Ornish Spectrum Lifestyle: Sample Recipes

Reversal Program:

Zuchini FritataZucchini Frittata 

Serving size for one person: 2 egg whites + ¼ cup veggies

  • 1 ½ cups shredded zucchini
  • ½ medium yellow onion, minced
  • ½ red bell pepper cup into ¼ inch strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley or basil, chopped
  • 10 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons non-fat milk
  • Salt and pepper

Coat large oven-proof skillet with non-stick cooking spray and warm over medium-high heat. Preheat broiler.
Add zucchini, onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
Drain off any moisture from the vegetables.
Combine egg whites, salt, pepper, milk and half of herbs. Pour mixture over the vegetables in the skillet. Allow to cook undisturbed until the egg begins to set and the edges appear done, then place under broiler. Cook until top is lightly browned and eggs are set. Sprinkle with remaining herbs.
Cut into wedges and serve.

Mango & Beet Salad 

serving size for one person: 1½  cup
yield: 8 cups (4 to 6 servings)

Although the combination of mangoes and beets may seem strange, they taste wonderful together. The green of the lettuces, the dark pink of the beets, and the orange of the mango makes a spectacular presentation. The beets and the vinaigrette can be prepared and refrigerated up to two days in advance.

  • 4 medium-sized fresh beets, leaves and stems removed
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 bunch watercress, large stems removed
  • 1 small bunch Frisee or American chicory
  • 2 small heads Bibb lettuce
  • 2 peeled and sliced (strips) ripe mangoes
  • Mango Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 peeled, seeded, and chunked ripe mango
  • Pinch salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the beets in boiling water for thirty minutes and drain. When they have cooled enough to permit handling, peel and chop into small cubes. Toss the beets with the red onions and three tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Set aside.
On a medium-sized serving platter, arrange the lettuces on the outside of the plate. Place the watercress in the center of the platter and spoon the beets and onions over it. The mango strips can be arranged around the beets.

Vegetarian ChiliVegetarian Chili 

serving size for one person:  1½ cups
Serves 8

  • 2 cups red onion, diced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno (4), minced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup wheat berries
  • ½ cup lentils
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can lima beans
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Spray a Dutch oven with non-stick cooking spray, add vegetables and sauté.  Add chili powder, cumin powder, ground coriander, ground cinnamon and cayenne. Cook vegetables in spices. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Add plum tomatoes, vegetable broth, wheat berries, lentils, kidney beans and lima beans.  Bring to simmer and serve, or freeze.

Corn Bread 

serving size for one person: 1x5”square
yield: one  9x 5-inch loaf (10 servings)

  • 1 2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg white

1/4 cup fresh corn kernels or chopped jalapeño chili peppers (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Mix all of the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, combine the water and egg white. Fold the dry ingredients, and the corn or chili peppers if they are being used, into the wet ones. Be careful not to overmix or it will not rise. Pour the batter into a nonstick 9 3 5 3 3-inch bread pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

Green Pea Guacamole 

serving size for one person: ½ cup with six whole wheat pita bread wedges
Makes 2 cups

  • 1 cup defrosted green peas, drained
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Serrano chile, minced
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • pepper to taste

In a food processor, pulse green peas until smooth. Spoon peas into mixing bowl. Add avocado, lime juice, red onion, chile, tomato, cilantro leaves. Season with sea salt and pepper. Carefully mix everything together. Serve immediately with vegetables.

FennFennel and Arugula Salad with Fig Vinaigrette

serving size for one person: 1½ cups

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced vertically
  • 3 cups baby arugula or combination of arugula and spinach
  • 1 cup dried figs, chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons shallots, minced
  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar

Boil half of the figs in ½ cup of water.

Place figs and water in a blender or food processor. Add the apple juice, shallots and vinegar.  Blend until smooth.  Arrange the fennel, arugula, and remaining figs on a plate and drizzle with the dressing.

Whole Wheat Penne Pasta with Roasted VegetablesWhole Wheat Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 cups roasted vegetables (zucchini, red bell pepper, broccoli, tomatoes), coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, mint or oregano
  • 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
  • Salt and pepper

Place vegetables on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until al dente. Place broth, garlic and chili flakes in a large sauté pan. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes. Do not let garlic get brown. Add roasted vegetables and turn heat down to low. Drain pasta (reserving ½ cup of pasta water) after it is cooked and place pasta back in pot with ½ cup water. Add vegetable mixture, herbs. Season with pepper and a small amount of salt to taste. Serve in one large bowl or individual bowls.

Fruit and Yogurt TrifleFruit & Yogurt Trifle

Serving size for one person: 1½ cups

  • 2 6-ounce containers nonfat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 2 cups cantaloupe, cubed

In a bowl, mix yogurt and juice. In a clear serving bowl, layer fruit and yogurt. This can be made in advance and refrigerated.






Prevention Program:

1-2-3 Tasty Morning Scramble Breakfast1-2-3 Tasty Morning Scramble

(per person)

Adding a touch of garlic to your eggs gives them a burst or flavor with no extra effort.

  • 2 egg whites beaten
  • 1 sprinkle of granulated garlic
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • ¼ cup of chopped tomato
  • fresh pepper

Spray a non-stick pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Add spinach.  After spinach begins to wilt add eggs, garlic and salt and pepper.  Continue stirring the eggs until cooked. Top with tomato.

  • 1 bowl of fresh blueberries, strawberries, and/or raspberries in nonfat milk or soy milk
  • 1 cup of tea or decaf coffee
  • 1 slice of 100% whole grain toast


Roasted Tomato SoupRoasted Tomato Soup

Tomatoes roasted in the oven with onions, garlic and herbs make a simple and superb soup.

Serves 6

4 cups plum tomatoes, halved

  • 1 onion cut into wedges
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, halved
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons freshly copped herbs (basil, thyme, tarragon)
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place vegetables on baking sheet.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray and roast for 10 to 12 minutes until caramelized.  Remove from oven.  In small batches, puree vegetables in blender with broth until it all has been pureed.  Add chopped herbs.

Asian Noodle Salad with Grilled ShrimpAsian Noodle Salad with Grilled Shrimp 

serving size for one person: 2 cups + 5 shrimp

  • 1 14-ounce package rice noodles or buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1/2 medium red onion in thin half moon slices
  • 5 shrimp
  • 1 medium red bell pepper cut into long thin strips
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 carrot cut into small pieces or strips
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring pot of water to a boil then remove from heat and place rice noodles in until softened (about 7 minutes), then drain.
Grill shrimp.
In a large bowl toss noodles with vegetables, vinegar and half of cilantro.
If noodles are dry add a bit of vinegar.
Place noodles in a serving bowl or on a platter and top with remaining cilantro, sesame seeds and lime wedges


Peach Multi-grain Griddle CakePeach Whole Wheat Griddle Cake

Serves 8

  • fresh peaches or 1 can peaches, drained
  • 2 tablespoons natural brown sugar
  • 2 cups multi-grain flour
  • ½ tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup fat-free milk or soymilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a non-stick skillet with non-stick cooking spray.  Over medium heat add drained peaches, browning them lightly on one side. Sprinkle with natural brown sugar, and remove from heat.

Mix multi-grain flour, baking powder, cinnamon and a pinch of salt with a whisk.  In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and milk. Do not over mix. Pour liquid mixture into flour mixture and blend until it becomes a batter. Pour batter into skillet over peaches.

Place skillet in oven and bake until cake is firm, approximately 12 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges and serve with fat-free plain yogurt.

Wild Samon with Pear, Butter Lettuce, and Fresh HerbsWild Salmon with Pear, Butter Lettuce and Fresh Herbs with a Honey Infused Vinaigrette 

serving size for one person: 1 cup + 3 oz. salmon

Serves 6

  • 2 heads butter lettuce
  • 1 Bosc or Bartlett pear cut into thin slices
  • 18 oz wild salmon, poached in white wine or steamed
  • 1 cup fresh herbs (basil, mint, Italian parsley, and dill are good choices)
  • Edible flowers (optional)
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt and add pepper to taste

Chop shallot and mix in a blender with honey, half of herbs, water and vinegar, slowly adding oil, salt and pepper. 
Toss mixture with pears, greens and herbs.
Finish with edible flowers and toasted pine nuts.

Sweet Corn, Black Beans, and Tomato SaladSweet Corn, Black Beans and Tomato Salad

This can be eaten on its own or makes a great side dish for grilled chicken and fish.

  • 1 can black beans drained
  • 1 cup sweet corn (either frozen or freshly chopped from 2 ears)
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, cubed; or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup of red onion finely chopped
  • Juice of 3 limes and zest of the one

Mix all ingredients together and serve at room temperature or chilled.

Peach Bread Pudding

serving size for one person: ½ cup
yield: 8 cups (16 servings)

  • 6 medium peaches
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound loaf of stale sourdough bread
  • 1 teaspoon Amaretto
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup apple juice concentrate
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 6 egg whites, beaten

Blanch, peel, pit, and then dice the peaches. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the skim milk and salt. Tear the bread into 1-inch cubes. Mash the bread into the milk and let soak for 15 minutes.

While soaking, use another bowl to combine the Amaretto, nutmeg, apple juice concentrate, lemon juice, and peaches. Add the beaten egg whites. Add to the bread mixture and toss gently.

Pour into a nonstick 8- or 9-inch square pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F. for 45 minutes, or until set and browned on top. Serve warm.

For more recipes and information about Dr. Ornish's recommendations for a healthy lifestyle:

Purchase the Spectrum book from the links below.

Dr. Ornish's Latest Book: The Spectrum
New York: Ballantine Books, 2007.

Dr. Ornish's Latest Book: The Spectrum [AUDIO BOOK]
New York: Ballantine Books, 2007.
Ornish D. Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease. New York: Random House, 1990; Ballantine Books, 1992

Spectrum of Food Choices

Group 1

Most Healthful

Description Lowest in bad stuff, highest in good stuff.
Fruits Fresh; choose locally grown fresh fruit when available. Apples, Bananas, Berries, Cranberries, Cherries, Currants, Figs, Grapes, Guava, Kiwi, Lemon, Lime, Litchi nuts, Mango, Melon, Oranges, Papaya, Persimmons, Pomegranates, Quinces, Rhubarb, Starfruit, Tangerines, Watermelon, Winter melons, Zapote, Dried fruit without added sugar (Cherries, Cranberries, Dates, Mango, Papaya, Raisins)
Vegetables Fresh, frozen or low-sodium canned: Choose locally grown fresh vegetables when available. Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Bamboo shoots, Bell peppers (red, green, yellow or orange), Bok choy, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots or celery, Cauliflower, Celery, Chilies, Chinese celery, Corn, Cucumber, Dandelion greens, Edemame (soy beans), Eggplant, Escarole, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Grape leaves, Green beans, Green leafy vegetables, Jicama, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard greens, Napa or Chinese cabbage, Okra, Onions, Parsnips, Pickles, Potatoes, Radicchio, Scallions, Seaweed, Shallot, Spinach, Squash (summer and winter), Sun dried tomatoes (not in oil), Swiss chard, Tomatoes, Tomato paste, Tomato sauce, Water chestnuts, Watercress
Grains/Cereals 100 percent Whole grain bread, bagels, English muffins, pita bread, 100 percent Whole grain low-fat crackers (Woven Wheat, Finn Crisp, Wasa), Amaranth, Barley, Brown rice, Buckwheat, Bulgur, Corn, Corn tortillas (not fried), Couscous (whole wheat,) Faro, High fiber whole grain cereals (containing at least 4 grams fiber per 100 calories and less than 5 grams sugar), Hominy grits made without fat, butter or bacon, Kasha, Millet, Oatmeal, Oats, Pasta made from whole grain, Polenta, Polvillo, Potatoes, Quinoa, Rice crackers (whole grain), Rye, Soba noodles, Spelt, Sweet potatoes, Tabouli grain salad made without oil, Tortillas (fat free), Udon noodles, Wheat, Wheat berries, Wheat tortillas (fat-free), Wild rice, Yams
Legumes Fresh, dried, frozen, canned (no added salt), jarred (no added salt), vacuum sealed (no added salt): Black beans, Black-eyed peas, Cannelinni or butter beans, Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), Fava beans, Great white northern beans, Italian white beans, Lentils, Lima, Mung beans, Navy beans, Peas, Pinto beans, Red beans (kidney beans), Sprouted beans, Wax (yellow) beans,
Protein Egg whites or liquid egg substitutes, Hummus made without oil or Tahini, Soy and soy alternatives: Tofu, Tempeh, Natto, Edemame, Soy hot dogs, Soy fat free sausage, Veggie burgers
Dairy and dairy substitutes Enriched oat milk, Enriched rice milk, Enriched soy milk, Fat-free or skim milk, Fat-free buttermilk, Fat-free sour cream, Fat-free cream cheese, Fat-free cottage cheese, Fat-free yogurt, Canned evaporated milk, Fat-free (skim), conut water, Fat-free dry milk powder
Fats/oils Fish oil (omega 3 fatty acids), Fat-free non-dairy salad dressings, Non-stick cooking spray, Fat-free margarine spreads
Herbs, spices and other flavor additives Bonito flakes, Brewers yeast, Broth (vegetable, mushroom), Capers, Chili flakes, Chutneys, Fennel seeds, Flax seeds, Fresh or dried herbs and spices, such as allspice, cinnamon, basil, cumin, curry powder, corriander, parsley, oregano, etc., Garlic, Green chiles (canned), Hoisin sauce and plum sauce, malt powder, Miso, Mustard, Natural vanilla, Pepper, Plain and flavored vinegars, Poppy seeds, Rice wine vinegar, low sodium, Salsa or picante sauce,Vinegars, Yeast, Wheat germ
Sweeteners Stevia
Beverages Green Tea (iced and hot), Caffeine free herbal teas (iced and hot), Fruit juice (up to 8 oz daily), Beer (up to 12 oz daily), Wine (up to 6 oz daily), Sake

Group 2

More healthful

Description Somewhat higher in monosaturated and polyunsaturated fat Low sodium, Low-fat dairy
Fruits Frozen and canned (packed in water or its own juice, no added sugar), Avocados, Olives
Vegetables Canned vegetables, regular sodium
Grains/Cereals Reduced fat flour tortilla
Legumes Regular sodium canned, jarred or vacuum sealed beans and lentils, Baked beans
Dairy and dairy substitutes Low fat dairy (1 percent), Sweetened non-fat and 1 percent yogurt, Fat free frozen yogurt, Fat free puddings and sweets (up to 2 servings daily), Parmesan cheese as a flavor enhancer
Fats/oils Canola oil, Flaxseed oil, Olive oil, Safflower oil, Sesame oil, Nuts and nut butters: Almonds (unsalted), Cashews (unsalted), Mixed nuts (unsalted), Peanuts (unsalted), Pecans (unsalted), Pumpkin seeds (unsalted), Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds (unsalted), Walnuts
Herbs, spices and other flavor additives Bouillon cubes/granules, vegetable, (low-sodium), Sesame seeds, Soy sauce (low-sodium), Barbeque sauce, Rice wine vinegar, regular sodium, Sofrito, Dark chocolate (small amounts)
Sweeteners Splenda, Unsweetened jam, jelly or preserves
Beverages Black tea, Caffeine free, sugar free colas and other sodas (if sweetened with stevia or Splenda), Decaffeinated coffee, Decaffeinated tea

Group 3


Description Some seafood, more fat, some refined carbohydrates, higher sodium
Fruits Dried fruit with added sugar, Canned fruit packed in syrup, Coconut meat, raw or shredded (dried)
Grains/Cereals Regular fat flour tortillas, Angel food cake, Fat-free biscuit mix, Rice crackers, white rice, White bread, bagels, pita bread or English muffins, White pasta, White flour
Protein Anchovies (fresh), Arctic char, Butterfish, Canned light tuna, Catfish, Caviar, Clams, Cod, Crab, Crawfish, Flounder, Halibut, Herring, Lobster, Mahimahi, Monkfish, Mussels, Orange roughy, Pacific flounder, Pacific sole, Pollack, Salmon, wild Alaska and Pacific, Sanddabs, Sardines not packed in oil, Scallops, Sea bass, Shrimp, Snapper, Squid/calamari, Striped bass, Sturgeon, Tilapia, Trout, Tuna, fresh or canned light,
Dairy and dairy substitutes Reduced fat dairy products (2 percent), Reduced-fat cheese (2 percent), Canned evaporated milk, reduced fat (2 percent), Non-dairy creamer (1 Tbsp)
Fats/oils Lite or reduced fat margarines free of trans-fats, Low-fat mayonnaise, Corn oil, Peanut oil, Sesame oil, Soybean oil
Herbs, spices and other flavor additives Bouillon cubes/granules, vegetable, regular sodium, Table salt
Sweeteners High fructose corn syrup, White, brown, or raw sugar or syrup, Corn syrup, Honey, Maple syrup, Molasses, Sweetened jam, jelly or preserves

Group 4

Less healthful

Description Foods containing additional fat, higher fat animal protein and fewer protective nutrients.
Protein Poultry (light meat chicken, turkey), Products made from light chicken and turkey, such as poultry-based luncheon meats, poultry-based sausage, poultry-based hot dogs, Deli sliced turkey, Albacore tuna, Anchovies in oil, Oysters, Fish high in mercury(King mackerel, Shark, Swordfish, Tilefish (golden snapper))
Dairy and dairy substitutes Lite coconut milk, Full fat dairy products (4 percent), Full fat goat milk, Non-dairy whipped cream
Fats/oils Margarines (regular), Mayonnaise, regular
Herbs, spices and other flavor additives Chicken broth

Group 5

Least healthful

Description Highest in bad stuff, lowest in good stuff.
Grains/Cereals Fried breads, Fried desserts, Pastries, Pies, Donuts, Cakes, Cookies, Fried rice, Fried noodles, Fried tortillas, Biscuits, Croissants
Legumes Pork and beans
Protein Bacon, Bacon bits, Bologna, Beef, Bison, Deli sliced ham, pastrami, roast beef, Deviled eggs, Egg salad sandwich, Egg yolks, Elk, Fried chicken, Fried fish or shellfish, Ham, Head cheese, Hot dogs made from pork or beef, Lamb, Organ meats, Pork, Sausage made from beef or pork, Venison
Dairy and dairy substitutes All other full fat cheese, Coconut milk, Half & half, Heavy cream, Butter
Fats/oils Trans fats, Tropical oils: Coconut oil, Palm kernel oil, Palm oil
Herbs, spices and other flavor additives Beef broth