How To Follow Your Best Food Plate Map, plus a recipe for Poached Salmon with Lemon Mint Tzatziki.

April 27, 2018

The message of what to eat can be so confusing especially if you are trying to eat healthier.  I see this often when I am teaching my patients in Cardiac Rehab, it’s the look of total confusion on their face! They are not sure which fat to use?  Which diet to follow?  Should they eat carbohydrates or not?  Trying to make eating healthy achievable with so many confusing messages can be overwhelming.   

Most of us should follow Michael Pollen’s simple advice: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” With that being said, try to follow a plate map.  

Half of your plate should be filled with colorful veggies, ¼ of your plate should be filled with lean protein, and ¼ of your plate should be filled with whole grains or ancient grains. Fruit and dairy on the side. Notice I did not say bacon on the side, cooked in anything or covering your food…it is mostly saturated fat.  The not so good stuff.  

The food manufactures are doing a better job using less of the Trans fats and they are exiting the scene.  According to a poster presentation at the American Heart Association meeting in March, the largest reductions in risk of death were found when healthy fats from plant sources replaced saturated fats, trans fats and refined carbohydrates.

Salmon is a great source of Omega 3 Fatty acid, or the good fat! Try this recipe for dinner tonight!

Poached Salmon with Lemon Mint Tzatziki


  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 springs flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 lemons, unpeeled, sliced
  • 1 (2 pound) salmon fillet with skin
  • 1 scallion, top only, thinkly sliced
  • 1 cup Lemon Mint Tzatziki

Lemon Mint Tzatziki


  • 1 cup non-fat yogurt
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put the wine, water, bay leaves, parsley and of the sliced lemons into a large deep skillet and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add the salmon, skin side down. Add more water, if necessary, to cover the salmon. Cover the skillet and simmer over a low heat until the fish is just cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  3. Transfer the fish to a plate, cover it and chill it completely in the refrigerator, about 3 hours.
  4. To serve, peel the skin from the fillet and scrape away any brown flesh. Put the fish on a serving plate, garnish with scallion and the remaining lemon slices. Serve with Lemon Mint Tzatziki.

Lemon Mint Tzatziki:


  1. Line a strainer with paper towel and put the strainer over a bowl. Put the yogurt in the strainer and place it in the refrigerator to drain and thicken for 3 hours.
  2. Seed and coarsely grate the cucumber. Drain it well. In a medium bowl, stir together the thickened yogurt and olive oil. Stir in the cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, zest and mint. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Nutrition Information: 307 cals, 17 gr fat, 4 gr carbohydrate, 32 gr pro, 439 mg sodium


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.

"She doesn't just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it."

 – a Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.