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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
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
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
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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What’s the best thing about Brenda Watson’s Love Your Heart Eating Plan? The recipes! And for all you naysayers out there who think good for you means less flavor, think again. These easy-to-prepare meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner are not only low in sugar and packed with lean protein; they’re delicious! See for yourself how simple it is to enjoy heart-healthy eating.

Rise and Shine Non-oat Nutmeal
Serves 3
¼ cup raw cashews
¼ cup walnut halves
¼ cup pecan halves
3 tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1 large egg
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp. almond butter
1 tsp. butter-like spread
Handful of fresh blackberries

Directions: Combine nuts, flaxseed, cinnamon and ginger in a food processor or blender; process until nuts are coarsely ground. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, almond milk and almond butter. Stir the ground nuts into the egg mixture. Transfer to a medium saucepan, place over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently until it reaches your desired consistency (about 5 minutes). Divide into three servings; top with butter-like spread and blackberries.

Sugar: 2.3 tsp.

Chicken Lime Cobb Saladchickenlimecobb
Serves 2
Ingredients (dressing):
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tsp. minced, jarred pickled jalapeño pepper
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard

Ingredients (salad):
8 oz. cooked chicken breast, chopped
½ red bell pepper, chopped
½ green bell pepper, chopped
¼ red onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
½ avocado, chopped
¼ cup reduced-fat blue cheese crumbles
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
2 cups mixed salad greens

Directions: In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. In a large bowl, combine salad ingredients; divide into two servings, drizzle with dressing and serve.

Sugar: 2 tsp.

Grouper ‘n’ Greensgouperandgreens
Serves 4
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 cups chopped kale or Swiss chard
1 shallot, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, sliced
Two 8-oz. grouper fillets (or other large whitefish)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
4 fresh chives, sliced thinly

Directions: Heat half the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the kale, shallot and garlic, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes (until the vegetables are slightly softened). Add 2 tbsp. water; cover and steam for about 1 minute until the water has cooked off. Remove from pan and set aside. Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and add remaining olive oil; bring to medium-high heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper and place it in the pan, skin side down. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the skin is browned and crisp. Turn the fish fresh side down and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Divide into four servings (serve fish over the kale), drizzle with fresh lemon juice and garnish with chives.

Sugar: 1.6 tsp.

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