Who better to turn to than a renowned chef and a nutritionist for a wealth of options for eating to lower blood pressure? Gemma Heiser, MSc, provides the nutrition foundation and London chef and best-selling cookbook author Paul Gayler delivers the flavors in Healthy Eating for Lower Blood Pressure.


Endorsed by the National Hypertension Association, the book offers dietary guidelines for eating to lower blood pressure and, with recipes for dishes such as Pasta With Duck Ragu, Orange and Sage Gremolata, and Fromage Frais With Gooseberries and Elderflower, demonstrates that  following those guidelines doesn’t mean a diet of bland foods or limited choices. But the recipes aren’t just exotic or best for entertaining. You’ll  find plenty of every day yet elegant choices, such as these.

Spanish Roasted Tomato Salad

In this recipe oven-roasted tomatoes are dressed in sherry vinegar, then delicately seasoned with cumin and herbs. This salad is best  made in the height of the summer when naturally sweet tomatoes and crisp fava beans are at their best.

12 medium ripe, firm plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwisespanish-roasted-tomato-sala
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 teaspoons superfine sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of ground cumin
3 tablespoons olive oil
10 ounces fava beans in their pods
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint
4 scallions, finely chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

For the dressing

1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red chile, deseeded and finely chopped
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1⁄4 teaspoon Spanish paprika
Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 150°F.
Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet, then sprinkle with garlic, sugar, black pepper and cumin.
Drizzle with the olive oil. Place in the oven for 1 hour until the tomatoes have started to curl up at the edges and look shrivelled.
Leave to cool. This can be done several hours ahead.
Pod the fava beans and cook in boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water.
Dry in a cloth and remove the tough outer skins.
For the dressing, mix together the ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, add the fava beans, mint,and scallions to the tomatoes, then add enough dressing to taste.

Place on a serving plate, sprinkle with the chopped egg and serve.
4 Portions: 318 cals, 10 g protein, 24 g fat, 3.7 g saturated fat, 18 g carbohydrate, 11.2 g sugar, 6.9 g fiber, 68 mg sodium

Grilled Tuna With Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, and Mint Vinaigrette

A great dish for a summer barbecue, the vinaigrette can be made well in advance and the rest put together very quickly. I often serve this with some steamed couscous or new potatoes. Asparagus, in common with other vegetables, is a good source of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.

1 butternut squashgrilled-tuna
16 asparagus stalks, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red chile, deseeded and finely chopped
4 x 6-ounce sustainably sourced tuna steaks
Freshly ground black pepper

For the vinaigrette

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 small red onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Freshly ground black pepper
Serves 4

Cut the butternut squash into 12 wedges, discard the inner seeds and, using a small knife, remove the outer skin. Cook the asparagus in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

For the vinaigrette, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a pan, add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned and softened. Add the honey and caramelize gently in the pan for another 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add the balsamic vinegar, remaining oil, and chopped mint, season with black pepper and set aside.

Preheat a grill or grill pan until hot. Toss the butternut squash wedges and asparagus with a little oil, garlic and chile and place the squash on the grill to cook for 10-12 minutes, then add the asparagus, cook for another 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are golden and lightly caramelized. Remove and keep warm.

Season the tuna steaks then brush with a little olive oil. Place on the grill for 2-3 minutes until the tuna is cooked rare (a little longer if you prefer it more well done).

Place the tuna steaks on a bed of the grilled squash and asparagus, spoon the onion and mint vinaigrette over the top and serve.

4 Portions: 407 cals, 44 g protein, 19 g fat, 3.4 g saturated fat, 15 g carbohydrate, 10.1 g sugar, 2.5 g fiber, 89 mg sodium

Grilled Salmon With Mixed Peas and Watercress

This dish is perfect for an outdoor summer lunch. Lots of varying textures and extremely delicate in flavor. It is nice to garnish the dish with pea tendrils if available and some nice steamed new potatoes. If you prefer the peas can be steamed instead of boiled.

4 x 6 ounces sustainably sourced skinless and boneless salmon fillets
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black peppergrilled-salmon
10 ounces snow peas, ends cut off and strings removed
10 ounces sugar snap peas9 ounces fresh peas (podded weight) or use frozen
1 garlic clove, crushed
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
31⁄2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon cracked coriander seeds
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro
Bunch of watercress
Fresh pea tendrils, to garnish
Serves 4

Preheat a grill or grill pan. Brush the salmon lightly with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with black pepper. Place on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, blanch the snow peas, sugar snap peas and fresh peas in a pan containing a little boiling water for 1 minute. Drain well and season with black pepper.

Heat the remaining oil in a pan with the garlic, lemon juice, tomatoes, coriander seeds and fresh cilantro. Heat gently for 5 minutes to infuse the flavor. To serve, divide the peas between 4 plates, top each with a grilled salmon fillet, spoon a little of the tomato dressing over the top and garnish with watercress and pea tendrils, if available. Serve immediately.

4 Portions: 509 cals, 46 g protein, 29 g fat, 5.4 g saturated fat, 16 g carbohydrate, 8.5 g sugar, 6.7 g fiber, 102 mg Sodium