onion

Smoked Salmon & Farro Salad 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup uncooked Farro
  • 2 diced Fuji apples
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion 
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1-inch pieces 
  • 2 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

PREPARATION

Place farro in a medium saucepan. Cover Farro with water to 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cook, uncovered, 30-35 min or until tender. 

Combine cooked Farro, diced apples, and next 4 ingredients (through celery) in a large bowl. Combine oil and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle dressing over Farro mixture; toss to coat.

Spice of Life - Health Benefits of Herbs and Spices

Spices have health benefits!! Spices and herbs have one of the highest antioxidant and polyphenol (a plant compound) level in food particles!! Both polyphenols & antioxidants help fight chronic health problems such as heart disease.

Not only do spices and herbs make our food taste great, but they serve as a substitute for ingredients that do not add value to our health such as salt, saturated fat, and sugar!

My hope is that you enjoy this easy, weeknight chili recipe that Im sharing in this post!! The recipe includes several spices that will benefit your body and satisfy your taste buds!!

Chili Powder - Helps rev metabolism and eases indigestion!

Paprika - potent vitamin A source which promotes immune function, good eyesight, healthy skin, and wound healing

Cumin - aides digestion, relieves constipation, helps with insomnia, and promotes healthy skin

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Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

INGREDIENTS: 2 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil 2 Medium Sweet Potato, Peeled & Diced 1 Large Yellow Onion, Diced 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced 2 Tbsp Pickled Jalapeño, Diced 3 Tbsp Chili Powder 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika 1 teaspoon Sea Salt 3 cups Water 2 15-ounce cans Black Beans, Drained & Rinsed 2 14-ounce cans Diced Tomatoes 3 teaspoons Lime Juice

DIRECTIONS: Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion to the Dutch oven and cook until onion softens.

Add minced garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and sea salt to onion mixture. Stir constantly for 30-seconds.

Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until sweet potato is tender.

Add black beans, diced tomatoes, diced jalapeños, and lime juice and return soup to a simmer for another 5-6 minutes.

Serve warm and garnish with diced avocado, sour cream or French fried onions. Serve alongside cornbread or cold guacamole salad!!!

RECIPE INSPIRED BY EATING WELL

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Need a quick weeknight dinner idea?

NutriFocusRD has got your answer!

This creamy, nutritious soup hits the spot!  It is a guaranteed family favorite!!

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Creamy Tomato & Tortellini Soup:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • ½ lb. Italian Sausage
  • 1 Diced White Onion
  • 24oz Organic Marinara Sauce
  • 8oz Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
  • 32oz Reduced Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 8oz Diced Bella Mushrooms
  • 4-5 cups Fresh Organic Baby Spinach
  • 16-20oz Frozen or Refrigerated Whole Wheat Cheese Tortellini
  • ½ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • French Bread or Rosemary Olive Oil Bread (Costco)

Directions:

  1. In a stockpot, add EVOO, diced onion, and Italian sausage. Cook until sausage is brown.
  2. Add marinara sauce into the meat mixture and stir well.
  3. Using a whisk, stir in cream cheese until blended well. Once blended, add chicken broth and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Add mushrooms, baby spinach, and cheese tortellini to broth and combine well. Allow to simmer for 7-9 minutes.
  5. Serve soup warm, topped with 1-2 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese, and with a warm, crusty French bread for dipping! Enjoy!!!
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Gambling on Meat? Grass-Fed or Grain-Fed?

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Confused by the hype of grass-fed versus grain-fed beef? Is grass-fed beef really worth the extra expense?

Today NutriFocus highlights 4 good reasons to consider choosing grass-fed beef....

  1. Grass-fed beef is much higher in nutrient levels. Grass-fed beef tends to be leaner, and have higher levels of vitamins, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and beta carotene.  Grass-fed beef has shown to have 4x the levels of vitamin E and 6x the levels of Omega-3 (compared to grain fed beef) which helps reduce the risk of arthritis, obesity, insulin resistance, allergies and autoimmune diseases.  It is also a good source of CLA which is a healthy fat that protects against cancer.
  2. Grass-fed beef is better for the animals. Supports a natural and humane approach to sustainable farming BC the animals are allowed to roam free on the land.
  3. Supports local farming science. Raising livestock on pasture requires knowledge and skill -- it is a true science!!
  4. Grass-fed animals are healthy and drug-free. Cows fed grain can suffer digestive problems because grain is not their natural diet and is not digested properly. This can lead to the use of  antibiotics and other medications which ultimately pollutes our food supply and environment.

This NutriFocusRD original recipe won me major points with my husband so I could not resist sharing this easy, slow-cooker meal with my NutriFocus Family!!!  This chili is super easy, full of fiber, powered with protein, and packed full with vegetables!  It is perfect for a weeknight dinner or to serve at your next tailgating party!! Best news is... it is even better the next day!!!  Hope you guys enjoy!!

Organic Beef and 3-Bean Chili:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound organic, grass-fed ground beef
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  • 1 Red Onion, Diced
  • 3 Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, Seeded and Diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 (29oz) can Tomato Puree
  • 1 (15oz) can Red Kidney Beans, Drained
  • 1 (15oz) can Cannellini Beans, with Liquid
  • 1 (15oz) can Chickpeas, Drained
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin (optional)
  • ½ Tbsp Smoked Paprika (optional)
  • 2 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Basil
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce

Directions:

Place ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Season with 1 Tbsp Chili Powder, 1 Tbsp Cumin, ½ Tbsp Smoked Paprika, 1 tsp Garlic Salt, and Ground Black Pepper. Cook until evenly brown. Drain remaining liquid.

Place the beef in your slow-cooker. Add in onion, celery, green bell pepper, garlic, tomato puree, drained kidney beans, drained chickpeas, and cannellini beans with liquid. Season mixture with 1 Tbsp chili powder, dried parsley, garlic salt, dried basil, oregano, black pepper and sriracha sauce. Stir mixture well. Cover and cook on low for 8-hours!

Garnish with shredded parmesan cheese and low-fat sour cream and serve alongside sweet cornbread muffins!

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To Locate Local Grass-Fed Farms, Check Out the Eat Wild Website for Farms Across the Southeast!

RECIPE REVIEW - Edamame Succotash

I have missed blogging and staying in touch with my NutriFocus family!  This weekend I celebrated my mom’s birthday so I was unable to get to my computer!  I had a fabulous time sharing this weekend with family and friends!As Monday rolls around, so does my usual schedule, which means it is time for another RECIPE REVIEW!!  This week I chose to try Edamame Succotash because it called for ingredients that I had on hand and wanted to use to save money on groceries.  The recipe required little prep time and very little cooking time which fit my busy Monday schedule.

I made a minor substitution to the recipe but the taste was not compromised on any level.  Since I already had fresh lima beans in the freezer, (thanks Mike’s grandma!!) I simply substituted the lima beans for the edamame beans.  The recipe calls for pork bacon, but you could use turkey bacon as the substitute if you do not eat pork for religious reasons!  This is the major source of flavor for this recipe, so do not stray too far away when searching for a substitute!

Due to fact that I refuse to cook bacon in a skillet b/c I always get “popped”, I called for back-up so Mike joined me in the kitchen to help with cooking the bacon. Normally I would cook the bacon in the oven, but it is important that the bacon is cooked in the skillet so the dish can keep most of the flavor.  But for all other purposes, I recommend cooking bacon in the oven to avoid injury and for easier clean-up!!

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Once the bacon was cooked and removed from the pan, it was simply an act of adding each ingredient one by one.

First addition: Onions

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Second addition: Corn – Since corn is not in season, I used a 10oz package of frozen corn for this recipe. I definitely think fresh corn would really add flavor to this dish, but frozen did the trick for this season!

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Third addition: Lima Beans.  Lima Beans can be a great source of folate, potassium, and iron! These little green beans also pack a super punch with a significant level of fat free, high-quality protein and dietary, cholesterol-lowering fiber which helps keep blood sugar levels stable which is important for individuals with diabetes, hypoglycemia, or insulin resistance. Lima beans are also known to be high in a trace mineral called, molybdenum, which is part of process of detoxifying sulfites. Sulfites are preservatives commonly found in prepared foods and if an individual is sensitive to sulfites, they can experience rapid heartbeat and/or headaches.  By increasing your molybdenum stores, you can improve your ability to detox sulfites, therefore, decreasing or preventing side effects.

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Fourth Addition: Spices, Red Bell Pepper, and Plum Tomatoes – Red bell peppers provide this recipe with a significant dose of Vitamin A & C and lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that may lower risks for certain types of cancers.

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Final Addition: Bacon Pieces

Succotash
Succotash
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To round out the meal, I added a piece of French baguette with melted havarti cheese! This was simply made by cutting a fourth of the baguette in half, placing approx 1-1 ½ oz havarti cheese, and placing in 425 degree oven for approx. 5 minutes, then broiling for another 2 minutes!  The flavors really complemented each other and really gave it a comfort food feel.  My husband and I both agreed that this recipe is a keeper due to the ease of preparation/cooking, inexpensive cost of ingredients, powerful nutrition stats, and the one of a kind taste that took us by surprise!  It was delicious!

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We both highly recommend all of you trying this recipe and letting us know what you think!

Succotash Meal
Succotash Meal

EDAMAME SUCCOTASH - "Cooking Light" Recipe

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups) Cost per Serving: $2.47

Ingredients

  • 1  slice center-cut bacon
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 2  cups  chopped sweet onion
  • 2  cups  fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
  • 1  (16-ounce) bag frozen, shelled edamame, thawed
  • 2  tablespoons  red wine vinegar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2  teaspoon  sugar
  • 3  plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1  red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 3  tablespoons  torn basil

Preparation

1. Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in pan; coarsely chop bacon.

2. Increase the heat to medium-high. Melt butter in drippings in pan. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn kernels; sauté for 3 minutes or until lightly charred. Add edamame, and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar and next 5 ingredients (through bell pepper); cook 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with bacon and basil.