Heart-y, Healthy Cuisine

Junnoon (SF Chronicle/Katy Raddatz)

In partnership with the South Asian Heart Center at El Camino Hospital, award-winning Palo Alto restaurant Junnoon launched a HEARTier choices prix fixe menu earlier this year, featuring “flavor rich, cardio-protective recipes that are low in saturated fat, low in simple carbohydrates and high in fiber content.”

Ashish Mathur, executive director of the Mountain View, California-based heart center—the first nonprofit, community-supported center in the world devoted to the prevention of coronary artery disease in people of South Asian descent—says that heart-healthy meals low in cholesterol and fat are especially important for people from the Indian subcontinent, who are four times more likely to have a heart attack than the general population (Palo Alto Daily News).

Noted by Esquire magazine as one of the “20 most exciting places to dine” nationwide in 2006, Junnoon is Harvard MBA Sabena Puri‘s first restaurant venture. Its culinary team includes Floyd Cardoz (of New York’s Tabla) as consulting chef.

Diners won’t have to put up with bland or boring food on the special menu, which includes a pomegranate, peanut and fresh sprout salad. “It’s not diet food,” explains Puri. “Our food gets its appeal from the use of varied spices to enhance flavors as opposed to adding oils and fats.” (Daily News). Puri, having family members who died from heart disease at a relatively early age, was eager to do what she could “to help the South Asian Heart Center in its mission to stem the epidemic.” (Siliconeer).

April 11, 2007
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