Celebrate Heart Month with healthy habits

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Celebrate Heart Month with healthy habits

With February being Heart Month, consider these ways to help keep your heart healthy.

Many risk factors for heart disease and stroke are in your control, including diet. With February being Heart Month, consider the following ways to help keep your heart healthy:

Maintain a healthy weight: Keeping your weight in check isn’t easy, but the payoff to your heart is worth it. Managing your weight through diet and exercise can help reduce high blood pressure.

Reduce stress: Stress can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke — and even that’s something to stress over. Everyone can get stressed from time to time, so learn what your stressors are and find coping strategies.

Get moving: Exercise does much more than get your heart rate up. Adding regular activity into your routine can also help manage weight, encourage healthy eating habits and reduce stress.

Eat well: Making heart healthy choices don’t have to be boring or bland. Including more plant-based foods in your routine is a good place to begin. Start with simple swaps like using margarine in place of butter.

Celebrate Heart Month with this tasty Quinoa Bowl or visit for more delicious, plant-based recipes.

Quinoa Bowls with Golden Turmeric Cauliflower
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 1 small head cauliflower (about 1 lb/450 g), trimmed and cut into bite-size florets, about 5 cups
  • 4 tbsp (60 mL) Becel with Avocado Oil margarine, melted and divided
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup (250 mL) uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425° (220°C). Combine cauliflower and 4 tsp (20 mL) margarine and arrange on two-thirds of a rimmed baking sheet. Combine red onion and 2 tsp (10 mL) margarine and arrange on remaining third of baking sheet. Roast until cauliflower is browned and slightly crispy and onion is tender; about 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package directions. Fluff with a fork and stir in mint. Combine remaining margarine, turmeric, cumin and red pepper flakes and stir into quinoa. Divide quinoa between four bowls. Top each evenly with cauliflower, red onion and avocado.


As one of the top food trends, everyone is talking about the power of plant-based eating— but putting it into practice can seem daunting. Choosing a plant-based diet isn’t necessarily an overnight switch, nor does it have to mean a complete diet overhaul. Simplify the pressures of doing the plant-based diet “right” with swaps to introduce plant-based eating into your daily routine.

  • Swap zucchini noodles for pasta to get another serving of vegetables into your dinner.
  • Add natural sweetness to your oatmeal and smoothies with bananas or dates.
  • Get your omega-3s from flax and chia seeds.
  • Trade your taco shell for a lettuce cup, adding extra crunch.
  • Forget the mayo — use avocado to make your salad dressing creamy.
  • Opt for chickpeas or lentils as a protein-packed meat alternative.
  • Replace butter with margarine, which is made with plant-based oils, in cooking and baking.

Try these recipe for inspiration.

Vegan Kale and Chickpea Sauté
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) Becel Vegan margarine, divided
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped onion
  • 1 can (470 g) chickpeas
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) chopped garlic
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped, with tough stems removed (about 9 cups)
  • 1 small lemon, cut into wedges


  1. Melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) margarine in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and cook onion, stirring occasionally until tender and starting to brown; about 5 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant; about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in remaining margarine and kale and cook, stirring frequently until wilted; about 2 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and season if desired with salt and pepper. Find more plant-based recipes and nutrition information at

Lentil and Mushroom Stew
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 70 minutes
Serves: 8


  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) Becel Salt-Free margarine
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 8 ounces (250 g) cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground red pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) water
  • 2 cups (500 mL) fat-free reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can (411 g) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup (250 mL) lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar


  1. Melt margarine in large saucepot and cook onion, celery, carrots, zucchini and mushrooms over medium heat, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender; about 8 minutes.
  2. Stir in garlic and ground red pepper, stirring frequently for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in water, broth, tomatoes and lentils, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered until lentils are tender; about 55 minutes.
  5. Stir in vinegar.


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