By Ilene Duffy

Ilene Duffy
Issue #99 • May/June, 2006

I’m not a nutritionist or a medical professional, but I’ve gained a lot of knowledge concerning foods that are considered to be heart healthy since my husband, Dave, underwent heart bypass surgery a few months ago. I’ve always enjoyed preparing homemade and varied meals with lots of fresh vegetables for my family, but now I have a new determination to also make sure those fresh ingredients are prepared in a heart-healthy manner.

Dave has been reading passages to me from The Omega Diet, so that we can both gain a better understanding of the ways in which food is prepared in much of the Meditteranean. Here’s a sampling of what we’ve learned: olive oil and canola oil give us the necessary Omega-3 fatty acids; all kinds of nuts give us protein, “good” fat, and fiber; fish should be on the menu at least twice per week; fresh fruits and vegetables…the more the better; beans, beans, the wonderful fruit—I’ve been putting a drained and rinsed can or two in many recipes, whether it was in the original recipe or not. We’re doing our best to avoid the processed stuff as well as beef. Likewise, we’re making sure we have lots of whole grains in our diet. I’m adding a scoop or so of wheat bran to many recipes, I’m using brown rice exclusively, rather than plain white rice, and I’m still working on perfecting a loaf of bread that uses more of the whole wheat flour, rather than the plain white flour. A lot of the information we’re reading concerning heart-healthy foods is good news in that these foods seem to also be excellent in helping us avoid a host of other ailments such as diabetes and cancer.

The following are a few recipes that I’ve prepared for our family. Even though my kitchen is one of my favorite places to be, they are quick to get ready for the dinner table.

Salmon patties

1 lb. pre-baked salmon
juice of ½ lemon
3-4 Tbsp. orange juice
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
2 Tbsp. canola mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. curry powder
½ small onion, finely chopped
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
ketchup, about 2 Tbsp. or so
olive oil for frying

Squeeze lemon juice and orange juice over salmon. Sprinkle with seasonings of choice. I use Mrs. Dash and curry powder. Cover the fish with aluminum foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes.

Crumble the fish, removing any bones, into a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix by hand. Sprinkle with water if the salmon won’t hold together to form patties.

Heat olive oil in pan. Form salmon into patties. Fry on both sides ’til brown.

Serving suggestions: Add a tossed salad, a can of baked beans, and some whole wheat dinner rolls. Or serve with whole wheat buns and provide lettuce and tomato to make individual sandwiches.

Sliced oranges

2 peeled oranges
dates, cut in half
walnuts or pecans

Peel the oranges and slice thinly so that the slices have the center of the orange in the middle. The slices will look like the spokes of a wheel. Spread the slices on a plate. Add the chopped dates and nuts.

This is a simple Greek dish that really looks pretty on the table and is so quick to prepare.

Crock pot turkey chili

1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 can each drained, rinsed pinto and black beans
1 can chopped green chilies
28 oz. chicken broth
2 lb. turkey thighs, skin removed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 Tbsp. flour
¼ cup water

In crock pot, mix all ingredients except turkey, corn, flour, and water. Place turkey on bean mixture.

Cover. Cook on low heat setting 8-10 hours.

Remove meat from bones and cut meat into chunks. Add turkey and corn to cooker. In bowl, mix flour and water and add to mixture. Cook 20-30 minutes more on high.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here