The under-appreciated joy of making a meat loaf

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

meatloafGripped in the throes of sweet nostalgia recently, I spent part of an enjoyable morning making a version of my mother’s homemade meat loaf recipe for our family. (If you’re creating your meat loaf masterpiece in the afternoon, I recommend having a nearby glass of heart-smart red wine on standby to keep you company).

It was a highly therapeutic kitchen experience that I’m afraid will soon become extinct. Meat loaf is an old-fashioned dinner that now makes hipsters sneer, nutritionists groan, and vegans turn even more pale than usual.  And like a lot of home cooking, it takes a bit of effort to whip up, so busy people doing Very Important Things believe they simply do not have time to make it. Goodbye, homemade meat loaf.  Continue reading “The under-appreciated joy of making a meat loaf”

Do you know why you should eat fish twice a week?

by Carolyn Thomas

Here on the West Coast of Canada, every small town on our island seems to lay claim to the enviable title of “Salmon Fishing Capital of the World!”  We  do love our salmon. And crab. And halibut, red snapper and many other kinds of local seafood.

According to experts at Mayo Clinic, eating two servings of fish a week could actually help to reduce your risk of heart attack by as much as 30%. For adults, that serving size is 3 ounces (85 grams) or about the size of a deck of cards.

“Doctors have long recognized that the unsaturated fats in fish, called omega-3 fatty acids, appear to reduce the risk of dying of heart disease.”

Here’s why those omega-3 fatty acids in fish are so good for your heart:   Continue reading “Do you know why you should eat fish twice a week?”

“The Winter I Lived On Potatoes – And Loved It!”

Is there any veggie better than the humble and versatile potato? It is and always has been my very favourite comfort food. Potato pancakes with those crispy brown edges, twice-baked stuffed potatoes oozing with cottage-cheesey goodness, those exquisite first-of-the-season new potatoes tossed in my mother’s incomparable dill sauce, creamy garlic mashed at Sunday dinner – heaven, absolute heaven, every single forkful!

But potatoes sometimes get a bad rap for being fattening (especially given all the goop we like to scoop or pour or melt over them) and not quite as healthy as, say, the boring broccoli floret. Not so for Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission. Chris ate nothing but potatoes throughout October and November of 2010 (that’s about 20 5-ounce potatoes a day for 60 days) to help publicize the nutritional value of potatoes. He varied his clinically-supervised menu by eating things like potato pickles and even (seriously!) potato ice cream. (Read on for some of my favourite – and more conventional! – heart-healthy potato recipes!)   Continue reading ““The Winter I Lived On Potatoes – And Loved It!””

My favourite recipe for heart-healthy chocolate fudge brownies

 by Carolyn Thomas

food brownies heart B.00003

There are enough surprising ingredients in this recipe to make you suspect that the more of these brownies you eat, the healthier you’ll actually become.  Just kidding about that last part, dear Heart Sisters.  But who puts black beans, coffee, cayenne pepper, and the kitchen sink into a heart-smart brownie recipe? It’s a hybrid of a number of different recipes – a bit from here, a bit from there.  Even vegans will love these unique chocolate brownies. Hint: don’t spill the (black) beans when you serve these to family or friends. Let people guess in advance what the secret ingredients are. So far, we’ve never had anybody guess correctly! keep reading to find the full recipe