Eat your way to a healthy heart
If you're looking to reduce the amount of salt and saturated fat in your diet, then the following three-course menu proves that you won't have to sacrifice on flavour.
This stir-fry combines zingy lemon, garlic and ginger to really pack a punch, while the soup will make a hearty lunch if you have any left over. Round off your meal with a delicious berry brulée – just replace the usual cream with a reduced-fat yoghurt.
Roasted tomato and lentil soup (serves 4 as a main)
800g vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered
2 red onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (optional)
1 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
85g Puy lentils
600ml vegetable stock
2-3 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves
Small fresh basil leaves, to garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Place tomatoes, onions and garlic in a non-stick roasting tin; drizzle with olive oil, season with black pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are soft and slightly charred.
- Meanwhile, put lentils in a saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender (check packet instructions). Drain; set aside.
- Tip roasted vegetables into a blender or food processor. Add a little stock and whiz to form a thick puree; pour pureed tomato mixture into a large saucepan. Add remaining stock and cooked lentils; heat gently until hot, stirring occasionally. Stir in shredded basil.
- Serve in warmed soup bowls and garnish with basil. Serve with crusty French bread.
Lemon chicken stir-fry with noodles (serves 2)
Finely grated zest and juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 small cloves garlic, crushed
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
175g skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp sesame oil
1 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
100g dried medium egg noodles
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 small leek, washed and thinly sliced
100g mange tout, trimmed
55g bean sprouts
2-4 tbsp chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp dry sherry or unsweetened apple juice
2-3 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce, or to taste
- In a non-metallic dish, combine lemon zest and juice, coriander, half the garlic and the black pepper. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- In a non-stick wok over a medium-high heat, dry fry sesame seeds until toasted and set aside.
- Add oil to wok; stir-fry ginger and remaining garlic for 30 seconds. Add chicken and marinade; stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to packet instructions; drain well and keep hot.
- Add carrot and leek to wok; stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining vegetables; stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
- Add stock, sherry and soy sauce. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add hot noodles and sesame seeds; toss to mix well. Serve immediately.
Summer berry brulee (serves 2)
175g mixed summer berries, such as raspberries, strawberries and blueberries
1.5 teaspoons unsweetened apple juice
1.5 teaspoons clear runny honey, or to taste
85g natural yoghurt
115g reduced-fat natural Greek-style yoghurt
35g light soft brown sugar
- Put mixed berries in a bowl, lightly crush fruit with a fork. Add apple juice and honey; stir to mix and set aside for 20 minutes.
- Spoon berry mixture into 2 ovenproof ramekins or small ovenproof dishes, dividing it evenly. Put yoghurts in a bowl and fold together to mix; spoon yoghurt over berry mixture and spread evenly.
- Preheat grill to high. Sprinkle sugar evenly over yoghurt. Place dishes under hot grill (close to heat source); grill for 2-3 minutes or until sugar is melted, bubbling and caramelised. Remove from grill; leave to stand for 5 minutes, then serve (do not chill, as the caramel topping will go soft).
For more delicious recipes ideas like these, download the Healthy Heart Recipe Finder from the British Heart Foundation This free app is available for iPhone and android.
Find out how to look after your heart in benenden health's healthy heart section.