By Rebecca Jones

Feel-Good Food

happy heart BISTRO opens on UNM's North Campus on June 25th.

You won't have to travel far for a meal or snack made with organic ingredients from local growers and producers. In fact, the happy heart BISTRO serving breakfast and lunch, is located on The University of New Mexico's North Campus. It opens on June 25 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring UNM Health Sciences leadership.

From the unusual cauliflower hash browns to the usual - and always favorite - breakfast burrito, to gourmet salads and sandwiches, Audrina Garcia will be serving not-your-usual-college-campus fare.

On the menu

Garcia, who is the chef of the newest eatery on the UNM Health Sciences campus, says her love of cooking, combined with her interest in food trends, serves as the inspiration for her culinary creations.

Breakfast ranges from burritos starting at $4.19 to breakfast bowls, quiche and a strawberry French toast bake, all for under $8. Smoothies start at $4.19 and are made with Greek yogurt and a variety of fresh fruit.

For lunch, choose from hot and cold sandwiches, two house-made soups, and classics such as hamburgers, a "Beyond Veggie Burger" and more. Prices are in the $8-$10 range.

The salad options are made-to-order, and include a kale Caesar and a salmon with chopped kale. Prices start at $7.19.

Off-campus cooking

Thinking about what to cook for dinner tonight? How about a Zucchini Coconut Sage Soup? Or Spicy-Lime Chicken Thighs with Herbed Rice? You won't see these on the happy heart BISTRO menu, but you'll find that they're a breeze to make in your own kitchen. (Scroll down to find the recipes and restaurant menu below this story.)

"I like to add some of my favorite ingredients, or techniques that I have learned from my years as a chef," Garcia explains. "I do my research and incorporate the knowledge and skills that I have in the recipes."

Expect her recipes to have a "twist," whether you try them out at the happy heart BISTRO, or at home in your own kitchen.

"I think they (home cooks) will enjoy how easy and delicious these recipes are," she says. "They will enjoy how simple the ingredients are and how little time it takes to prepare them. Their families and friends will be highly impressed."

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