Heart-Healthy Food Choices Heart's Delight

 

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O.K. So the holidays did unkind things to your waistline, and your cardio-vascular system,  and your New Year’s resolution was, yet again, to make this the year you shape up your eating habits.  However, like most people, when you looked at the plethora of tasteless recipes for flavorless, formless gray muck made of brown rice you became disheartened and gave it up.  Hang on.  There is hope.  Eating healthy does not

Eating healthy does not have to be a puritanical purging of all that is pleasurable in life.

 

Quite frankly I find the usual offerings of gray goo comprised of overcooked brown rice, flavorless lentils or slimy eggplant quite disgusting.  I certainly wouldn’t be able to maintain a healthy diet if that the only choice.  Sure, I know.  Everyone claims that THEIR recipes for healthy food really do taste good, so why should you believe me when I say that my low fat, high fiber, low sodium recipes really, really are delicious when you’ve been disappointed so may times before?  All I can say is, give one or two of them a try. 

 

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I am not a vegetarian or vegan, however, I use all animal products sparingly.  And don’t judge that statement by many of the recipes you find here on The Questing Feast because this website is not dedicated solely to healthy eating.  There are many recipes of many types, some healthy, some quite indulgent, however the recipes I have gathered together for this particular presentation, are relatively healthy without sacrificing enjoyment.

The majority of these recipes are not totally fat free, however, you will notice that the predominate fat source used is olive oil.  Not all of the recipes are vegetarian or vegan, but you will find that animal products are mostly used as an enhancement, not the main event, and the majority of the recipes are very high in fiber. 

FIBER:  Fiber is an essential element to good health.  What foods contain fiber?  Please remember that if your food ever walked, swam or flew, it has no fiber.  I really get irritated with the adds for fiber supplements on T.V. that tell you that if you were to eat the 20 to 30 grams of fiber recommended a day you wouldn’t have time to do anything but chew on a stalk of raw broccoli.   NOT TRUE!  A one cup serving of beans has about 18 grams of fiber!  It’s easy, very easy to get enough fiber in your diet.  Roast Vegetable Pasta Salad

FAT:  Good fats are essential to good health.  What are good fats?  Olive oil is just about the healthiest fat around.  Now, most of you are not going to want to spread olive oil in your slice of morning toast.  A discreet smear of butter ain’t gonna stop the sun from rising or have the health food Nazis banging on your door. Sure, all fat, even olive oil is high in calories and if weight loss is a major concern you will definitely want to include the calories in the olive oil you cook with in your daily calorie count.

SODIUM: You will notice that most of the recipes gathered for this presentation use salt sparingly. They, (who ever they are) say that a healthy adult should have about 2,000 to 2,500 mg of sodium in their diet a day. It is estimated that the average American consumes 12,000 mg of sodium a day. That’s because it is in just about ALL processed foods. The food producers of this nation have turned us all into salt junkies. An over abundance of sodium is in everything from our breakfast cereal and our bread to canned vegetables. It’s even in a candy bar for gawd’s sake. Think not?

Start reading the nutritional information on the labels.  AND, when reading those labels, be sure to check what the serving size is.  You may read a label and say, “...Hmm, 350 calories, 200 mg of sodium...that’s not too bad...” however if you look again you will see that that’s most likely for a 1/2 cup serving, and how many of you only eat half a cup?  READ LABLES.  And, speaking of reading labels, don’t be mislead.  Always trying to avoid unnecessary sodium, I bought some “low sodium,” soy sauce. When I compared the label with regular soy sauce I discovered that the low sodium had 650 mg per serving (one tablespoon), whereas regular had 850 mg per serving.  650 mg of sodium is still way, way too much sodium for someone with health problems requiring a restricted sodium diet.  By just reading the front label that said “REDUCED SODIUM,” you will be led into a feeling of false security and still be consuming way more sodium than you should have.  The same with products that say LOW or NO FAT.  Often despite having less to no fat, a product is still very high in total calories and usually have way too much sodium or sugar added.  A good example if this are salad dressings.  Again, do read the nutritional information on the label.  For the recipes listed, try to use homemade Stocks,_Broths_or_Bouillon when possible.  Most commercial canned broth has way, WAY too much sodium.

 

Anyway, enough of my blithering.  If you would like to counter some of the effects of the tasty indulgences of the holiday season; you may find it helpful to try some of the following recipes.  Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a struggle.  The old “no pain, no gain,” does not apply here.  I doubt if anyone will find it painful to eat delicious Stuffed_Fillet_of_Sole_in_Wine_Sauce or delectable Pasta_al_Fresca Roasted_Pepper_and_Garlic_Fajitas are a treat, not sentence of doom.  Celebrate life with delectable dining that will be as pleasurable to your taste buds as it will be to your circulatory system.  Healthy dining need not be a puritanical purge.  I think you will find these recipes to be delectable, satisfying and rewarding.

 

Enjoy and Have a Heart.

 

Low Fat Split Pea Soup

Fresh Tomato Basil Soup

Borscht – Russian

Pasta al Fresca - California

Low-fat Cabbage Rolls

Chicken Breasts with Roasted Peppers and Garlic

Stuffed Fillet of Sole in Wine Sauce

Garam Masala Vegetable Medley

Roasted Pepper and Garlic Fajitas

Grilled Portobello and roasted pepper Burger

Vegetable and Tofu Stir-fry - Chinese

And if you find nothing that suits your fancy among those, then visit the

Low Fat - High Fiber

page.  I’m sure you will find something that will appeal to you and your family.

The English Country Kitchen

 


        Copyright © 2008 - Geraldine Duncann

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