One of my top ingredients for a healthy heart diet is olive oil. I love the way it smells and tastes, and the way it adds texture to salads. I've been using olive oil since I was a child. (Given that my last name is Sinatra, would you expect anything different?) For me, it's a happy coincidence that olive oil is so healthful.
In fact, the latest research shows that olive oil is even better for you than first thought. It has major therapeutic value, and its vital components—including monounsaturated fatty acids and phenolic compounds—may be the secret ingredients that make it a perfect anti-aging functional food. Here’s an easy, delicious recipe for a healthy heart diet that gives you the many of the benefits of olive oil.
Healthy Heart Diet: Chicken Provençale
(Makes 4 servings)
Team this Mediterranean-style dish with brown rice and sautéed zucchini for an easy spring dinner that promotes a healthy heart diet.
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 4 Tbsp. garlic, minced
- 1 (28-oz.) can diced peeled tomatoes (or, for less salt, dice fresh tomatoes)
- 1 tsp. grated orange zest
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until tender (about 10 minutes). Add tomatoes, orange zest, oregano, basil, bay leaves, paprika, and black pepper. Cook until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally (about 30 minutes). Discard bay leaves. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet and sauté until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. To serve, spoon sauce over chicken.
Now it's your turn: What is your favorite way to cook with olive oil?
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