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Heart Healthy Recipes, Issue #036 – Lemon-Lavender Asparagus, Lamb Stew, & Caesar Salad
April 08, 2020

Welcome to Heart Healthy Recipes' Newsletter.

In this spring issue we are featuring in-season asparagus, flavored with culinary lavender and lemon. Also, we have added a slow-cooker recipe of vegetable lamb stew, seasoned with herbs, including the classic herb of rosemary. Rosemary, along with the other herbs in this recipe, helps to bring out the wonderful lamb flavor. Finishing off our recipes for this month is a Caesar salad with homemade croutons.

We hope you enjoy these heart-healthy recipes and we wish you all a healthy, happy Easter season.

Lemon-Lavender Asparagus

Celebrate springtime with the in-season asparagus. Heart-healthy, steamed asparagus drizzled with lemon-lavender dressing is beneficial to the heart as well. The asparagus contains large amounts of antioxidants which may help reduce inflammation. Also, the amino acid called asparagine in the asparagus helps flush out unwanted excess salt in the body, which may help reduce heart disease. The culinary lavender in this recipe benefits the heart by potentially reducing blood pressure and lowering the heart rate.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 large bunch of asparagus, trimmed

1 teaspoon fresh or dried culinary lavender * buds, chopped or crushed

¼ cup grapeseed oil

2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ teaspoon sea salt (optional)

¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

Recipe Instructions:

Rinse asparagus with fresh water and pat dry with towel. Trim the woody, dry ends off of the asparagus by holding each end in hands and bending until it naturally snaps in two. Another option, cut about a third off each spear. Next, place asparagus in a steamer basket above boiling water and cover. Steam for 5 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus, or until asparagus is tender.

In a small bowl, whisk together crushed or chopped culinary lavender * buds with grapeseed oil. Allow lavender to infuse in oil for 10-15 minutes for best flavor. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, add finely grated lemon zest and whisk together with lemon juice. Next, add minced garlic cloves to lemon mixture. Once lavender-grapeseed oil mixture is infused, pour into lemon juice bowl, whisking in sea salt (if desired) and black pepper.

Drizzle lemon-lavender oil dressing over the steamed asparagus and serve.

*Culinary Lavenders: Most lavenders are edible, though the best for culinary usage is the English Lavender.

Makes 4 servings.

Vegetable-Herb Lamb Stew

Enjoy the wonderful aroma of this vegetable-herb lamb stew as it cooks conveniently in the slow-cooker or crock-pot. The heart-healthy lamb provides a nutritious amount of Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, which is needed for every cell of the body to remain healthy. The vegetables, along with the herbs, also provide heart health nutrition while making this a great addition to an Easter brunch or any special occasion.

Recipe Ingredients:

2 pounds lamb, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

2 medium parsnips, peeled, thickly sliced and quartered

3 medium-large carrots, peeled, thickly sliced, and halved

1 pound potatoes, peeled and sliced or cubed

2 medium sweet onions, chopped and sliced

2½ cups (12 ounces) beef broth or chicken stock, low sodium or unsalted

¼ teaspoon sea salt (optional)

¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

3 garlic cloves, minced

1½ teaspoons chives, minced (optional)

1 tablespoon dried rosemary leaves

1 tablespoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon fresh or dried thyme

1 tablespoon gluten-free flour

2 tablespoons water (cold)

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

Fresh Mint, minced as garnish (optional)

Recipe Instructions:

Cut the lamb into bite-size pieces, approximately 1-inch cubed. In a large skillet, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and simmering, add the cubed lamb, browning on all sides. When lamb is well-browned, cover and remove from heat.

Next, peel and thickly slice or dice the parsnips, carrots and potatoes. Add to a slow-cooker or crock-pot. Peel the sweet onions, chopping into quarters, and slicing into thin pieces. Add the onions to the slow-cooker or crock-pot as well. Next, add the browned lamb pieces into the pot or cooker.

In the skillet that was used to cook the lamb, pour the chicken stock or the beef broth. Bring this stock or broth to a boil. Add sea salt (if desired), black pepper, garlic, chives (if desired), rosemary, oregano, and thyme. Add the heated stock or broth to the slow-cooker or crock-pot. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low.

In a small bowl, combine the gluten-free flour with the cold water. Whisk until the mixture is smooth with no lumps. Add the fresh, minced parsley and stir the flour mixture into the stew. Cook the stew for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with fresh, minced mint, if desired, and serve.

Tip: Choosing the lamb shoulder or neck meat is a great choice for this lamb stew.

Makes 4 servings.

Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

A refreshing, classic salad with homemade garlic croutons makes this a tasty and satisfying side while also being heart-healthy. The ingredient of garlic in this recipe has been shown to be heart-healthy by improving and lowering cholesterol levels, along with lowering blood pressure.

Caesar Salad – Recipe Ingredients:

2 small-medium heads romaine lettuce, chilled

¼ cup grapeseed oil

4 garlic cloves, chopped

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

12 anchovy fillets, chopped

2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

¼ teaspoon sea salt (optional)

¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

Caesar Salad – Recipe Instructions:

In a large bowl, place romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces. In a small bowl, whisk grapeseed oil and garlic to blend. Pour oil mixture over lettuce and toss to coat. Next, pour lemon juice over lettuce and toss to coat. Add anchovies and toss. Next, add Parmesan cheese and toss again to coat well. Season salad with sea salt (optional) and freshly ground pepper.

Sprinkle croutons over salad and serve.

Crouton - Recipe Ingredients:

4 cups sourdough bread with crust, ¼-inch cubes

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ teaspoon garlic salt

Crouton - Recipe Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Cut sourdough bread into approximately ¼-inch cubes. Place bread in flat baking dish. Sprinkle bread with grapeseed oil, minced garlic and garlic salt, then toss to coat well. Bake bread until just beginning to dry, approximately 15 minutes. Cool for at least 15 minutes and up to 3 hours.

Makes 4 - 6 servings.

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Medical/Nutritional Disclaimer: Heart Healthy Recipes' Newsletter and website offers informational service only and the information contained in this newsletter is not intended as professional nutritional or medical advice. The content in this newsletter should not be used solely during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider regarding any course of medical treatment.
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