Despite what many of you might think, it’s not PROTEIN that Americans don’t get enough of. It’s the Big 3: fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. That’s why so many of us have a problem with getting in adequate fiber (which these foods are high in), managing our weight (these are the foods that keep us lean), and staying healthy (these are the main disease-fighting phytochemical-packed food groups). So think fruit, veggies, and whole grains AT EVERY MEAL and eat more plants and less animals and your body and the planet will thank you for it.
Ratatouille–a Vegetable Cornucopia
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1/12th of the recipe, 240 grams or ~ 1 cup)
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds or 2 (28 ounce) cans of whole tomatoes, peeled, drained and chopped
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1 red pepper, cut into ½” strips
1 green pepper, cut into ½” strips
4 small zucchini, cut into ½” slices
1 eggplant, diced into 1” cubes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and bay leaf and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf, add rosemary and thyme, stir and continue to simmer. In the meantime, in another large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add onions and sauté over low heat for 5 minutes. Add red and green peppers and continue to cook an additional 7 minutes over medium heat. Add zucchini and continue to sauté for 5 additional minutes. In the meantime, in a large Dutch oven (or stockpot with a cover), heat 2 tablespoons oil and add eggplant cubes, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add zucchini and pepper mixture to eggplant and cook over medium heat for 7 minutes. Add tomato mixture and sugar, stir and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Uncover and cook 5 more minutes until tender. Stir in basil and serve.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (240 grams or ~ 1 cup):
Calories: 109, Fat: 6 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 439 mg,
Carbohydrate: 12 g, Dietary Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 6 g, Protein: 2 g
Whole grains consist of any grain that has retained its starchy endosperm, fiber-rich bran, and its germ after milling. No doubt about it, eating whole grains is far healthier for you, your digestive system, and your heart when compared to their fiberless refined cousins. So try and get in at least three whole grains a day and remember, “three is key.” Most people are familiar with what I call the “fantastic 4,” so go for at least three of the fantastic 4 every day (or be more adventurous and try some of the really tasty less familiar whole grains like quinoa, barley, millet, wild rice, or kasha).
- Oatmeal (steel-cut is best)
- 100% whole-grain bread
- Popcorn (simply pop some kernels up in a brown paper bag in the microwave)
- Brown rice
Stay healthy, stay lean, and remember to “eat the whole thing” …whole grains, that is.
Delicious Make-Ahead Oatmeal Raisin Muffins
Mix the dry ingredients the night before then finish the batter in the morning to start your day with a freshly baked muffin.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup fat-free milk
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon flax seed oil
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat six 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper bake cups and coat insides of paper cups with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Place raisins and water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high power for 25 seconds. Let sit for 2 minutes to plump the raisins.
In a medium bowl, stir together flours, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and set aside. Combine applesauce, milk, egg whites, flax seed oil, and raisins. Add to flour mixture; stir just until incorporated. Don’t over mix. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups filling each about three-fourths full.
Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until lightly browned and the muffin is firm in the middle. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and serve warm.
NUTRITION per muffin:
- Calories: 157
- Fat: 3 g (0 g EPA, 0 g DHA, 1 g ALA)
- Saturated Fat: <1 g
- Cholesterol: < 1mg
- Sodium: 69 mg
- Carbohydrate: 30 g
- Dietary Fiber: 2 g
- Sugars: 13 g
- Protein: 4 g
Excerpted with permission from Prevent a Second Heart Attack.
My colleagues and I are dedicated to the Go Red! movement!
The Women Behind Go Red! Created by the American Heart Association the Go Red For Women is a social initiative to empower women to take charge of their heart health. Go Red For Women celebrates the energy, passion and power of women to band together to wipe out heart disease and stroke.
Recipes from Prevent a Second Heart Attack are featured in Today’s Diet & Nutrition!
Our February issue is full of heart-healthy recipes in honor of American Heart Month to keep your ticker beating strong for Valentine’s Day and all year long.
Dr. Janet Brill helps you Take Charge of Your Heart Health with recipes from her book, Prevent a Second Heart Attack: 8 Foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease, like this Braised Red Cabbage with Green Olives. It’s a low calorie, zero cholesterol side that will add a pop of color to any meal! Read more here: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/7aa1d8ad#/7aa1d8ad/10
Delicious make-ahead cold oatmeal!
You’ve heard it before: oatmeal protects the heart. And rest assured, the man on the Quaker oatmeal box isn’t lying — oatmeal is a whole grain, a type of plant food and complex carbohydrate that makes up the backbone of the heart-healthiest Mediterranean style of eating. Choosing whole grains as your main form of carbohydrate nourishment has been scientifically proven to thwart heart disease, cutting the risk of coronary artery disease by a phenomenal 40 percent. Eating whole grains, like oatmeal, is key to heart health. Studies show that people who eat a diet rich in whole grains are less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack. Don’t have time to make the yummier steel-cut kind of oatmeal? Here’s an easy-to-make ahead of time recipe!
Cold Oatmeal with Yogurt and Fresh Berries
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt, such as Dannon Light and Fit®
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 cup fresh raspberries
3/4 cup diced strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 medium apple, peeled, cored and coarsely grated
3 tablespoons ground flax seed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a large bowl, combine oats, yogurt, orange juice and honey. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently fold in raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, apple, flax seed, and walnuts. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve cold.
Per 1/2 cup serving:
Fat: 7 g (0 g EPA, 0 g DHA, 2 g ALA)
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 1 mg
Sodium: 26 mg
Carbohydrate: 31 g
Dietary Fiber: 6 g
Sugars: 12 g
Protein: 7 g
Excerpted Prevent a Second Heart Attack.
My recipe for Flourless Dark Chocolate Brownies with Walnuts is featured on the Fab Fit Fun site! Check it out:
IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT GIACOMO CASANOVA WAS THE MOST INSATIABLE WOMANIZER OF ALL TIME. IT IS SAID THAT HE CALLED CHOCOLATE HIS “ELIXIR OF LOVE,” DRANK IT RELIGIOUSLY BEFORE EVERY LOVE MAKING TRYST AND USED IT IN HIS SEDUCTIONS—THE FIRST LOVE PRO TO TAP INTO THE TIMELESS ATTRACTION BETWEEN WOMEN AND CHOCOLATE. LOVE AND CHOCOLATE GO EVEN FURTHER BACK IN TIME. BOTH THE MAYA AND AZTEC OFFERED COCOA AS A GIFT OF LOVE TO THE GODS, PROMPTING CARL LINNEAUS, THE SWEDISH BOTANIST AND FATHER OF MODERN TAXONOMY TO NAME THE CACAO TREE THEOBROMA CACAO, LITERALLY, “FOOD OF THE GODS.”
Dark chocolate — with a high content of nonfat cocoa solids — is now the new guilt-free super food! The scientific evidence is stacking up linking daily consumption of deep, dark chocolate with phenomenal health benefits.
When it comes to choosing chocolate for health, the chocolate must be the flavonoid-rich dark variety. This is because dark chocolate has a much higher percentage of cocoa than milk chocolate and it’s the cocoa that contains most of the flavonoids—plant substances which provide your body with a host of health benefits.
Natural cocoa powders (ground cocoa solids, aka the words natural cocoa powder unsweetened on the product label) had the highest level of flavonoids followed by unsweetened baking chocolates, dark chocolates, and semisweet chocolate baking chips. Milk chocolate and chocolate syrup had the least amount. Do your heart good—choose your chocolate wisely and opt for making your own sweet treats from cocoa powder.
Dr. Janet’s Flourless Dark Chocolate Brownies with Walnuts
A dark, moist chocolatey treat.
- One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup packed Splenda ® Brown Sugar Blend
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place black beans in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, oats, cocoa powder, olive oil, espresso powder, flax seed, vanilla, and salt. With an electric mixer blend the ingredients until the black beans are mushed up and the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and the middle of the brownies is firm. Let cool before slicing into 16 pieces.
NUTRITION PER SERVING (1 brownie): Calories: 140
Fat: 6 g (0 g EPA, 0 g DHA, 1 g ALA) Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 1 mg Sodium: 89 mg Carbohydrate: 16 g Dietary Fiber: 2 g Sugars: <1 g Protein: 3 g
Excerpted from Prevent a Second Heart Attack.
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