Celebrate National Eating Healthy Day with winning recipes

The American Heart Association is kicking off Eat Smart Month by announcing the winners of its National Eating Healthy Day recipe contest.

The American Heart Association held its third annual National Eating Healthy Day soup, salad, and sandwich contest. Participants submitted recipes for one or more of the three categories. A panel of National Eating Healthy Day volunteers reviewed the recipes to ensure they meet American Heart Association guidelines and selected the following winners:

Soup: Butternut Squash Soup, by Nertila Zogby

Salad: Southwest Black Bean Salad, by Megan Clapsadl

Sandwich: Eggplant Patty Sandwich, by Barbara Evanoff

The winning recipes will be available Thursday, Nov. 2, at several locations in the Greater Utica area, including St. Elizabeth Medical Center and St. Luke’s Healthcare. Samples will also be available at the Healthy For Good Expo during America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk Weekend March 2 at Utica College. The top winner in each category also receives a pair of season tickets to Utica College Hockey.

Butternut Squash Soup, by Nertila Zogby


6 c low-sodium chicken broth

One 2 lbs butternut squash – quartered, seeded, peeled, and cut into 2-inch pieces

5 sprigs thyme

2 cloves garlic, halved

2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 celery rib, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 thick slices bacon, cut crosswise ½ inch think

2 c coarsely chopped collards or kale, packed

One 15 oz can pinto or roman beans, drained and rinsed

1 medium carrot, finely diced

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

1 cup corn kernels

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large, heavy pot, combine the broth, squash, thyme, garlic, leeks and celery. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.

In a medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the bacon strips and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until crisp, about 7 minutes.

Discard the thyme sprigs from the soup. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the pot. Add bacon, collards, pinto beans, carrot, bell pepper, and corn and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Season the soup and serve.

Southwestern Black Bean Salad, by Megan Clapsadl


One 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

9 oz cooked corn, fresh or frozen

1 medium tomato, chopped

1/3 c red onion, chopped

Juice of 1 ½ – 2 limes

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine salad ingredients

Eggplant Patty Sandwich, by Barbara Evanoff


2 medium or 3 small eggplant, peeled and cubed

1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 ½ c Italian seasoned panko breadcrumbs

2 tbsp dried parsley or ¼ c fresh chopped parsley

2 tbsp minced Spanish onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 large eggs, beaten

¾ tsp salt

3 tbsp canola oil (or as needed for frying)


Place eggplant into microwave-safe bowl and microwave until fork tender, approximately 8-10 minutes. Stir periodically while microwaving to obtain even cooking. Drain the liquid that forms (if any) and mash when slightly cooled.

Combine all remaining ingredients (excluding oil) in bowl, then add the mashed eggplant and mix together.

Place ~1 tbsp canola oil into skillet and heat. Shape eggplant mixture into slider-sized patties (approximately 10-12 patties total) and spray with cooking spray. Put each patty into the heated skillet and fry until brown, 4-5 minutes on each side.

Serve on a sandwich roll with a slice of fresh tomato. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Find more tips and recipes to help you eat smart during the holidays and year-round at heart.org/EatSmartMonth or check out the New American Heart Association Cookbook on ShopHeart.org.

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