Time to roast, toast and get the most out of your dinner. Preheat the oven, slip into those baking mittens and get ready to cook something that makes your heart happy – and healthy, too.
All accompaniments of this dish help compliment your cardiovascular health. Here’s how:
- Garlic: A star member of the allium family, garlic has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. These help reverse blood vessel damage that can lead to plaque and clogged arteries.
- Beets: The naturally occurring chemicals in beets help your body manufacture nitric oxide which helps relax and dilate your blood vessels. This leads to improved blood flow and lowered blood pressure.
- Potato: The potassium, calcium and magnesium found in potatoes are known to naturally decrease blood pressure. When it comes to consuming potatoes, aim for freshly roasted or baked instead of french fries or chips which contain unhealthy fat and unnecessary salt.
- Spinach: An excellent source of folate, which works closely with Vitamin B6 to lower homocysteine in the blood, which is associated with heart disease.
Your friend, Fiber
Love this meal so it can love you back. Ingredients in this garlicky chicken dish contain healthy amounts of fiber. Dietary fiber lowers cholesterol by “sweeping” away the bad stuff. Eating fiber regularly increases the overall quality of your diet and decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease. It also makes us feel full, discouraging cravings and overeating.
Garlic chicken with beet mash and wilted spinachPreparation time: 30 min.
Ingredients (makes two snack portions):
- 1 chicken drumstick
- 1 garlic clove (~⅛ oz)
- 1 tsp mixed herbs (no salt added)
- 1 ¼ cups beets (cooked and chopped) (~6 oz)
- 1 potato (~8 oz)
- 2 cups spinach leaves (raw) (~2 oz)
- a tiny bit of salt
- a tiny bit of black pepper
- 1 ½ tsp olive oil (extra virgin)
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.
- Peel and roughly chop garlic. Score the chicken, add to a bowl and combine with garlic, oil, salt, pepper and herbs. Leave to marinate (Tip: try stuffing the garlic pieces inside the cuts you've created).
- Once oven is hot, add the chicken to a lined baking tray and roast for 20 mins or until browned.
- Meanwhile, peel and cut potato. Then add to boiling water for about 10 mins, or until soft.
- Heat a pan on medium heat, add spinach and let wilt. Season with salt and pepper (you can add other spices, like nutmeg if you want).
- Once potatoes are ready, drain, add beets and either mash by hand or with a blender. Season with salt and pepper.
- Plate everything and enjoy!