Side Dish: This peach of a recipe is also healthy

“Diabetes & Heart Healthy Cookbook 2nd Edition: More Than 160 Delicious Recipes for Everything From Snacks to Desserts” by the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association, $18.95

184-page paperback

With a dozen or so peaches needing to be eaten soon, I began looking through recently arrived cookbooks for a recipe that would use up much of my peach supply. That’s when I came across a cookbook that’s the joint venture of the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association.

The well-established link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease and the fact that more and more young people are developing type 2 diabetes led to the decision to publish “Diabetes & Heart Healthy Cookbook 2nd Edition: More than 160 Delicious Recipes for Everything From Snacks to Desserts,” the book’s foreword says.

Its recipes meet the dietary guidelines of both organizations. The authors suggest following six steps to help prevent heart disease and stroke: Eat a variety of nutritious foods; eat meals low in saturated and trans fats; exercise regularly; limit daily dietary cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams; keep sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (preferably less than 1,500 milligrams); and limit alcohol intake.

The book also offers guidelines for serving sizes, based on the dietary exchanges from the ADA and includes a sample weekly meal plan based on 2,000-calories-per-day average. Recipes are divided into 10 sections, beginning with appetizers and snacks and ending with desserts. There’s also a section on vegetarian entré es.

Among the recipes are Greek Meatball and Orzo Soup; Lemony Shrimp Salad; Salmon Baked With Cucumbers and Dill; Creole Red Bean Ratatouille; Tex-Mex Chicken Fingers; and Apple Crumble Coffee Cake. Sixteen full-color photographs of completed dishes are inserted in the middle of the book. However, I would have liked to have them accompany the recipes.

Anyone looking for tasty, easy-to-make recipes for heart-healthful eating will want to take a look at this cookbook.

Cheramie Sonnier is The Advocate’s food editor. Her email address is csonnier@theadvocate.com. Advocate-tested recipe

Cranberry-Pecan Baked Peaches

Serves 4. Recipe is from “Diabetes & Heart Healthy Cookbook 2nd Edition: More than 160 Delicious Recipes for Everything From Snacks to Desserts” by the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.

2Cooking spray

11/2 tbls. honey

1⁄3 cup sweetened dried cranberries

3 tbls. finely chopped pecans

4 medium unpeeled peaches, nectarines or pears, halved, pitted and skin pierced in several places with a fork

2 tsps. light tub margarine

1/2 tsp. grated peeled ginger root

21. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Lightly spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Pour the honey into the pan. Heat the pan in the oven for 2 minutes, or until the honey is slightly runny. Remove from the oven, tilting the pan and swirling so the honey lightly coats the bottom.

3. Sprinkle the cranberries and pecans in the pan. Place the peaches with the cut side down over the cranberry mixture. (Some of the mixture may not 2be covered.) Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the peaches are tender.

4. Arrange the peaches with the cut side up on a serving plate. Stir the margarine and ginger root into the pan juices. Spoon the cranberry mixture into the cavities in the peaches. Spoon the pan juices over all. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional analysis per serving (2 peach halves and 2 tablespoons cranberry mixture): 160 calories; 45 calories from fat; 5 grams total fat; 0.5 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat; 2.5 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 15 milligrams sodium; 320 milligrams potassium; 30 grams total carbohydrate; 3 grams dietary fiber; 26 grams sugars; 2 grams protein; 45 milligrams phosphorus.