A simple weeknight meal with heart-healthy nutrients

GRAND RAPIDS, Mi. — Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing one in four people each year. The good news is that many of the risk factors are related to lifestyle choices, including diet.
Grace Derocha is a registered dietitian and national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She shares a few recipes that prove that just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it tastes bad.

As we celebrate American Heart Month, it’s important to make sure we’re all eating a well-balanced diet, including fish. They are our primary source of omega-3 fatty acids, but it doesn’t always have to be salmon. Halibut also offers all of these same benefits. Add lots of colorful veggies and Asian flavors, wrap it in parchment paper, and you have an easy, healthy weeknight meal.
Of course, no meal is complete without dessert – and no-bake cooking couldn’t be easier. With peanut butter and coconut, you get healthy plant-based fats and fiber.

Asian Halibut Scroll Pocket

By: Grace Derocha RD, CDCES, MBA

Registered Dietitian and National Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


1 small head bok choy, cut into thick slices, or 4 mini bok choy, ends trimmed

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced ​​lengthwise

4 halibut fillets, 6 ounces

½ teaspoon black pepper

3 green onions (white and green parts), thinly sliced ​​diagonally

Zest of 1/2 an orange, cut into matchstick-sized strips

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1 ½ teaspoons rice vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons grated root ginger


1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Cut four 15-inch squares of parchment paper or aluminum foil and arrange on 2 baking sheets. Divide the bok choy and bell pepper evenly between the squares. Place a halibut fillet on each mound of vegetables and sprinkle with black pepper. Garnish with green onions and zest.

2. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, oil and ginger. Spread the mixture evenly over the halibut. Cover with 4 more squares of parchment paper or aluminum foil and fold over the edges several times to seal.

3. Bake for 15 minutes. Transfer each package to a plate. Serve with a knife to split the package and watch out for the steam that will escape. Serve and enjoy!

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

By: Grace Derocha RD, CDCES, MBA

Registered Dietitian and National Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


½ cup creamy peanut butter

¼ cup honey or maple syrup

¼ tsp. sea ​​salt

¼ cup coconut oil

2 tbsp. Cocoa powder without sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup quick cooking oats

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Optional mixes: chocolate candies, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, caramel bits – the sky’s the limit


1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper for later use.

2. Combine peanut butter, honey, salt and coconut oil in a saucepan and heat until melted and well blended. Stir all the time.

3. Stir in cocoa powder and vanilla. Remove from fire.

4. Add rolled oats and mix well.

5. Add shredded coconut and stir until combined.

6. Drop 1 tbsp. of the mixture on the prepared baking sheet at a time. Refrigerate and freeze until hardened.

7. Serve cold or frozen. Enjoy!

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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