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Published: Sunday, 1/29/2006

St. Vincent cafeteria features heart-healthy recipes

Heart-healthy recipes are being featured during February and March at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center's cafeteria, thanks to a recipe contest that was held recently.

As part of the Toledo Goes Red and the year-long national Go Red For Women program that educates women about heart disease, employees of Mercy Health Partners were invited to submit a heart-healthy recipe. St. Vincent's executive chef Doug Corcoran then chose the top 10 recipes. Each week during the next two months, one of the recipes will be featured in the cafeteria on Wednesdays.

The first, unveiled this week, is the Heart Smart Cajun-Style Chicken Pasta submitted by employee Lori Strohmaier. The ala carte entree is $2.65. Copies of the recipe will be available in the cafeteria. "We will print a recipe booklet for our employees," says Donna Shore, marketing manager. The recipes will also be included in the Healthy Heart Kit, which is available upon request by calling Mercy Health Link at 419-251-4000.

The next week the featured recipe will be Parmesan Crusted Fish submitted by Mary Jane Hull. The fish entree will be $3.10 served a la carte. Other winning recipes include Spiced Carrot Muffins, New England Clam Chowder, and Heart Healthy Chocolate Cake.

The cafeteria menu is providing a good way to taste heart-healthy recipes before you try it at home.

This is all part of this year's Toledo Goes Red for Women program sponsored by St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center and the American Heart Association, which will be unveiled Feb. 3 with National Wear Red Day. Individuals and companies are encouraged to wear red that day in support of the Go Red for Women movement. There will be heart-related screenings, awareness, and educational programs about heart disease throughout the year. On Friday, 37 ambassadors nominated by the community will be announced; they will be involved with the program throughout the year.

4 tablespoons margarine

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 white onion, sliced and quartered

1 clove garlic, pressed

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium tomato, chopped

4 to 6 mushrooms, sliced

1 cup low-sodium chicken stock (or low-sodium chicken bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup boiling water)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

4 to 6 quarts water

1 12-ounce box fettuccine, or favorite pasta

2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

Melt 2 tablespoons margarine in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute bell peppers, onions, and garlic for 8 to 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften slightly.

Cut chicken breasts into bite-size pieces while the vegetables are cooking. Prepare a medium-size pan over high heat with the olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the chicken and cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the chicken shows no pink.

When the vegetables are soft (about 10 minutes), add the chicken to the pan. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, chicken stock, cayenne pepper, paprika, white pepper, and thyme. Simmer 10 to 12 minutes until it thickens.

In the meantime, bring water to a boil in large pot. Cook pasta in the boiling water until done, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain cooked pasta. Add remaining 2 tablespoons margarine and toss the noodles to lightly coat in margarine. Spoon chicken and vegetable sauce evenly over pasta on each plate. Garnish by sprinkling lightly with parsley.

Yield: 4 servings

As the Junior League of Toledo readies for the Toledo After Hours Gala featuring Tom Ridge, first Secretary of Homeland Security, a tasting menu with blended stations has been planned to include New Orleans fare, a roasted potato bar, carving selections, and delicious desserts.

Louisiana specialties include cheese and shrimp grits, crab cakes, and bousin onion brulee. In addition to salad selections, the carving station will entice diners with herb-encrusted beef tenderloin and roasted salmon on a cedar plank. Desserts include strawberry trifle, blueberry buckle, and assorted cookies, bars, and brownies.

Event tickets are $175 per person for the cocktail dinner reception, the speech, and the coffee/dessert immediately following. There is a $50 ticket for the speech and dessert. For information, reservations, and tickets, call the Junior League of Toledo at 419-534-3138.

Proceeds benefit the Junior League of Toledo's community initiatives: Food, Fitness & Fun, the Toledo Smiles dental health fair and mobile dental unit, Camp Days, and Done In a Day program for meeting short-term volunteer needs.

Area residents are invited to let their tastebuds do the judging as Owens Community College hosts its second annual Relay for Life Chili Cook-Off from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the College's Math/Science Center. Free will donations will be accepted and entitle the donor to all-you-can-eat chili.

Attendees can sample an assortment of chili from various teams and then vote for their favorite. The team who receives the most votes will become the People's Choice winner. Proceeds will go toward the College's annual Relay for Life event held April 28-29. Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society's signature event with 4,200 communities and eight countries participating in the cancer awareness fund-raiser.

For information abut Relay for Life Chili Cook-Off or about joining the celebration, call 567-661-7305.

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