Heart Healthy Recipes

Monday, February 01, 2021
Heart Healthy Recipes
Photo thanks to veggiesociety.com.

Almost half of the adults in America have high blood pressure.  One of the most important things to do when managing high blood pressure and other heart conditions is to eat a balanced diet with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean protein sources. Prairie Lakes Healthcare System's Registered Dietitians through Sodexo have helpful tips for following a heart-healthy diet and some delicious recipes that follow their recommendations.

  •  Choose heart-healthy unsaturated fats and limit saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol intake.
    • Choose foods with less than 5 grams of total fat per serving and try to pick foods with heart-healthy fats including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
    • Unsaturated fats may help lower blood cholesterol levels when used in place of saturated fat in the diet.
    • Limit saturated fat by choosing foods with less than 2 grams per serving and 0 grams of trans fat.
  •  Eat whole, unprocessed foods to limit the amount of sodium in your diet.
    • Limit sodium from food and beverages to 1,500-2,000 milligrams per day.
    • The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day and moving toward an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 milligrams per day for most adults.
    • Selecting foods with 140 milligrams of sodium or less per serving ensures you are choosing low sodium options.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation: one serving per day (women) and two servings per day (men).
    • One serving is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.


Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Marinara and Turkey Meatballs
American Heart Association
Servings 6

  • Ingredients (Marinara Sauce)
    • 14 oz. canned, no-salt-added, or, low-sodium, sliced carrots
    • 4 oz. packaged, frozen pepper stir-fry (onions and peppers) (thawed)
    • 1 medium zucchini (chopped)
    • 4 clove fresh garlic (minced) OR 2 tsp. jarred, minced garlic
    • 52 oz. cubed, no-salt-added, or, low-sodium tomato (crushed)
    • 2 tsp. salt-free, dried Italian spice blend
  • Directions: (Marinara Sauce)
    • In a large pot (not over any heat yet), add carrots. Use a fork or potato masher to mash. Add stir-fry vegetables, zucchini, garlic, crushed tomatoes, and spice blend.
    • Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low so sauce is simmering.
  • Ingredients (Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs)
    • 1 lb. extra-lean or fat-free ground turkey breast(95%-99% lean)
    • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
    • 1/2 cup whole-grain cereal flakes (crushed, optional)
    • 1 lb. whole-wheat spaghetti
  • Directions: (Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs)
    • In a bowl, combine turkey, pepper, cereal and parsley. Form meat mixture into golf-size meatballs to make about 20 to 25 meatballs.
    • Add meatballs into the simmering sauce, trying to get the majority of meatballs covered by sauce. Cover and cook until meatballs are cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes.
    • Make spaghetti according to package directions (omitting the salt and fat). Serve with marinara and meatballs.
  • Nutrition Facts
    • 487 calories
    • 3g fat
    • 1g saturated fat
    • 160 mg sodium
    • 311 mg potassium
    • 87g carbohydrates
    • 16g fiber
    • 17g sugar
    • 36g protein


Tailgate Chili
From: American Heart Association
Servings 4

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 lb. 95% lean ground beef(or ground white meat chicken or turkey for a healthier option)
    • 1 medium onion (chopped)
    • 1 medium green bell pepper (chopped)
    • 1 medium jalapeño(optional, only if you like spicy chili), chopped
    • 4 clove minced, fresh garlic OR 2 tsp. jarred, minced garlic
    • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
    • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
    • 5 oz. canned, no-salt-added or low-sodium pinto or kidney beans, rinsed, drained
    • 5 oz. canned, no-salt-added, or, low-sodium, diced tomatoes (undrained)
    • 3/4 cup jarred salsa(lowest sodium available)
  • Directions:
    • Spray large saucepan with cooking spray. Cook beef and onion over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly to break up beef. Transfer to colander and rinse with water to drain excess fat. Return beef to pan.
    • Stir in bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, and cumin, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
    • Optional – serve topped with low-fat grated cheese, a dollop of fat-free sour cream, sliced avocado, snipped cilantro or chopped green onions.
  • Nutrition Facts
    • 300 calories
    • 6g fat
    • 3g saturated fat
    • 288 mg sodium
    • 126 mg potassium
    • 29g carbohydrates
    • 7g fiber
    • 8g sugar
    • 31g protein


Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken with Grilled Asparagus
From: American Heart Association
Servings: 4

  • Ingredients:
    • 1/4 cup tequila
    • 2 teaspoons lime zest
    • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice(about 4 to 6 limes)
    • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
    • 1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle pepper+ 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
    • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (all visible fat discarded)
    • 3 bunches asparagus spears, ends removed
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (divided)
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Directions:
    • Into a small bowl, add tequila, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce. Add chicken into a large Ziploc bag along with the marinade. Seal the bag, place in the refrigerator, and let marinate anywhere from 2 to 12 hours.
    • To cook, prepare the grill to medium-high heat. Coat the grates with nonstick cooking spray
    • Snap the bottom inch off each asparagus and discard ends. Add asparagus to a large dish, along with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and oil. Mix to combine.
    • Remove chicken from marinade, discarding the marinade and wiping most of it off the chicken. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place on the grill; cook until chicken is done, about 8 to 12 minutes and registering 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.
    • Add asparagus to the grill, placing asparagus spears in the opposite direction of the grates (or alternatively, use a grilling basket). Grill until tender, about 7 minutes.
    • Serve the asparagus with the reserved chicken.
  • Nutrition Facts
    • 340 calories
    • 12g fat
    • 2g saturated fat
    • 455mg sodium
    • 94g potassium
    • 15g carbohydrate
    • 7g fiber
    • 7g sugar
    • 44 g protein


Grilled Cod with Crispy Citrus Salad
From: Mayo Clinic 
Servings: 2

  • Ingredients:
    • 8 ounces cod
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped spinach
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded kohlrabi
    • 1 cup diced celery
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 4 large cloves) or to taste
    • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • Zest and juice of 1 lime
    • Zest and juice of 1 orange
    • 1 large grapefruit cut into segments (about 1 cup)
    • 1 medium orange cut into segments (about 1/2 cup)
    • Black pepper to taste
  • Directions:
    • Spray a grill or broiler pan with cooking spray. Turn on grill or heat broiler. Place cod on grill or broiler pan and brush lightly with oil.
    • Grill or broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for about 10 minutes — or until fish flakes easily with a fork. The fish should reach an internal temperature of 145 F. Set aside.
    • In a large bowl, toss together remaining ingredients except for grapefruit and orange segments. Divide salad between two plates. Top with cod and citrus pieces and black pepper to taste.
  • Nutrition Facts
    • 412 calories
    • 12g fat
    • 2g saturated fat
    • 219mg sodium
    • 1450 mg potassium
    • 45g carbohydrates
    • 13g fiber
    • 26g sugar
    • 26g protein


(Vegan) Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
From: Veggie Society
Servings 4

  • Ingredients
    • 1 large cauliflower
    • 4 Tbsp olive oil
    • 5 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 5 tsp smoked paprika
    • Sea salt to taste (~2tsp)
  • Instructions
    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Cut the Cauliflower steaks
    • Remove leaves from around the stem and trim the bottom. Place cauliflower head on a cutting board with the stem facing upwards. Use a large sharp knife to cut straight through the middle.  Slice 1.5” thick steaks (should be able to cut 4 “steaks” from large head of cauliflower. Reserve the florets that fall apart to roast together with the steaks or use in soups or mashed potatoes
    • In a small dish, combine the olive oil, garlic and onion powder, and smoked paprika
    • Brush each cauliflower steak on both sides with the olive oil mixture and sprinkle generously with sea salt and black pepper all over
    • Use the remaining oil and spice mix to brush any lose cauliflower florets and season with salt and pepper
    • Place seasoned cauliflower steaks and florets on a large baking sheet without touching each other
    • Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and soften to your liking
  • Notes: You can marinate “steaks” in Ziploc bag or bowl with sauce instead of brushing
  • Nutrition Facts (per nutrient analysis on recipe website)
    • 169 calories
    • 15g fat
    • 2g saturated fat
    • 45 mg sodium
    • 471mg potassium
    • 13g carbohydrate
    • 3g fiber
    • 3g sugar
    • 5g protein


Low Fat Sweet Potato Chocolate Pudding
From: Simple Vegan Blog
Serves 3

  • Ingredients
    • 1 pound sweet potatoes (450 g)
    • 1 cup plant milk of choice (250 ml)
    • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (40g)
    • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
    • 8 Deglet Nour or 4 Medjool dates
  • Instructions
    • Wash, peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Steam them for about 25 minutes or until they’re soft
    • When they’re cold, place them in a blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth
    • You can serve the pudding immediately or chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour
    • Optional: add chopped pistachios and cacao nibs on top (not included in nutrient analysis)
  • Nutrition Facts
    • 233 calories
    • 3g fat
    • 1g saturated fat
    • 119mg sodium
    • 858mg potassium
    • 51g carbohydrates
    • 10g fiber
    • 18g sugar
    • 7g protein


Written by Registered Dietitians
Last modified on Monday, February 01, 2021