Wellness for the Family: American Heart Month Recipes & Tips

February is American Health Month and we are celebrating with some heart-healthy recipes in this week’s Wellness for the Family.

Michelle Dunaway was back with registered dietitian Grace Derocha from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to hear some staggering statistics and learn about the importance of a healthy heart.

Heart health and your diet go hand-in-hand and it’s important to know what to avoid and how to stay on top of things.

There are some of Grace’s tips:

  • To avoid over-consuming sodium, unhealthy fats, and processed meals:
    • Shop the perimeter of the grocery story – avoiding the processed foods sections
    • Cook at home more! Put yourself in the driver seat of what you’re consuming. Studies have found that restaurant items had an average of 2,196 milligrams of sodium per 1,000 calories.
    • Opt for fresh herbs and spices to add flavor to meals without the use of too much salt. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults.
    • Trade bottled dressings/sauces for olive oils, flavored vinegar, and citrus juice. You can also try mixing up low-sodium salad dressing at home.
  • Many people are surprised to learn which foods are on the list because the foods do not always taste salty. Some hidden sources of sodium, include:
    • Canned Foods
    • Mixes & Pre-made Meals (dips, spice packets, frozen meals)
    • Granola Bars, Cereal, Cookies, Crackers
    • Poultry, Fish, and Seafood
    • Salad Dressing/Condiments/Sauces
  • The ‘Salty Six’, includes: Bread, Pizza, Sandwiches, Cold Cuts/Deli Meat, Soup, Burritos/Tacos

Here are the recipes:

Lox and Egg Scramble


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ cup minced white onion
  • 5 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup (2 ounces) lox, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • Salt and pepper, to finish
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, optional


  1. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions, season with a pinch of salt and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally 7 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk until the whites and yolks blend together 20 to 30 seconds. Add the eggs to the onions and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until the eggs become soft curds and are almost fully cooked 2½ minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the lox. Garnish with the chives, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Halibut with a Lemony Salsa


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • The zest of one lemon
  • 1 ½ cup of grape tomatoes, diced
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil or 3 teaspoons dried
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 4 5- to 6-ounce halibut steaks (about 3/4 inch thick)


  1. Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic cloves and lemon zest in a small bowl to blend. Stir in tomatoes fresh basil and capers. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
  2. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler. Season halibut steaks with salt and pepper. Brush fish with 1 tablespoon with liquid from lemon salsa. Grill or broil halibut steaks until just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer fish to serving plates. Serve with salsa and garnish with basil.


Categories: Recipes, the four, Wellness for the Family