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 MealsTips 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-FryA 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.
Moroccan Chicken with Fruit and Olive ToppingThe pairing of dried fruit and olives is also characteristic of other North African cuisines, such as Tunisian and Algerian. Serve over Israeli couscous, a pearl-like pasta; sprinkle with chopped green onions.
Sweet-Spicy Glazed SalmonMake simple broiled salmon even more succulent by brushing it with a sweet and spicy glaze. For a meal that's super-charged with heart-healthy nutrients, plate the salmon with a microwave-baked sweet potato and steamed broccoli.
Barbecue-Rubbed Pork ChopsDon'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.
Red Snapper over Sautéed Spinach and TomatoesEating 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 SalsaPounding 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 RotiniPut 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.
Pepper and Garlic-Crusted Tenderloin Steaks with Port SauceTenderloin 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 RiceBrightly 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.