Make Your Heart Healthy With These Tips: PLUS a Recipe for Seafood Risotto

February 7, 2019

Providence Health Seafood Risotto Recipe

Printable version of this recipe and blog here.

February is heart healthy month and the focus is all about the heart….especially with Valentine’s Day next week.  This time of year makes us think even more about taking care of our heart and those around us!

Are you looking for ways to make your diet heart healthy?  Even if you make one change to your diet it can make a BIG impact!

Try a few of these suggestions.

  1. Cut back on processed meats
  2. Try to avoid saturated fats, fats that are solid at room temperature
  3. Drain the fat off cooked meat
  4. Bake, Broil, Roast or grill often
  5. Eat fish at last 2 times a week…bake, broil, steam, grill
  6. Eat cheese less often and use the lower fat options when available
  7. Use healthy oils like olive or avocado
  8. Add walnuts and ground flaxseed to your diet in salads
  9. Season with fresh herbs, spices, garlic, onions, lemon or lime juice
  10. Limit sugar
  11. Choose water as main beverage
  12. Read Labels

Here is a recipe for a special meal made with heart healthy ingredients.

Seafood and Lemon Risotto


  • Non-stick spray oil
  • 1 medium leek, sliced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 2 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth, divided use
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 8 ounces bay scallops, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
  • 8 ounces raw medium shrimp in shells, rinsed and peeled
  • 3 ounces fresh snow pea pods, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. grated or shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp. lemon zest
  • Grated or shredded parmesan cheese


Heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Remove from the heat and lightly spray with vegetable oil.  Return the pan to heat and cook the leeks and garlic for 5 minutes or until tender.  Stir in the rice.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.  Stir in 1 ½ cups broth.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Pour the remaining ½ cup chicken broth and the wine.  Increase the heat to medium ; cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the scallops, shrimp, pea pods, and bell pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes or until the liquid is almost absorbed, stirring constantly. Sir in 3 tbsp. Parmesan, basil, and lemon zest. Heat through.  Serve immediately . Serve with additional Parmesan desired.


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.

"She doesn't just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it."

 – a Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.