The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates February as American Heart Month. And all month long New Jammies has been focusing on a lifestyle committed to heart health.
One way the CDC suggests focusing on heart health is making small changes that can lead to a lifetime of healthy choices. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.
The CDC encourages these simple changes to make a big difference. Try these ideas for getting started:
• Talk to your doctor about ways to control high blood pressure.
• Add physical activity to your daily routine.
• Quit smoking.
• Make heathy eating swaps, such as using fresh or dried herbs and spices instead of salt.
• Serve food lower in salt and fat content, provide more fruits and vegetables, and make less sugary sweets.
New Jammies is a big supporter of healthy eating practices for parents and their kids, and we love any recipe that makes family meal planning easier. These recipes from the CDC and the American Heart Association are heart-healthy and delicious. Give them a try this month and all year long!
Oatmeal Pecan Waffles (or Pancakes)
Source: National Institutes of Health, “Deliciously Healthy Family Meals”
Serving Size: 3 small (2-inch) or 1 large (6-inch) waffle (depending on waffle iron size) or pancakes
1 C whole-wheat flour
½ C quick-cooking oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
¼ C unsalted pecans, chopped
2 large eggs, separated (for pancakes, see note)
1½ C fat-free (skim) milk
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
For fruit topping
2 C fresh strawberries, rinsed, stems removed, and cut in half (or substitute frozen strawberries, thawed)
1 C fresh blackberries, rinsed (or substitute frozen blackberries, thawed)
1 C fresh blueberries, rinsed (or substitute frozen blueberries, thawed)
1 tsp powdered sugar
1. Preheat waffle iron.
2. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, sugar, and pecans in a large bowl.
3. Combine egg yolks, milk, and vegetable oil in a separate bowl, and mix well.
4. Add liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir together. Do not overmix; mixture should be a bit lumpy.
5. Whip egg whites to medium peaks. Gently fold egg whites into batter (for pancakes, see note below).
6. Pour batter into preheated waffle iron, and cook until the waffle iron light signals it’s done or steam stops coming out of the iron. (A waffle is perfect when it is crisp and well-browned on the outside with a moist, light, airy and fluffy inside.) (Or make pancakes.)
7. Add fresh fruit and a light dusting of powdered sugar to each waffle, and serve.
Tip: For pancakes, do not separate eggs. Mix whole eggs with milk and oil, and eliminate steps 4 and 5.
Asian-Style Chicken Wraps
Source: National Institutes of Health, “Deliciously Healthy Dinners and Deliciously Healthy” Family Meals
Serving Size: 2 wraps, ¼ C sauce
1 small Jalapeno chili pepper, rinsed and split lengthwise—remove seeds and white membrane, and mince (about 1 Tbsp); for less spice, use green bell pepper
1 Tbsp garlic, minced (about 2–3 cloves)
3 Tbsp brown sugar or honey
½ C water
½ Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp lime juice (or about 2 limes)
1 Tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced (about 2–3 cloves)
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
1 Tbsp lite soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil (optional)
1 Tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
1 (small) head red leaf lettuce, rinsed, dried, and separated into single leaves large enough to create wrap
8 fresh basil leaves, whole, rinsed and dried
2 cups bok choy or Asian cabbage, rinsed and shredded
1. To prepare the sauce, add all ingredients to a saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, and let sit in hot saucepan for 3–5 minutes. Chill in refrigerator for about 15 minutes or until cold.
2. Prepare the chicken by heating oil in a large wok or sauté pan. Add ginger and garlic, and stir fry briefly until cooked but not brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
3. Add chicken, and continue to stir fry for 5–8 minutes.
4. Add soy sauce, sesame oil (optional), and sesame seeds (optional), and return to a boil. Remove from the heat, and cover with lid to hold warm in hot sauté pan.
5. Assemble each wrap: Place one large red lettuce leaf on a plate, then add ½ cup chicken stir-fry, 1 basil leaf, and ¼ cup shredded cabbage and fold together. Serve two wraps with ¼ cup sauce.
Green Chile Stew
Source: American Heart Association
Serving Size: 4
1 Tbsp. corn or canola oil
1 lb. beef sirloin, beef round or flank steak (whatever is on sale), cut into 1/2-inch cubes, all visible fat discarded
1 small onion (yellow or white), chopped
2 clove minced, fresh garlic OR
2 tsp. jarred, minced garlic
2 Tbsp. whole-wheat flour
2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped OR
14.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added, chopped tomatoes
6 Hatch chilies, roasted, skinned OR
2-3 oz. no-salt-added, canned green chilies
1 jalapeño or Serrano pepper (skip this if you don’t like spicy food), chopped, (optional)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1. In a stew pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and add beef. Stir occasionally, until browned ? about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in onion and garlic, cooking 2-3 minutes until onions begin to be translucent.
3. Add flour, stirring until well mixed.
4. Add all remaining ingredients and stir well.
5. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
2 6 – oz. packaged, fat-free pineapple yogurt
1 cup sliced strawberries OR
1 cup mixed berries
1 large banana (about 1 cup sliced)
1/4 cup low-fat granola (4 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp. cocoa, unsweetened
1 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp. hot water
1. To assemble parfaits, in small dish, layer about 1/3 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup sliced strawberries, 1/4 cup sliced bananas and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granola.
2. In small cup, stir together cocoa, confectioners’ sugar and hot water until smooth. Drizzle 1 teaspoon over each parfait.
Instead of fresh berries you can substitute 1 cup frozen mixed berries, thawed.
Substitute any flavor of nonfat yogurt you enjoy.