5 Heart-Healthy Recipes

The truth about healthy eating is that everyone should indulge. Unfortunately, it never seems to work that way for many people, at least until their heart doctor puts them on a strict diet filled with fish, whole grains, and low sodium.

Here are a handful of recipes that are heart-smart in their ingredients, portions, and the way they’re prepared. Best of all, they’re delicious and great for anyone’s daily diet. Bon appétit!

Crispy Potato Skins

(http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-recipes/NU00386)

Ingredients

• 2 medium russet potatoes
• Butter-flavored cooking spray
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions
• Preheat the oven to 375 F.
• Wash the potatoes and pierce with a fork. Place in the oven and bake until the skins are crisp, about 1 hour.
• Carefully — potatoes will be very hot — cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the pulp, leaving about 1/8 inch of the potato flesh attached to the skin. Save the pulp for another use.
• Spray the inside of each potato skin with butter-flavored cooking spray. Press in the rosemary and pepper. Return the skins to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

• Calories 114
• Sodium 12 mg
• Total fat 0 g
• Total carbohydrate 27 g
• Saturated fat 0 g
• Dietary fiber 4 g
• Monounsaturated fat 0 g
• Protein 2 g
• Cholesterol 0 mg

This delicious recipe is particularly good for anyone concerned about the health of their heart because of the lack of fat and cholesterol. The total carb count is great for natural energy and the low sodium with make anyone’s heart doctor happy with this great snack.

Honey-Soy Broiled Salmon

(http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/honey_soy_salmon.html)

Ingredients

• 1 scallion, minced
• 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
• 1 pound center-cut salmon fillet, skinned (see Tip) and cut into 4 portions
• 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, (see Tip)

Directions

• Whisk scallion, soy sauce, vinegar, honey and ginger in a medium bowl until the honey is dissolved. Place salmon in a sealable plastic bag, add 3 tablespoons of the sauce and refrigerate; let marinate for 15 minutes. Reserve the remaining sauce.
• Preheat broiler. Line a small baking pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
• Transfer the salmon to the pan, skinned-side down. (Discard the marinade.) Broil the salmon 4 to 6 inches from the heat source until cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes. Drizzle with the reserved sauce and garnish with sesame seeds.

Tips and Notes

• How to skin a salmon fillet: Place skin-side down. Starting at the tail end, slip a long knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.
• To toast sesame seeds, heat a small dry skillet over low heat. Add seeds and stir constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

• 234 calories
• 13g fat (3g saturated, 5g mono)
• 67mg cholesterol
• 6g carbohydrates
• 4g added sugars
• 23g protein
• 0g fiber
• 335mg sodium
• 444mg potassium.

Heart doctors, nutritionists, and dieticians have always placed salmon atop the list of heart-healthy foods. In addition to being low in calories, fat, and cholesterol, salmon is a good way to get selenium, which is an excellent source of omega-3, an essential fatty acid our bodies cannot synthesize or otherwise produce on their own.

Hummus Dip

(http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dave-lieberman/hummus-dip-recipe/index.html)

Ingredients

• 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed, plus more for garnish
• 1/2 lemon, juiced
• 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled
• 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon dark Asian sesame oil
• 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 12 to 15 grinds black pepper
• 1/4 cup water
• Paprika, for garnish

Directions

• In a blender combine all the ingredients except the parsley and paprika to be used for garnish. Blend on low speed until smooth.
• You’ll have to stop the blender often to push down the ingredients. If the mixture is too dry and you’re having trouble blending it, add a few more tablespoons of olive oil to help things along.
• Scrape the hummus onto a plate. Sprinkle the paprika over the top, drizzle lightly with olive oil, scatter some parsley on top, and serve.
• You can make the hummus up to a couple of hours before you serve it.
• Cover the top with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

• Calories 57
• Total Fat 4 grams
• Saturated Fat 0.5 grams
• Protein 1 gram
• Total carbohydrates 5 grams
• Sugar 0 grams
• Fiber 1 gram
• Cholesterol 0 milligrams
• Sodium 96 milligrams

This delicious dish combines the goodness of dietary fiber, low calories, a minuscule amount of sodium and no cholesterol whatsoever, making this a heart-healthy snack your cardiologist will approve of you having as often as you’d like.

Asian Spinach Salad with Orange and Avocado

(http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/healthy/nutritiousdishes/romantic/recipes/food/views/Asian-Spinach-Salad-with-Orange-and-Avocado-241325)

Ingredients
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
• 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon (generous) Asian sesame oil
• 1 navel orange
• 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach leaves
• 1 Pinkerton or Fuerte avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

Directions

• Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl.
• Season to taste with salt and pepper.
• Set dressing aside.
• Cut off peel and white pith from orange.
• Cut orange into 1/3-inch rounds; cut rounds crosswise in half.
• Add spinach to dressing; toss to coat.
• Add avocado and orange; toss gently.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

• Calories 153 (% Calories from Fat 66)
• Fat 11g
• Saturated Fat 1g
• Cholesterol 0
• Carbohydrates 14g
• Dietary Fiber 6g
• Total Sugar 3.5g
• Net Carbs 8g
• Protein 2.5g

This salad is made some of the most efficient, heart-healthy foods available anywhere. Spinach is an excellent source of iron and fiber, both extremely important in any diet, and the fruits provide vitamins and minerals that give us that full feeling, helping us to avoid overeating. Avocados are a great source of healthy fat as well. Try this salad for lunch on a hot summer day and enjoy the cool, fresh splash of citrus and the zip of rice vinegar and sesame oil, all while knowing you’re giving your body something good.

Blueberry Tarts

(http://my.hearthealthyonline.com/recipe/pies/easy-blueberry-tarts/)

Ingredients

• Nonstick cooking spray
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/4 cup water
• 1 cup fresh blueberries
• 1 cup fresh raspberries
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 4 sheets frozen phyllo dough (9 x14-inch rectangles), thawed

Directions

• Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
• Lightly coat four 4x2x1/2-inch rectangular tart pans that have removable bottoms with cooking spray; set aside.
• In a small saucepan stir together 2 tablespoons sugar, the cornstarch, and cayenne pepper. Stir in water and half of the blueberries.
• Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Fold in remaining blueberries and the raspberries; set aside.
• In small bowl stir together 1 tablespoon sugar and the cinnamon.
• Place one sheet of phyllo on cutting board. Lightly coat with cooking spray; sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon sugar mixture.
• Repeat layering with remaining phyllo and sugar mixture, ending with cooking spray.
• With a sharp knife, cut phyllo stack in half lengthwise and crosswise, forming four rectangles.
• Ease rectangles into prepared tart pans.
• Bake for 8 minutes or until phyllo is golden brown. Cool slightly; remove shells from pans.
• Spoon filling into shells just before serving. Serve warm or cool.
• Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving
• Calories 131
• Carbohydrates 29g
• Total fat 1g
• Dietary fiber 3g
• Monosaturated fat 1g
• Total sugar 14g
• Sodium 93mg
• Potassium 90mg

This easy-to-make dessert is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The two different berries offer contrasting flavors and are both have natural sugars to give you the energy you need. This dessert is very low in sodium and calories, and will complement any light, heart-healthy meal you set on your table.

Heart-healthy Ingredients

(http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/healthyeating/ingre.aspx)

Herbs and Spices

Not only do herbs and spices add flavor and seasoning to meals, they’re a great addition to any heart-healthy diet. Here is a list that should be in your spice rack:

• Basil
• Ground black pepper
• Cayenne pepper
• Chili powder
• Cilantro
• Cinnamon
• Coriander
• Crushed red pepper
• Cumin
• Garlic
• Ginger
• Mint
• Nutmeg
• Oregano
• Paprika and smoked paprika
• Parsley
• Rosemary
• Salt-free seasoning mix
• Tarragon
• Thyme

Condiments, Sauces, and Other Seasonings

Like herbs and spices, condiments and sauces add flavor, contrast certain textures and, if used properly, add little in the way of sodium calories, cholesterol, and other negatives. Here’s a great list you can add to enhance some of your dishes, when appropriate:

• Canned tomatoes, no salt added
• Capers
• Dijon mustard
• Fish sauce
• Honey
• Lemon juice
• Lime juice
• Low-sodium broth or stock including chicken, beef, and vegetable
• Light soy sauce
• Light teriyaki sauce
• Salsa or reduced-sodium taco sauce
• Spaghetti sauce, no salt added
• Vinegar including apple cider, balsamic red wine, and rice

Oils and Fats

Oils and fats are essential to our diets, even heart-smart diets. The trick, of course, comes in the types you use. Choose oils and other fat sources that contain low levels of unsaturated fats and avoid trans fats at all cost. Here are some great sources for your diet:

• Cooking spray (olive oil or vegetable oil)
• Nut oil that are good for your heart are peanut, and sesame
• Soft tub margarine
• Vegetable oil low in saturated fat include safflower, canola, corn, and olive

Nuts, Seeds, and Beans

Any healthy diet includes daily servings of nuts, seeds, and beans. They are excellent sources of abundant protein and fiber, and are low in saturated fat. Here are some you should consider adding to your daily routine:

• Low-sodium canned beans including black, kidney, pinto, chick peas, and cannellini
• Dried lentils
• Unsalted nuts that include almonds, pine nuts, and walnuts

Whole Grains

Not only are whole grains a critical part of any diet, they’re an excellent source of energy and dietary fiber. They’ll gussy up any meal and should be used as your source for carbs, fibers, and flavor. Feel free to use these as a regular part of your daily diet:

• Brown rice
• Whole-wheat couscous
• Quinoa
• Whole-wheat pasta
• Whole-wheat tortillas

What’s your favorite heart-healthy recipe?

About the Author

Lisa has been attempting to become a more healthy chef after discovering that healthy food can also be delicious. When she isn’t making heart healthy recipes for her family, she is a full time blogger for Satellitetv.com.