How to Eat Heart Healthy: The Easy Way


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This is a training module I designed to instruct people about some easy fixes they can do to eat more heart healthy. As a VISTA for Lifebridge, Inc. under the United Way umbrella, I was expected to complete two training modules as part of my year of service. My first was on restaurant etiquette, and the second was this one.

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How to Eat Heart Healthy: The Easy Way

  1. 1. How to EatHeart-Healthy(The Easy Way!)A training module on nutrition for the average adult.
  2. 2. Table of Contents:-Title Page-Table of Contents-Time Frame-List of Materials-Preparation-Introduction-Icebreaker-Training Contents -Outline -Part 1: The Blind Taste Test -Part 2: Presentation of Information -Conclusion and Q&A-Copies of Handouts
  3. 3. Time Frame:Introduction: 2 mins.Icebreaker: 3 mins.Part 1 – The Blind Taste Test: 15 mins.Part 2 – Presentation: 25 mins.Conclusion and Q&A: 5 mins.Total amount of time: 50 mins.**This is an approximation, depending on audienceparticipation and questions as well as time reallocation as themodule leader sees fit.
  4. 4. List of Materials:Dry spaghetti: 1 box regular, one box wholewheat.Jar/can of tomato sauce.Loaf of bread: 1 loaf white, 1 loaf Sara LeeWhite Wheat.Goldfish crackers: 1 package regular, 1package whole wheat.Paper plates: enough for 3 per participant.Plastic forks: enough for one per participant.Dry erase board, chalk board, or flip chartwith accompanying writing implement.One copy of each handout for each participantas well as a pen or pencil for each participant.
  5. 5. Preparation:1. Boil the pasta noodles, cover in warmed-up sauce, and keep in two separate containers (make sure you remember which is which!)2. Make sure that you have serving utensils for the pasta to provide each participant with a small tasting sample for them to rank.3. If you are using the Power Point presentation that comes with this module, make sure you have a projector set up before hand, and make sure it works!4. The parts that are intended to be read aloud (or approximated) to the participants have been printed in red. The parts that are there for your personal instructions are in black.5. For the purposes of this workshop, we are focusing only on foods and information that directly pertains to heart health and high blood pressure regulation. We are not looking at diabetes, which has a different dietary criteria (not hugely different, but different enough not to want to get into it here.)
  6. 6. Introduction: Hello! Welcome to How to Eat Heart-Healthy: The EasyWay! This hour-long workshop is designed to show you howeasy it can be to make heart-healthy nutritional choiceswhile you’re shopping for groceries or eating out atrestaurants. By the end of this workshop, hopefully you willlearn some valuable tips and tricks to painlessly update yourdiet and keep heart disease at bay! Whether you know someone who is currently sufferingfrom heart disease, whether you yourself are suffering, orwhether you just know you have a family history and hopeto prevent heart disease before it starts, this workshopshould prove useful to you. Everyone knows that the hardest part of eating heart-healthy is…well, eating heart-healthy! When you’re busy allday and don’t feel like cooking, it can be very tempting tograb a burger or pop in a sodium-laden microwave mealrather than prepare a healthier meal for yourself. Thisworkshop doesn’t seek to cure you of all your bad eatinghabits, but rather will teach you to make small changes andswaps in your existing routine that can add up over time tobe, literally, a life saver.Let’s start off with an icebreaker, and then we can begin!
  7. 7. Icebreaker:The icebreaker (if it had a name) would becalled “Who are you, and why are you here?”Have each participant stand up and give theirname, a food that they like that starts withthe same letter as their first or last name, andwhy they were interested in taking a courseon heart-healthy eating (i.e. family history,close friend, personal interest, etc.)The purpose of this icebreaker is to provideparticipants with a way to become familiarwith one another in a quick fun way, and toallow the module coordinator to get a sensefor what kinds of questions theseparticipants might want answered, or what’simportant to them in terms of eating heart-healthy (vague interest, personal health, aloved one, etc.)
  8. 8. Outline:I. Introduction: How to Eat Heart Healthy: The Easy Way.II. Icebreaker: Who are you, and why are you here?III. Part 1: The Blind Taste Test. a. I. The Interactive Part of the Proceedings. b. II. The Test. c. III. The Tally and Reactions. d. IV. The Big Reveal.IV. Part 2: Presentation of Information. a. What does “heart healthy” mean? b. Why is it so hard to eat heart healthy? c. Why is it important to eat heart healthy today? d. Super-foods that promote heart health. e. Easy ways to incorporate super-foods in diet.V. Conclusion and Q&A.
  9. 9. Part 1: Blind Taste Test I. The interactive introduction part of the proceedingsOkay, thanks everyone! Now we can begin.Hands up: who here likes pasta? Keep your hand raised if you makepasta at home at least once or twice a month. Keep your hand raisedif you use whole wheat pasta noodles.Chances are that many of them put their hands down at the lastquestion. Why don’t you use whole wheat noodles? When you thinkof the words ‘whole wheat’ what kinds of impressions do you get?What about ‘whole wheat’ makes you not want to buy it?To anyone who kept their hands raised: GREAT! Why do you use it?Do you like it better than regular? When did you make the switch?With that in mind, we are about to start the first part of theworkshop: our blind taste test. I will present you with two plates:one with two samples of spaghetti and tomato sauce, and one withtwo samples of bread and two samples of Goldfish crackers. One ofthe items on each plate is made with whole wheat flour, and one isnot. After you try each item, write your reaction and thoughts downon the handout sheet, as well as which dish you liked better andwhich you think is whole wheat. When you’re finished, stack yourplates to throw away. Also, don’t try to cheat by looking reallyclosely at the food—it’s called a BLIND taste test for a reason. Don’tmake me get the blindfolds. Also, if you have any dietaryrestrictions, you can opt out of sampling a certain dish; just let meknow.
  10. 10. II. The testHand out the taste test sheet from the handouts section with awriting implement to each participant.Is everybody ready? Okay, the first dish is spaghetti and tomatosauce.Hand out a plate and a fork to each participant. Make sure the plateis clearly marked into halves with a permanent, non-toxic marker,and label each of the halves “A” and “B”, as in the diagram below.Place the whole wheat spaghetti on the plate half marked “A” andthe regular spaghetti on the plate half marked “B”. Make sure thereis enough sauce to obscure most of the noodles to prevent peoplefrom looking too closely. Diagram 1: Spaghetti and macaroni plate. A BAfter they finish eating the “A” side, marking their response, andeating the “B” side and marking their response, you may move on tothe next dish.Are you ready to move on? Try the bread first, and the Goldfishcrackers second.The final plate should be divided into unequal quarters and labeledwith two “A”s and two “B”s as in the diagram below. The wholewheat white bread should go in spot “A” and the regular white breadin spot “B”, and the whole wheat Goldfish crackers should go in spot“B” and the regular crackers in spot “A”.
  11. 11. A B Diagram 2: Bread and Goldfish crackers plate. A BIs everybody finished? Okay, stack your plates and forks and sendthem forward.Collect their plates and forks for disposal and move on to section III. III. The tally and reactionsAlright, did everyone write out their responses? Okay, we’re goingto go over each food choice and write down what people thought ofthem on the board up here, and then we’re going to see which ofeach won the taste test. After we do that, I’ll let you guess which onewas whole wheat and which one wasn’t..On the white board or flip chart, make a table marked A and B foreach of the three types of food, as in the small diagram below. Askparticipants to shout out some of the things they thought about eachdish, and as you finish talking about parts A and B for each type offood, ask how many preferred column A and how many preferredcolumn B and keep a tally on the board. When you’ve gone throughall of the responses and written them on the board, you can move onto the big reveal stage.
  12. 12. A B Which one?Pasta Adjectives and “ X number for A descriptions X number for B about the food. ___ wins the How many “ taste test! people liked it best.Bread “ “ “Goldfish “ “ “ IV. The big revealOkay, are you ready for the big reveal? -Spaghetti: “A” was whole wheat, “B” was regular. -White bread: “A” was whole wheat, “B” was regular. -Goldfish crackers: “A” was regular, “B” was whole wheat.As you go through each food group, make sure to remark on thetaste test findings not only for preference, but general remarks onthe taste and texture. Even if there is a slight preference for the non-whole wheat ones, emphasize the good flavor of the whole wheat aswell.I hope that this blind taste test has shown you just how small adifference there is between whole wheat and regular varieties offood. Whole wheat products are infinitely better for you in terms ofdigestion, nutrition, and heart health, and yet whole wheat productsstill haven’t gained prevalence at the supermarket because ofpreconceived notions about the taste or texture of whole wheatproducts.
  13. 13. Whole wheat products, as you have just witnessed, can be madenearly identical to their white flour counterparts. In some cases, thetaste difference is slight or non-existent. In other cases, the tastedifference is noticeable, but not unpleasant, and is a difference notoften missed when eating it on its own. This is the case with mostitems containing whole wheat. It is rare that the taste of a wholewheat item will be “gross” or “grainy”.These days, nearly anything that is made with flour can easily bemade with whole wheat flour, as you saw with the Goldfish crackers.Next time you are shopping, take an extra minute to look around fora whole wheat option—you might be surprised how many there arenow! You can even buy your own whole wheat flour now and use itin your own baking. Try making a cake sometime and see if yourfriends can tell the difference!Okay, with that in mind, let’s talk about some more heart healthyfoods, as well as some easy ways you can integrate them into yourdaily diet and routine.
  14. 14. Part 2: Presentation of Information I. What does “heart-healthy” mean? What do you think of when you hear the words “heart-healthy”? Take a moment here to get some audience feedback; ifyou’d like to write the responses down on the board or flip chart,you can. A lot of people think it means boring, tasteless food, or thatyou have to stick to a vegetarian diet, or that you’re never allowed tohave salt or fatty foods. Do you know what the definition of hearthealthy is? Again, ask around a bit before moving on, particularly ifyou have a receptive audience. A heart-healthy diet refers to a diet that is low in unhealthy fatsand sodium and other ingredients that have been known tocontribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. How many ofyou think that sounds boring? Be honest, now. Feedback again,depending on the whims of the audience. Well, as you learned with our last exercise, heart-healthydoesn’t have to be boring. In fact, the ultimate in heart-healthyprevention eating is about decreasing those bad things, butincreasing consumption of monounsaturated fats and fiber, whichtend to be found in very flavorful foods. And this doesn’t even reallyhave to be a big change from your normal diet, if you’re willing tomake a few well-places swaps on your grocery list. We’ll get intosome easy swaps you can make later in the workshop, but for now,
  15. 15. I’d like to go through a few things and explain why you should careabout eating heart-healthy. II. Why is it so hard to eat heart-healthy? You’d think it would be the simplest thing in the world to eatheart-healthy. It’s good for you, it prolongs your life, and manypeople who regularly eat in a heart-healthy way say that it givesthem more energy and makes them feel better. So why don’t we alldo it? Because it’s hard to change our habits. I’m not professing to take the place of a doctor, but if you’veever received diet advice from a doctor, what does it normally soundlike? Generally, it’s a big list of “don’t”s and a list of good foods thatyou’ve never heard of before. Many people don’t even know how toprepare certain more exotic vegetables, which can limit heart-healthy options only to what’s familiar. And if what’s familiar isn’talready on your shopping list, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever pick it up. Many people have a hard time eating healthy because theysimply lack the time to prepare raw materials for dinner every night.Sometimes it’s easier and more convenient to grab a candy bar onthe run than to remember to pack an apple for a snack. Sometimesit’s a matter of not knowing how to cook, so you end up eating outseveral nights a week rather than taking the time to teach yourself. For a multitude of reasons, eating in a healthful way hasbecome the harder option. How many of you get the triple burgerbecause that combo meal is STILL less than a salad and a drink at afast food place? How many of you actually pick up fruit in Sheetzwhen you stop in for a snack? How many of you throw a candy bar
  16. 16. in your bag because a healthier option like yogurt or an applerequires more preparation (have to pack a spoon, wash the fruit,etc.) It is EXTREMELY difficult to break from our set routines, andmany of our routines do not include taking the time to eat hearthealthy foods. But we can change that with a few minor tweaks. I’mnot saying that this will completely turn around your health. Butwith a few minor tweaks, you can start creating healthier habits foryourself, which will contribute to health and happiness in the longrun. III. Why is it so important to eat heart-healthy? Look around you today: what do you see? Without side-tracking too heavily, our adult population has grown steadilyheavier. Not just heavier, but poorer in health. The United States isnumber one in hospital facilities, but only about 34th in overallwellness. At least some of this disconnect (not all, but some) isbecause modern Americans simply aren’t preparing and eating theirown food anymore. We could blame the dearth of fast foodestablishments, the out-of-control portion sizes, the fast-pacedlifestyle that prevents many of us from having the time or money toprepare healthy food at home. But these feeble excuses exist mostlyto make us feel better about the fact that many of us simply don’tseek out healthier alternatives, opting for what is the easiest instead. Eating heart-healthy is important no matter who you are.Whether you have a family history of heart disease or not, studieshave shown that eating foods that are good for your heart are oftenlinked with weight loss, overall health, a better immune system, andgeneral well-being. A lot of the same super-foods that help maintainheart health are good for you in other ways as well. Whole wheat
  17. 17. flour, as opposed to white flour, has dietary fiber which, if you’rediabetic, can help cancel out some of the carbohydrates inherent inthe pasta. This workshop was not designed to overhaul your lifestyle, ormake you stop eating fast food, or even to try to get you to exercise.The title of this training is “How to Eat Heart Healthy: the EasyWay”. It’s about time we gave you some of those easy tips to makeyour present lifestyle, whatever it may be, a little bit heart-healthierwith minimal effort. So let’s talk about “super-foods”. IV. Super-foods that promote heart health. What are “super-foods”, you ask? Super-foods are very nutrientdense, low-calorie foods that do marvelous things for your innards. Here are some heart-healthy “super-foods”. These foods havebeen found to contain the highest amounts of nutrients with thelowest number of harmful lipids. They tend to be darker in color andricher in flavor than other foods, owing to the oodles of nutrientscontained within them. Obviously you know fruit is good for you, but some heart-healthy super-fruits are things like blueberries, strawberries,cherries, cranberries, kiwis, and plums. Dark skinned berries andfruits are high in antioxidants, which help ward off cancer, and helpregulate blood pressure and inflammation. Vegetables are also good for you, but did you know that iceberglettuce, the lettuce that most house salads are made with, is nearlydevoid of nutrients? It’s mostly water! Dark greens like romainelettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, and chard are the best for you in asalad, and are pretty tasty in other things as well. Avocados are high
  18. 18. in good fats and other nutrients to help maintain heart-health, andyour parents were absolutely right when they told you to eat yourbroccoli: its dark color makes it very nutrient-dense. Sweet potatoesare also quite healthy, and taste fantastic! Though technically beans are legumes rather than vegetables,the fact remains that many people think of them as such. Beans areexcellent heart-healthy foods, especially beans like kidney beans,black beans, and chickpeas. Nuts are also legumes, and can be greatheart-healthy foods when eaten in moderation. Nuts like almondsand walnuts are fantastic, as are hazelnuts and macadamia nuts. Justdon’t eat too many—they’re very high in fat! (But good fats!) Lean cut meats and chicken are fairly good for you, but don’tlend too much in the way of nutrients and omega-3s. If you wantultimate heart benefits, try incorporating fish like salmon, mackerel,sardines, and tuna into your weekly menu to see some solid healthbenefits right off the bat! Many eggs now also have Omega fattyacids, which are great for you. Just be moderate with eggconsumption—they also have a good deal of cholesterol! Tofu,though not a meat, is a tasty meat substitute that picks up theflavors of whatever it is cooked in. Consider swapping meat for tofuwhen you make things like chili and stir fry. Obviously we’ve gone on and on about whole-wheat asopposed to bleached white flour. There are very few flour-baseditems now that are not available in a whole-wheat variety for acomparable price, so check them out next time you shop. If youLOVE a certain type of food, and don’t feel that whole wheat willever rival the taste, that still does not prevent you from purchasingother whole wheat items. You don’t have to overhaul your WHOLE
  19. 19. cabinet—just know that whole wheat items have nutritional fiber,and are an easy way to keep your heart running strong. Additionally,oatmeal is a great heart-healthy food, and can be eaten in a varietyof things and a variety of ways. Get creative! Here are some fun things you might not realize are hearthealthy: dark chocolate and red wine! Dark chocolate is chock full offlavonoids, which are great for your heart, and red wine hassomething in it called resveratrol, which raises HDL, the goodcholesterol. Don’t think you can handle dark chocolate straight?There are dark chocolate covered Raisinets and dark chocolatepeanut M&Ms, both of which also have heart super-foods insidethem, that are dark chocolate without being too bitter. Give them atry! Curry powder, olive oil, and green tea are also three fantasticheart healthy super-foods to keep in mind while you’re going aboutyour shopping. If you’re a tea drinker, green tea is great with a bit ofhoney or lemon as a sweetener, olive oil works great as a cooking oilOR as half of a very tasty salad dressing, and curry can be modifiedfor every person’s personal taste. V. Easy ways to incorporate super-foods into your diet. Now that you know some of the super-foods, I can already hearyour internal voice going, “Okay, she sounds like my doctor—shejust gave me a list of raw ingredients!” Yeah, that list sounds scary,but I’m just going to give you a few ideas to make easy swaps inrecipes you’re already making at home that will increase thenutrient content of your food and set you up for good heart health.
  20. 20. Do I even need to mention whole grains again? Whole grain isabout the easiest swap you can make. Be it pasta, Goldfish crackers,all-purpose flour, Ritz crackers, pancake batter, or what have you, aswitch to whole grain is super easy, super tasty, and superbeneficial. Though there are many heart healthy cereals on the market(Lucky Charms don’t count!), oatmeal is an easy switch to make inthe morning. Though the pre-packaged ones normally have a lot ofextra (and unnecessary) sugars, they are a good first step towardseating a healthier breakfast. Top with blueberries, strawberries, orcranberries, throw in some walnuts, and mix with a bit of honey formaximum heart-healthiness! Buying a bag of salad? Go for a bag full of darker greens ratherthan lighter greens and you’ll automatically be making a hugechange for the better! If you can’t give up your Ranch dressing, atleast make sure the lettuce you’re putting it on has some nutrients init. And if you feel like making an extra big change, it is easy to makeyour own salad dressing with half olive-oil and half balsamicvinegar! Mix in an empty bottle, shake well before use, and enjoy asuper-tasty, super-heart healthy salad. Now what about those folks who don’t make salad? There areall sorts of easy things you can do to include these heart healthyfoods. Do you make baked potatoes for dinner? Try swapping outyour usual russet potato for a sweet potato. Bonus: the strong sweetflavor of the sweet potato normally means you don’t have to add asmany toppings, so it’s good for your waistline too! Just pop a littlebit of low-cal margarine on top and dig in!
  21. 21. Do you eat at Wendy’s? Did you know that a small cup of chilihas less calories and more nutrients than a Caesar side salad does?Make a swap from French fries to chili as your side dish and dig in! Rather than grabbing a bag of Doritos for a party, pick up somelow-sodium tortilla or corn chips instead and grab (or make, ifyou’re so inclined) some guacamole or bean dip to eat them with.Don’t like guac? Go for a tomato-rich salsa to get in your nutrientsthat way. Buy small containers or snack bags and buy a large containerof craisins, prunes, or almonds and make your own snack packs foron the go snacks. It’ll take you ten minutes one weekend, but you’llhave a lot of pre-packaged snacks to toss in your bag on the go. Ifyou must grab a snack when you’re about, try to grab somethingwith some of the super-foods in it! Trail mix is a good, if fatteningbet, and Snickers bars make almond versions of their famous barsnow. Dark chocolate is always a good bet as well as a snack on thego! Grabbing a cookie? Get one with nuts. It’s not the healthiestsnack, but the nuts will give you nutrients you might not otherwisehave gotten. These are some small, easy steps you can take to help give youBIG health benefits. We’ve also included a handout with some quick,easy, heart-healthy recipes that are tasty and filling. Pick one or twoand give them a shot!
  22. 22. Conclusion If you take nothing else away from this workshop, rememberthis: it is never too late to start doing better things for yourself.Whether your 25, 45 or 95, you can absolutely take some of thetweaks and tricks you learned today, apply them to your diet, andhopefully enjoy more healthy, happy years free of heart disease.Every little step counts, because if you take enough little steps, theystart looking pretty big. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the UnitedStates, and these risks can be diminishes as much as 82% simply bybeing active, not smoking, eating well, and managing your stresslevels. Hopefully this workshop gave you some handy ideas forimproving your diet so you can start living healthier and happierwithout sacrificing your lifestyle. The ideal heart healthy diet is made up of five fruit andvegetable servings a day, three fiber-rich whole grain servings a day,protein at least every other day, under 1500g of sodium, and sparingamounts of flour and sugar. If that doesn’t sound like your diet, don’tdespair—these kinds of changes don’t happen overnight. Just makesome strategic food swaps, and soon you’ll be eating better than youever thought and can hopefully enjoy many more long, wonderfulyears of healthy life. Q&A
  23. 23. HandoutsTaste Test WorksheetList of Heart-Healthy FoodsEasy Heart-Healthy Recipes
  24. 24. Blind Taste TestDish #1: Spaghetti with tomato sauce.Pasta A: 1 2 3 4 5Pasta B: 1 2 3 4 5Comments:___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Dish #2: Slice of white bread.Bread A: 1 2 3 4 5Bread B: 1 2 3 4 5Comments:_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Dish #3: Goldfish crackers.Crackers A: 1 2 3 4 5Crackers B: 1 2 3 4 5Comments:_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  25. 25. List of Heart-Healthy Foods:-Blueberries -Sardines-Strawberries -Tuna-Cherries -Tofu-Plums/prunes -Kidney beans-Kiwis -Chickpeas-Red Wine -Black beans-Almonds -Spinach-Walnuts -Romaine lettuce-Macadamia nuts -Kale-Hazelnuts -Swiss chard-Avocados -Broccoli-Dark chocolate -Sweet potatoes-Olive oil -Curry-Oatmeal -Green tea-Salmon-Mackerel
  26. 26. Easy Heart-Healthy Recipes#1: Spinach Balls – quick, easy, kid-friendly. Even veggie haters love this!Ingredients: 2 (10 ounce) boxes frozen spinach, drained well 3/4 cup melted butter 1 small onion, finely chopped 4 eggs 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 cups seasoned bread crumbsDirections: 1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients until well mixed. 2. Roll into 2 inch, walnut-sized balls. 3. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. 4. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350ºF for 20 minutes.#2: Kidney Bean Salad – an easy, tasty side dish for a lean meat.Ingredients: 2 cups cold, cooked, or canned kidney beans, drained ½ cup sliced scallions/green onions with some tops 3 tbsp olive oil ½ c finely chopped walnuts ¼ to ½ tsp ground red pepper Salt, pepper to taste 3tbsp chopped fresh mint orparsleyDirections:1. Combine ingredients, except for mint or parsley, in medium bowl.
  27. 27. 2. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours to blend flavors.3. Serve sprinkled with mint or parsley. Makes a great side dish for grilled orskewered meats.#3: Chicken Quesadillas with Avocado-Tomato Salsa – filling, tasty, quick.Ingredients: 2 teaspoon(s) canola oil 1 green onion, thinly sliced 1 lime 1 pound(s) skinless, boneless thin-sliced chicken breasts, cut into 1- inch-wide strips 4 burrito-size whole-wheat tortillas (check Mexican food/bread aisle) 1 cup(s) reduced-fat (2%) shredded Mexican cheese blend 1/2 avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces 3/4 cup(s) salsaDirections 1. Heat oil on medium 1 minute. Add green onion and cook about 6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. 2. Meanwhile, from lime, grate 1 teaspoon peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice. Evenly season chicken on both sides with lime peel, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. 3. Add chicken to green onion in skillet; cook 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Transfer to bowl; stir in lime juice. 4. Evenly divide chicken mixture and cheese on half of each tortilla; fold over to make 4 quesadillas. 5. In same skillet, cook quesadillas on medium, in 2 batches, 8 minutes per batch or until browned on both sides and heated through. Cut each quesadilla into thirds. Stir avocado into salsa; serve with quesadillas.
  28. 28. #4: Shrimp Fra Diavolo – quick, easy, and pretty cheap.Ingredients: 12 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined (check freezer section) 14 oz crushed tomatoes (canned is fine) 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1tbsp minced garlic from jar) 2 tsp red pepper flakes 4 oz dried whole-wheat spaghetti 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 1/4 tsp dried oregano or thyme Salt and pepper to taste 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsleyDirections:1. Boil a large pot of salted water for the pasta.2. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes, oliveoil, onion, garlic, and oregano or thyme, and cook until the onions are soft. Addthe tomatoes.3. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook according to the packagedirections.4. Add the shrimp to the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 to4 minutes. Drain the pasta, toss with as much of the sauce as you like, andgarnish with parsley.Serving Suggestions:Eat with a simple green salad (spinach or romaine or arugula) tossed witholive oil and balsamic vinegar (more heart healthy foods!)
  29. 29. #5: Tuna Salad and Baked Sweet Potato: Omega-3s, fiber, and it’s super easy!Ingredients: (Tuna Salad) 2 cans of tuna (you can used pre-flavored tuna if you like) Can of black beans 1 tomato 1 red bell pepper A couple leaves of some dark green vegetable of your choiceIngredients: (Baked Sweet Potato) 1-2 medium sized sweet potatoes Heart-healthy margarine spread Sea salt Olive oilDirections:1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, place potato on center rack, set timer for 40-45 minutes.2. Get a nice sized bowl and put beans and drained tuna into it.3. Cut up the tomato, red pepper, and lettuce leaves and mix with tuna andbeans. Pop in refrigerator.4. When the timer goes off, your potato is done. Take it out, pop it on the plate,cut it open, and add butter to melt over it.5. Take tuna salad out of refrigerator and add to other side of plate. Dig in!#6: Strawberry-Blueberry Parfait: Super quick, patriotic, great for summer!Ingredients: 2 cups fresh strawberries 1 to 2 cups blueberries 1 to 2 tsp sugar (optional)
  30. 30. 4 small scoops raspberry or strawberry sherbet ½ to 1c vanilla yogurt or whipped toppingDirections:1. Wash berries; hull and slice strawberries.2. Toss berries with sugar, if desired.3. In dessert dish, cup, or bowl, put a scoop of sherbet.4. Spoon strawberries and blueberries over the sherbet, then top with a fewtablespoons of the yogurt or whipped topping.#7: Iced Green Tea: light, refreshing, heart-healthy.Ingredients: 4 cups boiling water 8 regular green tea bags 2 cups cold water 1/2 cup no-calorie artificial sweetener 1 lemon (optional—add slices to drink)Directions:1. In a saucepan, pour boiling water over tea bags; cover and steep 5 minutes.2. Remove tea bags from water, squeezing gently.3. Stir in 2 cups cold water and sweetener, stirring until sweetener dissolves.4. Serve over ice or let tea come to room temperature then serve over ice.