Friday, February 28, 2014

Heart Healthy Meal Ideas

Try switching out turkey or beef for Omega 3 rich salmon burgers.
While February is Heart Health Month, I believe in going out with a bang! Here are a few menu ideas to help change things up a bit while adding extra variety, nutrition and flavor. Starting out with breakfast, let's look at a few new options to boring old oatmeal.

Quinoa & Oatmeal with Cranberries & Walnuts
If you are new to quinoa (pronounces kin-no-wah), you might wish to try it with something you're already familiar with. Quinoa is a natural grain related to spinach and tumbleweeds (sounds delicious, right?) but is not a true cereal. It is a complete protein, loaded with vitamins and minerals. The peoples of the Andes have used it as a primary food source for centuries. A little goes a long way as 1/4 cup of dry grain = a serving. Still you need to rinse the little coriander sized grains first to avoid a bitter taste once cooked.

Organic Quinoa with vanilla sugar, walnuts and dried cranberries.
Quinoa & Oatmeal Breakfast
1/4 cup Organic Quinoa (rinse first)
1/4 cup Stone Ground Irish Oatmeal
2 cups of water
Garnishes: raisins, walnuts, cranberries, almonds, etc.

Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a saucepan. Whisk in the Quinoa & Ground Irish Oatmeal and bring to a boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes until thick. Add garnishes (dried fruits can also be added during the cooking time). Serves 2.

Vegetable Platter with Vegenaise
This could be a game changer for those of us who feel eating plain raw vegetables to be a bit boring. Vegenaise Original (shown below) is absolutely delicious and lives up to it's claim to be "Better than Mayo". Found in the refrigerated section, Vegenaise has a fresh, light texture with all the richness of regular mayonnaise. The only difference is unlike mayo, it is cholesterol free and made with heart healthy oils, rich in essential fatty acids such as the Omega 3's. Use it on raw vegetables, sandwiches or even cook with it. Amazing. Visit for more varieties and details.

Creamy, delicious Vegenaise Original and Reduced Fat

Salmon Burgers over Spring Greens
Here's another way to change things up so that you're getting more heart healthy Omega 3's in your diet. Try switching out that turkey burger for a delicious grilled salmon patty. I add a bit of Applewood Smoked Seasoning and a bit of olive oil before grilling on my Panini Press. This give you a lovely sear. You can also grill some extra vegetables while you're at it! This is a Paleo Diet dream but I've added 1/4 of a Cheddar Scone for interest.  Dress the salad with a Strawberry-Balsamic Vinegarette for some extra zing. So good!

Salmon Burger grilled with minced garlic and Applewood Smoked Spice. Serve with Cal Naturale Chardonnay made with organic grapes.

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