#YadunaCookOff – A Heart Healthy Cooking Session with Yaduna

By: Pearl Maalouf BS, FMSC, CPT, CF-L1

Heart disease is the number 1 killer disease of women which is such a sad fact considering that with a few lifestyle and diet changes some cases of heart disease can be prevented! Yaduna WHHC is a medical center and NGO founded by former Lebanese First Lady, Mrs. Wafaa Sleiman. It is dedicated for screening and preventing heart disease among women in Lebanon.

Yaduna offers finanacial assistance for those that can’t afford screening tests, as well as other services like laboratory tests, dietetic counseling, smoking cessation therapy, transportation to appointments, etc. They also make it a point to work with two of the most renowned hospitals in Lebanon, AUBMC-FM and USJ-FM so that the women are getting the best care possible.

As their main goal is prevention, they focus on promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle. There are some risk factors that have to do with your life or lifestyle that could put you at a higher risk for heart disease like:

• Smoking
• Unhealthy diet: excess alcohol and salt consumption in conjunction with limited intake of fruits and vegetables
• High blood pressure
• Overweight and Abdominal obesity
• Having unhealthy blood fat and cholesterol levels
• Diabetes
• Physical inactivity
• Age
• Family history: Having family members who had heart disease or a heart attack early in life: under 55 for your father or brother; under 65 for your mother or sister
• Psychosocial factors: stress, depression,…

There are some risk factors which cannot be modified (such as age or family history). However, other risk factors are related to your lifestyle (smoking, overweight, unhealthy diet, inactivity); by modifying these you can help prevent your chances of getting heart disease. (credit Mira Tueny-Yaduna)

They got really creative and hosted an awareness session where we learned facts regarding heart disease, some of the important work they do in the population getting women screened, and they really emphasized that focusing on healthy food options and physical activity can really have a big impact on your heart health. A chef at Kitchen Lab lead us in cooking a full 4 course meal with heart healthy ingredients! I’ll share some of the recipes with you below so you can recreate them at home with your family and friends!
2 heads of lettuce
2kg of avocados
1kg of mushrooms
2kg of apples
35cl of vinaigrette: 25cl olive oil, 6tbsp vinegar, 2tsp mustard, 2 garlic cloves

Chop up all of the ingredients for the salad and toss in a bowl.
Blend vinaigrette ingredients in the blender (or just chop up the garlic finely and mix by hand) and pour over salad when you’re ready to serve!
Main Dish: Chicken Escalope
15 chicken escalopes = about 3kg
2kg tomatoes, chopped
2kg zucchini, chopped
2kg online, chopped
4 garlic cloves
4 tbsp olive oil
4tsp tarragon powder
1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
Shredded Parmesan to taste

Lightly oil a pan and sear both sides of chicken escalope pieces (2-3 minutes each side). Place all chopped vegetables, garlic, oil, and spices with a cup of water in a large pot to boil. Meanwhile line a baking dish with the chicken and preheat oven to 175C(350F). In about 15-20 minutes remove pot from heat. Drain most of the cooking liquid from the pot and keeping about 1 cup of the veggie juices. Transfer veggie mixture and 1 cup reserved juice on top of the chicken. Sprinkle Parmesan on top if desired, cover with foil and place in oven. Remove after 10-15 minutes and serve!
500g dry apricot
8 bananas
8tsp lemon juice
100g dry raisin
600g yogurt (0%)
2tsp nutmeg

Mix it all up in a big bowl and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve!

Visit their website for more information!

Pearl Maalouf
Pearl Maalouf