As we prepare for Heart month in February, remember to take care of your Valentine’s heart. Adopting some Mediterranean diet attributes could be very helpful and delicious. There is more to the Mediterranean Diet than just food, it is a way of life that includes diet, activity, and the social habits from the population residing in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The Heart Study and the Lyons Diet Heart Study tested the diet benefits. The American Heart Association Science Advisory strongly recommended the adoption of the Mediterranean-style diet in the US in 2001.The diet emphasizes the consumption of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fish and plant foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Food sources of omega 3 polyunsaturated fat include green leafy vegetables, dark chocolate, soybean/canola oil, flax seed, flax oil, chia seeds and omega 3 eggs. Here is a recipe I prepared for my event with Dr. Whitney, Cardiologist from BryanHeart.
Curtis Stone’s Lentil Soup with Vegetables Serves 6
All you need:
½ cup lentils
1 ¼ cup vegetable stock, to puree the lentils (generous) Kitchen Basics
2 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 ½ celery stalks, diced
3 shallots, peeled and diced
1 leek, white only, diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 cup lentils
5 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 fresh thyme sprig
8 leaves of kale, thinly sliced or cabbage
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Croutons to garnish
All you do:
For the Puree:
- Place the lentils and the generous 1 ¼ cups/325 ml stock in a large saucepan and cook over a low heat until all the liquid has evaporated and the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, transfer the lentils to a blender and process, adding enough extra stock as needed, until smooth.
- Set the puree aside until required.
For the soup:
- Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the carrots, celery, shallots, leek and garlic and sweat for 5 minutes or until the cabbage is cooked.
- Add the lentils, bay leaf and thyme and the measured water and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 25 minutes, or until lentils are soft.
- Skim any impurities from the surface of the soup, add the kale. Cook for a another 5 minutes or until the kale is cooked.
- Check the seasoning, add the reserved puree, garnish with croutons and serve.
Nutrition facts per serving: 160 calories, 5 g fat, .5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 270 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrates,6 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 7 g protein. Daily values: 220% vitamin A, 100% vitamin C, 10% calcium, 20% iron.
I like the flavors and spices of the region like olive oil, feta cheese, oregano, tomatoes, garlic and olives. Here is a recipe for your grilled chicken or fish.
Mediterranean Chicken Serves 8
All you need:
2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash tomato basil or original (Aisle 5)
• 4 tablespoons non-fat plain yogurt (Dairy)
• ½ teaspoon Hy-Vee ground coriander (Aisle 5)
• 1/8 teaspoon Hy-Vee black pepper (Aisle 5)
• 1½ pounds Smart Chicken boneless, skinless breast or (Meat)
¾-inch thick yellow fin tuna steaks (8-3 ounce portions)
• Hy-Vee no-stick cooking spray (Aisle 5)
• 1½ cups chopped seeded tomato (2 small tomatoes) (Produce)
• 1/4 cup chopped green onions (Produce)
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (Produce)
• 1 tablespoon capers, drained (Aisle 3)
• 1 tablespoon Grand Selections extra virgin olive oil (Aisle 4)
• 2 tablespoon Hy-Vee lemon juice (Produce)
• 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic (Produce)
• 12 chopped pitted Hy-Vee kalamata olives (Aisle 3)
All you do:
1. In a large bowl, combine Mrs. Dash, yogurt, coriander and pepper. Add chicken or fish pieces and coat chicken well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken or fish to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
3. While chicken or fish cooks, combine tomato, green onions, parsley, capers, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and olives. Serve tomato mixture over chicken or fish.
Adapted from Michelle Powers, Cooking Light JULY 2005
Nutrition Facts per serving: 130 calories, 4g fat, 0g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 240 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 21 g protein. Daily values: 8% vitamin A, 15% vitamin C, 2% calcium, 10 % iron
Becky and Dr. Whitney cooking up a storm in this photo.
The following recipe is a great mixture of vegetables and would be perfect for a lunch.
All you need:
1 red onion, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
1 eggplant, sliced
1 can black beans, no salt added
1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 whole grain tortillas or 4 Gluten-free Mission flour tortillas
1/4 cup goat cheese
1/4 cup basil pesto Classico brand is GF
1 large avocado, sliced
All you do:
1. Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Place the seasoned, slightly thawed veggies in preheated pan. Stir and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Spread each tortilla with 2 tablespoons goat cheese and pesto. Divide avocado slices among the shells. Top with veggies.
3. Fold in the bottom of each tortilla and roll up into a snug wrap. Grill on a hot iron skillet for a warm version.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 340.9 calories, 13.5 g fat, 2.7 g saturated fat, 542.5 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrate, 20.1 g fiber, 19.1 g protein.