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The Healthy Heart Cookbook

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Ellie's 5 Key Ingredients for Heart-Healthy Meals

1. Nonfat plain yogurt

It's a great stand-in for sour cream in dips and for mayo in dressings. Because yogurt is slightly acidic, it's also a good meat tenderizer.

2. Fresh herbs

Sprinkle cilantro, basil, parsley, or mint over dishes to make them burst with flavor. Or puree herbs with a little olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic for a sandwich spread, sauce, or dressing.

3. Vegetable and fruit purees

Use vegetable purees to thicken soups; use canned pumpkin, mashed banana, or applesauce in pastries to replace some of the fat.

4. Spice rubs

A no-fat way to make flavorful main dishes. Just rub a mixture of dried spices (try chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, and a touch of salt) on lean meat, chicken, or fish, then grill or broil.

5. Healthy oils and vinegars

I cook with olive and canola oils, and I use walnut oil in salads. Cider, balsamic, and sherry vinegars brighten a dish and add tanginess with little sodium and few calories.

Do even more for your heart everyday!

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, February 2007.


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