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Happy Heart’s Tasty Whole-Grain Recipes

Most of us know that whole grains are a healthy dietary choice. According to HeartMail Nutrition Expert Liz Moore, they add fiber to the diet which can help to lower cholesterol, decrease heart-disease risk, manage blood sugars and prevent or manage constipation. Fiber is also filling, which is helpful for those who want to lose weight.

But the truth is that whole-grain options are also delicious! Whole-grain versions of bread, bread crumbs and pasta are all available at your local supermarket. Look for items that are labeled as 100% whole grain and include whole-grain flour as the first ingredient. These will also have more fiber listed on the nutrition facts label.

In the meantime, here are some yummy recipes from Happy Heart to help you find new ways to introduce whole grains into your diet.

Millet Stuffed Peppers

Servings per recipe: 5


1 cup millet
4 cups water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried dill weed
1/2 cup tomato puree
5 bell peppers, red, green or yellow


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine millet and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and cover, simmering for 15 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.
  4. As the millet cooks, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet and sauté the onion, celery, garlic powder, pepper and dill weed until vegetables are soft.
  5. Once the millet is cooked, combine with tomato puree and add to the above mixture.
  6. Cut off the tops of the green peppers and remove all seeds and cores.
  7. Boil peppers for about 5 minutes, rinse and drain.
  8. Add 1 tbsp oil to baking dish.
  9. Stuff peppers with mixture and stand upright in baking dish.
  10. Cover loosely and bake for 20-30 minutes, until peppers are softened.

Nutritional Facts Per Serving

Total calories: 253
Total Fat: 7 gm
Saturated Fat: 1 gm
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 126 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 40 gm
Fiber: 6.3 gm
Protein: 6.1 gm

Brown Rice Pilaf

Servings per recipe: 6


1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup brown rice
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tbsp pecans, chopped


  1. In a skillet, sauté oil with onion, celery and mushrooms for about 5 minutes until slightly softened.
  2. Add brown rice and 2 cups of broth, and bring to a boil.
  3. Turn heat down to simmer for about 45 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Toss in pecans and serve.

Nutritional Facts Per Serving

Total calories: 197
Total Fat: 5 gm
Saturated Fat: 1 gm
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 231 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 10 gm
Fiber: 2 gm
Protein: 3 gm

Whole-Wheat Pasta Primavera

Servings per recipe: 4


8 oz whole-wheat pasta (ziti or spirals work best)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 medium zucchini, cut into strips
1 cup broccoli florets
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 cup parmesan cheese


  1. In a saucepan, boil water and cook pasta until "al dente," about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil and sauté garlic and onions for 3 minutes.
  4. Add zucchini, broccoli, red pepper, and tomatoes and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add dried herbs and pepper to taste.
  6. Combine cooked pasta with vegetable mixture and toss with remainder of olive oil.
  7. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve warm.

Nutritional Facts Per Serving

Total calories: 346
Total Fat: 13 gm
Saturated Fat: 2 gm
Cholesterol: 3 mg
Sodium: 95 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 48 gm
Fiber: 7 gm
Protein: 10 gm

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

Posted June 2011

Contact Information

CardioVascular Institute at
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215