Mindy Maziarz, PhD, RDN, LD, is a registered dietician and assistant professor for the department of nutrition and food sciences at Texas Woman’s University Institute of Health Sciences in Houston, Texas.
Three tips for cooking heart healthy:
- Use olive oil in place of butter, shortening, or lard when cooking. According to the PREDIMED study, following a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil showed improvement in cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes.
- Replace one beef meal each week with a baked, boiled, or grilled fish. Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, trout and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It is important to include at least two servings of fatty fish per week for heart health.The omega-3 fatty acids naturally found in fish are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These very long chain fatty acids are involved in blood clotting and other heart heathy mechanisms. Other sources of omega-3, such as flaxseed, include a fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid that must be converted by enzymes in our body to DHA and EPA. Some individuals are not as efficient at converting alpha-linolenic acid to DHA and EPA, so it is important to get marine sources of omega-3 fats.
- Add a handful of nuts to your diet. For breakfast, nuts can be sprinkled on oatmeal or Greek yogurt. An afternoon snack can include a handful of nuts with fruit. Nuts are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, selenium, and other important nutrients important for heart health.
Recipe #1: Heart Healthy Vegetable Lasagna
2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups peeled, chopped tomato
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup no-salt-added beef broth, undiluted
1 (6-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato paste
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (15-ounce) carton light ricotta cheese
1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
9 cooked lasagna noodles (cooked without salt or fat) – recommend 100% whole wheat varieties
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Add 2 tsp. olive oil to a Dutch oven; place over medium heat until hot. Add onion, green pepper, and garlic; sauté until tender. Add tomato and next 9 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Add spinach; simmer 5 minutes.
Position blade in food processor; add ricotta and cottage cheeses. Process. Stir in 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1 cup vegetable mixture into a 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with 3 noodles, one-third of remaining vegetable mixture, and half of cheese mixture. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining noodles and vegetable mixture. Cover and bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Bake 10 minutes.
Recipe #2: Oven Baked Salmon with Parmesan Herb Crust
1, 1.5 pound salmon filet
¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping tablespoon thyme, oregano, and rosemary
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 9×9 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place the salmon filet in baking pan.
- In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic, and herbs together. Drizzle olive oil over the mixture; stir. Add black pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the salmon filet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the salmon is cooked through and the crust is golden.
- Serve with roasted potatoes and asparagus.v