Monday, May 27, 2013

Sous Vide Cooking for a Healthier Heart

Learning how to cook Sous Vide Style for a Healthier Heart
If this blog post saves just one life, well then it will be worth it.  There are loads of reminders from bloggers to their readers about having their girly cancer checks done, but have you thought about something that is the biggest killer of women in Australia?  Heart disease and your heart health.  Yep that's right, heart disease kills three times more Australian woman than breast cancer each year.  So next time you go for a pap smear and breast check, ask the doctor to check your blood pressure and order a blood test to check your cholesterol levels  and for diabetes as well.  It may just save your life.  

I love a blogging event where some of my favourite things come together.  Cooking, eating, meeting new  people and learning about how to live a healthier life and lose weight at the same time.

Bret Deverall from the Sydney Cooking School in Neutral Bay, educated us about how to cook food which is heart friendly and the method which fascinated me was sous vide, pronounced 'soo veed' , a French style of cooking, which means 'under vacuum'.  It is a technique in which vacuum sealed food is immersed in water and cooked at a low temperature for a longer period.  The result is a beautifully moist and tender piece of meat, the likes of which I have not seen or tasted before in a chicken breast.  There is for some reason, little chance of over cooking the food.  So this style of cooking is great for entertaining, as you can leave it in the water for a longer period and it will not change the result.

Choice of fillings, asparagus, baby spinach, roast capsicum, pumpkin or eggplant, carmelised onion and reduced fat ricotta, carrot, celery, green beans

If you are serious about improving your heart health, trying this simple and reduced fat method of cooking would be a great way to start.
First lay out a 30cm /12inch piece of tin foil and then place the same size piece of cling film over the foil.

Hanging out with Mademoiselle Slimalicious Tina Gray dot Me and Louisa from My Midlife Mayhem for dinner was fun too.
You can add flavour to your chicken, by grating lime zest and adding dried herbs, such as smoked praprika or sumac and dried basil over the cling foil.  Spread evenly over your cling film, so the chicken comes out with a beautifully flavoured crust.  

On a board, slice a long slice through the side of the breast, not all the way though.  Open the breast and if need be, slice  further to allow for even rolling. Place the open chicken breast on your cling film.  Place your fillings down the middle of the breast, being careful not to over fill it. Allow one chicken breast per person.

I used roasted eggplant, capsicum and pumpkin, baby spinach and reduced fat ricotta cheese to fill my chicken roll.

Once your filling is in place, all you need to do is roll up your chicken breast tightly. Make sure it is well coated with the zest and herbs.  Pull your breast roll to the bottom of your packaging and roll it up tightly like a bon bon by twisting it tightly at both ends.  

Immerse in a pot of water just under simmering and cook for 20 minutes.  Remove from the water and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.  After resting trim the ends of your roll, unwrap it and slice with a sharp knife to from medallions.  Make sure the join of your roll is facing downwards when slicing, to avoid it coming apart as you slice it.

This was absolutely delicious, moist, tender and made by me.........I am very much looking forward to repeating this in the Beach House kitchen, with my new found cooking vigour.

If for some reason, you leave the package in the water for longer, it will not change the result.  Apparently it can be left in the water for hours and it will still come out beautifully moist and tender.

This would have to be the most tender and moist chicken breast I have ever eaten.  It was very impressive and easy too.
Served with a beautiful, but simple green salad of leaves, pear and cherry tomatoes, dressed with an olive oil vinaigrette, you have a beautiful heart healthy meal.

Dessert was a light and delicious affair of red wine jelly fruit mold garnished with chocolate mint, something else I have never seen.  Absolutely stunning.

I was a guest of the Heart Foundation, who are keen to get the message out there to girls like us, that heart disease is a big health problem for women. It kills 3 times as many women as breast cancer and almost as many women die of  heart attacks as men.  90% of women have at least one risk factor and 50% have two or three.

There are two main non modifiable risks: 
family history

But there are also modifiable risks.

If you have any of these modifiable risk factors in your life, you are also at risk of a heart attack, so think about getting yourself checked out and trying to change them where possible.
High total blood cholesterol
High Blood Pressure 
Being physically inactive
Being overweight
Depression, social isolation and a lack of quality social support.

The government also pays for a comprehensive check up with your GP for women 45 and over.  I've had mine and it highlighted a few issues, which I am now working on.

 Remember heart disease is not just an old man's disease.  God forbid, you or I could be next.


  1. A timely reminder Carolyn. Looks delicious.

    Anne xx

  2. how very delightful! And a style of cooking I'd love to learn more about :)

  3. oh yum! thanks for the reminders.

  4. OUr neighbour swears by this style of cooking - won't eat anything else. She's a lean mean fit machine too. Maybe I should look into it? Or I could just have another bacon and egg roll!

  5. Eating well is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Not just your heart but your whole body will benefit. Great post!

  6. So important Carolyn and a good one to share! I like natural flavour enhances too, so much better for you and your digestion.

  7. The food looks sensational! There are a few Paleo bloggers who are converts to sous vide. My grandmother had angina so I'm cautious of heart health and totally need to be more active!

  8. Im all for healthy options and letting the flavours shine through the dish. Definately one to save and try when my kitchen is in!

  9. Here's to great grub that is good for you. I had no idea you could do sous vide at home. Amazing. I've had that big health check too, good idea.

  10. Wow looks amazing. I have heart disease and another way to control it is to watch ur salt intake. Pre made meals are loaded with salt and that is another reason to learn to cook. I cut out all pre made meals after my diagnosis and lost 60 lbs just by cutting out the salt. So thanks for the recipe, I'm always looking for some new things to try.

  11. Such a great reminder, no more hiding behind excuses!!! (Now to make that appointment!!!)

  12. I love how you love to cook Carolyn......I wish I loved it too!!!
    Tania xx

  13. What a great site, pictures are amazing. I can't wait to try this...Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

  14. I love the sous vide trend :) It definitely produces juicy, almost fool-proof dishes! I followd yu here from the clever chicks link party, by the way. Also, I’d like to invite you to come link up with me at my link party! I’d love it if you could stop by & link up some of your recipes! Here's the link:


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