Heart Health Recipes

Heart Health Recipes


Written by: Cassandra Suter

February is National Heart Health Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in every 4 deaths is from heart disease.  This is preventable! We have the choice to improve our lives and avoid the main risk factors and  we can still have fun in doing so.

In an effort to educate the public of these factors, the American Heart Association has 7 simple steps that could improve our cardiovascular health: Get Active, Control Cholesterol, Eat Better, Manage Blood Pressure, Lose Weight, Reduce Sugar, Stop Smoking.
By making smart food choices and moving our bodies we significantly lower our risk of heart disease. MOVE! Get your friends together for a lunchtime walk around the block. Simple. Fun. Organizing and Preparing your meals ahead of time saves money and time in the hustle of weekly life.   The resources available for better food choices is at an all time high. Food delivery companies nutritional grocery deliveries are readily available for our very busy lifestyles.  Taking advantage of the warming weather to get out doors and move. It all boils down to eating better and moving and of course having fun.    The Mayo Clinic has heart healthy recipes available:http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/heart-healthy-recipes/rcs-20077163-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Basil pesto stuffed mushroomsServes 20Ingredients
20 crimini mushrooms, washed and stems removed
Topping:
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Filling:
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh garlic
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Directions
Heat the oven to 350 F. Line the mushroom caps upside down on a baking sheet.
To prepare the topping, in a small bowl, combine the panko, butter and parsley; set aside.
To prepare the filling, place the basil, cheese, pumpkin seeds, oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a food processor. Process until evenly mixed.
Generously stuff the mushroom caps with the basil pesto filling. Sprinkle each mushroom with about 1 teaspoon of panko topping. Gently pat down the topping. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Eggplant with toasted spicesHere, toasted mustard seed and other spices often used in India infuse olive oil with pungent flavor. The oil is then used to make a fresh cherry tomato sauce for smoky slices of grilled eggplant.Serves 4
Ingredients
1 large eggplant (aubergine), about 1 1/2 pounds
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved, or 1 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon light molasses
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)
Directions
Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill or broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.
Trim the eggplant and cut lengthwise into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Arrange the slices on the rack or broiler pan and grill or broil, turning once, until the eggplant is tender and browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm.
In a small bowl, combine the first 7 spices. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the spice mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds. Quickly add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, molasses, garlic and vinegar. Cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper.
Transfer the eggplant to a warmed serving dish or individual plates, pour the sauce over, and garnish with the cilantro.-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Baked apples with cherries and almondsDietitian’s tip:
Any good baking apple, such as Golden Delicious, Rome or Granny Smith, holds its shape beautifully for this dish.
Serves 6
Ingredients
1/3 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped almonds
1 tablespoon wheat germ
1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar( I replaced with coconut sugar with a touch of molasses)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 small Golden Delicious apples, about 1 3/4 pounds total weight
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons dark honey
2 teaspoons walnut oil or canola oil
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a small bowl, toss together the cherries, almonds, wheat germ, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Set aside.
The apples can be left unpeeled, if you like. To peel the apples in a decorative fashion, with a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, remove the peel from each apple in a circular motion, skipping every other row so that rows of peel alternate with rows of apple flesh. Working from the stem end, core each apple, stopping 3/4 inch from the bottom.
Divide the cherry mixture evenly among the apples, pressing the mixture gently into each cavity. Arrange the apples upright in a heavy ovenproof frying pan or small baking dish just large enough to hold them. Pour the apple juice and water into the pan. Drizzle the honey and oil evenly over the apples, and cover the pan snugly with aluminum foil. Bake until the apples are tender when pierced with a knife, 50 to 60 minutes.
Transfer the apples to individual plates and drizzle with the pan juices. Serve warm or at room temperature.
These tips can change your heart health and impact your life is a positive way.  Enjoy!!

Cassandra Suter