June Featured Article: High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a common and dangerous condition. Having high blood pressure means the pressure of the blood in your blood vessels is higher than it should be. But you can take steps to control your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
About 1 of 3 U.S. adults—or about 75 million people—have high blood pressure.1 Only about half (54%) of these people have their high blood pressure under control.
Cacao Nib & Almond Green Smoothie Bowl
For the Smoothie
- 3 teaspoons (15 ml) cacao nibs, divided
- 1 cup (240 ml) 0% plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) almond butter
- 1 medium banana, frozen
- 2 cups (57 grams) raw spinach, packed
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) rolled oats
For the Topping
- 1/4 small banana, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh raspberries
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) whole raw almonds, coarsely chopped
- Place 2 teaspoons of the cacao nibs in the container of a powerful blender.
- Add the yogurt, almond butter, frozen banana, spinach and oats and blend, tamping or scraping down to make a smooth puree.
- Divide between two cereal bowls and smooth the mixture.
- Arrange the banana slices, raspberries, chopped almonds and remaining cacao nibs on top of the smoothie. Serve immediately with a spoon.
Makes 2 servings | Serving Size: 1/2 recipe
Nutrition per serving: 292 calories, 9g fat, 2g Saturated Fat, 1g Monosaturated Fat, 4mg Cholesterol, 58mg Sodium, 41g Carbohydrate, 8g Dietary Fiber, 18g Sugar, 15g Protein
Chopped Mexican Salad with Lime
This fresh chopped salad is full of color! A citrus marinade drizzled over the vegetables brings them to life. Serve this salad as a lovely side dish or as an entrée.
- ½ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ Tbsp honey
- 6 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup jicama, peeled and chopped (can substitute celery, radish, or cucumber)
- 15 oz can corn, drained and rinsed
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 ripe avocados, peeled and diced
- ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese
- To make the dressing, in a small bowl which together lime juice, olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic and honey. Dressing is best served at room temperature.
- Spread lettuce evenly across a large serving platter. Arrange beans, jicama, corn, bell pepper, and avocados side by side on top of lettuce. Garnish with cheese. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, for at least an hour.
- Drizzle with dressing before serving.
Makes 8 servings | Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Nutrition per serving: 240 Calories, 15g Total Fat, 3g Saturated Fat, 180mg Sodium, 24g Carbohydrate, 8g Fiber, 7g Protein
Fish Fillets with Lemon Parsley Topping
- 4 (6oz) lean white fish fillets (such as mahi mahi, cod, flounder, or snapper)
- Paprika, salt, and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- ¼ tsp dried dill
- 1 lemon, halved
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with foil, coat foil with cooking spray, arrange the fillets on foil, and sprinkle evenly with the paprika. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake 10 minutes or until the fish is opaque in the center.
- While fish is cooking, combine the olive oil, parsley, lemon zest, and dill in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
- Using a slotted spatula, remove the fish from the baking sheet and place on four dinner plates. Squeeze lemon juice evenly over all fillets, and top with parsley mixture.
Makes 4 servings | Serving size is 4 1/2 oz cooked fish and 1 Tbsp parsley mixture
Nutrition per serving: 285 Calories, 17g Total Fat, 3g Saturated Fat, 1g Carbohydrate, 33g Protein, 75mg Sodium
Mini Bell Pepper Nachos
- 8 ounces baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, minced
- 1 pound lean ground beef (93% lean)
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 pound mini sweet bell peppers, sliced lengthwise and de-seeded
- 8 ounces shredded Mexican cheese
- 1 avocado
- 1 lime, juiced
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 jalapeno (optional)
- ¼ cup minced red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large food processor, add mushrooms process until small chop or minced.
- In a large sauté pan, cook ground beef over high heat until brown; add taco seasoning to coat beef. Stir in mushrooms; remove from heat.
- Place mini pepper halves on baking sheet, and stuff each with beef and mushroom blend. Top each pepper with cheese; bake for 15 minutes.
- In food processor, add avocado, lime juice, sour cream, and jalapeno (if using); process until smooth and creamy.
- Once nachos are done baking, garnish each with red onion, avocado cream and cilantro. Enjoy!
Serves 8 | Serving Size: 1/8 recipe
Nutrition Per Serving: 228 Calories, 13g Total Fat, 7g Saturated Fat, 2g Monosaturated Fat, 47mg Cholesterol, 232mg Sodium, 11g Carbohydrate, 3g Dietary Fiber, 4g Sugar, 18g Protein
No-Cook Pasta Sauce
This fresh and flavorful sauce is also called “Checca Sauce” and is one of Giada de Laurentiis’ delicious creations.
- 8 ounces angel hair pasta (try Barilla Protein Plus) OR zucchini noodles
- 4 green onions (white and pale green parts only), coarsely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 (12-ounce container) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 (1-ounce) piece Parmesan, coarsely chopped
- 8 to 10 fresh basil leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often. If using zucchini noodles, place a skillet over medium-high heat, add in some olive oil or cooking spray. Once the skillet is hot (flick water in, it should sizzle), add in the zucchini noodles. Toss the zucchini noodles lightly with pasta tongs and cook for 3-5 minutes or until al dente. Don’t let the noodles cook for longer or they’ll wilt and look lifeless.
- Meanwhile, combine the next 7 ingredients in a food processor. Pulse just until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped (do not puree).
- Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water. Toss the pasta or zucchini noodles with the tomato mixture and fresh mozzarella in a large bowl. Add some of the reserved pasta water (about ¼ cup) if the sauce looks dry. Serve immediately.
NOTE: You can use chicken broth or vegetable broth in place of the water and salt for more flavor.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition per serving (with angel hair pasta): 427 calories, 19g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 240mg sodium, 49g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 18g protein
Nutrition per serving (with zuchinni noodles): 250 calories, 19g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 228mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 12g protein
Slow-Cooker Flank Steak Tacos
- 1¼ pounds flank steak
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 lime, juiced
- ½ cup water
- 12 corn tortillas (6-inch)
- ¾ cup pico de gallo (store-bought or homemade)
- Place the flank steak in a slow cooker. Sprinkle the meat with chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin. Pour the lime juice over the steak. Pour in the water.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until done. Shred the steak with a fork.
- Scoop about 1½ ounces of steak into each tortilla. Top each taco with 1 Tbsp. pico de gallo.
Makes 12 tacos
Nutrition per taco: 130 calories, 4g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 13g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 11g protein, 110mg sodium