Food to make your heart happy!

By Machaela Magennis, 6:59 am on

Hands up who loves recipes from the Mediterranean Diet? Me too!

I love it because it is often referred to as a heart healthy diet. (Actually, I really love it because I adore seafood and all the fresh tastes that are used). We are so lucky in Australia to have beautiful fresh fruit and vegetables available from a variety of sources like farmer’s markets, supermarkets and even our own backyards! By coupling these great foods with olive oil, we can help to lower our levels of “bad” cholesterol which narrows arteries and can contribute to heart disease.

Further to this, the diet has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, overall mortality, reduced incidences of Cancer, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease, and helps seniors to have a well-balanced lifestyle. This fits perfectly with our Balanced Care Method TM. If you would like to learn more about the Balanced Care Method TM, click the “Contact Us” section on our website.

Wow! This really is a great diet and, when you think about it, quite straightforward. Sometimes we need prompting though, and it is already great to try new recipes.

For your best possible health, try to incorporate more of the following into your diet:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes (like lentils) and nuts
  • Pure Olive oil
  • Herbs and spices as flavour enhancers rather than salt
  • One serve of red meat a week (or less)
  • Fish and poultry at least twice a week

How can we make something delicious, easy and great for us? Here is a vibrant and tasty recipe to ignite your tastebuds and reward your heart health.

Mediterranean Prawn and Pasta
Makes 4 servings
Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 50 grams of cooked or raw prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups chopped cherry or plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups hot cooked angel hair pasta (enough to serve 4 people)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (to serve)

Preparation:

  • Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.
  • Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds.
  • Add prawns; sauté 1 minute. If you are using raw prawns, they will change colour as they cook. If you are using cooked prawns, you can reduce the cooking time to 20 seconds so as not to overcook them.
  • Add tomato and basil; reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until tomato is tender.
  • Stir in kalamata olives, capers, and black pepper.
  • Combine prawn mixture and pasta in a large bowl; toss well.
  • Top with cheese.

You can also add a squeeze or lemon juice if you would like. I add lemon juice to seafood whenever I can because I love it! If you are daring (like I am), you could even add some chili – minced, chopped or powder – whichever you love best.

Enjoy.

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