Better U, Recipes

Home-Cooked Meals: Cooking Healthy Food For The Heart

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Since participating in Essentia Health’s Better U over a year ago, I have a been super aware of just what types of foods make for a “Healthy Heart.”

Essentia Health's Better U

Are you aware that what you feed your family on a daily basis affects their health? Since the family eats at home the majority of the time compared to eating at restaurants, you should be very aware of what you serve on the table. Your family’s health is in your hands and this is a huge responsibility but with knowledge, you can do it.

You can protect the heart and blood vessels by preparing less saturated fat meals. Remember, not all fats are bad. You just have to know how to identify the bad ones. The ingredients you will use and the way you cook the food will make a big difference in cooking healthy food for the heart.

Basic Things To Remember

* Less Fat- You can cut down on the fat through cooking methods like boiling, broiling, steaming, roasting, baking, grilling and microwaving food instead the usual frying. If you need to fry, use non-stick pans and a cooking spray instead of frying oil. Fats can really add flavor to the food, so what do you do if it is lessened? Opt for using seasonings and spices instead. Lemon juice is great for steamed vegetables and broiled fish. Pepper is great for chicken seasoning. Onion and garlic can boost the flavor of meat and vegetables.

* Lean Cuts– You cannot avoid meat, pork and poultry due to its protein but you can keep the cholesterol down by choosing leaner cuts. With beef, choose cuts like round, flank, sirloin, tenderloin, rib, chunk, rump roast, T-bone, porterhouse and cubed. In poultry, white breast meat is low in fat. In pork, the leaner types are pork loin, center loin chops, Canadian bacon and ham.

* Low Dairy Fat- Dairy should be part of your meals because of the calcium. However, dairy can be pretty fatty if you do not know how to choose. Instead of drinking full-cream milk, opt for fat-free skim milk or low-fat buttermilk. For yogurts, buy the low fat or fat-free ones. For cheese, parmesan and cottage cheese have less fat.

* Find Substitutes- Fatty food is definitely tastier but you can still make your food delicious by using substitutes. For instance, instead of using regular salad dressings, you can go for low-fat mayonnaise and low-fat salad dressing. Instead of plain yogurt, go for sour cream when cooking.

better u fatchip

By knowing what to cook for your family, you can help protect them from heart diseases. In addition, if they learn to eat healthy at home, it will be easier to continue a healthy lifestyle from then on.

Yummy Vegetable Chowder

This delicious chowder is a great way to use up those vegetables from your garden or fresh produce from the store.  Easy to prepare and perfect with a loaf of crusty bread for a light meal.

Serves: 6

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour



1 cup broccoli, chopped

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup cauliflower, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1/2 cube butter, melted

1/2 cup flour

4 cups milk,

1 teaspoon pepper, ground

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

2 teaspoons garlic salt


  1. Put carrots in saucepan and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Add broccoli, cauliflower, and onion and enough water to cover.
  3. Boil 5 more minutes then add zucchini continue cooking for 5 more minutes.
  4. While vegetables are cooking, melt butter in soup pot over medium heat.
  5. Add flour and mix well, brown slightly.
  6. Add milk and whisk until smooth
  7. Turn heat up to medium

What Heart Healthy recipes do you have to share?

About Becky Flansburg

Becky Flansburg is freelance writer, blogger and virtual assistant living in Northern Minnesota. A dedicated mom to two beautiful kids, her veteran blog is filled with laughter and love about the joys parenthood. Becky is also committed to helping women realize their work-from-home dreams, enjoy life beyond the cubicle and find clarity in the work/life/family balance. Connect with Becky via her website, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest