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Happy Heart's Favorite Fall Foods

Delight Your Autumnal Appetite

Happy Heart juggling fall foodsBy Liz Moore, RD, LDN

It’s time to enjoy the bounty of the autumn harvest! Enjoy the flavors of fall and get your five recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables with the mouthwatering recipes below, featuring some of our seasonal favorites.

Beets are rich in folate and betaine, two nutrients that work together to help lower levels of homocysteine, an inflammatory compound that can contribute to peripheral vascular disease, stroke and heart disease. Enjoy them in our Beet and Blue Cheese Salad.

Pumpkins are very low in calories, but are high in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins A, C and E. Try our Creamy Pumpkin Pasta recipe for a warm and hearty meal that will make your heart and taste buds happy!

Eating pears may help prevent stroke, according to a study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, pears also contain fiber and phytochemicals that work together to help prevent cardiovascular disease. For dessert, try our Fall Baked Pears recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt!

Beet and Blue Cheese Salad

beet saladServes 6


10 red beets
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp dried rosemary
6 cups arugula
Juice of one lemon
2 oz. block of blue cheese, frozen*


Pre-heat oven to 300°F. Coat beets with olive oil, place in a pan, and sprinkle with rosemary. Bake for about 30 minutes to 2 hours, or until tender.

Peel skin off beets and slice into pieces about 1/4 inch thick. Place arugula in a bowl, top with warm beet slices, and add lemon juice. Using a cheese grater, grate blue cheese over the top and serve.

*Freezing the blue cheese creates a harder consistency, which is easier to grate. Grating the cheese allows a smaller portion but still gives a lot of flavor.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 135; Total fat: 7g; Saturated fat: 2g; Total Cholesterol: 7mg; Sodium: 195mg; Total Carbohydrate: 13g; Total fiber: 4g; Sugar: 9g; Protein: 5g

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

pumpkin pastaServes 8


1 box whole wheat pasta
5 cups of fresh pumpkin (remove skin and seeds; cut into cubes)
3 cloves garlic
1 onion, cut into slices
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary 
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 cup part skim ricotta


Cook pasta according to directions on the package and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, mix the pumpkin, garlic, onion, olive oil, rosemary and sage until the pumpkin is coated. Place on baking sheet and roast for about 50 minutes or until tender and able to pierce pumpkin with a fork.

In a food processor, add roasted items and ricotta. Blend until smooth. Mix into cooked pasta and stir well.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 218; Total fat: 6g; Saturated fat: 1.5g; Total Cholesterol: 10mg; Sodium: 30mg; Total Carbohydrate: 42g; Total fiber: 6g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 10g

Fall Baked Pears

baked pearsServes 4


4 medium pears
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon 
1/4 cup chopped pecans 
1/2 cup non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt 


Preheat oven to 375°F. Peel each pear, cut lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.

Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and spread the brown sugar and cinnamon across the surface. Place pears cut side down and bake for 15-20 minutes or until tender.

Take pears out of the oven; place on dish cut side up. Sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans and a dollop of yogurt. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 182; Total fat: 5g; Saturated fat: 0.5g; Total Cholesterol: 2mg; Sodium: 11mg; Total Carbohydrate: 34g; Total fiber: 7g; Sugar: 22g; Protein: 4g

Elisabeth (Liz) Moore, RD, LDNElisabeth (Liz) Moore, RD, LDN, is our resident guru in heart-healthy nutrition. She is a registered dietitian for BIDMC's CardioVascular Institute (CVI) and sees patients in BIDMC's outpatient nutrition clinic and the CVI's Cardiovascular Health and Lipid Center. Moore received her BS degree in human nutrition from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

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

October 2014

Contact Information

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

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