COOKING at home can be simple, affordable and heart-healthy. The bad news is that it’s becoming increasingly rare.
That’s the word from experts who say take-away-from-home meals account for at least half of all U.S. food expenditures. These meals typically contain more saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, added sugars and calories and fewer fruits, vegetables and whole grains than home-cooked meals.
The American Heart Association is serving up help for families who are looking for healthy, affordable solutions thanks to its Simple Cooking with Heart program. The popular website has added 30 recipes, a good mix of popular dishes from around the world, to help teach people that cooking at home can be simple, affordable and heart-healthy.
The program, funded by a $1 million grant from the Walmart Foundation for the second year, features several recipes that can feed four people for under $15.
In addition, there are live cooking demonstrations, online how-to videos, tips and free downloadable host kits that encourage people to host cooking demonstrations or parties with family, friends and neighbors.
A nutritional impact
“With busy, on-the-go lifestyles, many people have lost touch with their kitchens and thrown in the towel on eating healthy, which is key to prevention of heart disease and stroke,” said Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., R.D., an American Heart Association spokesperson. “The program and its recipes make it easy to bring nutrition back in the home, and it’s easy on the pocketbook, too.”
“We believe in supporting initiatives that help people improve their nutritional knowledge and skills, so they are able to identify, shop for and prepare healthy, home-cooked meals,” said Karrie Denniston, director of hunger relief and nutrition at the Walmart Foundation.
Spanish-language materials that include recipes and instructional videos can be accessed at www.heart.org/cocinasimple. To download the Simple Cooking with Heart organization or host kits, find a live cooking demonstration in your area or for more information on the Simple Cooking with Heart program, visit www.heart.org/simplecooking.
Spicy Asian Salad Cups
About $1.50 per serving
½ cup light mayonnaise
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce
2 (12.5-oz) cans salt-free white meat chicken packed in water, drained
1 (8-oz) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
4 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted chopped nuts (cashews, almonds or walnuts)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Juice of 1 lime or 2 teaspoons from jar
12 lettuce leaves (iceberg, green leaf, bib, etc.)
1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard and chili sauce.
2. Stir in chicken, chestnuts, onions, nuts, pepper and lime juice.
3. Spoon equally into lettuce leaves (“cups”) and serve.
Per serving: Calories 215, Total Fat 8.0 g, Saturated Fat 0.5 g, Trans Fat 0.0 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 4.5 g, Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g, Cholesterol 59 mg, Sodium 297 mg, Carbohydrates 8 g, Fiber 2 g, Sugars 0 g, Protein 26 g, Potassium 301 mg, Calcium 8 mg. North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.