We could all use some extra love this February, especially self-love. Not only are we experiencing one of the colder months of the year, but we’re doing so in the midst of a pandemic without the company of some of our loved ones. And that can have a toll on both our physical and mental well-being.

So, this month love yourself first with some of our employee’s favourite heart health recipes that can be enjoyed solo, with your partner or packaged up and delivered to friends and family. Because nothing says “I love you” more than something home made and delicious.

You hold the kiwi to my heart

Kiwi, banana and mixed berry smoothie


  • ½ cup vanilla or coconut Greek yogurt.
  • 1 banana.
  • ½ avocado.
  • Handful of spinach.
  • ½ cup whichever mixed fruit you like—mangos and pineapple add natural sweetness and lots of vitamin C. Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries add lots of antioxidants.
  • Milk (can substitute with coconut, oat or almond milk).


Blend together until smooth.

You’re eggsactly what I’ve been looking for

Sausage egg casserole with veggies.


  • 1 large sweet potato diced into 1/4-inch chunks.
  • cooking spray (olive, avocado or coconut oil).
  • 1-pound ground breakfast chicken or turkey sausage.
  • 2 teaspoons olive or avocado oil.
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion.
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms.
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper.
  • 2 cups torn kale.
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme.
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder. 
  • ½ teaspoon salt.
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper. 
  • 12 eggs.
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk*.

Makes great leftovers that can be stored in an air-tight container.


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray sweet potato chunks with cooking spray and roast in the oven until tender, about 30 minutes, tossing at the halfway point. 
  • Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink, about five to seven minutes. Transfer sausage to a bowl and add two teaspoons of oil to the same skillet. Once hot, add onion, red bell pepper and mushrooms to the skillet. Cook until onions are translucent, about six to seven minutes, then add kale. Cook for another two to three minutes to allow the kale to wilt. Remove from heat and transfer veggies to the bowl with the sausage.
  • Add the roasted sweet potato into the bowl as well. 
  • Whisk eggs, milk, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper together in a separate medium bowl. Add egg mixture to the sausage, sweet potato and veggie mixture. Pour into a large baking dish (9 X 13) sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until set, about 20 to 25 minutes; the cook time will depend on the size of your baking dish. Let stand for five minutes and serve.

For the full recipe with descriptions and more tips and tricks, visit www.eatingbirdfood.com/sausage-egg-bake/ .

Chowder you doin’?

Dairy-free clam chowder


  • 4 slices turkey bacon.
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (coconut oil works too).
  • 2 cloves garlic— minced.
  • 1 onion—diced.
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme.
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley.
  • 3 tablespoons flour (oat flour works too).
  • 1 cup milk (cashew, oat or almond).
  • 1 cup soup broth (homemade chicken is the way to go).
  • 1 can clams with clam juice.
  • 1 bay leaf.
  • 2 russet potatoes—peeled and diced sweet potato can also be used).
  • 1 cup half and half (coconut milk is a wonderful substitute).
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


  • Cook bacon until crisp in a frying pan or oven.
  • Melt butter or add the oil to a pan then cook the onion and garlic until translucent in pot. Add Thyme for one minute.
  • Add flour until lightly browned. Gradually whisk in milk, broth, clam juice and bay leaf until it’s slightly thickened.
  • Stir in potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  • Stir in the cream and clams and let them warm up for one to two minutes.
  • Garnish with cooked bacon and parsley.

Head over peels

Banana bombs


  • One or two bananas.
  • Peanut butter.
  • Dark chocolate.


  • Slice bananas into chunks and place on wax paper on a cookie sheet—bite-sized pieces are key.
  • Spread peanut butter (or a nut free butter) on each piece then top with another piece of banana.
  • Melt dark chocolate and drizzle over top of each.
  • Pop into the freezer until frozen.

Are you an Alberta Blue Cross® plan member? If so, Balance® has even more healthy recipes to try as well as nutrition tips and healthy activity challenges to show your body and mine some more love.

Don’t forget it’s also Balance® bonus points month, which means you can earn extra points for doing anything on Balance® for the month of February for the chance to win some great prizes.

Not a member but want to learn more, click here.

Balance® is a registered mark of the Canadian Association of Blue Cross® Plans, an association of independent Blue Cross® plans.

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