Healthy You - Every Day

A Heart-Healthy Meal Sure to Impress Your Taste Buds

Chef Cody Dally teams up with Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute to cook up a delicious meal plus dessert

In a TV commercial from a bygone era, kids at the kitchen table are wary about trying the new cereal and convince little Mikey to try it first because, well, Mikey apparently didn’t like anything, so if he liked it, they were safe.

Fast-forward 50 years to a different food topic – heart healthy cooking, something we’re passionate about here at Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute. When you see how wonderful it can look and taste, a modern-day Mikey taste tester won’t be necessary in your household. This stuff is that good and that good for you.

Did you know?

Most people in the United States don’t eat a healthy diet and consume too much sodium, saturated fat and sugar, increasing their risk of chronic diseases.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Cooking at Easton Public Market

With the help of chef Cody Dally of Cody’s Eats & Sweets in Nazareth, we gathered at the Lehigh Valley Health Network kitchen area at the Easton Public Market in downtown Easton to cook up some great heart-healthy dishes, and a dessert, sure to be a hit with your family. Joining Dally were cardiologist Nidhi Mehta, MD, of Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute, and her 11-year-old daughter Avantika Mehta Crooke.

On the menu: togarashi-seared ahi tuna with wasabi avocado puree and brown rice and quinoa “fried” rice. The same recipe was made for Avantika, with a chicken breast substituted for the tuna. For dessert: a heart-healthy ice cream of sorts made with frozen cherries, mashed bananas and almond milk.

To see the dish go from start to finish, check out our video below. Not only will you see Dally work his magic, but you’ll also get great nutritional insight from him, Mehta and her daughter.

“Involving children in heart-healthy cooking is a great idea and sets the stage for them to continue good eating habits as adults,” Dally says.

Recipes are also available to print at a link found at the bottom of this story.

“Involving children in heart-healthy cooking is a great idea and sets the stage for them to continue good eating habits as adults.”- Chef Cody Dally

Helpful information on ingredients

No blog post about heart-healthy cooking would be complete without a cheat sheet about some of the ingredients and why they’re beneficial. Here goes:

Tuna: What’s not to like? It’s high in vitamin B12 which helps our bodies make red blood cells and DNA. It’s also got a ton of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your risk for heart disease and lower levels of bad cholesterol.

Avocado: These green wonders are packed with healthy nutrients and have healthy fats and lots of fiber. Did somebody say guac?

Bananas: Pardon the pun, but there are a bunch of good things in store under the peel. Bananas are high in fiber and antioxidants and a good source of potassium and vitamins C and B6. Potassium is great for heart health.

Brown rice: This is a very nutritious grain that’s gluten free. It’s got more dietary fiber than white rice and sports beneficial vitamins and minerals. It promotes heart health and helps lower your diabetes risk. Plus, it leaves you feeling fuller, which can help with weight loss.

Quinoa: This amazing seed has more fiber than some other grains, including brown rice. Along with being gluten-free, it’s packed with nutrients and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant compounds.

Grape seed oil: This oil has more vitamin E than olive oil and contains beneficial polyunsaturated fatty acids, both of which contribute to better heart health.

Bon appétit!

Easton Public Market Heart Healthy Meal

Get the recipes

Seared Togarashi-Crusted Ahi Tuna, Quinoa Brown Rice and Tart Cherry 'Nice' Cream

Download the recipes with cooking instructions

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