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Heart Healthy

I’m declaring May heart month by shopping for and cooking up healthy meals that will boost my cardiovascular system and reduce my blood sugar and blood pressure.

BARLEY BEAN SALAD
2 cups cooked pearl barley
1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, drained
1 cup fresh corn kernels, cooked
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
l/2 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro or parsley sprigs for garnish

Boil 3 cups of water, add 1 cup pearl barley, cover with lid, and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Mix barley with remaining ingredients, except garnish, in large bowl. Chill several hours to allow flavors to blend. Garnish if desired. Serves 8.

HEART HEALTHY OVEN FRIED CHICKEN
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 Tablespoons low-fat milk
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup crushed saltine crackers
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
2-3 pounds of your favorite chicken pieces
2 Tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. In small bowl, combine egg and milk. In shallow container, combine ground flaxseed, crackers, pepper, parsley, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and seasoned salt.

Skin chicken pieces and rinse. Pat dry. Dip chicken pieces into egg mixture and coat with crumb mixture. Place chicken on large, greased sheet pan so pieces do not touch. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake 45 minutes until chicken is tender and juices run clear. Do not turn chicken pieces. Serves 4-6.

BLUEBERRY ALMOND SALAD
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 oz. fresh spinach, torn
5 oz. fresh romaine, torn
3 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

In jar with tight-fitting lid, combine the first five ingredients and shake well. In large salad bowl, toss the spinach, romaine, blue cheese, blueberries, and toasted almonds. Add salad dressing, tossing gently, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

TERIYAKI TUNA BURGERS
2 (6-oz.) cans tuna, drained and flaked
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tablespoon soy sauce, low-sodium
1 Tablespoon teriyaki sauce, low-sodium
1 Tablespoon ketchup
1-1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 Tablespoons canola oil

In large bowl, mix tuna, egg, breadcrumbs, onion, and garlic. Blend soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, sesame oil, and pepper into the mixture. Form tuna mixture into six patties approximately 1 inch thick. Lightly sprinkle each patty on all sides with cornmeal.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Fry each patty about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Serves 4-6.

Coming Next Month: Barbecue Sides

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