Eat well: 3 Heart-healthy recipes for fall

Autumn brings shorter days, longer nights, and a drop in weather temperatures that makes you savour those cozy nights in. That’s why it’s a wonderful time of year to try out new, seasonal recipes that are healthy for your heart.

“You may find eating with heart failure is a bit of a balancing act. While you don’t want to eat too much, you have to be sure to eat enough to maintain good nutrition,” as stated in the Nutrition Guide for Heart Failure by the University of Ottawa’s Heart Institute.

Living with heart failure requires a thoughtful approach to cooking, it’s something you become more familiar with over time. Nonetheless, with some advanced planning, consulting recipes, and picking up the fresh ingredients you need, you can make dishes that you, your family, and friends will enjoy this season.

Cooking at home lets you monitor your ingredient usage and amounts which is vital when you have heart failure, also if you are diabetic or have a sodium restriction. A healthy, balanced diet helps maintain your heart health and lower any potential risks. Since fruit and vegetables are packed with nutrients, you should aim for seven to ten servings per day, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Making fall-inspired dishes with natural ingredients can also help improve your cholesterol levels, reduce your blood pressure, and help you manage your body weight. Plus, you can have a lot of fun getting creative in the kitchen and you don’t need to be the next Master Chef to do so!

Here are three easy-to-make recipes for fall from the Heart and Stroke Foundation and The Mikey Network.

Corn, Potato and Shrimp Chowder

Serves: 4


·      2 tsp vegetable oil

·      1 sweet onion, finely chopped

·      1 clove of garlic, minced

·      1 tsp dried dill weed

·      1 potato, peeled (cut into ½ inch cubes)

·      1 tsp ground pepper

·      1 ½ cups Corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thawed)

·      2 cups water

·      ¼ cup all-purpose flour

·      2 cups 1% milk

·      1 lb raw, medium size shrimp (shell off)

·      1 tsp lemon zest, grated

·      3 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed


  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Sauté onion, garlic, and dill weed, for about 5 minutes or until the onions are softened.
  3. Stir in potatoes, corn and water; bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the potatoes are almost tender.
  5. Increase heat to medium.
  6. Whisk flour into the milk and gradually stir this into the pot. Stir gently.
  7. Stir in shrimp. Simmer uncovered while stirring gently but often for about 5 minutes – until the shrimp are firm and pink and the soup has thickened (do not let this boil).
  8. Stir in lemon zest and juice.
  9. Season with pepper to taste.

Grilled Chicken Barley Bowl

Serves: 4


·      1/2 cup (125 ml) pearl or pot barley

·      2 cups (500 ml) baby arugula

·      4 carrots, sliced lengthwise

·      2 red peppers, quartered

·      2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb/454 g)

·      2 tsp (10 ml) canola oil, divided

·      1 tsp chili powder

·      2 tsp (10 ml) balsamic vinegar


  1. In a small saucepan, cover barley with water; bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until barley is tender but still chewy. Drain well and toss with arugula; set aside.
  3. Spray carrots and peppers with cooking spray; set aside.
  4. Toss chicken breasts with 1 tsp (5ml) of the oil and chili powder to coat.
  5. Heat grill to medium-high heat and grill carrots, peppers and chicken breasts for about 7 for the vegetables and about 12 minutes for the chicken. Turn occasionally until vegetables are tender and chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove to cutting board.
  6. Slice carrots and peppers; toss with remaining oil and vinegar.
  7. Divide barley mixture among 4 bowls and top with vegetables.
  8. Slice the chicken and place over top to serve.

Apple Cranberry Crisp

Serves: 6


·      ½ cup dried cherries (or raisins if not available)

·      zest of 1 whole orange or lemon

·      1 cup sugar (or Splenda if desired)

·      1 tsp flour

·      ½ tsp ground ginger

·      ¼ tsp salt

·      3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, chopped (about 4 cups)

·      6-8 oz cranberries, fresh or frozen, cleaned, rinsed, drained


·      1/2 cup panko crumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs) – use regular if not available

·      2 tsp brown sugar

·      ¼ tsp ground ginger

·      2 tsp butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven and prepare baking pan – use a 10″ quiche dish.
  2. Soak the cherries/raisins if needed in ½ cup warm water for 20 minutes, drain. Combine them with the fruit zest in a small bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together, sugar/Splenda, flour ginger and salt.
  4. Into the bowl, stir in the apples, cranberries, and dried cherries/currants and the zest.
  5. Turn this into the prepared baking pan.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together all the topping ingredients.
  7. Sprinkle over the top of the fruit.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes until bubbly and many of the cranberries have popped.
  9. Serve warm alone or topped with ½ cup low-fat frozen yogurt.


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