'heart health' posts

Sautéed Swiss Chard

This savory accompaniment to any meat or dish is nutritionally rich while providing appealing color contrast. Think white to pair: beneath grilled fish or a poached egg; or at the side of pork or chicken. Serves 4.

Try this with: Pork Dijon with Chutney and Whipped Winter Squash


  • Canola oil spray
  • 2 pounds whole Swiss chard, washed
  • 1 shallot or ½ small onion diced
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Remove chard stems and chop. Stack leaves and cut across in 1" strips.
  2. Spray pan with oil and add shallot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the stems and 2 tablespoons water, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add leaves, remaining water, and nutmeg. Continue to cook for 1-3 minutes. Turn often using tongs until tender.

Per serving: 50 calories, 4 gm protein, 10 gm carbohydrate, 0 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 0 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 gm fiber, 484 mg sodium

Southwest Turkey Polenta “Pie”

This is an upscale version of childhood sloppy joes, but heart-healthy. Serves 4 plus leftovers.



  • 2 cups water
  • ⅔ cup polenta
  • 1 teaspoon low-fat margarine
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring water to rolling boil.
  2. Gradually add polenta while continuously stirring.
  3. Turn heat down so polenta is barely bubbling. Continue to stir occasionally for 15 minutes.
  4. Mix in margarine and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Pour into loaf or 8-inch square pan to cool and set, while preparing turkey.



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon each, minced garlic, dried oregano, ground cumin, chili powder
  • 1 cup low-sodium diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons, prepared chunky salsa
  • Optional garnish: ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped


  1. Heat oil in pan over medium heat.
  2. Add turkey, breaking up meat until cooked through and lightly browned.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer mixture until most of liquid is absorbed.

To Assemble

  • When polenta is firmly set, cut into pie shape wedges and place in shallow bowls. Dish turkey mixture over polenta and garnish with cilantro.

Per serving: 309 calories, 32g protein, 31g carbohydrate, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 3g mono fat, 71g cholesterol, 3g fiber, 442 sodium

THE SEASONED COOK The polenta can be made ahead and served at room temperature.

Tangy Baked Cod

How many recipes are enhanced by mustard? Too many to count. And this meal with baked cod is no exception. Our Spinach Barley and Broiled Tomatoes are excellent accompaniments. Serves 4.

Try this with: Spinach Barley and Broiled Tomatoes Parmesan


  • canola oil spray
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon or yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 pound cod fillet
  • 1 tablespoon each tarragon and chives
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an ovenproof dish with oil spray.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, mustard, vinegar, and water. Stir to blend.
  3. Place fillets in dish, cover with mustard mixture.
  4. Place pan on top shelf of oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until done.
  5. Divide into 4 portions. Serve by spooning the liquid from the pan over each portion. Top with parsley, tarragon, and chives.

Per serving: 128 calories, 20 gm protein, 2 gm carbohydrate, 4.5 gm fat, .5 gm sat fat, 3 gm mono fat, 46 mg cholesterol, .5 gm fiber, 141 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK You may substitute another white fish such as tilapia in this recipe.

Uncle Sal’s Lentils & Veggies

We’re trying to eat at least one vegetarian dinner per week without losing flavor. We really like the blending of these flavors. You’ll never even miss the meat! Serves 4.

Try this with: Grapefruit and Avocado Salad


  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 cups broth, vegetable, low-sodium
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon each black pepper and oregano
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 summer squash, thinly sliced
  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced or diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat or blue cheese


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring broth and water to boil. Add lentils, garlic, black pepper and oregano. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, in a vegetable steamer, steam broccoli, summer squash onion, and carrots until tender.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil and mustard. Add all ingredients, except cheese, and toss until well coated.
  4. Sprinkle cheese on top.

Per serving: 358 calories, 22 gm protein, 43 gm carbohydrate, 13 gm fat, 4 gm sat, 6 gm mono, 11 mg cholesterol,18 gm fiber, 212 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Try this recipe using red lentils, which are a wonderful color, or French lentils, which are smaller, cook even faster, and hold their shape better.

Nutrition Goldmine: Lentils are an excellent source of folic acid and fiber, and broccoli and squash provide lutein.

Salmon Spread

This is an ode to canned salmon. Even friends from Alaska who fish all summer love this spread. And, in fact, we do try to use canned salmon from Alaska. Serves 8 as an appetizer.


  • 2 6-ounce cans boneless pink salmon, drained
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons capers, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons fat-free sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • cornichons, thinly sliced (optional garnish)


  1. Place all ingredients in bowl and mix with fork until spreadable.
  2. Place in serving dish and garnish with cornichons. Chill until serving.

Per serving: 68 calories, 9 gm protein, 1 gm carbohydrate, 3 gm fat, 1gm sat fat, 1 gm mono fat, 24 mg cholesterol, 0 gm fiber, 270 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Cornichons are petite pickles that add a tangy crunch to spreads and patés.

Tabouli Salad

There are certain standby recipes that everyone should have. Tabouli is one of them. Have this salad by itself or as a side. It really works well on a buffet table as well. Serves 4.


  • 1 cup whole wheat bulgur
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 scallions, finely diced
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup mint, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Bring water to boil. Stir in bulgur, cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Fluff grain with a fork.
  2. Combine chopped vegetables, scallions, parsley and mint and then add to cooled bulgur.
  3. Whisk lemon juice, olive oil and salt together. Pour over bulgur and vegetables and toss.
  4. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator in covered container.

Per serving: 230 calories, 5 gm protein, 31 gm carbohydrate, 11 gm fat, 1 gm sat, 8 gm mono,0 mg cholesterol, 8 gm fiber, 157 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Make sure the water is boiling before adding the bulgur. Add more mint for a zestier taste.

Unbelievable Chicken Curry Over Lentils

If you’re intimidated by curry, bolster your confidence with this recipe, served over lentils. (Don’t fret if the yogurt curdles; this won’t affect the flavor.) A member of the bean family, lentils are high in fiber and cook quickly. Brown rice can also be substituted for the lentils. Serves 4.

Simple lentils


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed


  1. Bring water to boil.
  2. Add lentils and garlic, cover pot and reduce to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until lentil are just tender.



  • Canola oil spray
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, crushed (approximately 3 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger root, crushed
  • ½ large onion, coarsely chopped (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled, cut into ½" cubes (approximately 2 cups)
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into ½" cubes (approximately 2 cups))
  • ½ large red pepper cut into strips
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup nonfat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder


  1. Spray large sauté pan with oil. Brown chicken and set aside.
  2. In same pan sauté garlic, ginger, and onion until onion is translucent, stirring often. Add to chicken.
  3. Deglaze the pan with 2 tablespoons of chicken stock and add to chicken.
  4. Spray pan with oil and sauté eggplant, zucchini, and red pepper about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender, stirring often. Add chicken mixture and remaining chicken stock. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from heat and add yogurt and curry powder, mix thoroughly and serve over lentils.

Per serving: 363 calories, 41 gm protein, 46 gm carbohydrate, 3 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 1 gm mono fat, 52 mg cholesterol, 20 gm fiber, 165 gm sodium

THE SEASONED COOK In this dish, we deglaze the pan in step 3 to save the ginger and garlic flavor that may stick to the pan. Asian curries are traditionally garnished with chutney, coconut, chopped parsley, green onions, and even finely chopped fruit.

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