6 Tasty Ways to Boost Heart Health
Many plant-based dishes are so tasty that no one will miss the meat. Low in fat and sugar and high in ingredients that promote heart health, 5 of the following 6 recipes are from Carol D’Anca, a board-certified nutrition practitioner and author of Real Food for Healthy People: A Recipe & Resource Guide, in Highland Park, Illinois.
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6 Recipes Your Heart Will Love
Leek, Lentil, mushroom and Potato Soup – Heart healthy, heart, low carb and delicious!
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Soup
● 3/4 Leeks
● 3 3/8 Cup of Vegetable Broth
- 1/4 cup shitake mushrooms
- 3/8 Cup of Lentils
● 3/4 Large Potato
● 3/4 Dash of Salt
● 3/4 Dash of Pepper
1. Cut the leek in half lengthways and wash well to re-move any dirt, cut into tiny slices (approx 1cm). Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for ap-prox 20 mins, stiring occasionally.
3. Season with salt and pepper to taste and blend until smooth, either in a blender, or in the pan with a hand held stick blender. If you want a slightly thinner soup you can add a little more water at this stage.
You can add any type of mushrooms you like. The benefits of mushrooms are endless. Read this post on the anti aging and detoxing potency of mushrooms.
- Serving Size: 3
- Calories: 569
- Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 110g
- Protein: 31g
Keywords: Plant based soup
Change Your Life Bread
This whole-grain, gluten-free, no-knead, no-mess bread contains flax, sunflower and chia seeds, hazelnuts, oats, coconut oil and maple syrup as a sweetener. Accompanying soup, it makes for a satisfying meal.
This recipe is adapted from “Change Your Life Bread” in D’Anca’s book My New Roots.
- Total Time: 60
Yields: One loaf
2 cups shelled raw sunflower seeds
1 cup whole flax seeds
1 cup blanched hazelnuts
3 cups rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats, if needed)
4 Tbsp chia seeds
6 Tbsp psyllium husks
Pinch fresh ground coarse salt, preferably Himalayan
2 Tbsp maple syrup
6 Tbsp coconut oil, liquefied at low temperature in a small pan
3 cups water
In a loaf pan lined with parchment, combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk maple syrup and water together in a measuring cup.
Add to the dry ingredients and mix until everything is soaked and dough becomes thick. If it’s too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until it’s manageable. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
Let it sit on the counter for at least two hours, or all day or overnight. When the dough retains its shape, even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan or lift the parchment, it’s ready to bake.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing.
Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well. For a quick and easy toast, slice before freezing.
The Life-Changing Loaf uses whole grains, nuts, and seeds. It is high in protein. It is incredibly high in fiber. It is gluten-free and vegan. Everything gets soaked for optimal nutrition and digestion.
I will go so far as to say that this bread is good for you.
Sixth, this bread makes the best toast. Ever.
Q & A:
To answer the number of questions about substitutions coming into the comments section, I will answer some here. Please be advised that I cannot guarantee any results beyond the recipe above. To help out, if you do make a successful substitution, let me know in the comments! Thanks!
1. There is no substitute for the psyllium husks. Whenever I write an entire article about a specific ingredient, it is because THAT is the point of the recipe, as it highlights one way you can use it. For those of you who can’t find psyllium, buy it online. It’s cheap.
2. For nut substitutions, the bulk of this bread is nuts and seeds so you’ll have to skip the recipe. If it is JUST a nut allergy and seeds are okay, replace the nuts with seeds.
3. You can use ground flax seeds instead of whole, but you’re going to need a lot more water as the ground flax seed is highly absorbent.
4. Substituting the oats with quinoa flakes may work, but again, they absorb a lot more water than oats do. Add more water accordingly.
5. Oats are inherently gluten-free, but if you have a sensitivity to gluten, make sure to purchase certified gluten-free oats.
6. For sugar-free or low-sugar diets, use a pinch stevia to replace the maple syrup.
7. A flexible, silicon loaf pan is best because you can test to see if the dough is holding together, and it’s easy to remove the loaf from the pan, BUT, a regular pan should be fine.
8. This bread is not raw. I haven’t tried drying it out. If you want to make it raw I suggest *trying* to slice it before you bake it and dehydrating the slices individually.
Keywords: Bread, psyllium
Heart Pleasing Pasta with Asparagus and Tomato Coulis
Pasta is guilt-free when we use a whole wheat variety that digests more slowly than white flour pasta, avoiding blood sugar spikes, D’Anca says. Gluten-free, grain-free or vegetable pasta can be substituted for whole grain pasta. Fresh asparagus is recommended. If it’s not in season, consider red chard for its bright red and green colors and abundance of vitamins K, A and C. It’s a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron and dietary fiber.
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
Yields: 6 servings for dinner or 8 as a smaller first course.
1 lb of your favorite whole grain pasta
3 large cloves garlic, roasted for about 25 minutes in their skins
3 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved – Use red, orange, yellow or a mix of colors
1½ Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 lb fresh asparagus, pencil thin is best (if not available, substitute red chard)
¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives
½ cup fresh basil
¼ cup white wine or white wine vinegar
Squeeze garlic from its skins into a large skillet. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is reduced and thickened to a sauce (coulis), about 20 to 30 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Drain the pasta well and place back in the pan. Add tomato coulis and olives. Toss well to infuse flavors. Let warm for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve at once.
Visit Food52.com for more vegan and gluten free recipes!
Keywords: pasta, tomato coulis, asparagus, heart healthy pasta
Roasted Chickpeas with Grilled Veggies
Chickpeas are a great source of fiber. Bell peppers, also known as sweet peppers, are available in white, orange, green and purple. Lycopene gives red tomatoes their color, may reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Yellow tomatoes have twice as much iron and zinc and higher levels of vitamin B and folate to help red blood cells. Darker tomatoes ranging from purple to black produce higher levels of antioxidants for a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Don’t overlook green tomatoes, which are higher in vitamin K and calcium than reds or yellows.
Yields: Serves two, or four if dished over quinoa
12 small mushrooms, sliced
2 ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 red bell pepper, cut in strips
1 yellow pepper, cut in strips
1 red onion, cut into wedges, or 1½ cups leeks, halved lengthwise, cleaned, and cut chiffonade-style
About 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
2, 14-oz cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Balsamic or white wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Put mushrooms, tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, onion and garlic in a large roasting pan. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables caramelize.
Remove the pan and turn the vegetables over. Add the chickpeas and rosemary and return to the oven. Roast for another 30 to 45 minutes until the edges of the vegetables start to turn dark and the chickpeas are browning.
Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, toss and serve warm as is or over quinoa.
Keywords: roasted chickpeas
Heart Healthy Black Bean/Veggie Burger
These burgers are good either oven baked or grilled, weather permitting. Offer toppings like baby spinach, salsa, nut cheese, pesto, fig jam, mango or slaw. Apple cider vinegar, dill, celery salt and agave nectar to taste makes a dressing for slaw. Thin slices of Granny Smith or Honey Crisp apples add a tang of tart or hint of sweetness.
1 16-oz can of black beans, drained, rinsed well and dried on a paper towel
½ red bell pepper, cut in large pieces
1 medium-size onion, cut in large pieces
1 Tbsp chili powder, mild or hot to taste
3 cloves of garlic, rough chopped
1 tsp black cumin
1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
3 Tbsp water
Approximately 1 cup bread crumbs (gluten-free if needed) to act as a binder
4 buns or bread of choice
Make a flax “egg” by mixing the ground flax seeds with the water. Let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes until it thickens to an egg consistency.
Place the bell pepper, onion and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth. Remove the mixture and drain in a fine sieve. Too much liquid will make the burgers fall apart.
Place black beans in the food processor and pulse to a thick, sticky consistency. Add the drained red pepper mixture, flax “egg”, cumin and chili spice. Process until lightly mixed.
Remove the burger mixture to a bowl. Add bread crumbs until you have a firm burger and form into patties.
Grill for 5 to 10 minutes, turning once, or bake in a 350° F oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 5 to 10 minutes on each side.
Keywords: black bean burger
Almond Butter and Raw Cacao Chocolate Truffles
Guilt-Free Chocolate Dessert
“Chocolate desserts usually include loads of sugar and butter, making them a highly processed and saturated-fat food,” says D’Anca. “These treats deliver the good fat of cacao nibs and the antioxidants of raw cacao.”
Yields: 12 servings
1 cup almond meal
½ cup almond butter
¼ cup raw cacao, organic
3 Tbsp grade B maple syrup
1 tsp organic vanilla
¼ cup raw almonds, ground
¼ cup raw cacao nibs, ground
Finely ground nuts like walnuts or hazelnuts, shredded coconut or raw cacao for texture and added flavor
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix them to a smooth batter. Chill the batter for about 20 minutes.
Roll into either bite-sized or larger balls to serve as is or roll in nuts, coconut or cacao for texture and added taste.
For more recipes and information about nutrition and heart health provided by D’Anca, visit FoodNotMeds.com.