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Joy Bauer shares 4 heart-healthy recipes for winter

Keep your ticker in tip-top shape with these nourishing recipes.

February is officially Heart Month, but I like to support heart health every month of the year with nourishing meals that provide our tickers with tender lovin’ care! Here is a collection of four heart-healthy recipes with stand-out ingredients like lentils, walnuts, sweet potatoes and extra-virgin olive oil. What’s on the menu? A hearty lentil-veggie-superfood stew, a zesty lemon vinaigrette, a creamy roasted red pepper-walnut dip and a comforting sweet potato shepherd’s pie. These recipes are not just about eating well they’re about enjoying every delicious spoonful while also giving your heart the love it deserves.

Lentil Veggie Superfood Stew

Courtesy Joy Bauer

This stew is for you — it’s super delicious, super hearty and super easy to make. Featuring nutrient-rich ingredients like lentils, onions, bell peppers and spinach, it’s a powerhouse pot filled with heart-loving gems. What’s more, if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, this stew tastes amazing the next day from the fridge (cold or warmed) or you can stash it in the freezer for future tasty meals. It’s truly a cozy bowl of deliciousness!

Roasted Red Pepper-Walnut Dip

Courtesy Joy Bauer

Here’s a vibrant way to dip your toes — ahem, veggies and crackers — into nutrition. The combination of sweet roasted peppers and earthy walnuts, whirled around in a food processor with lemon, garlic and cumin until it’s smooth creates the most luxurious dip. It’s insanely tasty and filled with lip-smacking goodness, including vitamin C, omega-3 fats and fiber. Inspired by muhammara, this dip is equally delicious as a sandwich spread and a surefire way to nourish your body and leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Courtesy Kelly Harrison

This hearty, healthy meal is a game-changer! It’s a meaty, veggie, mashed potato mixture that screams serious comfort food, all made in an oven-safe single skillet for easy cooking, serving and cleaning. I cleverly cut the carbs and calories by blending sweet potatoes with carrots (same orange color, same creamy texture), but you can easily make this with all sweet potatoes, too. Best part? Not only is this dish bursting with flavor, but it’s also loaded with nutrients that your heart will appreciate. With potassium-rich sweet potatoes at the helm, each spoonful is like a love letter to your heart, helping to keep it strong and healthy.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy dressing that’s both delicious and nutritious, then this citrus vinaigrette is your new go-to! It’s light, it’s bright and it’s perfect for livening up your salads and veggies. It’s a simple combo of lemon juice and zest, tangy vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil and Dijon mustard, all whisked together to create a dreamy dressing that will elevate any salad to gourmet status. The extra virgin olive oil is packed with good-for-you fats and antioxidants that can help keep your ticker in top shape, making this a tasty way to show your heart some well-deserved love. So, go ahead and drizzle it over a big colorful salad or dunk veggies in it —there’s no stressing with this dressing!