Your heart beats for healthful table fare while your appetite may pine for something more. But there’s common ground in the recipes in “Good Food for a Healthy Heart.”

We’re talking about 185 recipes that run the gamut from energizing breakfasts to sandwiches, from snacks to soups and salads, from a whole slew of seafood to poultry and even lean red meats. All have the common denominator of being delightfully tasty and fewer – sometimes much fewer – than 500 calories.

And, oh yes, there are the desserts, which include oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies and healthy makeover brownies in addition to the more predictable fruit-based treats.

This doesn’t really seem like dieting, more like dietary adjustment for the better.

Those of us prone to high cholesterol have been advised to consume at least a couple servings of baked or broiled fish a week, all the better if they’re rich in omega-3, which acts like a sort of Roto-Rooter for arteries long abused by fried clams, whoopie pies, black raspberry ice cream and the many other foods that keep the cardiologists in the choice neighborhoods of Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough.

Well hello, Smoky Spanish Salmon. Just one of the recipes that could keep you out of the cardio unit.

Salmon is one of the easiest fish to cook well, and this recipe is a cinch. You can embellish it with summer squash, celery, mushrooms or many other items from the farmers market. The smoked paprika adds a strong smoky taste and smell, and I took the liberty of spicing the dish up a notch with Tabasco sauce.

The slew of healthy vegetables makes unnecessary a salad with potentially high-calorie dressing. As for the salmon, don’t scorch it; six minutes under the broiler and it’ll be perfectly juicy. And while it’s not mentioned in the book, I can tell you from personal experience that sangria makes a perfect match. Ditto a bottle of Corona with a slice of lime or lemon.

Then again, those libations just might neutralize the low calories in these meals. Better keep “Good Food for a Healthy Heart” handy.

Maine offers many temptations that can lead the dieter astray, but if the rest of the recipes in “Good Food for a Healthy Heart” are as satisfying as Smoky Spanish Salmon, redemption might be within reach.

Redemption with the good ole Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval that sure stands the test of time.


Smoky Spanish Salmon

Makes 4 servings

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

3/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets with skin

5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 large tomatoes, each cored, halved and seeded

2 yellow peppers, quartered and seeded

1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch rounds

1/3 cup sliced green olives

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1) Prepare grill for covered direct grilling over medium-high. Mix the paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Rub salmon with 1 teaspoon oil, then two-thirds of paprika mixture. Add 2 teaspoons oil to remaining paprika mixture, brush on cut sides of tomatoes.

2) Brush yellow peppers and onion with remaining 2 teaspoons oil; place on grill along with tomatoes. Cover, cook until onions and peppers are tender-crisp, 10-15 minutes, turning over once, let cool slightly.

3) Meanwhile, place salmon skin-side down on grill. Cover, cook 6 minutes or until just opaque throughout (an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally in center of fillet should reach 145 F).

4) Slice yellow peppers; place in bowl. Chop onions and tomatoes, add to bowl. Stir in olives, parsley and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt; serve with salmon.

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