Having a husband who had two heart attacks and a bypass before the age of 40, I’m always looking for recipes that are considered Heart Healthy. I’ve found quite a few on the Mayo Clinic website and there are a few other recipe sites that are designated to people with heart issues. Low salt content is what I first look for, then after that it’s the amount of fat, cholesterol, and sugar; in that order. I looked through all of my recipes to find 7 heart healthy recipes to share with you. These are tasty and good for you, even if you don’t have a heart condition.
7. Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix
Photo Credit: Marie310
My husband is a big snacker, so I constantly have to make sure he hasn’t snuck in something loaded with salt. He loves Chex Mix and I’ve found other snack mixes that are lower in sodium and not as bad for him. This snack mix recipe is rather spicy, which seems to hold his attention well. Take two cans of chick peas and rinse the beans. Once they are drained and patted dry you’ll have to heat them in a skillet for about 10 minutes. Be sure to lightly spray the skillet and keep the heat around medium. Pour the beans on a sprayed baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes at 350. You’ll have to turn them often to make sure all sides are roasted. Add the beans to 2 cups of Wheat Chex or another type of cereal with the wheat waffle-shaped pieces in it. Add two cups of dried fruit of your choice. I like to mix raisins and apricots or raisins and pineapple, since these are about the only dried fruits my husband seems to like. Mix together a half of a teaspoon of chili powder, a teaspoon of garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of honey and of low-salt Worcestershire sauce. Pour this concoction over the cereal and fruit mix, toss gently, and bake for 15 minutes more at 350.
6. Buckwheat Pancakes
Photo Credit: Vegan Noodle
Anytime you can substitute egg whites for whole eggs, it’s going to degrees the amount of cholesterol in a recipe. For this pancake recipe, I not only use egg whites, but I also mix buckwheat flour with wheat flour. This combination seems to make the pancakes not as heavy as when I use all buckwheat flour. Whisk 2 egg whites with a tablespoon of canola oil and a half cup of soy or skim milk. Combine a half cup of each; buckwheat and whole wheat flour. To the flour mix you’ll need to add a tablespoon of stevia or sugar – your choice – and a tablespoon of baking powder. Slowly add the egg mix and a half cup of water to the dry ingredients. Stir until moist and cook pancakes over medium heat. Of course topping these lovely pancakes with caramel colored corn syrup (aka pancake syrup) isn’t as healthy as putting fruit on top or using real maple syrup.
5. Buttermilk Biscuits
Photo Credit: goodlife.eats
Biscuits and gravy are a breakfast favorite of not only my husband, but the kids and I as well. I prefer to make biscuits from scratch because I have yet to find a brand of canned biscuits that fluff up the way scratch biscuits do. Combine a cup of wheat flour, three-fourths cup of white flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, a half a teaspoon of baking soda, 3 tablespoons wheat germ, and a quarter teaspoon of No Salt or another type of salt substitute. To this mix add 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter that has been chilled and diced into tiny bits. Cut the butter into the mix until you have a course meal and add the buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate this mix for 30 minutes, then knead the dough, cut out the biscuits and bake them at 400 degrees for around 10 minutes. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, which I never do, you can mix white vinegar and skim or low-fat milk together and it works perfectly as a substitute. To make a cup of ‘buttermilk’ pour a tablespoon of vinegar in the measuring cup and then fill the rest of the cup with milk.
Photo Credit: haley. s
Most people think of cheesecake as being a rich and high fat dessert. This recipe is for a low-fat cheesecake that is just as yummy. It’s easier if you have a blender for this recipe, but a mixer will do. In a blender combine a packet of unflavored gelatin, 2 tablespoons of each; lemon juice and water. Blend on low for a couple of minutes. Add a half cup of very hot skim milk (this milk should be heated to the point right below boiling) and blend until all is mixed. Add 2 egg whites or egg substitute, a quarter cup sugar or sugar substitute, a teaspoon of vanilla or almond, and 2 cups of low-fat cottage cheese. Blend all of this on high until very smooth and pour into a 9 inch pie plate. It takes around 3 hours for the cheesecake to be firm enough to serve.
3. Curried Pork Tenderloin
Photo Credit: calamity_hane
If you don’t like pork, this recipe is excellent with chicken as well. The ingredients from this recipe are used to prepare 16 ounces of tenderloin, so just substitute at least that much chicken. Cut pork into at least 6 pieces and season with one and half tablespoons of curry powder. Let the meat set for about 15 minutes. Cook the tenderloin in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil; brown on both sides. I usually cook these about 5 minutes on each side. Take the meat out of the skillet and add in 2 chopped red onions and cook until soft. To the onions, add a cup and a half of apple cider and simmer until the liquid goes down by half in volume. Stir together a tablespoon of cornstarch with a half cup of apple cider and pour into the skillet. Add a chopped up apple to this mix and stir until it begins to get thick. Put the meat back into the skillet and simmer everything for about 5 minutes.
2. Honey Crusted Chicken
Photo Credit: Sergey Kovalyov
I always have a bag of frozen chicken in the freezer, which comes in handy for this recipe. I buy the skinless strips of chicken, that why I don’t have to waste time cutting them up and they cook quicker too. You can use larger pieces of chicken for this recipe if you like. The cracker mix will cover up to 2 boneless chicken breasts that are around 4 ounces each. Heat the oven to 375 before starting anything else. Crush up 8 soda crackers (I use the ones with unsalted tops, but the choice is up to you). Add a teaspoon of paprika and a little bit of powdered garlic and onions to the cracker crumbs. Coat the chicken with 4 to 6 teaspoons of honey and then roll the sticky pieces of meat in the crumbs. Place the coated chicken in a baking dish that has had cooking spray applied and bake for 25 minutes.
1. Turkey Soup
Photo Credit: imaginethat
I use this recipe each time we have a turkey carcass left over. It’s a great way to use up the tiny portions of meat leftover on the carcass, instead of letting them go to waste. Put the carcass in a large pot and add12 cups of water. For a richer flavor, you can add 4 cups of water and 8 cups of low-salt chicken broth. Chop up 4 large onions and add these to the stock pot as well. Bring the turkey and onions to a boil and then simmer for an hour. Strain off the liquid and save. It’s best if you can let this set overnight, in order to be able to skim the fat off of the liquid. Return the liquid to the large pot and add a cup of celery, 4 carrots, a cup of turnip, a cup of zucchini, and a quarter cup of pearl barley. I also like to add a can of diced tomatoes with Italian spices and a can of pinto beans. You can add in extra chunks of turkey and any other types of spices you like. Fresh parsley and basil are a great addition to this soup.
Maybe you’ll find that one of these 7 heart healthy recipes is something you’d like to try. I usually follow the directions on a recipe the first time around and then alter it to my own taste the next time. I find that recipes are more of a guideline to lead me, but I’m free to change it up along the way if I want. Do you have any heart healthy recipes you’d like to share?
Top Photo Credit: Pretentious Cupcake