If you are caring for a senior, it’s important to pay attention to their nutrition and their heart health. That means preparing foods that are low in salt. Salt increases blood pressure which is not good for the heart. In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) says that salt is “one of the major risk factors for heart disease, the No. 1 killer worldwide”. The AHA says that the average American consumes nearly 3,500 mg of sodium every day – more than two times the recommended level for heart health.
Hearty winter recipes are some of the easiest to make heart healthy. Combinations of savory spices can reduce or even eliminate the need for salt. This beef stew recipe is a good example of a perfect heart-healthy winter meal. It’s easy to prepare, and portions can be frozen for meals later in the week. If your loved one doesn’t like beef, any meat can be substituted. If chicken is preferred, rub the chicken with some of the spices before browning it in the oven to enhance the flavor.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 1 pound beef round steak
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 2 cups diced yellow onions
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 cup diced sweet potato
- 1/2 cup diced white potato with skin
- 1/2 cup diced mushrooms
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 1/4 cup uncooked barley
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable or beef stock
- 1 teaspoon each dried sage, dried oregano, dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon each minced fresh thyme and fresh parsley
- black pepper, to taste
Preheat grill or broiler (medium heat). Grill or broil steak 12 to 14 minutes turning once. Don’t overcook. Remove from heat and let rest while preparing vegetables.
In a large stock pot, saute vegetables in oil over medium-high heat until lightly brown, about 10 minutes. Add barley and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Pat meat dry with paper towel. Dice grilled steak into half-inch pieces, add to pot. Then add vinegar, stock, herbs and spices.
Bring to simmer and let cook 1 hour, until barley is cooked and stew has thickened considerably.
Do you have heart healthy recipes you would like to share? If so, we would love to hear from you.
If you struggle to find foods that are appetizing to your loved one and power packed with nutrition, ask us. We can help. Our exclusive Balanced Care Method™ training is a research-based approach to aging, focusing on nutrition, physical activity, social engagement and other positive lifestyle factors that have been proven to maximize health and wellness for older adults. Our caregivers also undergo continuous education on care for seniors through our proprietary Home Care Assistance University on subjects including, chronic conditions that affect seniors, safe transferring and even nutritious culinary training! It’s just one of the ways that we contribute to a sense of balance and well-being for you and your loved one.