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Healthy Food & Healthy Community

Chef Guas and Dr. Garrett share an interest in preparing healthy meals — especially on the grill. Chef Guas says he’s passionate about grilling because it means “family” to him and it brings people together. Plus, grilling can be very healthy because it allows you to cook simply.
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Cynthia Choi, MS, RD, CSO

Cynthia Choi, MS, Registered Dietitian (RD), Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition (CSO) is an outpatient dietician who has been with Virginia Hospital Center since 2012. Read more

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Healthy Recipes

Butternut Squash & Turmeric Soup (4 servings)

Per serving: 250 calories, 5 grams protein, 5 grams fat, 10 grams fiber and 260mg sodium

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  • 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium butternut squash (2 ½ lbs), peeled (seeds re-served), cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 medium carrots cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons light coconut milk

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, covered, stir-ring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the squash, carrots, 2 teaspoons turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the Dutch oven and cook, stir-ring, 1 minute. Add the broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, 18 to 22 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375°F. Toss the reserved seeds (about 1/4 cup with the remaining teaspoon of oil, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and roast until golden brown and crispy, 9 to 11 minutes. Using a blender, purée the soup. Sprinkle with the toasted seeds and swirl in the coconut milk.

Turmeric grows in South Asia and gets it yellow color from compound curcumin. Curcumin showed anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activity in lab studies.

Carrot Ginger Soup with Shiitake Bacon (6 servings)

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  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 4 cups of organic vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon rolled oats
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 grated fresh ginger

In a pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until onions are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add carrots and continue sautéing for another 5 minutes. Add oats and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until carrots are soft. In a blender, blend soup until creamy. Return to pot. Add more stock to desired consistency. Add lemon juice and ginger a bit at a time. Taste. Add more juice if needed. Adjust seasoning. Optional: Garnish with shiitake bacon.

One-half cup chopped carrot provides 200% of the daily value of vitamin A, some fiber and is a good source of vitamin K. Carrots contain phytochemicals that can act as antioxidants. Ginger is commonly used to treat stomach problems and pain relief.

Shiitake Bacon (6 servings)

Per serving: 110 calories (with Shiitake Bacon: 155 calories), 2 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 470% daily value of vitamin A
Recipe by Chef Ruth Fehr

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  • ¼ lbs shiitake mushroom
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using paper towels or a kitchen towel, clean mushrooms (do not wash). Cut off the stems. Slice mushrooms caps into very thin slices. Place mushrooms in a bowl, and add oil and salt. Mix well. Place sliced mushrooms in a baking sheet, spreading them into a single layer. Bake them until brown and crispy. About 15 minutes.

Lentil & Butternut Squash Chili (4 servings)

Per serving: 270 calories, 14 g protein, 14.5 g dietary fiber, 380 mg sodium
Recipe adopted from American Institute for Cancer Research.

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  • 1 tbsp. olive or canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium bell pepper (any color), chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ground chili powder
  • 1.5 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can-no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 dry bay leaf
  • 1.5 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 (15-oz.) can lentils, rinsed and drained (or fresh cooked)
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans or red beans, rinsed and drained (or fresh cooked)
  • 0.5 tsp. salt

Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onions, bell pepper, and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add canned tomatoes, 3 cups chicken stock, butternut squash then lentils, black beans and salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed. Serve hot with your favorite toppings, such as chopped fresh cilantro/parsley/chives/green onions, sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips or chopped avocado.

Legumes are rich in fiber and a good source of protein. They are also an excellent source of folate, iron and B vitamins. According to research, legumes contain a variety of phytochemicals which has anti-cancer effects. Also, dietary fiber can help with weight control.

Shrimp Burger

By David Guas, Chef/Owner, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery
Author, Grill Nation: 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill Like a Pro

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Yield: 8 Six-ounce burgers

  • 3 lb. shrimp, fresh and peeled
  • 1/5 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup scallions sliced thin on a bias
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon, grated zest
  • 1/5 each lemon, juice of
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 each sesame seed buns

In a food processor, pulse the shrimp in 1 lb. batches until there is an even mix of finely minced and coarsely chopped pieces, about 5-6 pulses. Separately whisk the mayonnaise, scallions, parsley, lemon zest, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper together in a large bowl until uniform. Gently fold the processed shrimp into mix and breadcrumbs until thoroughly combined. Portion out the mixed ingredients into eight even sized burgers. In a hot sauté pan on medium-high heat and add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Place burgers into sauté pan allowing them to cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked to your preference. Recommended to serve on a sesame seed bun toasted and buttered, dressed with baby arugula or butter and your favorite tartar sauce.

Gremolata Basted Fluke with Crushed Fngerling Potatoes, Tuscan Kale & Herb Salad

This is a simple, healthy recipe that can be made at home in around 30 minutes or the time it takes to boil the potatoes.

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  • 1 lb fingerling potatoes
  • 1 bunch scallion
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • zest of one lemon
  • 4 4oz portions of fluke fillet
  • 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch Kale
  • 1 each shallot minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 bunch parsley

  • 3 tablespoons picked herb leaves (parsley, tarragon, celery leaves, chive)

First, start out by placing fingerling potatoes in a pot, covering with water and boil until tender. This should take about 20 minutes and don't forget to salt the water like you would when cooking pasta. When the potatoes are tender, strain and add scallions along with olive oil. Gently crush potatoes using a whisk. Add lemon zest and check for seasoning and reserve.

For kale, add olive oil to a sauté pan and heat slightly. Then add shallots and immediately add kale. Slowly cook until tender. Season with salt and black pepper and reserve.

For the parsley froth, take one bunch of parsley and pick it from the stems. Blanch parsley leaves in boiling water, shock in ice water and drain. Puree in a high power blender with .5 cup water and a .5 cup ice until smooth.

In order to cook fish, heat olive oil in a pan till it's hot and starts to shimmer. Place dry fluke fillets flesh side down in oil and sear until almost cooked through. About 3 minutes. Flip the fillets and add parsley, lemon and garlic. Baste the fish with olive oil and gremolata until it is cooked through being careful not to burn gremolata. Use a spatula to remove fish from pan and place on paper towels

To plate the dish, spoon potatoes onto your serving plate. Top with braised kale and finally with fluke. Blend parsley froths one more time to aerate and to make it frothy. Spoon froth around the fish and garnish with picked herbs.

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