 cups)
  12. ½ c goat cheese (2 oz)
  13. ¼ c shredded fresh basil
  1. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
  2. Add the leeks and cook until softened and beginning to brown at the edges, 5-7 min.
  3. Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook 30 seconds.
  4. Slowly whisk in the broth and bring to a simmer.
  5. Take off the heat and add peas and lemon juice.
  6. Let stand until peas are heated through, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Bring water to boil in a large pot.
  8. Add the asparagus (or zucchini) and 1 Tb salt and cook, until the asparagus is crisp tender, 2-4 minutes.
  9. Remove the asparagus and set aside.
  10. Add pasta to the same pot of boiling water and cook until al dente.
  11. Reserve ½ c of the cooking water, drain pasta and return it to the pot.
  12. Add the arugula to the pasta and toss to wilt.
  13. Add the leek – broth mixture, asparagus, goat cheese, basil, and remaining 2 tsp oil and toss to combine.
  14. If the mixture gets dry before serving stir in reserved cooking water.
Kansas City Moms Blog


One Response to Cooking for the Heart

  1. MaidPro Kansas City February 3, 2016 at 10:52 am #

    Resolutions tend to dwindle in February. This is great reminder to stay healthy and to take care of you. Thanks for the great recipe ☺