This is heart month... a time to focus on the many things you can do to keep your heart healthy. One big thing is watching what you eat.
Ryan Reynolds... the Executive Chef at Metro Health Hospital and Dr. Fadi Saab, a cardiologist with Metro Heart and Vascular, talk aboutthe benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.

Key things about the Mediterranean Diet:
• Eating mainly plant-based foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts
• Using olive oil, which contains healthy fats, instead of butter
• Making use of herbs and spices to season food, avoiding salt
• Eating poultry and fish at least twice a week. Limiting red meat to a few times a month.
• Drinking red wine in moderation

Dr. Saab and Chef Ryan are hosting a free "Cooking with the Cardiologist" seminar at the hospital next week where you'll learn more about the Mediterranean diet and how to prepare a great dish. That's happening Thursday, February 13 from 6:30 - 7:30 in the Metro Health Conference Center next to the hospital.

Link for registration:

Metro Health "Cooking with a Cardiologist" Recipes

Lebanese Fattoush

½ cup tap water
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. fresh garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp. lemon zest, freshly grated
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 head Romaine lettuce, fresh and torn
2 medium fresh tomatoes (diced)
½ cup onions, green/spring (chopped)
¼ cup parsley, Italian fresh (chopped)
¼ cup min, fresh (chopped)
1 medium fresh green pepper (diced)
6 oz. arugula
4 pita bread

Wash hands before beginning preparation. Mix the water and cornstarch in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat until thickened. Remove from heat. Mix lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper into cornstarch mixture and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, green onion, parsley, mint, bell pepper and arugula. Toss with dressing and serve with the pitas toasted as croutons.

Serving size: 4 oz. Yield: 4 servings

Shish Tawook Grilled Chicken

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp. fresh garlic (minced)
2 tsp. tomato paste
1 ¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
¼ tsp. ground Allspice
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cardamom
2 lb. chicken breast (diced)
2 yellow onions (bite-size pieces)
1 medium fresh green peppers (bite-size pieces)
1 cup parsley, Italian fresh

Wash hands before beginning preparation. Wisk together lemon juice, olive oil, yogurt, tomato paste, salt, oregano, pepper, Allspice, cinnamon and cardamom in a large bowl. Add the 2 inch. Chunks of chicken and toss to coat. Marinate for at least 4 hours.

Pre-heat grill to medium high heat. Thread the chicken, onions and peppers onto skewers. Cook on grill until chicken reaches 165 degrees, about 5 minutes per side. Serve topped with chopped parsley.

Serving size: 6 oz. Yield: 6 servings