meal planning

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!!!

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!!! >

Fighting Fatigue with Food - Miniseries Part I

Over the next several days, I'll be sharing tips to fighting common fatigue with the way you eat!  Continue to check the NutriFocus blog to learn all tips to experience more energy through eating!

TIP #1:  Planning = Power

Skipping meals is the #1 energy killer for most individuals.  By making meal planning a priority, you will ensure you have the foods available to consume 4-6 small meals each day. By eating more frequently, your blood sugar is stabilized which will prevent mid-day crashes that lead to fatigue and moodiness.  Meal planning will take the guesswork out of food choices in the middle of a mid-day slump when the temptation to reach for non-healthy items is the highest.

 

In what ways could you do a better job planning your meals and snacks?