By Monica Hunsberger, PhD, MPH, RD

February is all about heart.  This month we recognize American Heart Month and celebrate Valentine’s Day.   Through healthy lifestyle choices, such as physical activity, a good night’s rest, managing stress, and eating healthy, much of what is known as heart disease can be prevented.   By preparing healthy food with loved ones a number of things can be accomplished: spending time with people you care for, reducing stress and offering up a healthy meal.   Here we offer an appealing, Go Red menu for Valentine’s Day.

Heart-shaped beets salad with heart healthy walnuts and a bit of goat cheese over mixed greens. Full recipe.







A heart-shaped pizza topped with your favorite toppings.

  • Basic dough
  • 1.5 cups warm water (warm on the wrist but not hot)
  • 2 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 3. 5 cups of flour (half whole- wheat bread flour and half bread flour) and a bit more for kneading

Place warm water in a bowl, stir in yeast, salt, oil and honey.  Let rest 5 minutes.  Stir in flour a cup at a time until dough pulls from sides of the bowl and is not too sticky to form a ball.  Add additional flour as needed.  When dough remains in a ball in the bowl without sticking to the sides place it on a clean floured surface and knead with the heels of your hands about 5 minutes.  Let rest one hour until double in size.  Cut in half to make two pizza hearts.  I like to bake mine on a pizza stone but a cookie sheet works fine.  Top as you like, but I recommend topping with your favorite vegetables, olives and just a bit of cheese.  You might even make some goat cheese hearts of you want more goat cheese.  Bake in a hot oven, 400 F or 200 C for a nice crust.








A perfect ending can be achieved with this Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from the Joy of Baking








While you bake you can support the American Heart Association by shopping these adorable heart-shaped measuring spoons and much, much more.