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Celebrate American Heart Month with delicious recipes

Heart Month Halibut
Heart Health No-Bakes
Posted at 8:00 AM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 08:00:09-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mi. — Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US - killing one out of four people every year. The good news is, many of the risk factors are tied to lifestyle choices, including diet.
Grace Derocha is a registered dietician and national spokesperson for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She shares some recipes that prove just because it’s healthy, doesn’t mean it tastes bad.

As we celebrate American Heart Month, it’s important to make sure we are all eating a well-balanced diet, including fish. They are our main source of omega-3 fatty acids, but it doesn’t always have to be salmon. Halibut also offers all those same benefits. Throw in lots of colorful vegetables and Asian flavors, wrap it in parchment paper, and you have a simple, healthy weeknight meal.
Of course, no meal is complete without dessert – and a no-bake couldn’t be simpler. With peanut butter and coconut, you get plant-based healthy fats and fiber.

Asian Halibut Parchment Pocket

By: Grace Derocha RD, CDCES, MBA

Registered dietitian and National Spokesperson for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


1 small head bok choy, thickly sliced, or 4 baby bok choy, ends trimmed

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise

4 6-ounce halibut fillets

½ teaspoon black pepper

3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced on a diagonal

Zest from 1/2 orange, cut into matchstick-size strips

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 ½ teaspoons rice vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons grated ginger root


1. Heat oven to 400° F. Tear off four 15-inch squares of parchment paper or aluminum foil and arrange on 2 baking sheets. Divide the bok choy and bell pepper evenly among the squares. Place a halibut fillet on each mound of vegetables and sprinkle with the black pepper. Top with the scallions and zest.

2. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, oil, and ginger. Spoon the mixture evenly over the halibut. Top with 4 more squares of parchment or foil and fold the edges over several times to seal.

3. Bake for 15 minutes. Transfer each packet to a plate. Serve with a knife to slit the package open, and be careful of the steam that will escape. Serve and enjoy!

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

By: Grace Derocha RD, CDCES, MBA

Registered dietitian and National Spokesperson for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


½ cup creamy peanut butter

¼ cup honey or maple syrup

¼ tsp. sea salt

¼ cup coconut oil

2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup quick cooking oats

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Optional mix-ins: chocolate candies, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, toffee bits – sky’s the limit


1. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper to use later.

2. Combine peanut butter, honey, salt and coconut oil in a saucepan and heat until melted and well-combined. Stir the whole time.

3. Stir in cocoa powder and vanilla. Take off the heat.

4. Add oats and mix well.

5. Add shredded coconut and stir until combined.

6. Drop 1 Tbsp. of mixture onto prepared baking sheet at a time. Refrigerate and freeze until hardened.

7. Serve cold or frozen. Enjoy!

Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.