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July 4th Heart Healthy Meals

Need a little help with your meal prep this 4th of July? Chef Rob has you covered. Try the following recipes. Not only are they delicious – they’re heart healthy as well!

Grilled Beets with Garbanzo Beans & Feta


  • 4-5 medium sized red beets
  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 1tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1- 16oz can of garbanzo beans
  • 1 cup red cherry or yellow pear tomatoes
  • ¼ cup fresh basil; cut into thin strips
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • 3 TBL chopped pecans


  • 3 TBL Balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt



  • Add the balsamic vinegar, ¼ tsp of black pepper and kosher salt to a large mixing bowl.
  • Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking vigorously. Refrigerate.
  • Rinse the beets under water and gently scrub the skin to remove any residual dirt.
  • Cut the top and bottom off the beets.
  • Brush the outside of the beet with olive oil and place on baking pan.
  • Roast the beets in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  • Transfer the beets to the refrigerator to cool for 30 min.
  • Peel the skin off the beets and slice them into ¾”-1” thick slices.
  • Put the sliced beets into a mixing bowl and add 2 Tbl of extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir until well coated.
  • Clean and brush your grill grates with oil. Preheat your grill for 15 minutes.
  • Place beet slices on the grill and grill each side for approximately 5 to 8 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer to a plate and cool in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Open and rinse the garbanzo beans. Place into mixing bowl.
  • Slice the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl.
  • Slice the beets into medium sized pieces and add.
  • Add the chopped pecans and basil. Drizzle the dressing over the ingredients and gently mix.
  • Add the feta last and carefully stir to combine all the ingredients.

*Serves: 8

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Myer’s Lemon Mustard and Goat Cheese



For the burger:

  • 1 1/2 pounds 90-percent lean, freshly ground turkey (not all white meat), chilled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices goat cheese, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 4 sesame seed hamburger buns, split and lightly grilled
  • Watercress, for serving

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 heaping tablespoon clover honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Meyer lemon juice, from Meyer lemons, if possible
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Meyer Lemon-Honey Mustard:

  • Whisk together in a small bowl the mustard, honey, orange juice, lemon zest, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours to allow the flavors to meld.


  • Preheat the grill to high.
  • Form the meat into four 6-ounce burgers.
  • If you are not going to cook right away, keep the burgers cold in the refrigerator.
  • Sprinkle the burgers on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Grill until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
  • During the last minutes of cooking, add 2 slices of cheese to each burger cover the grill and let the cheese soften slightly, about 1 minute.
  • Put the burgers on the buns, drizzle with some of the Meyer lemon-honey mustard and top with a few sprigs of watercress.
  • Serve with extra mustard on the side.
  • (if no Myers’s lemons are available, mix ½ teaspoon of fresh orange juice and ½ teaspoon of fresh lemon juice)

*Makes 4 burgers

Star Spangled Fruit Salad



  • 1 seedless watermelon
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries


  • Carefully cut watermelon into slices – approximately 1-inch thick.
  • (To get the most stars out of your slice, try to leave the watermelon whole while you slice.)
  • Lay each slice flat on a cutting board.
  • Using a star-shaped cookie cutter, push down firmly to create your watermelon stars.
  • Continue to cut star shapes, getting the cookie cutter as close as possible to the prior cuts.
  • Add watermelon stars to a serving bowl along with fresh blueberries.
  • Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

[via A Family Feast]

About Chef Rob Newmeyer

“Chef Rob” (as he is affectionately called) is the Executive Chef of WakeMed Health & Hospitals. He has been an Executive Chef for over 15 years and has an extensive culinary background in both the non-profit and private sector.

Chef Rob has cooked in many cities, including Kennebunkport, Maine; Key West, Florida and San Francisco, California. In his spare time he enjoys motorcycle rides with his wife and daughter and visiting the small, unique towns of North Carolina.

Learn more about dining options at our Raleigh Campus.