20-Minute Heart-Healthy Meals
Be good to your heart as well as your appetite in 20 minutes or less. With each heart-healthy recipe, we give you serving suggestions for rounding out the meal, plus tips for shortcuts and substitutions.
Fast, Heart-Smart Meals
Tips for quick heart-healthy meals:
1. Make only one main dish and supplement with frozen vegetables and bagged salads.
2. Stock your pantry and fridge with staples like fruit, veggies, whole wheat pasta, lean meat, and low-sodium seasonings.
3. Add easy, low-fat cooking techniques to your repertoire: stir-frying, steaming, broiling, and microwaving.
Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry
A stir-fry is always a good option when you need a healthy dinner in a hurry. This one has very little oil, low-fat shrimp, nutrient-rich broccoli, and it cooks in 10 minutes. Serve over steamed boil-in-bag rice, which you can put in the microwave before you start the stir-fry.
Recipe: Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry
Moroccan Chicken with Fruit and Olive Topping
Skinless, boneless chicken breasts are a staple for quick and easy dinners. Here, they're browned in the skillet and topped with a mixture of dried fruits and olives. A Moroccan-style dish like this one is even better when served over a bed of couscous. To fully carry out the Moroccan theme, end the meal with a cup of mint tea.
Barbecue-Rubbed Pork Chops
Don't write off pork when you're eating for your heart. Lean loin pork chops are low in saturated fat and sodium and high in protein. These are rubbed with a mixture of chili powder, cumin, allspice and red pepper, so the flavor is out of this world. For a simple weeknight meal, serve with refrigerated mashed potatoes and a cucumber salad such as Cucumbers Vinaigrette.
Recipe: Barbecue-Rubbed Pork Chops
Red Snapper over Sautéed Spinach and Tomatoes
Eating fish at least twice a week can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Perk up the flavor of broiled snapper with a Dijon mustard coating and fresh lemon, and serve it over spinach and tomatoes for an easy one-dish meal. Round out the menu with whole-grain rolls or steamed brown rice.
Pan-Grilled Chicken with Cranberry Salsa
Pounding boneless chicken breast halves is a great way to shorten the cooking time as well as make them more tender. But the cranberry salsa–made with refrigerated cranberry-orange sauce and pickled jalapenos–is the real star of this recipe. (It's also great spooned over pork tenderloin or fish.) Complete the menu with steamed green beans tossed with lemon juice and a chopped fresh herb.
Marinara Sauce over Rotini
Put the pasta on first, and let it cook while the marinara sauce simmers. You can use any type of pasta you have on hand, and serve with refrigerated breadsticks and a tossed green salad.
Recipe: Marinara Sauce over Rotini
Pepper and Garlic-Crusted Tenderloin Steaks with Port Sauce
Tenderloin on a weeknight? Why not? Because they're so tender and tasty, very little prep is required, and they cook in under 10 minutes. For an elegant and easy meal, offer a quick-cooking rice pilaf and steamed green beans.
Sesame Pork Rice
Brightly flavored with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and rice vinegar, this fried rice has only a tablespoon of oil, no egg, and lean pork loin. It cooks in 10 minutes, which is certainly faster than take-out. Toss a salad of chopped fresh spinach and mushrooms to accompany the rice.
Recipe: Sesame Pork Rice
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