organic

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!

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!    

Cook Once, Eat for a Week

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If your week looks busy, I encourage you to PLAN AHEAD!!!! Declare this the week that TIME stops being your excuse and starts being your advantage in making nutrient-dense food choices!!!

Planning proceeds production. By simply taking time to plan ahead, you can prepare nutrient dense meals with half the effort!!! Start your week by preparing Salsa Verde Chicken in a slow-cooker and be ready to feed your family in a variety of ways for the rest of the week!!!!

SALSA VERDE CHICKEN

(Recipe From SkinnyTaste )

    • Organic Chicken Breast (4-8 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Depending on Size)
    • 1 Jar of Your Favorite Salsa Verde or Tomato Salsa
    • Cook on High for 4-Hours

SALSA VERDE CHICKEN WEEKLY MENU:

    1. Salsa Verde Chicken Breast served over Mexican Rice and Roasted Asparagus
    2. Salsa Verde Chicken Taquitos with Sriracha Cream Dipping Sauce served with Guacamole Salad
    3. Salsa Verde Tacos served with Refried Beans and Guacamole Salad
    4. Salsa Verde Chicken Salad with Roasted Cumin Sweet Potatoes

SALSA VERDE CHICKEN TAQUITOS

(Recipe Inspired by Just a Taste )

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Diced Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fresh Black Pepper
  • 3 cups Salsa Verde Chicken or Rotisserie Chicken (Shredded)
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Mexican Blend or Colby Jack Cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups Chicken Broth 12 (6-inch) Corn Tortillas

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until it's translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes until it's golden and fragrant.

Reduce the heat to low, and then add the lime juice, cumin, paprika, salt and black pepper to the pan, stirring to combine. Add the chicken, tossing to combine.

Transfer the chicken mixture to a large bowl and let it cool for 10 minutes, and then stir in the shredded cheese.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer. One at a time, dip each tortilla into the broth for 10 to 15 seconds, just until it's pliable enough to roll. Transfer the tortilla to your work surface and place about 3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the lower third of each tortilla. Tightly roll up the tortilla, and then place it seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the filling and rolling process with the remaining tortillas.

Bake the taquitos for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Serve with Sriracha Cream Sauce for dipping (Sriracha Sauce mixed with Low-Fat Sour Cream and Fresh Ground Black Pepper and Minced Garlic) and Guacamole Salad.

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SALSA VERDE CHICKEN TACOS:

No recipe needed… it is simply an assembly night! Top a corn tortilla with fat free refried beans, salsa verde chicken, cheese, and leftover sriracha cream sauce or fresh guacamole! Serve with a simply guacamole salad. I recommend Wholly Guacamole if you wish to save time on making fresh guacamole!

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SALSA VERDE CHICKEN SALAD:

It is another assembly night!!! Toss your favorite organic greens in a low-fat dressing or high quality olive oil. Top with your favorite vegetables. For added texture and a nutrient dense starch, add Roasted Cumin Sweet Potatoes (Cube 2-3 Sweet Potatoes, Toss in Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, and 2 Tbsp Cumin and Roast in Oven at 400 for 30 minutes). Be creative with your salad toppings but do not forget the Salsa Verde Chicken!!!!

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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!!! >