High cholesterol can lead to some serious diseases
We all have been in a complicated relationship with cholesterol at least once. On one hand, your body needs certain levels of cholesterol to perform basic functions and stay healthy. On the other hand, too much of it may increase your risk of heart disease and cardiovascular problems.
This is because high cholesterol can make fatty deposits build up in your blood vessels, increasing your chance of developing clogged arteries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 94 million Americans have high cholesterol.
Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes you can make and foods you can eat to lower your cholesterol and keep it within healthy levels. If you’re looking for some new and innovative ways to do that, we’ve got you covered!
Here are some delicious dinner recipes to try if you have high cholesterol!
Seared Tuna With Chickpea & Bulgur Salad
Cook Time: 45 mins
This healthy tuna dinner is a quick and easy recipe that requires less than 1 hour to cook it. This meal combines a few ingredients: fresh tuna (which is known to improve cholesterol levels), lemon juice, olive oil (which may also slash bad cholesterol), chickpeas, and fresh herbs. Are you cooking for two? Flake two tuna steaks and mix them into a bulgur salad, then have it over lettuce the next day.
Bulgur — a food with no cholesterol — is a type of parboiled wheat grain, typically durum wheat, that’s widely used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. The flavor and texture are pretty similar to couscous. You can prepare bulgur ahead and refrigerate it for up to 2 days to use it in other recipes.
- 4-oz tuna steaks
- ½ cup bulgur
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 (15 ounces) can of chickpeas (our advice is to get a no-salt-added version)
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
- Fill a kettle or a small pot with water and bring it to a boil. Place bulgur in a heatproof bowl and add boiling water. Make sure to cover by 2 inches. Let it chill for half an hour. Remove any excess water.
- Mix the bulgur with 2 tsp. lemon zest, 2 tbsp. oil, ¼ tsp. salt, pepper, and ¼ cup lemon juice. Add chickpeas, mint, and parsley; stir to combine.
- Heat your remaining 2 tbsp of oil in a large skillet. Make sure you use medium-high heat. Place your tuna steaks in the pan and sear until lightly browned (2 to 3 minutes for each side). Transfer to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add the onion, stirring occasionally, until the slices are translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Bring the tuna steaks back again to the pan and cover it. Cook until the tuna begins to flake (test it with a fork), 3-4 minutes for every side.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining ¼ cup of lemon juice with the drill and ¼ tsp. salt using a small bowl.
- Place the tuna on a serving platter. Add the onion over it and sprinkle with the dill-lemon juice mix. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tsp. lemon zest and serve with the bulgur salad.
Baked Penne Florentine
Cook Time: 1 hr 10 mins
This flavorful and comforting vegetarian dish has a lot of proteins, and can be reheated for the next day — if you’ll have any left! Also, spinach contains fibers that are known to reduce high levels of cholesterol.
- 8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta or dried multigrain
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- 1 (10 ounces) package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ¾ cup of water
- 1 15 to 16-ounce can of navy beans, white kidney beans, or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup soft whole wheat bread crumbs
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cook the pasta reading the box’s instructions. Drain and put it back in the hot pot. Add spinach and toss to combine. Spoon the mix into a 2-quart casserole and set aside.
- In a saucepan combine vegetable broth, garlic, and onion. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for about 5 more minutes or until the onion is soft. Remove your saucepan from the heat and set it aside.
- Put the cashews in a food processor and blend until finely ground. Add half of the water and keep blending until smooth. Add beans, onion mixture, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cover and process until smooth. Next, transfer to a bowl and stir in the remaining water. Add the bean mixture to the pasta mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
- Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered, or until the crumbs are toasted. Let the dish rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Chicken With Hominy Stir-Fry & Bell Pepper
Cook Time: 30 min
Skinless chicken is known to have lower cholesterol than red meat. Also, there’s a 0 amount of cholesterol in 3.5 ounces of hominy — that’s why we decided to share with you this easy chicken recipe you’ll definitely want to try again.
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into thick slices
- 1 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce plus 2 teaspoons, divided
- 1 Tbsp. dry sherry plus 1 teaspoon, divided
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons chile-garlic sauce
- 3 slices of fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
- 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
- 2 tablespoons dry-roasted peanuts (unsalted)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Combine chicken, cornstarch, 1 tsp. sherry, and 2 tsp. soy sauce in a bowl. Stir until the cornstarch becomes invisible. Next, add sesame oil and stir.
- Combine broth, chile-garlic sauce, vinegar, and the remaining 1 Tbsp. sherry and 1 Tbsp. soy sauce in a small bowl. Let it rest.
- Heat a 12-inch stainless-steel skillet (or a 14-inch flat-bottomed carbon-steel wok) over high heat until a drop of water evaporates quickly. Add 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, followed by ginger slices. Stir-fry for about 10 seconds, until fragrant. Push off the ginger to the sides of the pan and add the chicken breast in an even layer. Let the food cook, undisturbed, for about 1 minute, until it begins to brown. Using a metal spatula, stir-fry for 1 minute more, until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Swirl in the bell peppers and stir-fry for 1 minute. Return the chicken to the pan adding as well the reserved sauce. Season with salt and stir-fry for 1 to 3 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and add the peanuts.
Lentil Stew with Salsa Verde
Cook Time: 40 min
This nutritious vegetarian recipe is both satisfying and hearty. Don’t skip the salsa verde (parsley relish) — it’s pretty easy to make and provides a tangy accent balancing the flavors of the lentil stew. The culinary experts recommend using French green lentils as they don’t fall apart when cooked. However, regular brown lentils will also work.
By the way, not only are lentils high in protein, but they also help lower cholesterol levels!
- ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 3 small carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 ¼ cups finely chopped fennel (1 bulb) or celery (4-6 stalks)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 5 tbsp. finely chopped shallot (1 large)
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups of low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth, or water
- 1 ½ cups of rinsed French green lentils
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- 2 tbsp. white-wine vinegar
- about 3/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
- In a 4- to 6-qt. pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery (or fennel), 3 tbsp. shallot, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook while stirring repeatedly for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add lentils, broth (or water), ¼ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine parsley, vinegar, lime juice, salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper; stir well.
- To serve, divide the stew among four bowls and add a dollop of the salsa verde on top. Pass the extra salsa verde separately.
You may also want to read this article: Top 9 Amazing Foods That Lower Your Cholesterol Levels.