In Partnership with Shawnee Mission Health, KC Chefs Prove they can Step Up to the Heart-Healthy Plate

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All throughout the month of February, Kansas City diners can enjoy chef-created heart-healthy meals while dining out at participating metro restaurants. Shawnee Mission Health (SMH) is sponsoring its fourth annual Heart Month Restaurant Partnership in honor of American Heart Month.

In February, local restaurants including Grand Street Cafe (Plaza and Lenexa locations), La Bodega (Kansas City, MO and Leawood locations), Nick and Jake's, Story, Tavern at Mission Farms, Tavern in the Village, The Jacobson, Webster House and YaYa's Euro Bistro have created unique dishes that are heart-healthy low in fat, sodium and other ingredients that may increase the risk of heart disease. For each heart-healthy dish enjoyed by diners, participating restaurants will donate 10 percent of proceeds to the Shawnee Mission Heart and Vascular Center to support various programs throughout the community.

"We are so grateful that for the past four years, local chefs have teamed up with us to raise awareness of heart disease in honor of American Heart Month," said Vickie Franck, administrative director of Shawnee Mission Heart and Vascular Services. "Dining out can present challenges to a heart-healthy diet, and we applaud our partnering restaurants for offering heart-smart dishes. We know that eating heart-healthy doesn't mean you have to sacrifice flavor. We encourage diners to try these special dishes so they can taste for themselves."

The heart-healthy dishes being featured by SMH's restaurant partners throughout February include:

- Ancient Grains Bowl with warm protein-packed quinoa, farro and sauteed tart apple tossed with dried cranberries, toasted almonds and pumpkin seeds, finished with fresh herb-salad, cage-free poached egg and herb-infused extra virgin olive oil (The Jacobson, Kansas City, MO)

- Grilled Halibut and warm Israeli couscous with a Meyer lemon vinaigrette and fresh watercress (Nick and Jake's)

- Mahi Mahi with Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and fingerling potatoes (Story, Prairie Village)

- Pan Seared Barramundi with poached butternut squash, green tea dashi, goji berries, black walnuts and grapefruit (Webster House)

- Ruby Red Trout with white bean ragout, baby kale salad with blood orange vinaigrette and grapefruit segments (YaYa's Euro Bistro, Overland Park)

- Salt and Pepper Tuna Salad with spring mix, parsnip ribbons, shaved red onions, feta cheese, roasted Brussels sprouts, radish and parsnips with a sherry thyme vinaigrette (Grand Street Cafe, Plaza and Lenexa)

- Seared Tuna Medallions with mashed roasted cauliflower, charred lemon grilled asparagus and chunky green olive vinaigrette (La Bodega, Kansas City, MO and Leawood)

- Blackened Salmon with mushroom and spinach quinoa and red pepper pesto (Tavern in the Village, Prairie Village and Tavern at Mission Farms, Leawood)

Owner Kristi Ghilardi of Grand Street Cafe said she is looking forward to her restaurants participating again this year to showcase American Heart Month by offering a heart-healthy dish for diners.

"We are honored to partner with Shawnee Mission Health again and raise awareness of such an important issue of heart disease," said Ghilardi. "We enjoyed creating this special dish, and its a wonderful opportunity to do our part in promoting heart health."

As part of its ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, SMH is the Presenting Medical Sponsor for the American Heart Associations Go Red For Women year-long educational programming, including the luncheon in April. SMH's Heart Month Restaurant Partnership aims to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease, the leading global cause of death. SMH is home to Kansas City's first Accredited Chest Pain Center and offers sophisticated medical technology for cardiac and vascular care.

"One of the first steps in fighting heart disease is by eating healthy. Even small steps can make a big difference," said Casey Hertzenberg, MD, Board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon at SMH. "Lifestyle changes can be the best medicine. For instance, in addition to making heart-healthy food choices, exercise is also a powerful tool to combat heart disease."

For more information about SMH's Heart Month restaurant partnership, visit Participating diners are encouraged to help spread the heart healthy message by posting to social media from a participating restaurant using the hashtag #SMHHeartMonth.

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