'heart health' posts

Healthy Cornbread

This simple corn bread recipe (serves 8) is just as tasty as the one on the box of cornmeal, but has half the calories and no cholesterol.

Try this with: Chipotle Black Bean Chili


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 2 egg whites or ¼ cup egg substitute
  • 1 cup skim milk


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Beat oil, egg whites and milk together then combine dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pour in nonstick 8x8-inch pan or pie plate. Bake 15 minutes or until done.

Per Serving: 176 calories, 5 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 4 grams mono, 1 gram fiber, 29 grams sodium

THE SEASONED COOK To increase the fiber in this recipe, substitute whole wheat flour for white. However, since it doesn't rise as high, you may want to use muffin tins instead.

Glazed Raspberry Chicken

Sweet meets savory and makes a date with delicious! This quick and easy dinner (serves 4) features healthful boneless, skinless chicken breasts glazed with raspberry preserves and fresh herbs. Ready in 30 minutes, high in protein, low in fat and under 300 calories per serving…prepare to fall in love!


  • 4 4-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • ½ cup all-fruit raspberry preserves


  1. Heat oven to 375°.
  2. Place chicken in baking dish. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with basil and rosemary, top with sliced onions. Bake, uncovered for 15 minutes.
  3. Turn chicken over, spoon preserves evenly over chicken. Bake uncovered another 15 minutes, basting occasionally. Spoon sauce over chicken to serve.

Per serving: 248 calories, 27 gm protein, 24 gm carbohydrate, 4 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 2 gm mono fat, 72 mg cholesterol, 1 gm fiber, 268 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Feel free to use any all-fruit preserves you happen to have on hand.

Lemon-Mint Tabouli with Pan-Seared Salmon

A great dish in hot and cold weather, the flavors are warm and the mint is cooling. It’s easy to make extra tabouli for lunches later in the week. Serves 4.


  • ¾ cup bulgur
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zest and juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup curly parsley, finely chopped
  • 1½ cups mint, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup ripe tomato, ¼ inch diced
  • 1 pound salmon filets, skin-on, cut into 4 portions
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Place bulgur in a small bowl and add ¾ cup boiling water. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. Fluff up with a fork after the water is completely absorbed.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt, and black pepper. Stir in garlic, parsley, mint, onion and tomato. Add bulgur and mix well.
  3. Season flesh side of salmon filet with a sprinkle of pepper. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Add fillets flesh side down and sear for 4 minutes and then turn over and cook another 4 minutes until fish is barely translucent in the center. Serve over the top of the tabouli.

Per serving: 393 calories, 31g protein, 32g carbohydrate, 18g fat, 3g sat fat, 10g mono fat, 51mg cholesterol, 11g fiber, 253mg sodium

The Seasoned Cook Chicken and pork partner well with this fiber-rich whole grain. It’s easy to overcook fish: Plan on just 6 to 8 minutes per inch of thickness, or when the middle is still a bit shiny. It will continue to cook off the heat.

Italian White Beans and Garlicky Swiss Chard

A lush combination of flavors teams with great nutrition for a double bonus dish. Serves 4.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Swiss chard or kale (about 1 bunch) rinsed and chopped
  • ¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in chard, broth and pepper flakes.
  4. Cover and cook over medium heat about 4 minutes or until chard is wilted and crisp-tender. Add beans and heat through.
  5. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a splash of balsamic vinegar, if desired.

Per serving: 189 calories, 11g protein, 25g carbohydrate, 6g total fat, 2g sat fat, 3g mono fat, 6mg cholesterol, 6g fiber, 182mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK If choosing low-fat sausage (shown here), pick one with no more than 3 grams of fat per 100 calories—or try a vegetarian version.

Easy Ratatouille

Ratatouille (serves 4 with leftovers) is so versatile that you can use our ingredients here or substitute what you have on hand. Serve it alone or over pasta, polenta, or rice—or satisfy meat lovers by adding a piece of protein. It keeps for days, too. Make a double batch and use leftovers later in the week to serve with grilled fish.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1½ inch cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped in 1" pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped in 1" pieces
  • 1 large onion coarsely chopped
  • 3 medium zucchini cut in ¾" slices
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots cut in ½" slices
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • ¼ cup ripe olives, pitted and sliced
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Spray oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté eggplant cubes stirring constantly, until eggplant browns and starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet and sauté peppers, onions, zucchini, garlic, and carrots until onions are soft and transparent, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, capers, olives, eggplant, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 30 minutes until all vegetables are very tender and liquid is reduced. Then serve.

Per Serving: 195 calories, 7 gm protein, 36 gm carbohydrate, 5 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 3gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 11 gm fiber, 501 mg sodium

Delectable Gingerbread with Strawberry Sauce

Strawberries in season take center stage in this delightful and delicious dessert (serves 8). Raspberries are equally yummy.

For gingerbread

  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • ½ cup light molasses
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Spray and flour 10- to 11-inch round cake pan.
  2. Beat canola oil and sugar until well blended, add the egg whites. Mix in apple sauce and molasses, blend.
  3. Add dry ingredients and mix.
  4. Pour batter into pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Top with fruit puree.

Per serving: 274 calories, 5 gm protein, 50 gm carbohydrate, 7 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 4 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 gm fiber, 305 gm sodium

For strawberries

  • ½ pound strawberries fresh or frozen and thawed
  • Optional 2 tablespoons water
  1. Puree strawberries (or other fruit) in food processor. Add water if too thick.
  2. Serve over gingerbread

Per serving: 17 calories, 0 gm protein, 4 gm carbohydrate, 0 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 0 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 gm fiber, 9 gm sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Most nights, the heart-healthy dessert choice is fresh fruit, but this recipe is a treat! Dust lightly with powdered sugar for a festive appeal.

Indian Spiced Lentils and Squash

Invite a vegetarian for dinner! Little lentils are packed with heart-healthy fiber and folates and they’re a vegetarian staple because they’re so satisfying. This dish also features naturally sweet butternut squash, an excellent source of potassium and Vitamins A and C. Serves 4.


  • 1 cup lentils
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 ripe tomato, diced, with juice
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder or to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons fresh or bottled
  • lemon juice
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¾ cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped, optional
  • ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt


  1. Simmer lentils, partially covered, in 3 cups of water with salt until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, heat olive oil in a large nonstick saucepan. Sauté onions and garlic until golden, then add squash, tomatoes, carrots, and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Add curry powder and bay leaf and sauté briefly, until fragrant. Add lemon juice, wine, and broth. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.
  4. Add cooked and drained lentils and raisins to the pan and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, until flavors are blended. Stir in chopped cilantro.
  5. Top each serving with a dollop of yogurt.

Per serving: 332 calories, 18 gm protein, 60 gm carbohydrate, 4 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 3 gm mono fat, 20 gm fiber, 279 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Choose the small green French lentils called lentilles de Puy if you can find them, they hold their shape best and have a delicate flavor.

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