FD: Dixie Burmeister Column February 18, 2009

These are the meals that hit the real heart of the matter

Just when you thought “Matters of the Heart” were over for February, I must remind you, it’s American Heart Month.

The American Heart Association chefs developed some delicious recipes as evidenced by the following appealing recipes.

It is getting easier to cook healthy, and we’d better do it according to the concerns voiced to me by a couple cardiologists last week who said a major risk for heart disease is the American diet. If it doesn’t improve and if we don’t maintain a healthy weight, we’re in trouble.

You can find a wealth of information and heart healthy recipes at http://www.americanheart.org. Check out their new recipe books.

Now enjoy these recipes from the American Heart Association.

Salmon with Cilantro Pesto

Serves 4: 3 ounces fish and 1 tablespoon pesto per serving.

Vibrant orange salmon fillets get a double dose of crunchy almonds, one in the pesto and one in the topping. The lovely green pesto is easy to make and gets a delightful flavor boost —  without salt — from the garlic-herb seasoning blend. For a quick and pretty dish, scatter the almonds over the surface, as instructed below. If you prefer a fancier presentation, after spreading the pesto over the salmon, slightly overlap the almonds on the fillets to resemble fish scales, then bake as directed.

Cooking spray (optional)

Cilantro pesto:

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

2 tablespoons shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon salt-free garlic-herb seasoning blend

Other ingredients:

4 salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each), rinsed and patted dry

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or lightly spray with cooking spray.

In a food processor or blender, process the pesto ingredients for 15 to 20 seconds, or until slightly chunky.

Place the fillets about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Spread the pesto evenly over the top of the fillets. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup almonds.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Nutrition Analysis (per serving): Calories 206; Total fat 9.5 g.; Saturated fat 1.5 g.; Trans Fat 0 g.; Polyunsaturated fat 3 g; Monosaturated fat 4 g.; Cholesterol 66 mg.; Sodium 129 mg.; Carbohydrates 2 g.; Fiber 1 g.; Sugar 0 g.; Protein 28 g.

— This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement, copyright 2005 by the American Heart Association.

Spicy Buttermilk Dressing

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown.

Serves 14: 2 tablespoons per serving.


1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

1/2 cup no-salt-added canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup canned tomatoes with green chiles

1/3 cup fat-free plain yogurt

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt (kosher preferred)

In a blender, process all the ingredients for 1 minute, or until smooth. Transfer to a jar with an airtight lid and refrigerate until ready to use.

Nutrition Analysis (per serving): Calories 26; Total fat 0.5 g.; Saturated fat 0 g.; Polyunsaturated fat 0 g; Monosaturated fat 0 g.; Trans Fat 0 g.; Cholesterol 1 mg.; Sodium 72 mg.; Carbohydrates 4 g.; Sugar 1 g.; Fiber 1 g.; Protein 2 g.; Dietary Exchanges: Free.
— This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association’s Face The Fats program. Copyright 2007 by the American Heart Association.



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