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Heart Healthy Recipes

Heart Healthy Recipes

Bok Choy and Chicken Soup

Photo courtesy of Ryan Liebe

With a recipe adjustment suggested by Trisha Nashed, MD, and Daniel Alexander, DO, Winchester Cardiology and Vascular Medicine, for Valley Health’s “Cooking with the Cardiologists.”

For a less spicy broth, seed the chile before cooking.

  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Servings: 4


  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and light-green parts separated
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 1 small serrano or jalapeno chile, stemmed and thinly sliced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken-breast halves
  • 2 heads baby bok choy (about 12 ounces), stalks sliced crosswise into ½- inch pieces, leaves left whole ¾ teaspoon fish sauce (Cooking with the Cardiologists suggestion: increase to ¼ cup)
  • Coarse salt
  • Lime wedges, for serving


  1. Combine broth, water, celery, scallion whites, garlic, ginger, and chile in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, add chicken, and cook at a bare simmer until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat reaches 160 degrees, about 13 minutes.
  2. Remove chicken from broth. When cool enough to handle, tear into l-inch pieces and divide among 4 bowls.
  3. Meanwhile, add bok choy to broth. Simmer until just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in fish sauce; season with salt. Ladle soup over chicken and sprinkle with scallion greens. Serve with lime wedges.

Cook's Notes: This dish has the comfort of chicken soup, with a kick from ginger and chile. Recipe prepared by Dr. Nashed.

How-To Video


Photo courtesy of

Submitted by Daniel Alexander, DO, and Trisha Nashed, MD, Winchester Cardiology and Vascular Medicine. Recipe prepared by Dr. Alexander for Valley Health’s “Cooking with the Cardiologists”


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup farro (toast in skillet)
  • 2 diced shallots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 pack dried porcini mushrooms


  1. Dice shallots and garlic
  2. Sauté vegetables in olive oil in a Dutch oven.
  3. Add 1 cup of farro into the Dutch oven and sauté together.
  4. Stir farro occasionally.
  5. Add one cup of vegetable stock. As it begins to thicken, add more stock until 3 cups of the warm stock have been added. Salt and pepper to taste.

Dr. Alexander’s suggestion: After taking the farrotto off the heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and a little shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir to combine.

How-To Video

Peruvian-Style Roast Chicken with Tangy Green Sauce

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Rhoda Boone

With recipe adjustments suggested by cardiologists Trisha Nashed, MD, and Daniel Alexander, DO, Winchester Cardiology and Vascular Medicine, for Valley Health’s “Cooking with the Cardiologists.”

This cumin- and paprika -spiced number gets added punch from an addictively tangy green sauce and a crisp, bright avocado and cucumber salad. Spatchcocking – an easy and fun technique that involves removing the backbone to "flatten" the bird before cooking – makes for quick roasting and produces juicy results.

  • Serves 4
  • Active Preparation Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Preparation Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Do Ahead: Green sauce can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Ingredients (Suggested adjustments in italics)

For the chicken: (Double the amount of spice rub to be put on the chicken)

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped (6 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika (2 tablespoons)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (1 teaspoon)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano (1 teaspoon)
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided (2½ teaspoons)
  • 2 lemons (4 lemons)
  • 1 (4-4½ pound) whole chicken

For the green sauce:

  • 1 cup (packed) cilantro leaves with tender stems
  • 1-2 medium jalapenos, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2½ teaspoons fresh lime juice (double the amount of lime juice)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves with tender stems, coarsely chopped, plus more for serving


Roast the chicken:

  1. Arrange rack in middle of oven; preheat to 400° F.
  2. Mix garlic, cumin, oil, paprika, pepper, oregano, ½ teaspoon (1 teaspoon) salt, and finely grated zest from lemon (2 lemons) in a medium bowl.
  3. Quarter zested lemon(s); set aside 2 quarters.
  4. Squeeze juice from 1 whole lemon (2 whole lemons) and remaining 2 quarters to yield 2 tablespoons juice (4 tablespoons); stir into spice mixture.
  5. Place chicken breast side down on work surface. Spatchcock chicken by cutting along both sides of backbone with kitchen shears. Remove backbone; reserve for stock. Turn chicken breast side up and splay open. Press down on breastbone with palms until you hear it crack and chicken is as flat as possible. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Rub chicken all over with 2 reserved lemon quarters. Squeeze juice over bird, then rub skin all over with inside of rinds.
  6. From both edges of cavity, loosen skin from breasts and thighs, being careful not to tear skin. Using your fingers, gently spread 2 heaping tablespoons spice mixture under skin (reserve remaining spice mixture), then season chicken all over with remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Transfer chicken, spread flat and skin side up, to a roasting pan or large skillet.
  7. Roast chicken 20 minutes, then brush with spice mixture and pan juices. Continue roasting, basting with spice mixture and pan juices every 20 minutes, until juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a fork or an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, 50-60 minutes total.
  8. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes, reserving pan juices. Carve chicken and transfer to a platter; baste with reserved pan juices. Serve with green sauce alongside.

Make the green sauce:

  1. Puree cilantro, jalapenos, garlic, oil, lime juice, and salt in a blender until combined.
  2. Add mayonnaise and puree until well blended.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and chill until ready to use.

Source: Recipe prepared by Dr. Nashed

How-To Video

Butternut Squash Soup

Submitted by Daniel Alexander, DO, and Trisha Nashed, MD, Winchester Cardiology and Vascular Medicine. Recipe prepared by Dr. Alexander for Valley Health’s “Cooking with the Cardiologists”


  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 4 cups of low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk of sage (total of 7 leaves)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Remove seeds from butternut squash.
  3. Rub the butternut squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Roast butternut squash at 400 degrees in oven until soft.
  5. In a Dutch oven sauté celery, onion, and carrots in olive oil. Add sage once the vegetables are soft and tender.
  6. Add 4 cups of vegetable stock to Dutch oven and bring to a simmer.
  7. Add roasted butternut squash to stock and immersion blend.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.

How-To Video