two heart-healthy mediterranean diet recipes

The American Heart Association tells us that a newly released study from their Circulation Journal Report suggests that the Mediterranean diet with virgin olive oil may boost “good” cholesterol. Study highlights say:

1. A Mediterranean diet, particularly when enriched with virgin olive oil, appears to improve function of high-density lipoprotein, the so-called good cholesterol in patients at high risk for heart disease.


2. A Mediterranean diet rich in virgin olive oil may help the body remove excess cholesterol from arteries, serve as an antioxidant and keep blood vessels open – all of which are known to reduce cardiovascular risk.

Here are a couple of tasty recipes, courtesy of the AHA, using virgin olive oil, to boost that good cholesterol.

avocado and shrimp salad pic 620x425AVOCADO AND SHRIMP SALAD

Diced apple brings a sweet crunchiness to this tangy shrimp salad, which is elegant enough to serve as lunch for guests yet portable enough to add to a container for a work lunch.

• 2 Tbsp fat-free, plain Greek yogurt
• 2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
• 3 teaspoons lime juice
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 small apple, cored and finely diced
• 1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
• 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
• 1/4 cup chopped scallions
• 1 pound large cooked, peeled shrimp, tails removed and chopped
• 1 avocado (pitted, peeled, diced)
• 4 large pieces Bibb lettuce (optional)
4 Servings
246.8 calories per serving


• In a large bowl, add yogurt, oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Use a fork to whisk until combined.
• Core the apple and finely dice it; finely chop the celery too. Add both apples and celery into the bowl. Chop both the cilantro and scallions, adding into the bowl too.
• If tails remain on the shrimp, remove and discard each of them. Chop the shrimp and add to the bowl, mixing together to combine all the ingredients.
• Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Use a knife to gently make a cross-hatch pattern into the avocado’s flesh. Use a spoon to scoop out diced avocado from the flesh and add to the bowl.
• Gently mix ingredients together. Serve immediately or chill salad in the refrigerator for a couple hours. If desired, spoon salad onto Bibb lettuce cups to serve.

Quick Tips

Cooking Tip: To use large raw shrimp, add to a large pot of boiling water and cook until all the shrimp turn pink, just a few minutes. Drain in a colander and place shrimp under cold water to stop from continuing to cook.

Keep it Healthy: Be wary of shrimp labeled “easy-peel,” as those shrimp have been washed in a salt solution to help ease the shrimp out of their shells which translates to unexpected extra sodium.

Tip: The acid in the lime juice and yogurt help keep both the apples and avocado from turning brown.


black bean salad


Serve this Simple Cooking with Heart black bean salad chilled as a great side salad to a meal. Or, warm in the microwave and use as a filling for tacos!

• 1 15.5- oz canned, no-salt-added or low-sodium black beans (drained)
• 1 15- oz canned, no-salt-added or low-sodium kernel cornOR
• 3/4 cup frozen corn (thawed)
• 1 medium diced bell pepperOR
• 1 medium tomato (diced)
• 1/2 cup red onion (diced)
• 1 tsp minced garlic (from jar)
• 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
• 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
• 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 juice of lime
6 Servings
142 Calories per serving


• Toss all together, chill at least one hour.

Quick Tips

Serve this as a side salad to a meal or warm in microwave and use as a filling for tacos!


Recipes copyright © 2016 American Heart Association.

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