Today is National Wear Red Day, a day in which the American Heart Association and many others, bring attention to heart disease and it’s prevalence among women. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and actually kills more women then men annually. Heart disease is often referred to as a “silent killer” because there can be few, to no noticeable symptoms that someone may be afflicted by this disease.

Since the first National Red Day in 2003 there have been many move towards increasing awareness and education about heart disease for women. For more information about their decade of success check out the American Heart Associations website.

In honor of this day I’m going to feature a few recipes that we have often around our house: Black Bean Burgers and Smashed Potatoes. I like to consider this recipe a healthy alternative to the traditional burger and fries. The burgers pop with flavor and are a great meatless option and the potatoes get crispy and are salty enough to satisfy your salt craving without the fat and calories that are associated with your traditional fries.

Black Bean Burgers:
4 servings


1 can of black beans (15 oz. rinsed and drained, or for lower sodium option you can make your own black beans)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup diced peppers (I use green, orange and red peppers)
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic seasoning
Salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mash black beans in a bowl with a fork until it is a thick and pasty texture. Mix in onions and peppers. In separate bowl beat the egg and seasonings together. Add liquids to bean and pepper mix, and stir well. Add in bread crumbs until the mixture sticks together well. Form mixture into patties (makes 4 patties).

Place patties on lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes, flip, and continue to bake for another 10 minutes.

Side note: This recipe has a lot of potential for substitutions. I have used rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs and have added whatever veggies I had around the house (corn is a great one to add, along with jalapenos for a spicy kick). Adding some avocado on top or pepperjack cheese just takes this to another level too.


Smashed Potatoes:


Russet potatoes
Seasonings of choice (I like to use creole seasoning, but you can use just salt and pepper too)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and scrub potatoes well. Puncture potatoes with a fork, and microwave just as you would a baked potato until a softer texture. When potatoes are done “baking” in microwave, let cool and slice in half. Season the cut side up with seasoning.

Lightly oil a baking sheet. Place potatoes cut side down on baking sheet and lightly smash into the baking sheet. At this point I use my Misto and lightly spray potatoes again and add additional seasoning to the outside of the potatoes.

Bake 20 minutes. Flip potatoes and bake additional 20 minutes.

Creamy inside and crispy goodness on the outside.
Pair it with a salad and you’re all set.
Finally, ladies (and men) take control of your life and the steps to lead a healthier lifestyle. A few of the most important things that you can do to prevent heart disease (and other chronic conditions) are:
1. Be physically active: Aim to get at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate aerobic activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. 
2. Eat a healthy diet: Choose a diet low in fats, cholesterol, sodium and sugars. A diet high in fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and fiber rich proteins will help your quest to have a healthy diet.

What steps do you take to lead a heart healthy lifestyle?
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