Our family had a bit of a scare recently, when one of our loved ones suffered from heart failure.
Reflecting on this, we are all working to eat better- and in particular, to choose foods that are good for the heart. In the past two weeks, I've spent a lot of time researching heart healthy diets and learning which food choices are best for the heart. The top ten foods are: dark chocolate, olive oil, avocados, mushrooms, whole grains, pumpkin, salmon, tea, beans, and pomegranate. And of course, there are all the things one should avoid: red meat, fried foods, salted meats, and processed foods-- to name a few.
Thankfully, much of what we already do in our immediate household is good for the heart. We eat unprocessed foods, a lot of vegetables and fruits, and avoid eating red meat. But, for the past few weeks I've been working to improve our habits even more, and to develop some recipes that are especially heart healthy.
I quickly assembled this vegetarian dish as a side for tonight's dinner, though a larger portion would make a nice meal in and of itself. I chose quinoa due to its super-star nutritional profile. Quinoa not only has a high protein content, but it is the only whole grain that is a complete protein. With the addition of a meaty roasted portobello mushroom (full of antioxidants and potassium) and the sweet tanginess of roasted cherry tomatoes, this dish has a pleasing combination of flavors.
If you can't find red quinoa, white quinoa will work just as well.
Roasted Portabello with Red Quinoa
- 4 large portabello mushrooms
- 1/2 pound of cherry tomatoes
- olive oil (about 2-3 TB)
- 1 clove of garlic, sliced
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning, divided
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 large celery stalk, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 Cup of red quinoa
- 2 Cups of water
- 1/4 cup of kalamata olives, diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: balsamic glaze (or reduced balsamic vinegar), to taste
In the meantime, combine 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 15 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Saute until softened and just beginning to brown.
When the quinoa is finished, toss with the onion mixture, diced kalamata olives, remaining one teaspoon of Italian seasoning, and roasted cherry tomatoes. Spoon the quinoa mixture atop the roasted mushrooms. Drizzle with balsamic glaze, or a reduced balsamic vinegar.