Heart Healthy Recipes that Bring on the Flavor

Heart Healthy Recipes that Bring on the Flavor

If you are a senior with coronary artery disease or any other heart issue, simply walking into the kitchen to choose what to eat can be challenging. How do you know what’s healthy and what’s not? What foods might help you live longer, and which ones could make your heart condition worse?

A look at the statistics shows why you might be concerned. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. It’s also the leading cause of death for most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. In other words, heart disease doesn’t discriminate – no one is immune to the possibility of developing coronary artery disease or experiencing a heart attack.

In fact, in the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds. And one in five of those are silent, meaning that while the damage has been done to the heart muscle, there were no discernable symptoms that would send that person to the emergency department.1

It’s important to note that if you are dealing with any issues concerning your heart, it’s a good idea to have a medical alert necklace on hand at all times. A medical alert device with fall detection is your constant companion, day or night, no matter where you are. These water-resistant models even protect you in the shower!

Recipes for a Healthier Heart

The National Institute of Aging reports that elderly adults are much more likely to have a heart attack or suffer from cardiovascular disease than younger individuals. Part of this is because of the normal aging process and how it affects the blood vessels and the heart.2

But there are ways that you can keep your vessels as healthy as possible, and much of that depends on your diet. Start by being aware of what you’re eating and limiting salt, saturated fats, and added sugars.

That might make you think that you’re sentenced to a life of bland food – but that doesn’t have to be the case! These recipes are loaded with flavor and can be so tasty that no one would ever know they are “lighter” versions of some decadent classics.

As you are working in the kitchen to make anything from a simple lunch for one to a dinner party for ten, wear a button alarm at all times. Accidents happen, and by simply pressing the 24/7 panic button, you can get any help you might need right away.

Heart-Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip

This dip has just enough “zing” to taste like the traditional recipe, but the addition of white beans to the mix makes this a much healthier option. It tastes so rich no one would ever imagine it’s the “skinny” version of this classic appetizer.

·        2 cups artichoke hearts (if canned, choose those packed in water)

·        1 ½ tsp. black pepper

·        4 cups spinach, chopped fine

·        1 tsp. dried thyme

·        3 tsp. minced garlic

·        1 tbsp. minced parsley

·        1 cup white beans, cooked soft

·        2 tbsps. grated parmesan cheese

·        ¼ cup no-fat sour cream

·        ¼ cup no-fat cream cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Blend all ingredients well and pour into a ceramic pie dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly. Serve with whole-grain crackers or crunchy veggies.

Marinated Cheesy Mushrooms

This is ideal for an appetizer or a meal all on its own. If you want to change things up a bit, substitute thyme or any other seasoning for the rosemary. You can also opt for a different type of cheese, such as Asiago.

·        1 package small portabella mushrooms, stemmed and cleaned

·        ½ cup balsamic vinegar

·        1 tbsp. brown sugar

·        ¼ tsp. dried rosemary, chopped fine

·        2 tsps. minced garlic

·        ½ cup grated provolone cheese

Heat the broiler to low and position the oven rack about four inches below it. Coat a ceramic or glass dish with cooking spray and place the mushrooms in the dish, the cupped sides up to hold the filling.

Whisk the vinegar, brown sugar, rosemary, and garlic together in a medium bowl. Pour the mixture over the mushrooms and let it sit for 10 minutes or so to marinate and soak up the flavors.

Broil the mushrooms until they are tender, about five minutes. Pull the mushrooms from the oven, sprinkle the grated cheese on top, and broil for another two minutes or until the cheese melts. Watch the mushrooms closely so the cheese doesn’t burn!

Cranberry Orange Muffins

This classic muffin recipe gets a heart-healthy update with yogurt, orange juice concentrate, and whole wheat flour. If you’re feeling a little crunchy, sprinkle finely chopped pecans on the muffins right before baking.

·        8 ounces fat-free vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt

·        2 large eggs

·        ¼ cup canola oil

·        ¼ cup granulated sugar

·        ½ cup brown sugar

·        2 tbsps. orange juice concentrate (no sugar added)

·        2 tbsps. orange zest

·        2 tsps. vanilla extract

·        1 cup whole wheat flour

·        1 cup all-purpose flour

·        1 tsp. baking soda

·        1 tsp. baking powder

·        1/8 tsp. salt

·        1 tsp. cinnamon

·        1 ½ cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray or use muffin cup liners.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, eggs, sugars, orange juice concentrate, zest, and vanilla. Lightly and gradually incorporate the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon by hand. Then use the mixer on low, for about two minutes, to incorporate everything well. Fold in the cranberries with a spatula.

Pour ¼ cup of batter into each muffin tin and bake for 22 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Balsamic Chicken

This feeds a family and takes very little prep time. Serve alongside sautéed veggies and whole-wheat rolls for a well-rounded and easy meal.

·        1 whole chicken (3-4 pounds)

·        1 tbsp. fresh rosemary

·        1 garlic clove, minced

·        1 tbsp. olive oil

·        A healthy dash of black pepper

·        The remaining sprigs of rosemary

·        ½ cup balsamic vinegar

·        2 tsps. brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Loosen the chicken skin from the flesh, taking care not to tear it. Blend the rosemary, garlic, and olive oil in a small bowl, then rub the flesh with the mixture until well-coated. Sprinkle the black pepper all over the chicken. Place the rosemary sprigs in the chicken cavity.

Roast the chicken in a large roasting pan for about 20 minutes per pound, or until a thermometer inserted in the chicken reads at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Baste the chicken frequently with the pan juices to keep it moist.

When the chicken is browned, remove it from the oven. Remove the skin and discard. Carve the chicken into pieces and place on a serving platter.

Blend the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Heat until the sugar melts but before the mixture boils. Pour the mixture over the chicken and serve immediately.

Five-Spice Pork Tenderloin

Don’t think you have five-spice powder in the cupboard? You just might! Blend together ½ tsp. each of crushed fennel seed or star anise, ground pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.

For the marinade:

·        2 tbsps. low-sodium soy sauce

·        3 green spring onions, minced, including whites and tops

·        3 garlic cloves, minced fine

·        1 tbsp. olive oil

·        1 tsp. five-spice powder

For the tenderloin:

·        1 pound pork tenderloin, well-trimmed

·        1 tbsp. olive oil

·        ½ cup water

·        ¼ cup dry white wine

·        ½ cup yellow onion, minced

·        ½ head of green cabbage, sliced very thin

·        1 tbsp. dried parsley

Start this recipe the day before you intend to serve it.

Make the marinade by blending all ingredients in a resealable bag. Add the tenderloin and turn it to coat it thoroughly. Close the bag and marinate the tenderloin overnight, turning it occasionally.

When you’re ready to cook the meal, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the pork from the marinade. Pat it dry gently, making sure it is still moist. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, ovenproof frying pan (this pan will go directly into the oven). Add the pork and sear it on all sides. Pour the water into the pan. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook the tenderloin until an instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. (The cooking time will depend upon how big the tenderloin is.)

Transfer the pork to a serving platter while you make the side dish.

Place the pan over medium-high heat. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits. Add the yellow onion and cook until just tender. Add the cabbage and a dash of water. Stir well, lower the heat, and simmer until the cabbage is wilted. Add more water along the way if you need to.

Thinly slice the tenderloin and serve it over the wilted cabbage.

Philly Chicken Cheesesteaks

Turn “heart-healthy” into “decadent” with this recipe that gets a boost from healthier cheddar cheese and lots of veggies.

·        6 ounces shaved chicken

·        ½ green pepper, sliced thin

·        ½ onion, sliced thin

·        ½ cup mushrooms, sliced thin

·        ¼ cup cheddar cheese, grated

·        2 whole wheat hoagie buns

·        2 tsps. no-fat Italian dressing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large frying pan, sauté the peppers, onions, and mushrooms until they soften. Add the chicken and sauté it until no longer pink but still tender.

Open the hoagies and arrange them in a glass baking dish that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray. Spread the Italian dressing over the top and bottom half of the hoagies, then top each bottom bun with ½ of the chicken mixture and ½ of the cheese. Bake the hoagies until the cheese has melted, which should take only a few minutes.

Staying Healthy With the Right Diet

These recipes are great to get you started. Did you know there are whole diet plans dedicated to keeping your heart healthy? Two of those are the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet (“DASH” stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). These two diets are quite similar; take a look to decide which one might be right for you.

While you are keeping your heart healthy, why not take steps to make sure the rest of you is healthy too? Senior alert systems can summon help at the press of a button, 24/7. If you have a heart ailment, make sure you are protected by getting a medical alarm today.