Dietitian Beth Bussey shares heart healthy recipes

dminty@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 31, 2013 

You don't have to be a gourmet chef to cook a delicious, heart-healthy meal in just 20 minutes.

Beth Bussey, a registered dietitian at Columbus Regional's John B. Amos Cancer Center, shares her favorite simple tips and easy recipes for quick and healthy wintertime dinners. She'll be a featured speaker at CSU's Go Red for Women event Feb. 8. RSVP by Feb. 1. Learn more about that event at ledger-enquirer.com/todo.

Healthy, fast-cooking fish is a dinner staple for Beth. She roasts fish fillets and vegetables in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes while she makes a salad, with her own dressing, and prepares a quick salsa for her fish. It's quick, inexpensive and thanks to frozen foods, it doesn't require a last-minute grocery store stop.

"I do use a lot of frozen foods this time of year," Beth says. "We don't live near the ocean, so we're not always going to be able to get fresh fish."

Beth uses Sockeye frozen cod and salmon fillets. They're individually wrapped, so you cook only what you need for that night's dinner. Beth looks for labels that read "wild caught" and, when possible, "wild caught in the USA."

To create a heart-healthy meal, Beth says you first need to rethink your dinner plate. Half the plate needs to be filled with vegetables, one quarter with a good quality lean protein and one quarter with a starch.

For her ideal dinner, a salad and roasted veggies would be on half of Beth's plate while the other half would have one piece of fish, topped with fruit salsa, and one Sweet Potato Biscuit OR one helping of Greek Potato Salad.

To set yourself up for success, "Surround yourself with fun recipes that taste good," Beth says.

To protect your heart, meals should be high in potassium, magnesium and calcium and low in sodium.

An easy way to add nutrients is to add a fruit and a small handful of nuts to salad greens. Be sure to make your own dressing with a little olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice. Beth loves grapefruit in her salad but if you're on blood pressure medications and have been advised to avoid grapefruit, use orange slices or sliced strawberries instead.

Don't be too rigid when planning your meals, Beth says. "Fit your diet to match your cravings and lifestyle."

Basic Greek salad dressing

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

3 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 clove garlic, minced and pressed

Whisk ingredients together and drizzle over mixed salad greens, a few tablespoons of nuts and a sliced fruit such as a grapefruit, an orange or strawberries.

Fresh Fruit Salsa

1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple or mango, chopped

2 cups tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

1/4 cup jalapenos, seeded and chopped

juice of 1 lime

juice of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Greek Potato Salad

2 Tablespoons black olives, sliced

1 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and cubed

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 green onions, chopped

1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimiento, drained

1/4 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

Cut potatoes into bite-sized cubes, and place in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a medium bowl. Combine olives and all remaining ingredients except cheese in a small bowl. Add olive mixture to potatoes and toss lightly to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Just before serving, sprinkle with cheese.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 pound frozen Brussels sprouts

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper and spray on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes. For fresh Brussels sprouts, wash, trim steams and cut in half, before roasting for 30 minutes.

Easy Baked Salmon

1 pound salmon fillets

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon hot sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Place fillets in a large baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper and drizzle over the fish. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. This recipe will work with cod or whatever other fish you'd like to use, too.

Beth uses Sockeye frozen fish fillets.

Sweet potato biscuits

1/3 cup light butter

2 3/4 cups Heart Smart reduced fat Bisquick

1/2 cup skim milk

1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with cooking spray. Put Bisquick and butter in a bowl of food processor with a metal blade and process until crumbly. Add milk and sweet potatoes and pulse, just until combined. Turn out on a floured surface and gently pat the dough into a rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Use a 2-inch round biscuit cutter to make your biscuits. Place on baking sheet and bake 15 minutes.

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