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Heart Healthy Recipes, Issue #011 - Easter Menu Ideas
March 26, 2018

Welcome to Heart Healthy Recipes' monthly newsletter. In this issue we are featuring several Easter menu ideas including a Low-Fat Apricot Lamb Dish, Avocado-Mango Appetizer and Low-fat Cream of Asparagus Soup.

Low-Fat Apricot Lamb Dish

A complete meal in its self, this low-fat lamb dish is full of healthy, tasty ingredients. Starting with the low-fat lamb containing the heart-healthy nutrient CoQ10** which is needed for every cell of the body to remain healthy. Lamb also provides healthy proteins, iron, vitamin B12, zinc, selenium and niacin. The eggplant in this recipe is a rich resource of phenolic compounds that function as antioxidants. These powerful antioxidants help reduce LDL - bad cholesterol. The apricots add a tasty blend of sweetness and help regulate blood pressure. The tomatoes are rich in lycopene which studies have shown to benefit patients after a heart attack, increase survival in patients with heart failure, reducing high cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation. Additional nutrients are obtained from remaining, tasty ingredients including orange, honey, cinnamon and ginger.

**For more information on the benefits of CoQ10, please visit:

Recipe Ingredients:

1 tablespoon grape seed oil

1 onion, chopped

12 oz. boneless lamb, fat trimmed off and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 ½ cups vegetable stock

grated rind and juice of 1 orange

1 teaspoon honey

1 cinnamon stick

½ inch piece fresh ginger root, finely chopped

1 eggplant

4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

⅔ cup no-soak dried apricots

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

salt and pepper

freshly cooked couscous, to serve

Recipe Instructions:

In a large, heavy-bottom skillet or oven proof casserole, heat the oil. Add the onion and lamb. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for five minutes or until the meat is lightly browned all over. Add the garlic, vegetable stock, orange rind and juice, honey, cinnamon and ginger root. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for 45 minutes. Using a sharp knife, halve the eggplant lengthwise and slice thinly. Add to the skillet with the chopped tomatoes and apricots. Cover and cook for an additional 45 minutes or until the lamb is tender. Stir in the cilantro seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately straight from the skillet with the freshly cooked couscous.

Note: For larger eggplants it is beneficial to sprinkle with salt and let the salt absorb for 30 minutes to remove the bitter juices.

Makes 4 servings.

Avocado-Mango Appetizer

Avocados are a nutrient-dense food helping to lower cholesterol. A diet rich in avocados may help reduce the risk for heart disease, according to health researchers. The mangoes in this recipe are abundant in potassium, yet low in sodium. Potassium helps assist in maintaining a healthy heart rate and regulating blood pressure. Also, mangoes contain a high level of fiber and vitamins which help to lower serum cholesterol levels.

Recipe Ingredients:

2 cups avocado meat

1 ½ cups of diced mangoes

2 tablespoons minced red onion

2 tablespoons minced jalapeño

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

salt and pepper, to taste

4 pieces of flat bread

Recipe Instructions:

In a bowl, toss in the diced mango, red onion, jalapeño, lime, honey and cilantro. In another bowl, prepare the avocados by mashing them with a fork. Season well with salt and pepper, then add lime juice. Spread avocados on the toasted bread. Top with the mango mixture and serve.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Low-fat Cream of Asparagus Soup

Instead of heavy cream, this healthy, low-fat asparagus soup receives additional flavor and creamy texture from puréed cauliflower. Asparagus is an excellent source of Vitamin K and folate. Folate is essential to heart health because it helps with healthy methylation and reduces levels of the heart-toxic amino acid, homocysteine. Also, the potassium in the asparagus helps lower blood pressure. Cauliflower provides many heart-healthy benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich nutrients. Being a good source of vitamin C, cauliflower helps protect the heart and blood vessels.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons grape seed oil

2 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1" pieces

salt and black pepper (to taste)

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup puréed cauliflower* (see below recipe)

freshly chopped chives, for garnish

freshly chopped dill, for garnish

Recipe Instructions:

In a heavy pot, slowly heat oil and garlic, cooking over medium heat for approximately one minute. Add asparagus, season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden - approximately five minutes. Add broth and simmer covered, until asparagus is very tender but still green, 10 to 15 minutes. Using regular blender, purée soup. Return to pot and let stand. Stir in puréed cauliflower* and season lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with remaining cauliflower purée, in a swirl pattern and freshly chopped dill.

Makes 4-6 servings.

*Cauliflower Purée

Cauliflower Purée - Recipe Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower, 2 - 2 ½ lbs.

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cauliflower Purée - Recipe Instructions:

Pull the leaves off the cauliflower and remove the core. Then pull the florets off the head with your fingers or cut off with a knife. Break or cut the florets into smaller, regular pieces (about 1 ½ inch) and steam for about 15 minutes in covered steamer pot. Stirring occasionally. Place about half of the cauliflower into a food processor. Then take ¾ cup of the steaming liquid and pour in ¼ cup purée until smooth. Add the rest of the cauliflower on top, add about ⅓ of the remaining liquid, and purée again. Scrape and stir the purée as needed. Slowly add more liquid. Results will be better with least amount of liquid added. With the motor running, add olive oil, salt and pepper through the feed tube. Taste for seasoning and serve hot. (May reheat over low heat in the same pan if not eating immediately.)

Makes 4 servings. (note: will only need 1 cup for above Cream of Asparagus Soup)

Heart Healthy Resources:

We would like to recommend a wonderful, new support group for those diagnosed with congestive heart failure and their caregivers. This new group is offering support, motivation, listening ears, guidance, education and friendship to those struggling with congestive heart failure.

The direct link to CHF Patient & Caregiver Support Group is:

Nutritional Supplements:

As you know it is important for optimum health to get proper nutrients in your diet. The best way to achieve this is through eating healthy food. Though we realize that sometimes it is difficult to receive all the complete nutrition that is needed for health from food. That being said, we encourage you to consider supplementation to help support a healthy heart.

If considering supplements, please reference Healing Supplements:

For more heart-healthy recipes, please visit:
Medical/Nutritional Disclaimer: Heart-Healthy-Recipes' Newsletter and website offers informational service only and the information contained in this newsletter is not intended as professional nutritional or medical advice. The content in this newsletter should not be used solely during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider regarding any course of medical treatment.
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