Have a heart and cook up some love this March
Thanks to our mild winters in South Florida, it’s always backyard BBQ season. Explore these simple, yet delicious heart-healthy treasures as you celebrate good health and happiness with friends and family during National Heart Month:
1. Grilled Chicken with Homemade Pineapple BBQ
Making homemade BBQ sauce is a lot easier than it sounds — and once you find the perfect balance of heat, sweet, and savory, you’ll never go back to the bottle.
To make your own sauce, you’ll need:
- 1 can tomato paste
- ½ cup molasses
- ¼ Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup fresh or frozen pineapple, puréed in your blender
- 1T apple cider vinegar
- Seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
Making it is easy! Blend or mix all the ingredients together until incorporated and cook over medium-low heat for 20 – 30 minutes. That will allow the flavors to marry while the sugars in the molasses and pineapple begin to caramelize.
Coat your chicken legs or breasts in your fat-free BBQ sauce with a tablespoon of heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil. Keep in mind that leaner cuts like chicken breast are healthier for your heart. Marinade for 30 minutes up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
When you’re ready to cook them, fire up the grill and cook according to package instructions. Make sure your chicken is cooked until juices run clear.
2. Avocado “Bake”
Much like grilling a baked potato, avocados make a sturdy vessel for holding and cooking ingredients. Plus, avocados are full of heart-healthy fats and promise lots of other nutritional value as well, making them a much wiser choice than the popular potato. Paired with high protein ingredients like eggs or turkey bacon and superfoods like spinach or kale, you’ll have a delicious, heart-healthy dish in no time.
First, line your grill with foil. This will allow you to cook the avocados without them sliding sideways and losing toppings through the cracks.
Next, halve your avocados and remove the pits. Fill with the toppings of your choice, like a raw egg, roasted red peppers, turkey bacon, and black pepper. Once your avocados are topped, time to get them on the grill. Lay them on the foil topping side up and close the grill lid. Be sure to check on them every couple minutes — these bad boys won’t take long at all.
3. Soy Glazed Salmon
Salmon is known for its Omega 3s and other heart-friendly fats, making it a worthy selection for heart health awareness month.
When cooking this salmon, prep your glaze beforehand — but don’t let it marinate for long if you choose to, as the fish is very delicate. Combine ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce with 1 clove of chopped garlic, 1 T water, and 1 T raw honey or pure maple syrup. If you like a kick, add a teaspoon of sriracha.
Fire up your grill and once it’s nice and hot, toss your salmon on. Baste your glaze over the salmon multiple times while cooking and allow the sugars to caramelize. Cook until done and season with pepper.
Backyard BBQ done right
Nothing says National Heart Month like good, healthy cooking. While you’re outside with the family and friends, don’t let pests spoil your fun. Always protect yourself from mosquitos when you’re out in the sun with the help of Platinum Mosquito Protection’s backyard misting systems. Give us a call today for details!