The Truly Easy Heart Healthy Cookbook by Michelle Routhenstein

Part One (Part Two will feature four of Michelle’s recipes)

Whenever I create a new recipe for my website (,) or teach a cooking class, my motto is that the recipe should reflect “The Good Taste of Health.”

The Heart Healthy Cookbook by registered dietitian nutritionist Michelle Routhenstein ( does just that! However, this is also a cookbook that features food for healthy hearts, for which the  author is certainly qualified to write because she is also a certified diabetes educator and preventive cardiology dietitian.

Thus, the first section of the book reflects her background in nutrition for healthy hearts with such topics as: Love Your Heart Through Food,” a mini-review of other well-documented heart healthy, plant-based diets such as Mediterranean, DASH (for hypertension), and vegetarian diets.

She clarifies why a plant-based diet, with its reduction of many animal products that can cause clogged arteries followed by heart disease. Plant-based does not mean totally vegetarian, but rather more emphasis on non-animal foods and more on fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, etc.

In sum, a heart healthy diet is a balance of lean protein, heart-healthy fats, and complex carbs that contain heart-protective foods with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants (Substances that protects cells from the damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules made by the process of oxidation during normal metabolism. My source for definition: National Cancer Institute).

Michelle Routhenstein then provides us with a list of foods with helpful information under her section: The Heart of the Heart-Healthy Diet:

  1. Eat lean protein.
  2. Choose unsaturated fat over saturated fat
  3. Pick complex carbs high in dietary fiber.
  4. Prioritize antioxidants.
  5. Reduce your salt intake.
  6. Bake, steam, and roast your way to success.
  7. Attune to your hunger cues.

The author also includes two helpful charts in this first, important chapter. The first chart has three columns: 1) Foods to Love, 2) Foods to Limit, and 3) Foods to Let Go. The second chart is Easy Swaps for Processed Foods which also has three columns: 1) Processed Foods to Avoid, 2) Better Option to Buy, 3) Better Option to Make (with page numbers for recipes of the items listed.)

There are also pages that help with shopping, stocking your pantry, and essential kitchen utensils. Finally, she addresses the recipes themselves so that the reader understands how to create the recipes that are quick (30 minutes or less) and simple (five main ingredients), yet still tasty and nutritious.

The 125 recipes are the “heart” of the book, and with the information in the first chapter, anyone can put together these dishes without too much effort. I made two recipes that were both delicious and because I am a vegetarian, I put the two on one plate as my main dish, with salad first. While the recipes are plant-based, they are not only plants. Chapters Two through Nine start with Breakfast and Smoothies, followed by Salads; Soups & Sides; Vegan & Vegetarian Mains; Seafood Mains; Lean Poultry; Sweet Treats & Savory Snacks; and finally, Seasonings, Sauces, and Staples.

Michelle Routhenstein’s cookbook is user-friendly and her heart-healthy approach is evident in all aspects of the book. Michelle also has a nutrition counseling and consulting practice in New York and also consults virtually. The book is published by Rock Ridge Press and costs $16.99.

In the next posting I will feature the two meatless recipes with two sauces as toppings (four recipes in all) that I created in less than 30 minutes, as the author promised, and for me, as noted above, reflect my motto of “The Good Taste of Health.”

To contact Michelle:


Instagram: Heart. Health. Nutritionist


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