Condition Kitchen: 3 Mediterranean Diet Recipes for People With Heart Disease

These nutritious, doctor-approved recipes for people with heart disease will feed the whole family.


A heart disease diagnosis can turn your whole world upside down. That was the experience of Kris Herlyn, who was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy 15 years ago. The retired attorney and community volunteer says she worked with a cardiologist to determine the best plan for her, which required “medications and also a substantial change in my lifestyle, especially my diet.”

We all know that change is hard, especially when it comes to eating habits, and especially when you’re trying to cook for a family.

Condition Kitchen: Living With A Heart Condition

Condition Kitchen: 3 Nutritious, Doctor-Approved, Mediterranean Diet-Inspired Recipes for People Living with a Heart Condition
Condition Kitchen: Living With A Heart Condition

In this episode of Condition Kitchen, chef Daniel Green talks with Joseph Feuerstein, MD, an assistant professor at Columbia University in New York City and the director of integrative medicine at Stamford Health in Connecticut, about three easy-to-make, heart-healthy recipes that don’t skimp on flavor. These recipes use fresh produce and lean sources of protein, which are all part of the Mediterranean diet.

“There is really a massive amount of research about the Mediterranean diet,” Dr. Feuerstein says. “The research states that it reduces risk of heart disease and reduces risk of stroke. This is really the diet that we should be keeping to.”

Other foods that are part of a Mediterranean diet include whole grains, poultry and eggs in moderation, fish oils and plant oils, and very little dairy.

Fortunately for Herlyn, who needs to prepare meals in advance for herself and her family, Chef Green’s recipes, like the zucchini egg bakes, can be cooked ahead on a weekend day and stored in the fridge to grab and go for the week.

A busy parent may also struggle to find time to exercise, an important part of keeping your heart healthy. In this episode, we are joined by Brandicus Coleman, an exercise physiologist in the cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation center at Northwest Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, who'll talk about an easy-to-follow exercise program to strengthen the heart muscle and put those calories from healthy food to good use.

3 Mediterranean Diet Recipes for Heart Disease


Zucchini Egg Bakes

Serves 6


  • 8 eggs (or use fewer whole eggs and more egg whites)
  • 4 egg whites 
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 zucchini, shredded


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and egg whites together and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray. 
  4. Divide the zucchini evenly among the muffin cups. Pour the egg mixture over the zucchini. Bake for 12 minutes or until the egg mixture feels just set.

Nutrition per serving: 137 calories, 7.5g total fat (2.3g saturated fat), 12g protein, 5g carbohydrates, 1.2g fiber, 3.8g sugar (0g added sugar), 270mg sodium

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Cauliflower Soup

Serves 6


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped 
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed, chopped (optional, you want some heat)
  • Parsley for garnish


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the garlic and cauliflower, sauté for 1 minute. Add the broth. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low. If using, add the jalapeño. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth, or use an immersion blender in the stockpot to blend until smooth. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Nutrition per serving: 65 calories, 2.6g total fat (0.5g saturated fat), 2g protein, 9g carbohydrates, 2.6g fiber, 4.5g sugar (1g added sugar), 291mg sodium

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Lemon Chicken and Roasted Vegetables

Serves 6


For the chicken

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lb chicken pieces 
  • 6–8 lemons, cut into wedges
  • 4–6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 whole head of garlic, cut in half horizontally

For the roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts

  • 1½ pounds of baby potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2–3 tbsp olive oil
  • Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until the skin is browned. If your skillet is ovenproof, leave the chicken in the pan. Otherwise, place chicken pieces in a baking casserole pan. In a medium bowl, combine the lemons, minced garlic, and honey. Pour over the chicken pieces. Add the rosemary and 2 halves of the garlic bulb to the pan.
  3. Meanwhile, toss the potatoes and Brussels sprouts with the olive oil and place on a baking pan. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place both pans in the oven and bake for 45–60 minutes, until the chicken is done (insert skewer to see if juices run clear, or if a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees). Check the potatoes and Brussels sprouts and shake the pan a few times; spoon sauce over the chicken occasionally while baking. 
  5. Remove the skin and plate the chicken, garnish with a few pieces of lemon, garlic, and rosemary if desired. Serve with potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

Nutrition per serving: 414 calories, 19g total fat (3.3g saturated fat), 27g protein, 36g carbohydrates, 4.8g fiber, 8.5g sugar (8.5g added sugar), 294mg sodium

Get the recipe.