Heart-Healthy Recipes

We featured the work of personal chef Kirsten Helle in the May/June issue of 425. Her clients include all sorts of professional athletes, but did you know that she also volunteers with the Hope Heart Institute, too? Helle created some heart-healthy recipes this May to help promote National Women’s Health Month.


Spring Asparagus Soup with Avocado Cream

Makes 4-6 servings


  • 1 tsp healthy oil/fat of your choice
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed, chopped (save a few of the pretty tops to blanch lightly for garnish if you like)
  • Pinch Kosher/sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules/powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules/powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried tarragon, optional
  • 2 Tb white wine
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups low-sodium homemade or high quality chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 Tb cream, optional
  • Fresh black or white pepper Ingredients (for the avocado cream):
  • 1 very ripe avocado
  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tb cream

Instructions: In a sauce pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the vegetables and seasonings. Sauté until the vegetables are fragrant and slightly softened. Stir in the wine and lemon juice, cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and simmer for approximately 8 minutes until the vegetables are soft but the asparagus is still vibrant green. Turn off the heat. Purée with an immersion blender or blender. Stir in cream and pepper if using. Taste for seasoning and adjust with a pinch of salt or a spritz of fresh lemon juice to elevate the flavor if necessary. To make the avocado cream whisk the avocado with the cream and lemon juice until very smooth and creamy. Serve the soup warm or slightly room temperature with a dollop of the avocado cream and garnish with fresh herbs and/or a few blanched tops of the asparagus.

Spring Vegetable Salad with Grilled or Seared Salmon

Serves 4
Ingredients (for the dressing):

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pinch Kosher/sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 TB finely minced chives
  • 1 TB finely minced fresh herbs such as cilantro, tarragon, parsley, basil
  • 1/4 cup high quality olive oil, or hazelnut or walnut oil

Ingredients (for the salad):

  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed, peeled into strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 bunch radish, finely sliced
  • 4 carrots, peeled into strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 4-6 cups fresh watercress or arugula

For the dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients, except the oil. While whisking briskly drizzle in the oil very slowly. The dressing should get slightly thickened and creamy. Set aside. For the salad, toss the ingredients together gently. Serve with salmon for a delicious spring meal!

Tips for Salmon:
Brush the salmon with healthy oil/fat of your choice and season with Kosher/sea salt. Sear or grill, skin side up, over high heat until a golden brown crust is achieved (when the fish develops the crust it will release from the pan/grill easily), flip and cook just about 30 seconds on the skin side. Remove the fish to a piece of foil and top with sliced garlic, fresh herbs and lemon slices. Quickly close up the foil tightly around the fish, set it aside. The fish will continue to cook gently without drying out or cooking unevenly. For a thin piece of fish leave it closed for about 3-5 minutes, thicker may take up to 10 minutes. The salmon is done when it just begins to flake easily.

is a contributor to 425 magazine.
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