Skip to content

Heart-healthy soul food recipes

Alicia Colombo

For American Heart Month in February, try these heart-healthy versions of traditional African recipes.

Catfish Stew and Rice
This soul food makeover uses moist heat cooking and salt-free seasoning, without oil or fat. Try it in place of deep-fried fish. You won’t miss the frying, and cleanup will be a snap!

2 medium potatoes
1 can (14½ ozs.) reduced or low-sodium tomatoes, sliced
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup clam juice or water
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ head cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 lb. catfish fillet
1½ tbsp. Hot ‘n’ Spicy Seasoning (see recipe below)
2 cups hot cooked rice (brown or white)
Optional: 1 sliced green onion

Hot ‘n’ Spicy Seasoning:
¼ cup paprika
2 tbsp. dried oregano, crushed
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. dry mustard

Mix together all seasoning ingredients. Store in an airtight container. (Makes about 1/3-cup of seasoning.)

Peel potatoes and cut into quarters.

In a large pot, combine potatoes, tomatoes and juice from can, onion, clam juice, water, and garlic. Bring to boil, then reduce heat.

Cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Add cabbage. Return to boil, then reduce heat. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cut fillets into 2-inch pieces. Coat fillets with Hot ‘n’ Spicy Seasoning. Add fish to vegetables. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.

Ladle stew over hot cooked rice in bowls and garnish with green onion, if desired.

Smothered Greens
This makeover recipe substitutes high-sodium, high-fat meats with smoked, skinless turkey breast. This keeps the flavor while reducing the fat and sodium.

2 lbs. greens (collard, mustard, turnip and/or kale)
3 cups water
¼-lb. smoked turkey breast, skinless
1 tbsp. hot pepper, freshly chopped
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cloves, ground
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp. thyme
1 stalk scallion, chopped
1 tsp. ginger, chopped
¼ cut onion, chopped

Wash greens thoroughly and remove stems. Tear or slice leaves into bite-sized pieces.

Place all ingredients except greens into large saucepan and bring to a boil.

Add greens to turkey stock. Cook 20 to 30 minutes until tender.

Source: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Categories: Food Health Milestones eNews


You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. To ensure security, performance, and full functionality, please upgrade to an up-to-date browser.