Favorite Heart-Healthy Recipes submitted by Volunteers

For most of us, this week marks one of the biggest feasts of the year! Keep your heart-healthy by swapping some of those heavy or sugary side dishes with a healthier option and packing an extra punch of veggies into appetizers. A few of our amazing volunteers, recently shared their heart-healthy favorites with us.

Quinoa Salad with Dried Cranberries and Nuts
submitted by Paula Quatromoni

Made with heart healthy olive oil, fresh herbs and spices and without added salt, this high-protein grain packs a punch as a tasty side-dish or a simple lunch entrée when paired with other fruits or vegetables. You can vary the dried fruits and nuts, depending on your preference and on the season.  Dried cranberries and pecans fit in nicely on a holiday table! Try dried cherries, chopped dried apricots, or raisins instead of cranberries. Substitute chopped walnuts, sliced almonds, or pine nuts in place of pecans. Enjoy!

1 ½ cups quinoa
3 ½ cups water
1 bunch green onions (scallions), chopped
¾ cup chopped celery
½ cup dried cranberries
a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
¾ cup chopped pecans

Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Scrape quinoa into a large bowl and allow it to cool for 20 minutes. Stir in green onions, celery, dried fruit, cayenne pepper, both oils, vinegar and lemon juice. Allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour so that the flavors will blend. Stir in the cilantro and nuts before serving. Enjoy!

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
submitted by Alex Black 

1 carton cherry tomatoes
2 TB Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Toss cherry tomatoes in oil, salt, and pepper, and spread over the baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes or until tomatoes have begun to shrivel and caramelize. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Eggplant Appetizer
submitted by Dan Foley

1 tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 eggplant, peeled and diced
1 med zucchini, diced
8 oz package mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp garlic
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 c water
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
1 tsp sugar
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in large skillet.  Add pepper & onion and cook 2-4 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms, stirring occasionally until all vegetables are cooked through. Mix in garlic and let cook another minute. Add tomato paste, water, sugar and seasonings to pan and mix until combined.  Let mixture sit for a couple minutes to thicken. Serve like bruschetta on crackers or melba toast.

VegVeg Dish
submitted by Mahdi Garelnabi

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups organic vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 (1 1/2-ounce) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
8 cups chopped escarole (about 1 pound)
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons shaved fresh Parmesan cheese

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds. Add vegetable broth and the next 5 ingredients (through cheese rind); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in escarole and carrot; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until carrot is tender. Stir in red pepper, salt, black pepper, and vinegar. Remove and discard rind; sprinkle soup with shaved cheese.

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