spinach

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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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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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!    

Salsa Verde Mexican Potato Hash

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Mexican Potato Hash:

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Russet Potatoes, Grated or 1 Bag Refrigerated Potato Shreds
  • 1 Onion, Diced or sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • ½ Tbsp Ground Red Pepper
  • Garlic Salt (to taste)
  • Ground Black Pepper (to Taste)
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2-3 cups Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves
  • Salsa Verde Chicken or Shredded Rotisserie Chicken
  • ¼ cup Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese or 50% Reduced Fat Cabot Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese
  • Low-Fat Sour Cream
  • Sliced Jalapenos (optional)
  • Sriracha Sauce (optional)

Directions:

Heat coconut oil in large skillet. Mix grated potatoes, onion, cumin, ground red pepper, garlic salt, and ground black pepper together. Place in skillet in flat layer. All potatoes to cook around 7-9 minutes or until golden brown. Flip potatoes over which may need to be done in segments. Cook another 7-9 minutes. Meanwhile saute spinach in skillet until wilted. Re-heat Salsa Verde Chicken or shred rotisserie chicken to prepare for assembly.

Place 2/3 – 1 cup shredded potatoes on plate. Top with sautéed spinach, 2 Tbsp shredded cheese, salsa verde chicken, sriracha sauce, sliced jalapenos, and a dollop of low-fat sour cream. Recommend serving with a salad or roasted vegetable of choice!

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8 Nutrients to Boost Your Spirits - Nutrient #5

FOLATE

• Folate is also known as B9 or Folic Acid • Folate helps the body create new cells and regulate serotonin (Serotonin plays a variety of functions including determining mood) • Folate deficiency can cause fatigue and reduce serotonin levels • Folate has the potential to boost the efficiency of antidepressants • RDA: 400mcg per day for adults Books and apple

ACTIONS TO TAKE:

• Add Fresh Spinach to Your Morning Omelet. ½ cup Spinach provides 131mcg of Folate. • Top Your Turkey Sandwich with Avocado or Dip Fresh Vegetables in Guacamole for a Snack. ½ cup Avocado Provides 59mcg of Folate • Need a Side Dish Idea?! How about a Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad or Roasted Asparagus to Provide About 80mcg of Folate! • Fill Up on Folate and Protein by Warming Up Black-Eyed Peas. ½ cup Packs 105mcg of Folate!!

Assorted basil herbs

SPIRIT BOOSTING NUTRIENTS #3 & #4

IRON

  • Aids in muscle strength by carrying oxygen
  • Iron deficiency can cause an individual to experience fatigue and depression
  • Women are at a higher risk for iron deficiency than men
  • RDA: 18mg per day for women; 8mg per day for men

ACTIONS TO TAKE:

  • Jump start your morning with oatmeal for 11mg of iron!!!
  • Enjoy a side of Edamame with your sushi. 1 cup of Soybeans has almost 9mg of iron!
  • Keep Warm at Lunch with Lentil Soup!  1 cup of Lentil Soup provides 7mg of iron. 
  • Don’t shy away from Beef!  A 5oz filet contains 6mg of iron! 

 

MAGNESIUM

  • Did you know magnesium can play over 300 roles in the body?!
  • Magnesium deficiency can cause an individual to feel fatigue, irritable, mentally confused, and unable to tolerate stress
  • Magnesium plays a large role in developing serotonin which leads to feelings of happiness
  • RDA: 300mg per day for women; 400mg per day for men

ACTIONS TO TAKE:

  • Top your morning cereal with sliced almonds!  2 Tbsp Sliced Almonds provides almost 80mg of magnesium
  • Add fresh spinach to your favorite vegetable soup recipe.  ½ cup spinach provides 80mg of magnesium
  • Try Cashew Butter as part of your afternoon snack!  Did you know 1/8 cup of cashews provides 75mg of magnesium?!
  • Peanuts are Packed with Magnesium!! ¼ cup provides 65mg of magnesium!!!

 

STOP LOOKING TO CAFFEINE AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO GIVE YOU ENERGY!  BE MINDFUL & AWARE OF THE POWER IN YOUR FOODS!!!  

National Nutrition Month - GO GREEN!

Green fruits and vegetables get their color from the plant pigment called chlorophyll! Chlorophyll may help reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration which leads to blindness, in combination with lutein. Lutein can be found in spinach, dark leafy greens, green peppers, peas, cucumber, and celery.

Not only will you get lutein from eating your greens, but also a certain vitamin B known as FOLATE!  Folate helps reduce the risk of birth defects!

Other great green produce includes: green apples, artichokes, asparagus, avocados, green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green cabbage, honeydew melon, kiwi, lettuce, limes, peas, zucchini

In the spirit of National Nutrition Month,  I added COLOR to our meal last nigth by incorporating spinach!  I made a Basil-Potato Frittata (recipe can be found on www.myrecipes.com) which included eggs, cheese, basil, and potatoes but NO VEGGIES!  The problem was easy to solve. While sautéing the onion, I threw in 2 large handfuls of spinach and added both items to the mixture!  It did not alter the taste, but did increase the amount of vitamins and minerals we consumed!!  I recommend giving this recipe a try and be creative…. Add your own vegetable combination and let the NutriFocus family know about it!!

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Basil-Potato Frittata

2 cups diced baking potato (about 1 large) Vegetable cooking spray 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion, separated into rings 1/4 cup (1/2 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil 2 tablespoons water 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce 4 egg whites, lightly beaten 3 eggs, lightly beaten 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Place the diced potato in a medium saucepan; cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook 7 minutes or until tender. Drain and let cool.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat until hot. Add onion; sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Combine 3 tablespoons of cheese, basil, and the next 5 ingredients (basil through eggs) in a medium bowl; stir in potato and onion. Wipe skillet with paper towels, and recoat with cooking spray. Place skillet over medium heat until hot. Add egg mixture, and cook 6 minutes or until almost set.

Wrap handle of skillet with foil, and broil 1 1/2 minutes. Top with remaining cheese, and broil for 30 seconds or until cheese melts. Drizzle vinegar over the frittata, and cut into 4 wedges. Serve warm.

RECIPE RAVE!

I made this recipe on Thursday night for my husband and myself with a little hesitancy, but  I was pleasantly surprised!!  If you need a quick weeknight meal this recipe is for you! This pasta dish contained a lot of flavors and made enough for a large group or lunch leftovers! Mike and I both ate the leftovers for lunch on Friday cold,  and the dish cold was just as good as the original dish right off the stove! The star ingredients contain vitamins and minerals that have a major impact on our health as indicated below:

  • Spinach in this dish makes it a great source of  potassium, iron, and folate
  • Olives make it a great source of Vitamin E which has anti-inflammatory actions, helps reduce the severity of conditions caused by high levels of free radicals (asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer), and may help reduce the frequency and/or intensity of hot flashes in women going through menopause.
  • Whole Wheat Pasta makes this recipe a great source of dietary fiber and provides other health benefits such as lowering risk of metabolic syndrome, lessens chronic inflammation, and promotes gastrointestinal health!
  • Olive Oil is rich in monounsaturated fats which lowers rates of heart disease, diabetes,  and asthma. By reducing inflammation and free radical damage , dietary olive oil protects the lining of our blood vessels, helping to maintain its ability to relax and dilate which prevents high blood pressure.
  • Feta Cheese is rich in calcium, riboflavin, phosphorus, and vitamin B12.  Calcium is required for the development of bones. Riboflavin is required by the body as it aides in metabolism of macronutrients (carbs, pro, and fat). Phosphorus plays a major role in the formation of bones and teeth and Vitamin B12 is required by the human body to keep red blood cells healthy, supports function of the immune system, and prevents heart disease.

It reminded me of a dish that would be served at Taziki's, maybe similar to the oh so famous Friday's Special!! I highly recommend this recipe to my NutriFocus family!! If you try this dish, please share your comments!! Bon Appetit!!

Penne with Spinach, Feta, and Olives Yield:  4 servings (serving size: 2 cups) 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 3 garlic cloves, crushed 6 cups hot cooked whole wheat penne (about 12 ounces uncooked tube-shaped pasta) 2 cups chopped spinach 1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives 2 tablespoons capers 3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add pasta, spinach, olives, capers, and cheese; toss well.

Cooking Light, May 1998