SoMD Chronicle Recipe of the Week: Cooking with Heart Health in Mind

(Family characteristics) Healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult or require you to remove your favorite dishes from your family’s menu. In fact, making wise choices when cooking at home can give you more control over the types of tasty and heart-healthy dishes you put on the table.

High cholesterol is one of the leading controllable risk factors for heart disease and stroke, with about 38% of American adults diagnosed with high cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association. These cooking tips can help you prepare heart-healthy meals that may help improve cholesterol levels by reducing excess saturated and trans fats.

Cook fresh vegetables the heart-healthy way

Roasting, steaming, grilling or baking can help bring out the natural flavors of vegetables. Adding herbs and spices can also help make vegetables tastier, including combinations like basil with tomatoes, oregano with zucchini, dill with green beans, or rosemary. with peas and cauliflower.

Reduce saturated fat in meat and poultry

The amount of saturated fat in meats can vary greatly, depending on the cut and how it’s prepared. Opt for poultry and fish over red meat and look for lean cuts of meat with minimal visible fat, which should be trimmed before cooking. Also limit processed meats such as sausages, bologna, salami, and hot dogs, which are often high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium.

Use liquid vegetable oils instead of solid fats

Some fats are better for you than others. Liquid vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower, soybean, and olive oil can often be used in place of solid fats, such as butter, lard, or shortening. If you must use margarine, try the soft or liquid type.

Find more recipes and heart-healthy tips for lowering cholesterol at

Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken with Grilled Asparagus

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association

Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken with Grilled Asparagus Credit: American Heart Association

Servings: 4

  • 1/4 cup tequila or white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped, plus 2 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless, fat-free chicken breasts
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 3 bunches of asparagus tips, trimmed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or corn oil

In a small bowl, combine the tequila, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken and seal bag tightly; turn the bag into a coat. Refrigerate for 2 to 12 hours.

Preheat grill to medium-high. Lightly spray the grates with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large dish, sprinkle the asparagus with salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Drizzle with oil. Turn the asparagus to coat them.

Remove the chicken from the marinade. Discard marinade and wipe most of it over chicken. Sprinkle chicken with remaining pepper.

Grill 8 to 12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Transfer to a plate and cover with aluminum foil.

Place the asparagus on the grill, facing the opposite direction of the grates. Grill 7 minutes, or until tender-crisp.

Serve the asparagus with the chicken.

Frozen yogurt bark

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association

Frozen yogurt bark Credit: American Heart Association

Servings: 8

  • 1 1/2 cups plain 2% low fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped mango
  • 1/4 cup blackberries or raspberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

In a medium bowl, combine yogurt and honey.

Line a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with parchment paper. Use a spatula or knife to spread the yogurt all over the bottom of the dish.

Pour the chopped nuts over the yogurt. Use fingers to lightly press into yogurt. Top yogurt with mango, blackberries and blueberries and press lightly into yogurt.

Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in the freezer overnight.

To serve: Lift the parchment paper from the baking dish onto a cutting board. Use hands to break bark into pieces.

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