Having high blood pressure means eating with your head not just your heart.
What if one could choose recipes purely by their health benefits … no mouth-watering pictures, no tempting ingredients, just something like this:
One Healthy Blood Pressure Meal:
- 100mg Vitamin C, 87mg Magnesium, 920mg Potassium, 217mg Calcium
- Nutrients: Calories: 420; Calories from Fat: 80; Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Sodium: 250mg; Carbs: 73g; Protein: 12g; Fiber: 15g.
- Preparation time 20 minutes, cooking time 45 minutes
No matter how high one’s blood pressure is, possibly only the brave hearted or those who enjoy adventure sports would actually go into their kitchen and stand there for over an hour trying to imagine what they’re cooking.
However, in reality people who do have high blood pressure have to make food choices with their heads and not with their hearts – or rather stomachs and taste preferences. Ironically, even a McDonald’s employee resources website has created a huge media stir by criticizing the nutritional quality of fast food.
So, in all fairness, the recipe above looks great, tastes even better, is heart and hypertension-healthy and goes something like this:
Squash and Eggplant Casserole
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
- 12 baby corn
- 1 small or 1/2 large butternut squash, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded, and cut across into 1-inch slices
- 1 eggplant, halved lengthwise and cut across into 1-inch slices
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups reduced-sodium
- Vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsps. slivered almonds
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- Finely shredded or coarsely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 5 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 cup instant polenta
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsps. chopped fresh oregano
- Heat oil in a flameproof casserole. Add onion wedges and baby corn and sauté over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Add slices of butternut squash to casserole, toss them in the oil, then stir in the eggplant and red pepper. Cover and leave vegetables to cook over a low to medium heat, turning them twice, until they are a light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Pour in wine, let sizzle. Stir in the broth. Bring to boil and add seasoning to taste. Cover casserole and cook in oven for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the topping: Preheat grill to high. Spread slivered almonds on a baking tray and toast under the grill until lightly browned. Watch them closely and shake the tray occasionally to ensure evenly toasted. Place in small bowl and mix in remaining topping ingredients.
- Polenta: Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Gradually whisk in the polenta and continue whisking until the polenta absorbs all the liquid. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until polenta is thick, 5–10 minutes. Beat in Parmesan cheese and oregano with seasoning to taste.
- Serve: Spoon polenta onto plates or into individual bowls. Ladle vegetable casserole on top and sprinkle with the topping.