Limit sodium. Ban trans fats. I know, I know. Keeping my heart in healthy form means paying attention to what I eat. And, let's face it: I'm a nutrition editor, so I obviously like eating healthfully. But what's with all of the negative talk? Can't we just focus on what we can eat? What I should eat? Let's hear something positive for a change. And that's why I absolutely love the American Heart Association's recommendation to eat fish, particularly fatty kinds like salmon, twice a week to get healthy amounts of omega-3s. (Get more with easy recipes for Blackened Salmon Sandwich and 25+ more meals.)
Eating fatty fish may reduce the risk of heart disease by 30 percent, research suggests. The omega-3 fats in fish lower triglycerides and blood pressure; they also can help prevent irregular heart rhythms. (Click here for a full 28-day meal plan of heart-healthy recipes.)
Right now, I'm pregnant (not to mention feeding a little guy who's not yet two), so I'm careful to make my two servings of fatty fish ones that are especially low in mercury and other toxins. Lately, I've been eating lots of wild salmon: it's high in omega-3s, low in mercury and a sustainable choice. Try four of my favorite recipes:
Salmon & Eggplant Curry: We're such curry fans that we buy the giant bags of jasmine rice. This recipe pairs salmon with eggplant, another great source of soluble fiber, and sugar snap peas (mmm...). Basil and lime infuse the coconut milk with just the right flavor.
Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter: This super-simple (fast!) recipe, seasoned with chili powder and lime, has great Mexican flair. I like to pair it with Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes and sautéed spinach for a dinner that weighs in under 500 calories and provides loads of powerhouse nutrients (beta carotene, fiber, folate).
Salmon & Roasted Vegetable Salad: Roasted veggies and salmon (canned works great!) on leafy greens with a flavor-packed vinaigrette makes for a hearty dinner that's packed with good nutrition.
Black Bean & Salmon Tostadas: Avocados (which provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fats) and black beans (full of cholesterol-controlling soluble fiber) are big in my house-and canned salmon makes this recipe easy enough for weeknights.
4 servings, 2 tostadas each
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 8 6-inch corn tortillas
- Canola oil cooking spray
- 1 6- to 7-ounce can boneless, skinless wild Alaskan salmon, drained
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeños, plus 2 tablespoons pickling juice from the jar, divided
- 2 cups coleslaw mix (see Tip) or shredded cabbage
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
- 2 tablespoons prepared salsa
- 2 scallions, chopped
- Lime wedges (optional)
- Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375°F.
- Coat tortillas on both sides with cooking spray. Place on 2 baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until light brown, 12 to 14 minutes.
- Combine salmon, avocado and jalapeños in a bowl. Combine cabbage, cilantro and the pickling juice in another bowl. Process black beans, sour cream, salsa and scallions in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on High until hot, about 2 minutes.
- To assemble tostadas, spread each tortilla with some bean mixture and some salmon mixture and top with the cabbage salad. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.
Tips & Notes
- Kitchen tip: Look for convenient preshredded cabbage-and-carrot "coleslaw mix" near other prepared vegetables in the produce section of the supermarket.
Per serving: 319 calories; 11 g fat (2 g sat, 6 g mono); 16 mg cholesterol; 16 g protein; 12 g fiber; 352 mg sodium; 670 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (60% daily value), Folate (27% dv), Potassium (19% dv), Iron (18% dv), source of omega-3s.
By Nicci Micco
Nicci Micco is deputy editor of features and nutrition at EatingWell and co-author of EatingWell 500-Calorie Dinners. She has a master's degree in nutrition and food sciences, with a focus in weight management. She's addicted to ice cream and pizza. But she also can't imagine going a week without eating sweet potatoes, salad greens or kidney beans. Kale and beets also rank at the top of her favorite-foods list.
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