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Dining outdoors is one of the best things about spring and summer, so why not host a patio party and invite a few friends for the evening? On the menu are three new light and delicious recipes straight from Brenda Watson’s Love Your Heart Eating Plan that are sure to dazzle your dinner guests.

Seared Sesame Tuna
Serves 4
Ingredients (slaw):
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. low-sodium tamari
1 tbsp. mirin
1 tbsp. rice vinegar (sugar-free)
2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups green cabbage shreds
1 cup Napa cabbage shreds
1 cup bok choy, sliced thinly
½ red bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 carrot, sliced thinly
3 scallions, sliced thinly

Ingredients (tuna):
1 tbsp. tan sesame seeds
½ tbsp. black sesame seeds
¼ tsp. wasabi powder
1 lb. tuna steak (about 4 individual 4-oz. pieces, 2 inches thick)
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced

Directions: In a small bowl, whisk together sesame oil, tamari, mirin, vinegar, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. In a large bowl, combine cabbage, bok choy, red bell pepper, carrot and scallions; add dressing and mix well. Set aside for at least 20 minutes before serving. In a shallow bowl, combine sesame seeds and wasabi powder; coat tuna steaks with mixture, making sure both sides are covered. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear tuna in pan for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until both sides are well browned but tuna is still very rare in the center. Garnish with cilantro and serve with slaw.

Ligurian Chicken
Serves 4
Ingredients:
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 cups kale leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 scallions, minced
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 large onion, sliced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
Four 6-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded lightly)
1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups water or low-sodium chicken stock

Directions: Preheat oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, lightly mash chickpeas with fork. Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add kale and garlic; sauté for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cooked kale to chickpeas, then add scallions and cheese. Let cool. Scatter onion and tomato on bottom layer of a 9×12 baking dish; layer on mint leaves. Gently fold chicken breasts around chickpea mixture and place in baking dish atop tomato and onion. Top with lemon slices and red pepper flakes; pour in water or stock. Lightly cover with foil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until chicken breasts are completely cooked through. Serve and enjoy.

Jicama Beet Salad
Serves 4
Ingredients:
½ large jicama
1 red beet
1 golden beet
1 tbsp. lime juice
½ tsp. fresh ginger, minced
Salt to taste

Directions: Peel and julienne jicama and beets; place in large bowl. Add lime juice, ginger and salt; mix well. Set aside at least 20 minutes before serving.

Remember, the Love Your Heart Eating Plan is a simple and heart-healthy way to eat that focuses on reducing your daily sugar intake and increasing the amount of lean protein, healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables, and low-sugar fruits in your diet to help you stay satisfied throughout the day. Enjoy!

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The weather is warming up—why not the menu? Just in time for spring, here are three delicious and easy-to-prepare recipes straight from Brenda Watson’s Love Your Heart Eating Plan that are sure to add a little exotic flavor to your table!

indian_garbanzosIndian Spiced Garbanzos
Serves 4
Ingredients:
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
½ medium onion, diced
1 tbsp. garam masala (or substitute a high-quality curry powder)
2 tbsp. tomato paste
One 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup cauliflower florets
One 14-oz. can low-sodium vegetable stock
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt

Directions: Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garam masala; sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until onion is softened and seasonings are aromatic. Add tomato paste and sauté for an additional minute. Add chickpeas, cauliflower and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until cauliflower is tender and a sauce is formed. If sauce appears too thick, add a little water or additional stock. Garnish each serving with cilantro and a dollop of yogurt; serve and enjoy!

Garlic-n-Lemon Shrimp
Serves 2
Ingredients:
12 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 pound large shrimp (21 to 25 count), peeled and deveined
½ tsp. smoked paprika
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Directions: Preheat oven to 375°. Combine garlic and oil in a small ovenproof skillet and bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside; separate garlic from oil and set aside. Transfer remaining oil to a large sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, paprika, and red pepper; sauté shrimp for about 3 minutes per side, until they turn pink. Add baked garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Remove from heat; toss with lemon juice and parsley and serve.

Lemongrass Chicken
Serves 4
Ingredients:
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, minced
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 fresh chili pepper (such as serrano or jalapeño), seeds removed, minced
2 fresh lemongrass stalks, outer layer removed, minced
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 tbsp. reduced-sodium tamari
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, chopped
4 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions: In a medium bowl, combine garlic, shallot, curry powder, chili and lemongrass. Add chicken and tamari and stir to coat well; set aside to marinate. Heat half the oil in a large sauté pan or wok over high heat. Add marinated chicken and stir-fry, turning every few minutes, until well browned on all sides. Add 2 tbsp. water and continue to cook until chicken is fragrant, appears glazed, and is cooked through when pierced with a fork or knife. Remove from pan and set aside. Wipe pan clean and heat remaining oil in same pan. Add ginger and stir-fry for an additional minute. Add chard and stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until chard is wilted and ginger is fragrant. Place chard on a serving plate and top with chicken pieces. Garnish with scallions and serve.

Remember, the Love Your Heart Eating Plan is a simple and heart-healthy way to eat that focuses on reducing your daily sugar intake and increasing the amount of lean protein, healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables, and low-sugar fruits in your diet to help you stay satisfied throughout the day. Enjoy!

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