Heart Healthy Entertaining
Most of us feel the need to serve “regular” food at parties rather than inflict our low fat diet on guests. The flaw in this rationale is that heart disease is still the number one killer in the U.S. and it kills more women than all cancers combined. That means the odds are at least a few of your guests would benefit greatly from a heart-healthy meal!
There is no reason low fat dishes can’t look wonderful and taste delicious. It may take a little experimentation, but most of your favorite recipes can be modified to be lower in fat and calories, but equally yummy.
The mantra “simple foods prepared simply” will get you pointed in the right direction. For example:
- petite (4 to 5 ounce) fillets on the grill (not the 8 ounce version)
- baked potatoes
- steamed vegetables
Try these healthy embellishments:
- steak sauce instead of béarnaise
- light sour cream for the potatoes instead of regular
- lemon rind on the veggies instead of butter
- vinaigrette salad dressing on spring greens instead of Ranch or Bleu Cheese dressing
- angel food cake with fresh fruit for dessert instead of a rich cake and ice cream
It is a simple, elegant meal and very healthy for anyone with a cholesterol problem, heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. (See this month’s Calorie Conscious to see just how many fat grams and calories were saved with the changes – it’s amazing).
Be sure to “dress” the plate with garnishes such as parsley or chopped chives. Your guests will love this healthy, delicious meal.
This dish is loaded with flavor and very easy – a perfect low fat entrée for every day or entertaining. If you are concerned about the sodium content, eliminating the salt from this dish will reduce it by 436 mg. See what changes can be made in other recipes in Calorie Conscious.
- 1 package frozen broccoli spears
- 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves, cooked
- 1½ tablespoons light (5 grams fat per tablespoon) margarine
- 3½ tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups skim milk
- ¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon regular mayonnaise
- 3½ tablespoons low fat (2 grams per tablespoon) mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Lightly spray baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Cook broccoli according to package directions; drain. Arrange broccoli in 4 portions in prepared baking dish. Top each portion with one chicken breast. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt margarine. Blend in flour, mustard, and salt. Slowly whisk in milk, stirring until thickened; add Worcestershire sauce. Blend in mayonnaises. Pour sauce over chicken breasts. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Put under broiler until browned on top.
Note: This dish can be assembled earlier in the day and refrigerated. At serving time, pre-heat oven to 350°. Heat casserole for 20-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Lightly brown under broiler.
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrients per serving:
- Calories 376
- Cholesterol 116 mg
- Fat 12 g (30%)
- Sodium 841 mg
- Carbohydrate 17 g
- Protein 50 g
Here are the nutritional analyses for the original high fat meal and the heart-healthy version:
- 8 ounce fillet of beef w/2 tablespoons Bearnaise sauce
- 1 large baked potato w/1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 cup steamed broccoli w/1 teaspoon butter
- 1 cup salad greens w/2 tablespoons Ranch dressing
- 1 piece iced chocolate cake w/ 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
- Cholesterol 317 mg
- Fat 74 g (33 sat)
- Sodium 855 mg
- Carbohydrate 53 g
- Protein 75 g
- 4 ounce fillet of beef w/1 tablespoon steak sauce
- 1 small potato w/2 tablespoons light sour cream
- 1 cup steamed broccoli w/1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1 cup salad greens w/2 tablespoons light vinaigrette dressing
- 1/12 of angel food cake w/ 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
- Calories 521
- Cholesterol 85 mg
- Fat 15 g (5 sat)
- Sodium 799 mg
- Carbohydrate 56 g
- Protein 43 g
Diane’s Chicken Divine is delicious served with basmati or wild rice and a green salad. Since it can be made in advance, you’ll have time to spend with your guests.