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Heart-healthy & hearty meals

Monday, March 30, 2020

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle includes a variety of commitments, from exercising to eating right. However, serving up healthy meals doesn't have to be boring. 

From earthy and nutty black ripe olives to rich and fruity kalamata olives, olives can add a hearty and flavorful punch to just about any dish, including soups, salads and main courses.

Olives are rich in a fatty acid called oleic acid, which has been proven to help lower cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the BMJ, a medical journal. Olives are cholesterol-free, high in "good fats" and low in carbohydrates, making them an ideal ingredient for keto, Mediterranean and paleo diets and recipes.

Whether they help elevate dishes like Taco-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash and Baked Eggs Puttanesca or are simply enjoyed as a snack, olives are a guilt-free food. 

For more recipes and information, visit Lindsay Olives' website.

Taco-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Servings: 4

  • 2 spaghetti squash (2 pounds each)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 cup diced red onion, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 can (2 1/4 ounces) black sliced olives
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced

1. Heat oven to 400 F. 

2. In microwave, cook one whole squash 3 minutes. Repeat with second squash. Cut each in half and scrape out seeds. Drizzle 1 teaspoon oil over each half and rub around until insides are coated. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper, to taste; place on parchment-lined baking sheet center down to lay flat. Bake 50 minutes.

3. Heat large saute pan over medium-high heat. Put 2 teaspoons oil in pan then chicken, 3/4 cup onion and garlic. Cook until chicken is cooked through.

4. Add tomatoes, cumin, chili powder and remaining salt; stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes to reduce liquid, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove from heat. Stir in sliced olives and lime juice. 

6. When squash is cooked, scrape insides with fork to release from edge then create nest. Put 1/4 of chicken mixture and 1/4 cup cheese in each squash half. 

7. Bake 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top with avocado, diced tomatoes, remaining onions, jalapeno and olives.\

Baked Eggs Puttanesca

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Servings: 4-6 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 anchovy filets, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can (35 ounces) chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/3 cup Lindsay Pitted Kalamata Olives, drained and halved
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped kale
  • 6 eggs

1. Heat oven to 400 F.

2. In non-reactive saucepan over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 6 minutes.

3. Add garlic, anchovies and red pepper flakes; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste then add chopped tomatoes with juices, capers and olives.

4. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

5. Transfer puttanesca sauce to 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish and spread to cover bottom. Stir in kale then, using wooden spoon, make six wells. Crack one egg into each well and season yolks with salt and pepper, to taste.

6. Transfer to oven and cook until white is set and yellow is cooked to preference, 12-16 minutes. Spoon into bowls and serve.

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