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Heart Healthy Meal Planning for Elderly

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Heart Healthy Meal Planning for Elderly

February is Heart Healthy Month and we thought a great way to get excited about getting your heart healthy was by finding some really great dishes to make during the cold winter months that are great for your heart and taste great too! Just because it needs to be good for you doesn’t mean it should taste bad! By focusing your daily meals on vegetables, fruits and whole grains and limits high-fat foods (such as red meat, cheese and baked goods) and high-sodium foods (such as canned or processed foods) you can help your heart and still eat foods that taste great.

Sofia's Chicken Paprikash

From: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2007

Brilliant red paprika, the main seasoning in Hungarian cooking, gives this light version of chicken paprikash its color. Vary the heat by using hot, sweet or a combination of paprikas. Serve over whole-wheat egg noodles with a side of steamed broccoli and a cool fruit salad for dessert.

Diabetic Appropriate, Gluten-Free, Healthy Aging, Healthy Immunity, Heart Healthy, High Blood Pressure, Low Added Sugars, Low-Calorie,

Ingredients/ 4 servings

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces

¼ teaspoon kosher salt¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper1 tablespoon canola oil

2 large green bell peppers, thinly sliced

1 Green Pepper

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 teaspoons hot or sweet paprika

½ cup dry white wine

1½ cups canned crushed tomatoes

½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Preparation:  Active 40 m Ready In 40 m

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add bell peppers and onion to the pan and cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine; increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until mostly evaporated, about 1½ minutes. Add tomatoes, broth and lemon juice; bring to a boil. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan; reduce heat to a lively simmer. Spoon some sauce over the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until the sauce is reduced and the chicken is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream. Sprinkle with parsley.

Nutrition information Serving size: about 1¼ cups

Per serving: 257 calories; 8 g fat(2 g sat); 4 g fiber; 15 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 35 mcg folate; 68 mg cholesterol; 8 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,329 IU vitamin A; 81 mg vitamin C; 78 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 382 mg sodium; 720 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (135% daily value), Vitamin A (27% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 3½ lean meat

Beef & Bean Chile Verde

From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2008

Chile Verde, usually a slow-cooked stew of pork, jalapeños and tomatillos, becomes an easy weeknight meal with quick-cooking ground beef and store-bought green salsa. Make it a Meal: Serve with fresh cilantro, red onion and Monterey Jack. Add cornbread on the side and your favorite hot sauce.

Nutrition profile: Gluten-Free, Healthy Aging, Healthy Immunity, Low Added Sugars, Low-Calorie,

Ingredients/4 servings

1 pound 93%-lean ground beef

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic chopped

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

1 16-ounce jar green salsa, green enchilada sauce or taco sauce

1 ¼ cup water1 15-ounce can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed

Preparation Active 20 m Ready In 30 m

Cook beef, bell pepper and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in salsa (or sauce) and water; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in beans and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat just before serving.

Nutrition information Serving size: 1½ cups

Per serving: 379 calories; 12 g fat(4 g sat); 6 g fiber; 29 g carbohydrates; 36 g protein; 75 mcg folate; 87 mg cholesterol; 8 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,936 IU vitamin A; 57 mg vitamin C; 80 mg calcium; 5 mg iron; 682 mg sodium; 774 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (95% daily value), Vitamin A (39% dv), Iron (28% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat

The Mayo Clinic also has a great seven (7) day meal plan to help you keep your eating habits in line!

With as busy as our lives can get, sometimes healthy eating can fall by the wayside. It is never more difficult to make healthy choices than when your mind is occupied with other things- you simply grab the most convenient food available, which is not always nutritious. But even if your schedule is fairly full, it is important to remember the importance of healthy eating, particularly as we age, and dedicate some time to meal planning. Read on to find out some simple, helpful meal planning tips!

Meal Planning Basics

1.)           What to Keep in Your Fridge

If you always keep certain foods on hand, then you will never have to worry about scraping together an unhealthy meal at the last minute. In your refrigerator, be sure to keep items such as apples (which stay good for weeks stored this way) and milk (or another calcium-rich dairy product), which are perfect for snacking or for incorporating into a larger meal.

2.)           What to Keep in Your Freezer

While you can purchase fresh vegetables as often as you’re able, you tend to have to use them up soon. Storing frozen vegetables will leave you with a ready-to-cook source of vitamins at any time: think frozen broccoli, spinach, peas, and baby carrots.

3.)           What to Keep in Your Pantry

Non-perishable foods are extremely helpful when it comes to maintaining healthy eating habits. In your pantry, you can stock things such as brown rice, quinoa, and barley (all excellent sources of whole grain goodness) to be used in many different types of meals.

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