The DASH diet and hypertension: Quinoa Burrito Bowl

February 2, 2017

Healthy Quinoa Burrito Bowl by Providence Cooks

By Kay MacInnis, Registered Dietitian

I helped out at a health fair this week, and I was absolutely amazed at the number of people with high blood pressures!

So let’s talk about the DASH – Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension – diet. It has been proven to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and improve insulin sensitivity.

It is more than just a low-sodium diet. It is a plan to include fruits, vegetables, and low-fat or non-fat dairy products into an eating plan. It also includes whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry, nuts and beans. It helps to lower blood pressure by increased amounts of potassium, calcium and magnesium.

The DASH eating plan has been endorsed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Pressure Institute, the American Heart Association and other health care organizations.

If you are dealing with elevated blood pressure and trying to follow a DASH eating plan, think about adding additional servings of vegetables at lunch or dinner. Tack fruit on to the end of the meal in place of desserts. Include beans with a salad or have them in place of meat. You might also think about vegetables as part of your breakfast, in omelets or a smoothie.

February is a special time of the year for me: Heart Month. The hospital will be lighting up red to encourage us all to think of what we can do to reduce the risks of developing heart disease. Please join us at our next Providence Cooks! class to learn more about heart-healthy foods on Tuesday, Feburary 7. Call 1-800-424-DOCS to register.

Quinoa Burrito Bowl


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice, divided in half
  • ¼ cup light sour cream
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ package thawed frozen corn
  • Shredded lettuce


  • Place quinoa in fine-mesh strainer and rinse well under cold water.
  • Bring 2 cups water to a boil in small saucepan; sir in quinoa.
  • Reduce to heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed.
  • Stir in 1 tbsp. lime juice.
  • Cover and keep warm.
  • Combine sour cream and the rest of the lime juice; set aside.
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onions and bell pepper; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened.
  • Add garlic, cook 1 minute.
  • Add black beans and corn, cook 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through.
  • Divide quinoa among 4 bowls.
  • Top with black bean mixture, lettuce and sour cream mixture.

Nutrition information: 258 Calories, 7 grams fat, 4 mg. cholesterol, 42 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams protein, 136 mg. sodium.

Recipe from Diabetes Self-Management Magazine, November/December 2016


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. The next class is on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

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

 – a Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.