Eating heart healthy meals cannot be stressed enough, as it is vital for maintaining low blood pressure and healthy cholesterol.
For you to eat well, you need to know how to eat well. Cooking heart healthy dinners is the best (and easiest) way to help you reach your goals when it comes to the health of your heart.
Seared Chicken with Apricot Sauce
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (about 1 1/4 pounds), trimmed and tenders removed
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 medium shallot, minced
4 fresh apricots, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon , or 1/2 teaspoon dried
Place chicken breasts between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with a rolling pin, meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even thickness, about 1/2 inch. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off excess. (Discard any leftover flour.)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink in the center, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm. (If necessary, cook the chicken in two batches with an additional 1 tablespoon oil.)
Off the heat, add wine and shallot to the pan. Return to medium heat and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Add apricots and cook until the fruit begins to break down, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in preserves, tarragon, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Return the chicken to the pan and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the chicken with the sauce.
Calories: 252, Sodium: 517 mg
Black Bean Burgers with Mustard Potato Salad
For the potato salad:
1 1/2 lb. potatoes, like new potatoes or red potatoes
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1/4 ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
2 green onion or scallions, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped, fresh parsley
For the black bean burgers:
15.5 oz. canned, low-sodium black beans, rinsed, drained
8.8 oz. packaged, cooked brown rice
15 oz. canned sweet potatoes or yams in light syrup, drained
1 egg white
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
For the potato salad:
Fill a medium heavy-duty pot three-fourths full with water. Cut the potatoes evenly into bite-sized pieces and add to the water.
Place pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let cook until potatoes are fork-tender, about 8 to 10 minutes depending on size. Drain in a colander and run cold water over the potatoes to cool.
In a large bowl, add oil, mustard, vinegar, pepper, and salt. Whisk together to combine with a fork. Add potatoes, chopped scallions, and chopped parsley. Toss to combine potatoes in dressing. Reserve until black bean burgers are done.
For the black bean burgers:
Into a medium bowl, add ½ cup black beans and 1 cup brown rice. It may be easier to microwave the rice for 30 to 60 seconds so it sticks together less and can be measured. Reserve.
Add remaining beans and brown rice into the bowl of a food processor, along with canned sweet potatoes/ yams, egg white, cumin, salt, and pepper. Pulse the mixture until smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Transfer puree to the reserved bowl with whole beans and rice. Add breadcrumbs and stir until mixture is combined. Form into 6 patties and place onto a plate.
Warm 1 tablespoon oil in a medium nonstick sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add 3 of the fragile patties into the pan; cook until slightly browned on each side, 4 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining oil and patties. Serve black bean burgers with potato salad.
Calories: 374, Sodium: 280 mg
Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups small broccoli florets
1 cup vertically sliced onion
Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic to pan; stir-fry 30 seconds. Sprinkle shrimp with salt. Add shrimp to pan, and stir-fry 3 minutes or until done. Remove shrimp mixture from the pan.
Add remaining 1 teaspoon canola oil to pan. Add broccoli and onion to pan; stir-fry 4 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Add shrimp mixture and broth mixture to pan; cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly.
Calories: 220, Sodium: 577 mg
1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2-4 oz. skinless salmon filets
1 wooden grill plank (any variety), soaked in water for at least 1 hour
Place the plank on the grill and preheat the grill to medium heat.
Rub the oil evenly over the salmon filets. Season them evenly with salt and pepper.
Carefully open the grill (when the plank is ready, it should smoke and it may crackle; if it begins to warp, flip it over and let it settle). Set the salmon filets side by side on the plank, not touching. Grill for about 6 minutes. Using a spatula, gently loosen the filets (they make stick slightly) and flip them. Grill them 4-6 minutes more, or until the salmon is cooked to your liking. Serve immediately.
Calories: 172, Sodium: 50 mg
Paprika-Herb Rubbed Chicken
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence (see Notes)
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1-1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
Combine herbes de Provence, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Coat both sides of chicken with the rub up to 30 minutes before grilling or broiling.
Preheat grill to medium-high or position a rack in upper third of oven and preheat broiler.
To grill: Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the chicken, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, 4 to 8 minutes per side.
To broil: Line a broiler pan (or baking sheet) with foil and coat with cooking spray. Place the chicken on the foil. Broil, watching carefully and turning at least once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, 10 to 15 minutes total.
Calories: 127, Sodium: 196 mg
Barbecue-Rubbed Pork Chops
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut loin pork chops, trimmed (about 1/2 inch thick)
Combine first 9 ingredients; rub over both sides of pork. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork; cook for 2 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 8 minutes or until done, turning occasionally. Remove from pan; let stand 5 minutes.
Calories: 277, Sodium: 669mg
Tuscan-Style Grilled Chicken Kebabs
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. fresh, chopped rosemary OR
1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
2 tsp. olive oil
2 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb. boneless, skinless, all visible fat discarded chicken breasts, cut into 16 cubes
16 whole button or cremini mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce each), ends trimmed
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 16 pieces
16 cherry tomatoes
non-stick cooking spray
1/2 cup uncooked, instant brown rice
1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
In a medium nonmetallic bowl, stir together the lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, oil, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Add the chicken, stirring to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. The chicken can marinate for up to 8 hours for even more flavor. Turn several times if marinating for more than 30 minutes.
Soak eight 8-inch wooden skewers for at least 10 minutes in cold water to keep them from charring, or use metal skewers. Preheat the grill on medium-high.
Drain the chicken and discard the marinade. Alternately thread the chicken, mushrooms, bell pepper, and tomatoes on the skewers. Lightly spray all sides with cooking spray.
In a medium saucepan, bring the broth and tomatoes to a boil over high heat. Stir in the rice. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, grill the kebabs for 2 to 3 minutes on each side (8 to 12 minutes total), or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the vegetables are tender. Serve with the rice on the side.
Calories : 213, Sodium: 16 mg
If you’re looking for heart healthy dinners, we hope this gives you a good place to start. Eating a heart healthy dinner is one of the best ways to improve your health and the health of your family.