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Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burrito

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SWEET POTATO & BLACK BEAN BURRITO

Makes 8 Servings

Recipe Inspired by Oh She Glows

Sweet Potatoes:

  • 3 medium Sweet Potatoes, Diced
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • ½ Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • Garlic Power
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Rice & Bean Mixture:

  • 1.5 cups Uncooked Short Grain Brown Rice
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2-3 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper, or to taste
  • 2, 15-oz can Black Beans, drained and rinse
  • 4 Sprouted Grains Tortilla Wrap
  • Baby Spinach Leaves
  • Avocado or Guacamole
  • Sriracha Sauce (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and line a large glass dish with tinfoil. Drizzle olive oil on potatoes and toss with salt, pepper, chili powder & cumin. Roast sweet potatoes for 35-40 mins. or until tender.
  2. Cook brown rice in 3 cups water with sea salt. Boil for 20-25 minutes or until rice has absorbed liquid.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add oil, onion, and minced garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Now add in salt and seasonings and stir well.
  4. Add chopped red pepper, black beans, and cooked rice and sauté for another 10 minutes on low.
  5. When sweet potatoes are tender remove from oven and cool slightly. Slightly mash sweet potatoes with a fork. Add 1.5 cups of the cooked potatoes to the skillet and stir well.
  6. Add rice & bean filling to tortilla along with desired toppings. Wrap and serve.

Leftovers can be reheated and served as topper of spinach salad, stuffed in baked potato, served as tacos, or as a base for grilled flank steak! 

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Greek-Style Green Beans

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Need a quick and simple side dish, but do not want to compromise your nutrient intake? 

Looking for a side dish that provides a nutrient-dense punch with delicious flavor?

Do you have 5-minutes?

If you answered yes, then Greek-Style Green Beans are the perfect side dish for you!!!

Greek-Style Green Beans are extremely versatile. They pair nicely with sandwiches, grilled wraps, or alongside chicken, tuna, or salmon salad. (Pictured below is Greek-Style Green Beans Mediterranean Chicken Salad from Whole Foods on a Bed of Greek-Style Green Beans -- Flavorful Lunch Idea That is Quick on Time and High in Nutrients!!)

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These flavorful beans also provide the crunch that most individuals enjoy about potato chips.

Consider this dish for your next tailgating party. It can be served hot or cold and compliments all grilled meats, burgers, and sliders!

Greek-Style Green Beans:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package Green Beans in a Steamable Bag
  • 2-3 Handfuls Organic Baby Spinach Leaves
  • ½ Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) or Coconut Oil
  • ½ Red Onion, Diced
  • ¼ cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • ½ cup Kalamata Olives (pitted)
  • Garlic Salt to Taste
  • Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Directions:

Microwave green beans according to package directions. Meanwhile, sauté baby spinach and diced red onion in a skillet over medium heat. Once green beans are cooked, add the beans to the spinach and onion mixture. Gentle toss in crumbled feta, garlic salt, pepper and olives. Serve hot or cold.

Wild-Caught Pesto Cod with Tomato & Olive Relish - Dinner in Less Than 15 Min!

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Time.

It seems to be the most common and prevalent barrier between people eating a nutrient-dense diet and fueling their body to do the activities that are taking up so much time!

How many times have you justified going through the drive-thru window b/c of no time? How many times have you skipped a meal due to a “lack of time”? How many times have you microwaved an unappetizing tv dinner due to a time crunch?  

Food Myth: “To eat “healthy” or nutrient dense means I must spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking, dirty up a lot of dishes, and eat bland foods.”

NutriFocusRD has news for you!!

THAT IS A LIE!!!!! And I can prove it!!!!

Last week, I started with fresh, nutrient-packed ingredients and had dinner on the table on 14min and 23 seconds flat! Yes, I timed it and proud of it!!! I wanted to see exactly how long it would take to prepare and serve a balanced, tasty meal. And I was extremely surprised!!!

I proudly served up Wild-Caught Pesto Cod topped with a Tomato & Olive Relish on a Bed of Wilted Organic Spinach. I finished off the dish by pairing it with warm slices of Rosemary & Sea Salt French Baguette!

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So no more excuses… It’s time to make health our priority so we can enjoy our loved ones, hobbies, and activities to the fullest!!!! I’ve shared the recipe below!!! Bon Appetite!

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 Wild-Caught Pesto Cod Served with Tomato & Olive Relish:

Ingredients:

  • 4 Wild-Caught Cod Filets (Frozen – Allow to Thaw Before Cooking) (Can also use tilapia, mahi-mahi or other white flaky fish)
  • 4 Tbsp Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • Cooking Spray
  • 4 Tbsp Homemade or Store Bought Pesto
  • 1-2 Small to Medium Sized Tomatoes
  • 8 Kalamata Olives, Pitted & Sliced
  • Garlic Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • French Baguette
  • Sea Salt
  • Dried Rosemary
  • Organic Baby Spinach or Frozen Spinach Leaves

Directions:

Pre-Heat Oven to 425 Degrees.

Pat fish dry and place on a baking pan covered in cooking spray. Top each cod filet with 1 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese. Place in oven to cook for 8-10 minutes.

While fish cooks, prepare relish, bread, and spinach. For relish, dice tomatoes and place in small bowl. Add Kalamata olive slices to the tomatoes. Season with garlic salt and pepper to taste. Toss with EVOO and sit to the side.

For bread, slice French baguette into single servings. Drizzle each slice with EVOO and sprinkle with sea salt and dried rosemary. Place in heated oven with fish for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté spinach on the stovetop in a skillet over medium high heat with a drizzle of EVOO. If you purchase frozen spinach, place in microwave.

When fish is done cooking, top each filet with 1 Tbsp pesto. Place each pesto cod filet on a bed of wilted spinach and garnish with Tomato Olive Relish. Serve the Rosemary & Sea Salt French Baguette on the side! Delish!    

Dinner Gets Creative & Fun with Puff Pastry

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When meal planning, I get inspirations on what to make for the week by seeing what ingredients I have on hand. This helps me to think outside the box, reduce food waste, and save on my grocery budget! Last week I ventured out to try a new recipe (Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart) by Just A Taste. I had 1 puff pastry sheet leftover from the recipe and did not want it to go to waste…. So I got creative and Puff Pastry Pizzas were born!!!

The fun aspect of Puff Pastry Pizzas is that the options are endless in terms of flavor combinations!!!! This meal was super easy, inexpensive, and requires minimal cooking skills. This would be a great recipe for families to make together, for individuals to whip up on a whim, and couples to enjoy on a date night!

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MUSHROOM & PESTO PASTRY PIZZA

Ingredients:

  • 1 Puff Pastry Sheet, Cut in Half and Score Around the Edges with A Sharp Knife
  • Basil Pesto
  • Portobello Mushroom
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Garlic Salt & Pepper
  • Goat Cheese (or Cheese of Choice such as feta, gorgonzola, etc)
  • Pine Nuts

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Once puff pastry is scored, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and gently pierce pastry with a fork to allow air to escape. Spread 2-3 Tbsp Basil Pesto on pastry.

While oven is warming, cut portobello mushrooms into long strips, coat with EVOO, garlic salt, and pepper. Sauté or grill portobello mushrooms until soft. Place mushrooms, pine nuts, and kalamata olives on pizza. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until pastry is slightly brown. Before serving, top pizza with goat cheese and cut into 4 slices.

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BASIL & MOZZARELLA PASTRY PIZZA:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Puff Pastry Sheet, Cut in Half and Score Around the Edges with A Sharp Knife
  • Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Marinara Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • Arugula
  • Portobello Mushrooms

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Once puff pastry is scored, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and gently pierce pastry with a fork to allow air to escape. Spread 2-3 Tbsp spaghetti sauce on pastry and top with fresh basil leaves. Sprinkle 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until pastry is slightly golden brown.

While pizza is cooking, cut Portobello mushrooms into long strips, coat with EVOO, garlic salt, and pepper. Sauté or grill portobello mushrooms until soft.

Once pizza is done, top with fresh arugula and mushroom slices. Cut into 4 slices and serve immediately.

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BE CREATIVE WITH YOUR PUFF PASTRY PIZZA! SHARE YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR COMBINATION WITH THE NUTRIFOCUS FAMILY!!!

Recipe Recommendation for Meatless Meal

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If you liked what you saw on NutriFocusRD's Instagram on Monday then get excited... I'm sharing the recipe below!! Thanks Just a Taste for inspiring this delicious and nutritious meal!!! Life is short... Eat Good Food!!!

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ASPARAGUS & GOAT CHEESE TART: Recipe Inspired By: Just a Taste Ingredients 4 Large eggs 1 sheet (1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package) frozen puff pastry dough 2 Tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons minced garlic 3/4 pound asparagus spears, ends trimmed and spears cut into 1/2-inch pieces 10oz bag of Organic Frozen Peas Crumbled goat cheese 4-5 Green Onions, Diced

Directions: Allow the eggs and frozen puff pastry to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Blanch asparagus and frozen peas to keep a vibrant green color to the vegetables. Place vegetables in boiling water for 1-minute and immediately place in ice water. Dry off vegetables before sautéing.

Once the puff pastry has thawed, use a sharp knife, score a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Transfer the pastry to the baking sheet then prick it several times with a fork. Bake it for about 10 minutes, or until it's lightly golden brown. Remove it from the oven.

Add the olive oil to a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the garlic, asparagus and peas to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes until the garlic is golden brown. Season the mixture with salt and pepper then transfer it onto the baked puff pastry, spreading it evenly within the edges.

Break the eggs, one at a time, into a small dish then carefully pour each egg onto the tart, spacing them evenly apart. Sprinkle each egg with fresh black pepper then bake the tart for 12 to 14 minutes just until the egg whites are completely cooked and no longer translucent.

Remove the tart from the oven, sprinkle it with the crumbled goat cheese, chopped green onions. Slice and serve the tart immediately.

Recommend serving with organic arugula and sweet potato salad topped with shaved Parmesan and leftover asparagus and pea mixture!

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Cook Smarter, Not Harder

When meal planning I hear a lot of individuals struggle with variety. Meal planning can be made easy by using one main ingredient to build different meals. Don't feel the need to reinvent the wheel each and every night.

Start by looking at what meats or protein sources are on sale. If meat products are too expensive that week, look for meat alternatives such as beans. They are always an inexpensive option. Publix announces their sales every Wednesday for the upcoming week which is why I typically shop on Fridays. This gives me enough time to be informed of sales and develop a meal plan. Last week Publix had pork tenderloin on sale so I will use this for my meal planning example.

I decided to cook my pork in the slow-cooker to free up my time to work on Monday!! Since I cooked the meat that day, I kept my sides easy.... I served with Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes and Collard Greens. (sorry no picture)

I took the leftovers and used inexpensive ingredients to create different meals but minimal cooking.

On the second night I made baked potatoes stuffed with pork tenderloin and side salad made with organic greens I found on sale!!

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Since the greens were on sale I decided to use the same ingredients on the third night. Salad greens are easy to grow at home as well so feel free to get in touch with your green thumb!! On the third night I made pork tenderloin salads with homemade croutons!!

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To make the most of meal planning just takes a few simple steps: 1.) Don't try to re-invent the wheel each and every night 2.) Choose one main ingredient and vary it up 1-2 ways 3.) A variety of produce can drastically change your meal presentation 4.) Think of ways to change FLAVOR & TEXTURE (Example: use leftover pork in a stew or soup) 5.) Think of themes for your meals (example: Mexican Night - pork tacos, Sandwich Night- pulled pork sandwiches, Chinese - pork lo mein)

Just remember to have fun!!!! There is no wrong or right way to meal plan, it's just about being intentional!!!!

Cook smarter not harder!!! >

Putting Pumpkin Seeds on the Plate

The first step of cooking pumpkin seeds, is to rinse the seeds well under  running water in    order to lose the pumpkin flesh flavor. Once the seeds are clean, use a damp dish towel to blot the seeds dry.  After drying the seeds,  sprinkle them with the herbs of your choice and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.  For even cooking while in the oven, it is best to turn the seeds every 10 minutes. Also feel free to experiment with your favorite flavors such as cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or Italian herb mix for example.  If you prefer your seeds to have a salty flavor, consider boiling your seeds in salted water.

Pumpkin Seed Serving Tips

  • Add crunch to your vegetables by adding pumpkin seeds
  • Add flavor to your salad by sprinkling candied pumpkin seeds on top of your mixed green salad

Candied Pumpkin Seeds:  Recipe From www.tasteofhome.com

  • 1 cup fresh pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Spread into a greased foil-lined 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 250° for 45-50 minutes or until seeds are well-glazed, stirring occasionally. Cool completely; break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 1 cup.

  • Whole Foods offered this great tip: Grind pumpkin seeds with fresh garlic, parsley and cilantro leaves. Mix with olive oil and lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing.
  • Make your morning oatmeal standout by adding canned pumpkin and chopped pumpkin seeds.  Pumpkin seeds are also a great addition to your favorite cold cereal.
  • Add pumpkin seeds to your homemade granola.  Don’t have time to cook?! Pick up Back to Nature’s Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Granola at your local grocery store!
  • To give your burgers more texture, add ground pumpkin seeds
  • Add kick to your afternoon snack by packing Spicy Pumpkin Seeds in your lunch bag! (Following Recipe is from All Recipes)

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds -  Recipe From www.allrecipes.com

  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 drops hot pepper sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Stir together the pumpkin seeds and butter in a bowl. Add the salt, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and hot pepper sauce; stir. Spread the seeds in a single layer on the baking pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until crispy, about 45 minutes.

Wanting to know more? Check out this link which will provide  More Pumpkin Seed Information