by The Culinistas

(as part of our Wellness Through Food: Way to Your Heart series)

We’ve been Oishii berry evangelists for a while now. So when it came time to talk about matters of the heart for our latest wellness through food campaign, they were a no-brainer. Strawberries come loaded with vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants and have been shown to help lower blood pressure and risk of cancer. 

Oishii’s Omakase Berries are more than just fruit — they’re impeccably beautiful and extraordinarily delicious. Berries are grown to *peak* ripeness and then harvested by highly trained farmers. Zero pesticides are used in the growing process and a rigorous quality control standard results in a berry that is perfect inside and out.

We sat down with Oishii’s VP of Brand Lesia Dallimore to talk about why heart health gets overlooked, the powers of a good bowl of Borscht, and how following her heart led her to her now-husband.

The Culinistas: Why do you think some are half-hearted about heart health?

Lesia Dallimore: When [your heart] works, it works. So it’s one of those things you don’t really think much about unless you have to. The thing about being mindful about your heart is that anything you do that is great for your health has a ripple effect on the rest of your body and life! It’s a win/win!

TC: What’s one easy step anyone can take to protect their heart?

LD: Eating healthy, fresh food and daily exercise are ideal for not just heart health, but overall wellbeing.  

TC: What one dish or food that is the way to your heart?

LD: Ohhh, well, anything Italian. And I love Ukrainian food (because I am Ukrainian. Just feels like home when I have it). My mother makes amazing Borscht, a vegetarian beet soup. It’s delicious, simple and packed with nutrients. 

TC: What’s your go-to cure for a broken heart?

LD: Honey Mama’s chocolate! The Lavender and Mint flavors are my absolute favorites. 

TC: What’s one thing you’ve always had your heart set on, but never tried?

LD: Visiting Greece!!!

TC: What’s something you’ll always hold near and dear to your heart? 

LD: My family. I know, so obvious, but so true!

TC: Tell us about a time you followed your heart and it paid off.

LD: When I told my boyfriend, who is now my husband, how I felt about him and that I thought he was an amazing artist. I feel like that was a real ‘it’ moment for our relationship. We’ve been married for 16 years. So, follow your heart. It worked! 

We asked Lesia to select six of her favorite dishes from our Way to Your Heart menu and tell us why:

White Bean Hummus & Crudités 

garbanzo bean, navy bean, onion, garlic, lemon, sage, za’atar, vegetables

“I am a sucker for white bean hummus and crudites! I love the crunch of the fresh veggies and the added fiber that the navy beans give to the hummus!” 

Edamame Dip with Radishes  

soybean, basil, rice wine vinegar, lime, radish, cayenne, onion powder

“If I’m honest, I love edamame. It’s such a healthy, delicious snack.” 

Halibut with Lentil Pepper Ragout 

halibut, red lentil, red pepper, shallot, parsley, lemon, cayenne, onion powder

“I always overcook fish but love it so much. So as long as you’re making this for me, Culinistas, this sounds like a delicious, light and nutritious choice!” 

Tahini Roasted Cauliflower 

cauliflower, sesame seed, golden raisin, chive, thyme, lemon, cumin, onion powder, cayenne

“Such a heart-healthy choice! Tahini on anything is such a delight!” 

Potato Kale Salad  

potato, kale, walnut, onion, lime, garlic, sumac

“Potato salad just reminds me of summertime and picnics! All the good feels.”

Strawberries & Peaches 

strawberry, peach, basil, pine nut, pink peppercorn, sumac

“This is an obvious choice. I’d suggest the berries be Oishii Omakase Berries. They are nutrient-rich because they are grown locally and harvested at their peak!”

Follow along with our Way to Your Heart initiative on Instagram.