Heart Healthy Recipes

Many heart conditions or related ailments demand diet modifications that some find too restrictive. Swearing off fried foods, sweets, and similar items may make it seem as though there's nothing left to eat. The truth is that these dietary restrictions do limit meal options, but they aren't the end of the world. You can still eat a wide variety of foods, and even some of your old-time favorites with simple alterations. Here are some of my favorite heart healthy recipes:

Super Lean Meat Loaf

Inspired By The National Health Institute


  • 1lb ground beef, extra lean

  • 1/2 C (4 oz) tomato paste

  • 1/4 C onion, chopped

  • 1/4 C green peppers

  • 1/4C red peppers

  • 1 C tomatoes, fresh, blanched, chopped

  • 1/2 tsp mustard, low sodium

  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 stalks scallion, chopped

  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1 tsp orange rind, grated

  • 1/2 tsp thyme, crushed

  • 1/4 C bread crumbs, finely grated


  1. Mix all ingredients together.

  2. Place in 1-pound loaf pan (preferably
    with drip rack) and bake covered at
    350 °F for 50 minutes.

  3. Uncover pan and continue baking for 12 minutes.

Not-so-fried Chicken

Inspired By The National Health Institute


  • 1/2 C skim milk or buttermilk

  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning

  • 1 C cornflakes, crumbled

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp onion powder

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder

  • 2 tsp black pepper

  • 2 tsp dried hot pepper, crushed

  • 1 tsp ginger, ground

  • 8 pieces chicken, skinless (4 breasts, 4 drumsticks)

  • a few shakes of paprika

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.

  2. Add 1/2 teaspoon of poultry seasoning to milk.

  3. Combine all other spices with cornflake crumbs and place in plastic bag.

  4. Wash chicken and pat dry. Dip chicken into milk, shake to remove excess, then quickly shake in bag with seasoning and crumbs.

  5. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

  6. Remove from refrigerator and sprinkle lightly with paprika for color.

  7. Evenly space chicken on greased baking pan.

  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for an added 30–40 minutes or until meat can be easily pulled away from bone with fork. Drumsticks may require less baking time than breasts. (Do not turn chicken during baking.) Crumbs will form crispy "skin."

Oven Baked French Fries

Inspired By the National Health Institute


  • 4 (2 lb) large potatoes

  • 8 C ice water

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp white pepper

  • 1/4 tsp allspice

  • 1 tsp hot pepper flakes

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Scrub potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch strips.

  2. Place potato strips into ice water, cover, and chill for 1 hour or longer.

  3. Remove potatoes and dry strips thoroughly.

  4. Place garlic powder, onion powder, salt, white pepper, allspice, and pepper flakes in plastic bag.

  5. Toss potatoes in spice mixture.

  6. Brush potatoes with oil.

  7. Place potatoes in nonstick shallow baking pan.

  8. Cover with aluminum foil and place in 475 °F oven for 15 minutes.

  9. Remove foil and continue baking uncovered for additional 15–20 minutes or until golden brown. Turn fries occasionally to brown on all sides.

Creamy Garlic Mashed Taters

Inspired By the National Health Institute


  • 2 (1 lb) large potatoes, peeled, quartered

  • 2 C skim milk

  • 2 cloves garlic, large, chopped

  • 1/2 tsp white pepper

Saucepan Directions

  1. Cook potatoes, covered, in small amount of boiling water for 20–25
    minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Drain and recover.

  2. Meanwhile, in small saucepan over low heat, cook garlic in milk
    until soft (about 30 minutes).

  3. Add milk-garlic mixture and white pepper to potatoes. Beat with
    electric mixer on low speed, or mash with potato masher, until

Microwave Directions

  1. Scrub potatoes, pat dry, and prick with

  2. On plate, cook potatoes uncovered on
    100 percent (high) power until tender
    (about 12 minutes), turning over once.

  3. Let stand 5 minutes, then peel and

  4. Meanwhile, in 4-cup measuring glass,
    combine milk and garlic. Cook,
    uncovered, on 50 percent (medium)
    power until garlic is soft (about 4

  5. Continue as directed above.

Southern Style Biscuits

Inspired By the National Health Institute


  • 2 C flour

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 Tbsp sugar

  • 2/3 C 1% fat buttermilk

  • 31/3 Tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 450 °F.

  2. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.

  3. In small bowl, stir together buttermilk and all of the oil. Pour over flour mixture and stir until well mixed.

  4. On lightly floured surface, knead dough gently for 10–12 strokes. Roll or pat dough to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut with 2-inch biscuit or cookie cutter, dipping cutter in flour between cuts. Transfer biscuits to an ungreased baking sheet.

  5. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Decadent Frosted Cake

Inspired By the National Health Institute

Cake ingredients

  • 21/4 C cake flour

  • 21/4 tsp baking powder

  • 4 Tbsp margarine

  • 11/4 C sugar

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 Tbsp orange peel

  • 3/4C skim milk

Icing ingredients

  • 3 oz lowfat cream cheese

  • 2 Tbsp skim milk

  • 6 Tbsp cocoa

  • 2 C confectioners' sugar, sifted

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cake directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 °F.

  2. Grease 10-inch round pan (at least 2 1/2 inches high) with small amount of cooking oil or use nonstick cooking oil spray. Powder pan with flour. Tap out excess flour.

  3. Sift together flour and baking powder.

  4. In separate bowl, beat together margarine and sugar until soft and creamy.

  5. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and orange peel.

  6. Gradually add flour mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour.

  7. Pour mixture into pan. Bake for 40–45 minutes or until done. Let cake cool for 5–10 minutes before removing from pan. Let cool completely before icing.

Icing directions

  1. Cream together cream cheese and milk until smooth. Add cocoa. Blend well.

  2. Slowly add sugar until icing is smooth. Mix in vanilla.

  3. Smooth icing over top and sides of cooled cake.

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