Wednesday, September 9, 2015

More heart-healthy meals at home from ingredients that can't hurt you

Heart-healthy wild salmon two ways -- a grilled sockeye fillet accented with chopped fresh mint, front, and smoked sockeye in a frittata with pesto and fresh tomatoes. Both fresh and smoked wild salmon, as well as prepared pesto, are available at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.


In northern New Jersey, food shoppers enjoy an embarrassment of riches.

Fresh fish are abundant, such as Atlantic cod from Iceland and salmon from the U.S., both wild caught and available at Costco Wholesale for $7.99 a pound and $8.99 a pound, respectively.

Organic eggs, spring mix and whole-wheat pasta are three more components of a heart-healthy diet. 

When mashing sweet potatoes, always choose extra-virgin olive oil over butter, and don't stint on fresh California garlic.

With ingredients like these, assembling heart-healthy meals at home is a snap.

Fresh tomatoes from our garden and smoked wild salmon were layered on top of an egg mixture as it set over medium heat on the stove. The 10-inch frittata finishes under the broiler, and Costco's Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto and chopped fresh mint are added once it is out of the oven.

Wild sockeye salmon can be prepared on a preheated grill pan with spray oil. For medium rare in the center, cook serving portions for 6 minutes.

A wedge of frittata and two small baked sweet potatoes with nothing on them make for a hearty breakfast.

Costco's smoked wild sockeye salmon is from Alaska. It is sold under the Kirkland Signature label and comes pre-sliced in two half-pound pouches for $15.99.

Finish the frittata under a broiler on a low setting for about 15 minutes or until it browns on top.

A 3-pound net bag of sweet potatoes from ShopRite in Paramus is $2.99, but bags often weigh more.

I boil sweet potato sections and peeled cloves of Christopher Ranch Monviso Garlic for about 45 minutes or until a fork goes through the sections easily, then mash them with extra-virgin olive oil and numerous seasonings, including curry powder, cinnamon, red-pepper flakes and black pepper. A 3-pound bag of California garlic was $6.39 at Costco.
Garlicky mashed sweet potatoes with an egg-white omelet (stuffed with reduced-fat Swiss cheese, smoked wild salmon and Kirkland Signature Organic Salsa, plus a pesto finish).

Serving portions of skinless and boneless Atlantic cod fillet coated in a homemade Super Spice Mixture -- just about every spice and seasoning I have, mixed in a plastic container and kept in the refrigerator. I splashed the fish with fresh lime juice before breading. The side dish is fresh callaloo, a green that originates in the Caribbean. Depending on thickness, serving portions of fish are ready after 7 minutes to 12 minutes in a pre-heated, 375-degree oven.

Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix, the best salad in the world, is always under $5 a pound at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack, lower than at any other store I know. Here, I added tomatoes from our garden and dressed the salad with organic Spanish extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Look for Earthbound Farm packages without condensation or your salad could rot before the use-by date on the label.

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