Southwest Flavors for the Heart

Stuffed peppers and Bean and corn salsa
Stuffed peppers and Bean and corn salsa

One of my favorite passions is cooking Mexican-style foods in a heart healthy way.  So the following recipes include peppers, lime, cilantro, tomatoes and beans.  Hope you try them! I also have gluten-free versions of the recipes with  carefully picked out some gluten-free alternatives.  Sometimes you can not make out just from the list of ingredients if a product is gluten-free because of possible contamination in the manufacturing.  So I rely on the Hy-Vee product guide or website information if the product is not clearly labeled “gluten-free”.

Seafood Ceviche (Mexican Seafood Cocktail)
Serves 10 (1/2 cup each).

All you need:
1/2 pound medium shrimp, boiled, peeled and cubed (Meat)
3/4 cup fresh lime juice, divided (Produce)
1/2 cup chopped onion (Produce)
1/2 pound imitation crab meat, shredded (Meat) Look for GF versions
2/3 cup chopped tomatoes (Produce)
2/3 cup chopped cucumbers (Produce)
2 ripe small avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed (Produce)
1/2 cup ketchup (Aisle 3)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (Produce)
2 tbsp Valentina Mexican hot sauce (Aisle 4) Look for GF versions
1 tbsp olive oil (Aisle 4)
1/4 tsp salt, optional (Aisle 5)

All you do:
1. Combine shrimp and 1/2 cup lime juice in a large bowl; cover and chill 1 hour. Drain.
2. Stir together onion, shrimp, crab, tomatoes, cucumber, avocados, ketchup, cilantro, hot sauce, olive oil and salt. Serve immediately or chilled.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 140 calories, 8g fat, 1g saturated fat, 30mg cholesterol, 390mg sodium, 13g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 7g protein. Daily values: 6% vitamin A, 25% vitamin C, 2% calcium, 2% iron.

Source: Becky Guittar, RD, LMNT

Becky’s Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quinoa and Turkey
Serves 8 (1/2 pepper each).

All you need:
1 pound Honeysuckle White ground turkey (Meat)
½ medium onion, chopped
1 tsp oregano (Aisle 5)
1/2 tsp garlic powder, or two garlic cloves, minced (Aisle 5)
1/4 tsp Salt for Life (Aisle 5)
1/4 tsp ground pepper (Aisle 5)
1 cup Ancient Harvest red or white quinoa (HealthMarket)
2 cups water
8 oz Hy-Vee Select roasted salsa verde or favorite salsa (Aisle 4)
4 red or green bell peppers, cut in half and seeded (Produce)
1/2 cup Hy-Vee grated cheddar cheese (Dairy)

All you do:
1. In a skillet, cook ground turkey, stirring frequently to break up into small pieces, until juices run clear and no pink remains.
2. Stir in chopped onion, oregano, garlic, salt and ground pepper.
3. In a saucepan, add quinoa and water. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until quinoa forms small circles. Stir into ground turkey and stir in salsa.
4. Fill each pepper with meat and quinoa mixture. Place in baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
5. Garnish with cheddar cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes to melt cheese

Nutrition Facts per serving: 210 calories, 8g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 50mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 20g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 17g protein. Daily values: 40% vitamin A, 130% vitamin C, 8% calcium, 15% iron.

Southwestern Black beans and Corn Salad
Serves 20 (1/3 cup each).

All you need:
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 small red onion, diced
5 cups no-salt-added canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15.25 oz) can no-salt-added corn kernels, drained and rinsed or 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn
3 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp Salt for Life
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, optional

All you do:
1. In a large bowl, combine red bell pepper, red onion, black-eyed peas, corn, canola oil, vinegar, cumin, Salt for Life, ground black pepper and cilantro leaves.

Chef’s Notes
• Dried black-eyed peas may be cheaper than canned. If using dried, cook according to package directions until peas are soft but not mushy. Drain, rinse, and add 3 cups cooked peas to salad. Use leftovers in other recipes later in the week.
• Chill the salad and serve it over cooked spinach or kale.
• Use any type of vinegar you have on hand. Try balsamic, cider, or red or white wine vinegar.
• Use black beans in place of black-eyed peas if desired.
• When corn is in season, use fresh in place of canned. Cook 4 medium ears corn. Remove kernels from cob with a knife. Add to salad.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 80 calories, 3g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 45mg sodium, 12g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 3g protein. Daily values: 4% vitamin A, 15% vitamin C, 2% calcium, 4% iron.

Source: Cooking Matters at the Store

Margarita Cheesecake
Serves 12 (1 cheesecake each).

All you need:
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 12 squares)  Gluten free crackers if needed
3 tbsp Splenda, Hy-Vee Delecta or stevia equivalent
4 tbsp Smart Balance margarine, melted
1 (8 oz) pkg Hy-Vee 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (8 oz) pkg Hy-Vee fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (12.3 oz) pkg Mori-Nu silken extra-firm tofu
2 (0.14 oz each) packets sugar-free Crystal Light lemonade mix
Lime juice, to taste
1/2 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip light (12 tablespoons)
2 tbsp Splenda, Hy-Vee Delecta or stevia equivalent
Lime zest and lime slices, for garnish

All you do:
1. Line 12 standard (2-1/2-inch) muffin cups with paper baking cups. Lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar substitute and margarine in small bowl, mix well. Press into 1 rounded tablespoon into bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Refrigerate crusts while preparing filling.
3. Mix cream cheeses, tofu, lemonade mix, lime juice and 2 tablespoons sugar substitute with electric mixer or food processor until well blended. Spread 1/4 cup filling on top of each prepared crust. Garnish each cheesecake with 1 tablespoon Cool Whip light, lime zest and a slice of lime. Refrigerate for one hour.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 170 calories, 10g fat, 6g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 290mg sodium, 11g carbohydrates, 7g protein.
Daily values: 8% vitamin A, 6% calcium, 4% iron.

Source: Becky Guittar, RD, LMNT


Move over White, go with Whole Grains!

April 1st was also National Whole Grain Sampling Day. Actually health experts advise everyone—men and women, young and old – to make grains a part of their daily diet, and that it’s important to make at least half the grains “whole grains.” I made a super Southwestern-style Stuffed Pepper with Qunioa and Turkey. The Hy-Vee Select Roasted Salsa Verde Sauce was very popular, we actually sold out. Lemon juice, onions,spices and garlic infused into grill-roasted peppers is sure to please. Hope you get to try it sometimes. Here is more on whole grain goodness.

But what IS a whole grain? And why does it matter?

Whole grains include grains like wheat corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, rye – when these foods are eaten in their “whole” form. You probably already eat whole grains – popcorn in the theater, Cheerios for you toddler, or a bowl of hot oatmeal.

You know fruits and vegetables contain disease-fighting phytochemicals and antioxidants but are a much better source of key nutrients. Whole grains contain antioxidants not found in fruits and vegetables, as well as B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, and fiber. Look for the whole grain seal.

Try some of the newest grains with Hy-Vee’s Select brand and other familiar brands:

 Hy-Vee Select Ruby Wild Rice Blend
 Hy-Vee Select Lentil Blend
 Hy-Vee Select Kansas Medley
 Hy-Vee Select Black Pearl Medley

 Hy-Vee Select Golden Jewel Blend
 Hy-Vee Select Jasmine Blend
 Hy-Vee Select Sunrise Blend with Quinoa Flakes
 Ancient Harvest Quinoa

Ronzoni Whole Wheat Pasta
 Success Brown Rice
 Go Free Cookies
 Go Way Better Chips—Sweet Chili

The Kansas Medley is a multi-grain blend of white rice, wheat berries, and wild rice. One way to prepare it is in a pilaf with cranberries, butternut or acorn squash and pecans.

The Ruby Wild Blend is a blend of wild grain brown rice, sprouted brown rice, sprouted red rice, Colusa red rice and wild rice. Sprouted grains are used because they are more easily absorbed by the body.

Sprouted grains may also be less allergenic to those with grain protein sensitivities and more readily digested with lysine, an essential amino acid.
Studies document a wide range of health benefits for different sprouted grains. Here are just a few:
• Sprouted brown rice fights diabetes (Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, April 2008; 54(2): 163-8)
• Sprouted buckwheat protects against fatty liver disease (Phytotherapy Research, July 2009; 23(7):993-8.)
• Cardiovascular risk reduced by sprouted brown rice (Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2007; 51(6):519-26. Epub 2007 Dec. 20.)

Ruby Wild Mandarin Bowl
Yield: 4 (1 ½ cup) servings

All You Need:
2 ½ cups lightly salted water or stock (chicken or vegetable)
8 oz. Hy-Vee Select Ruby Wild Blend
6 oz. cooked diced chicken (Hy-Vee strips)
1 ½ cups steamed, chilled broccoli florets
1 ½ cups drained mandarin orange segments
¼ cup Hy-Vee select light Lemon Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette
Cashews, as needed

All You Do:
1. On the stovetop, bring the water or stock to a boil. Add Ruby Wild Blend. Simmer, covered, for 35 minutes. Remove from heat and chill.
2. Add the chicken, broccoli, orange segments, and dressing. Mix well.
Nutritional Information: 358 calories; 8.6 g fat; 1.2 g saturated fat; 26 mg cholesterol; 220 mg sodium; 58 g carbohydrates, 5.5 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 17 g protein; 9% Iron; 23% Vitamin C

Becky’s Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quinoa and Turkey

Yield: 8 servings
All You Need:
1 pound Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey
1 cup Ancient Harvest Quinoa, red or white
2 cups water
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp garlic powder, or two garlic clove, minced
½ cup Hy-Vee grated cheddar cheese
8 oz. Hy-Vee Select Roasted salsa verde or favorite
¼ tsp Salt for Life (TM) and pepper
4 red or green bell peppers, cut in half, seeds removed

All You Do:
1. In a skillet, add ground turkey and cook until 165 degrees or clear juices and no pink.
2. Add chopped onion, oregano, garlic, pepper, salt and ground pepper.
3. In a saucepan add quinoa and water. Follow package directions. Simmer for 12-15 minutes until small circles form on quinoa. Add to ground turkey mixture with salsa.
4. Cut peppers in half. Fill each pepper with meat and quinoa mixture. Place in baking dish and place in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
5. Garnish with cheddar cheese and return to oven to melt cheese. Cook 5 minutes.
Nutritional Information: 268 calories; 6.7 g fat; 1.7 g saturated fat; 53 mg cholesterol;