Keep your heart health in check with these delicious recipes

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Thursday, February 22, 2024
Check out these must-try, heart-healthy recipes
As ABC13 sheds light on heart disease this week, UT Health registered dietician Dolores Woods shares some must-try healthy recipes.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the country, and studies have found Latina and Black women are disproportionately affected.

Doctors say it's because they're at a greater risk of having diabetes, and it has a lot to do with genetics. In fact, the American Heart Association reports that nearly 45% of women ages 20 and up are living with some form of cardiovascular disease.

All this week, ABC13 is shedding light on the disease and how to keep your heart health in check. On Wednesday, we explored how your kitchen plays a role.

"A lot of time, we just forget to take care of ourselves because we are taking care of everyone else, so (it's) really important to make those small changes," Dolores Woods, a registered dietician with UT Health, said.

Woods said the biggest misconception when it comes to taking care of your health is that you have to give up some of your favorite foods, but it's actually all about modifying your meals, and these are some examples.

She started by walking us through how to make a traditional Latin favorite.

"Pozole is traditionally made with pork or chicken, and a lot of times it's the fattier cuts, but this one is actually made with pinto beans," Woods said. "It's a green pozole made with tomatillo, poblano pepper, jalapeno pepper, there's cumin, oregano, and that sauce is what really makes the flavor."

Dolores explained how the protein or beans and hominy will really absorb all the flavors as they simmer on the stove. "It's really high in fiber and still protein but without all that saturated fat."

Dolores also said the key to a heart-healthy diet is lots of vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes.

"I know a lot of people peel them, but there's a lot of fiber in there, so just have to make sure that we wash and scrub them well," she said. Dolores roasted the veggies for a little extra crisp before drizzling them with chimichurri sauce - another Latin favorite that's traditionally used on grilled meat. "It's such a great sauce for anything, especially these roasted vegetables, and there are so many herbs in there there's that it's just chopped parsley with garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and then we just add some olive oil."

Dolores also suggested investing in good quality olive oil because it'll be better when you cook with it, so the flavors will really come through the food.

Here are the recipes:

Vegetarian Green Chili Pozole

Yield: 4-6 servings

Tomatillo sauce ingredients:

  • 4 tomatillos
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • teaspoon cumin, ground
  • teaspoon Mexican oregano

Pozole ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 can (30 ounces) white hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock or water


  • Avocado, pitted and sliced
  • Sliced radishes
  • Finely chopped onion
  • Lime wedges
  • Dried oregano
  • Shredded cabbage

Tomatillo sauce instructions:

1. Turn the oven broiler on to a high setting.

2. Place the poblano peppers, serrano peppers, and tomatillos on a sheet tray lined with foil. Place under the broiler for three minutes or until the peppers have begun to get dark spots. Flip the peppers and tomatillos over and let cook for three more minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

3. Place the poblano peppers in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it sit for five minutes.

4. Peel poblano peppers and remove the stems and seeds.

5. Once cooled, place the poblano peppers, serrano peppers, pumpkin seeds, tomatillos, cilantro, cumin, and oregano in a blender and process until smooth.

Pozole instructions:

1. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot set to medium heat and add the onions. Turn the heat down to medium-low and sweat onions until tender and transparent, for about four to five minutes.

2. Add garlic and cook for two more minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock, hominy, and pinto beans. Add the green sauce to the same pot and simmer for about 15 minutes.

3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Serve with garnishes.

Chimichurri sauce


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
  • 2 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 level teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground


Process all ingredients except oil in a food processor. Transfer them to a small serving bowl and add olive oil.

Nourish Program's Roasted Root Vegetables

Yield: about 4 servings

Serving size: about 1 cup


  • 1 lb. assorted root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, beets, sweet potatoes), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Ground pepper (to taste)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (convection) and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine vegetables, canola oil, salt, and pepper and mix well.

3. Spread seasoned vegetables evenly on a sheet pan, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.

4. Roast in the oven for 25 -30 minutes until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

5. Serve with chimichurri sauce.