Introduction to the Recipes

All but one of the recipes follow the guidelines for not more than 10% calories from fat, and only a few have more than 15% of calories from protein. The oatburger patties are 12% calories from fat, but when a whole wheat bun and lettuce and tomato are combined with one, the sandwich is much less than 10%. The average of all recipes included is less than 7% calories from fat.

Each of these recipes was tested and served to both omnivores and vegetarians who gave their approval. The serving sizes may be too large for some, far too small for others. Eating more than one portion only increases the number of calories; but there is no change in the proportion of fat, protein and carbohydrates. That's why you can eat all you want of the foods that meet the guidelines. In most cases, along with recommended aerobic exercise, many people can increase the amounts they eat and still lose weight. Diabetics and those who experience difficulty losing weight should limit their sugar intake. The nutritional program recommended here should not be considered a diet, but rather a change in the kinds of foods you eat.

These recipes come from a number of sources. Many of them were originated for the Healing Heart program, a few were suggested by support group participants themselves. A number of these were found on the Internet. Repeated testing in the kitchen brought many modifications, sometimes changing things so much that the original recipes may no longer be recognized. These recipes are a way to get you started, examples of the variety and ease of preparing food that meets the guidelines.

The nutritional analysis was done with the computer program, Nutritionist IV. Within its database of nearly 10,000 food items, a breakdown of almost every important nutritional element is available. Only calories, grams of fat and the percentage of calories from fat, protein and carbohydrate are included here. Some nutritionists feel that fat can be averaged over the whole day, but a single meal high in fat can bring about significant changes in the body, and often will cause considerable discomfort to those who have been eating low fat for a while. It is recommended that the percent of calories from fat be considered for each meal, and that you try to observe the 10% limit for every meal or snack.

To make it easier to follow while cooking, each recipe is on a separate page. Healing Heart Hints, tips for easier and simpler preparation, have been included where space permits. Some recipes will work for crockpot type slow cookers, but a large covered pot on very low heat will work just as well. The advantage of the crockpot is that it can be prepared the night before or early in the morning, and without having to watch or stir it, the meal will be ready when you've returned at the end of a busy day.

I make large amounts of each of these recipes, many times the amount shown. After eating one portion, I put the remaining warm food in zip-seal sandwich bags, squeeze any air out, let them cool and lay them on a flat surface in the freezer When frozen solid, I file them like books on the freezer shelves. They are ready for instant microwaving, a 3 minute preparation dinner. I only cook full meals about twice a week, but every night I have a choice of dozens of entrees. Each bag is labeled with a permanent marking pen, showing the contents and date it was made. With such a wide ariety of things available to eat, I'm not tempted to go out for fast food, even when I don't feel like cooking. There's always a hot meal about five minutes away, and no pots and pans to clean up. You'll be amazed at how easily dishes and cookware clean up when there's no fat or oil.

These recipes are well seasoned, but none are overly hot or spicy. After you've made a dish according to the recipe, try adding other spices or replacing some ingredients with others. Much of the fun of cooking is making things a little different each time, at least until you have them exactly the way you want them. A few people will feel these dishes are too bland. If they aren't tasty enough for you, add peppers or other stronger spices. For those who like things a bit less spicy, use less of the strong spices in the recipe. If a dish comes out too spicy for your taste, try mixing some beans or potatoes or non-fat soy milk into the dish. Often this will make strong flavors more mild. If it is still too spicy, freeze it, and the next time, make it without the strong spices and combine the frozen one with the new dish.

This special collection of recipes should get you started on a lifestyle that will improve health, provide more energy, help take off excess pounds and save as much as 50% of your food costs.

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©1994, 1996, 2002
Dr. Neal Pinckney
Healing Heart Foundation