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High Blood Pressure

Keep the Beat Recipes

To help busy people and families shop for, prepare, and serve healthy meals, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of NIH created and published Keep the Beat Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Dinners. The new cookbook features 75 simple and delicious recipes influenced by Asian, Latino, Mediterranean, and American cuisine that are good for your heart and taste great, too.

Chicken and Mushroom Fricassee

Photo: Keep the Beat Recipes

Chicken and Mushroom Fricassee

Serves 4


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 carton (10 oz) white button mushrooms, rinsed and quartered
1 Cup leeks, split into quarters, then sliced into small squares and rinsed well
1 Cup potatoes, peeled and diced
1 Cup celery, rinsed and diced
1 Cup pearl onions, raw or frozen
3 Cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 lb skinless chicken legs or thighs (4 whole legs, split, or 8 thighs)
2 Tbsp each fresh herbs (such as parsley and chives), rinsed, dried, and minced (or 2 tsp dried)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp fat-free sour cream
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized, heavy-bottom roasting or braising pan (a large sauté pan with a metal handle will work as well).
  3. Add mushrooms to pan, and cook until golden brown, about 3–5 minutes. Add leeks, potatoes, celery, and pearl onions, and continue to cook until the vegetables become soft, about 3–5 additional minutes.
  4. Add chicken broth to the pan, and bring to a boil. Add chicken legs to the pan, cover, and place in the heated oven for about 20 minutes or until the chicken legs are tender when pierced with a fork (to a minimum internal temperature of 165° F).
  5. When chicken legs are tender, remove legs from the pan, return the pan to the stovetop, and bring the liquid to a boil. Add herbs and lemon juice.
  6. In a bowl, mix the cornstarch with the sour cream, and add to the pan. Bring back to a boil and then remove from the heat.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, and pour 1 cup of vegetables and sauce over chicken.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 242, Total Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 42 mg, Sodium 430 mg, Fiber 3 g, Protein 20 g, Carbohydrates 24 g , Potassium 807 mg
* Recipe taken from Keep the Beat Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Dinners, from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

To Improve Blood Pressure, Try the DASH Diet

If you're one of the 65 million American adults—one in three—with high blood pressure, you have probably heard the advice, "watch your diet, and cut back on salt." But how? Figuring out what to eat and how much is not always simple.

Sometimes getting started on a heart-healthy eating plan can be the hardest part. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has developed "Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure with DASH" to provide step-by-step advice on lowering and controlling high blood pressure by following the DASH eating plan. DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, follows heart-healthy guidelines to limit salt or sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol, and focuses on increasing intake of fruits, vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat milk products. It is also rich in whole grain products, fish, poultry, and nuts.

The guide provides practical advice and suggestions for beginning with small changes such as:

  • If you eat only one or two servings of vegetables per day, try adding one serving at lunch and another at dinner.
  • Gradually switch to fat-free or low-fat milk and reduce servings of soda or other sweetened beverages.
  • Choose whole grain foods, such as whole wheat bread or whole grain cereals to get added nutrients, such as minerals and fiber.
  • When shopping, read the Nutrition Facts label on foods to find sodium content, and choose items lowest in salt or sodium.
  • Start with a simple 15-minute walk during your favorite time of day and slowly build up.
  • Don't worry about a slip. Start again, and be sure to celebrate successes.

The DASH guide is available for ordering through the NHLBI Information Center, 301-592-8573 or 240-629-3255 (TTY) or online at

Fall 2011 Issue: Volume 6 Number 3 Page 12