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Mothers, sisters, friends—this Sunday is a day to celebrate all the special moms in our lives, and what better way to do that than by serving up a healthful and delicious brunch straight from Brenda Watson’s Love Your Heart Eating Plan? Not only are these three dishes simple to make, but they incorporate some of the season’s freshest flavors for a mouthwatering treat. Enjoy!

veggie-pattiesSpring Veggie-Egg Patties
Serves 3
1 zucchini
1 red bell pepper
½ medium onion, chopped
1 large egg
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp. canola oil

Directions: Grate zucchini and bell pepper; dice onion. In a medium bowl, mix zucchini, bell pepper, onion and egg together; season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Form vegetable mixture into 2-inch balls and place in pan. Flatten balls with spatula and cook until lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes on each side. Serve hot.

Savory Turkey Sausage Patties
Serves 3
1 lb. ground turkey
1 tsp. dried sage
½ tsp. fennel seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. salt
Dash each of ground black pepper, ground cayenne, ground allspice

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Shape mixture into 2-inch patties; place on plate and cover with plastic. Refrigerate at least one hour. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties; cook for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, until patties are cooked through. Serve hot.

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.

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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
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
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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