Snack

Dark Chocolate & Walnut Fudge

Beet
Beet

A fun and tasty way to incorporate beets into your diet is here!!! Beets are no longer just for salad..... and it makes for a great table conversation when your loved ones are eating their fudge! This "fudge" has more a texture of a flourless torte and serves well with coconut whipped cream and fresh raspberries!

Dark Chocolate & Walnut Fudge

Chickpea Bolognese

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Ok, so this may not be a typical meal that you would create on a weeknight...

BUT IT SHOULD BE!!!

It is quick, filling, tasty, high fiber, rich in vegetables, EASY, and affordable!

This is a fun twist on an Italian classic that is normally high in cholesterol and saturated fat!!! This will have your entire family reconsidering a MEATLESS MONDAY!!!!

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food processor
ChickpeaBol
ChickpeaBol

Coconut Cream Porridge

Want a tasty alternative to overnight oats?

Today I'm sharing an easy porridge recipe that involves NO COOKING!!! Enjoy!

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Coconut Cream Chia Porridge

Serves 4-5 -- Recipe Inspired By Half Baked Harvest

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • ½ can Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Local Honey
  • 1/3 cup Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • Dash of Sea Salt

Toppings:

  • Sliced Banana
  • Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Pistachios
  • Almond Butter
  • Cherries
  • Cocoa Nibs (optional)

Directions:

In a bowl, stir together almond milk, coconut milk. Honey, chia seeds, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Cover and place in fridge overnight. Scoop porridge mixture into bowl and top with toppings of choice! Toppings shown in picture is sliced bananas, hemp seeds, cherries, almond butter drizzle and coconut flakes! Enjoy!

Savory Balsamic Fig & Heirloom Tomato Tart with Prosciutto

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Having company over and need a crowd pleasing recipe?

Want a creative recipe that showcases the beautiful heirloom tomatoes you found at the farmer's market?

Looking for a quick weeknight dinner option that provides flavor and nutrition for your family?

This recipe will be your new best friend!! This recipe is full of flavor, loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals, and is ready with minimal effort in the kitchen!!!

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tart 3

Savory Balsamic Fig & Heirloom Tomato Tart with Prosciutto

Ingredients

  • Prepared Puff Pastry Sheet, thawed (I recommend Dufour’s Puff Pastry)
  • 1/3 cup Fig Preserves
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
  • Pinch of Salt + Pepper
  • 2 Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 ounces Blue Cheese, crumbled
  • 8 ounces Fresh Mozzarella Cheese or Burrata Cheese
  • 8 slices Thinly Sliced Prosciutto
  • 2 -3 Tablespoons Fresh Basil

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stack two pieces of puff pastry one on top of the other and press gently to adhere. Repeat with the other two sheets. Cut each pastry into a large circle or leave as a square. You may also make mini tarts by cutting the pastry into smaller circles or squares. Whatever shape you prefer works fine.

Place the puffed pastry sheet on the prepared baking sheet and spread about 1/3 cup of fig preserves over the puff pastry.

In a bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and oregano. Add the cherry tomatoes to the balsamic mix and toss well. Arrange the sliced heirloom tomatoes over the puff pastry sheet evenly. Add the cherry tomatoes along with any remaining balsamic mixture left in the bowl. Sprinkle the tart with crumbled blue cheese.

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tart 1

Bake the tart for 20-25 minutes or until the crust if puffed and golden and the cherry tomatoes lightly burst. Remove from oven and top with torn mozzarella or burrata cheese and prosciutto. Let tart stand for 5-6 minutes to set. Garnish with basil. This tart makes 6 servings.

This tart is great to serve alongside a simple arugula salad tossed in a lemon vinaigrette for lunch and/or dinner. This tart reheats very well! If you have leftovers, consider topping with a fried egg and serving for breakfast!

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tart 2

Recipe Inspired by Half Baked Harvest

Date & Cranberry Energy Bars (No Bake, Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Tired of paying high prices for processed granola bars?

Tired of snacking on food that taste like cardboard?

Do you have a desire to feed your family foods that are whole, full of nutrients, and life giving?

This energy bar recipe is for you. It does NOT require baking. It only requires a food processor, a baking sheet, and a freezer.  This energy bar has no added sugar, full of fiber, and is a good source of protein to power you through your important daily agenda!  Let's be intentional about our food choices!

Join NutriFocusRD in the movement to
#PLATEYOURINTENTIONS!
Granola Bar Group
Granola Bar Group

No Bake Date & Cranberry Energy Bars

Makes: 8 Bars

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, then drained)
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried cranberries (Can also use dried cherries, dried apricots, or dried blueberries)
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter (I prefer homemade peanut butter or Whole Foods Natural Peanut Butter. No added sugars or oils, ONLY peanuts)
  • ¼ cup whole raw almonds (Can also use macadamia nuts or cashews)
  • ½ cup instant plain oats (gluten free if you need!)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Soak the pitted dates in warm water for 15 minutes. Drain well.
  • Place soaked dates, dried cranberries (or fruit), raw almonds, natural peanut butter, and oats in food processor and blend until combined well. My dough usually forms a ball when its blended.
  • Scoop mixture into a square, 8x8 baking pan.
  • Press the dough firmly into an even layer.
  • Place the baking pan in the freezer for 30 – 45 minutes to allow time to set.
  • Cut into 8 rectangle bars. I like to wrap each bar in parchment paper to reduce sticking and make the bars portable and easy to pack.
  • Store in the freezer or fridge.
Recipe Inspired by Nutritionist in the Kitch

3 Reasons to Start Eating Chickpeas!

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I love foods that are versatile!!!  This is probably the main reason I love chickpeas!! Chickpeas can be used in salads, soups, curries, chilis or stews.  I highly recommend that you consider roasting chickpeas as a tasty and inexpensive protein source!

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 In addition to their versatility, chickpeas also offer 3 health benefits you do not want to miss.

  1. Reduce Cholesterol Levels: Research has shown that including 3/4 cup of chickpeas in your diet can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) which in turn, lowers your risk of heart disease!  Research has also shown that individuals that consume chickpeas on a regular basis have better body fat regulation, lower LDL cholesterol levels, lower total cholesterol levels, and lower triglyceride levels.
  2. Control Hunger Cues: Due to their high fiber and high protein content, this powerful combination will stabilize your hunger cues.  My consuming 1/2 cup chickpeas in your daily intake you are more likely to eat an appropriate amount of calories for your body due to more accurate hunger/fullness cues.  The long-term benefit means your body will rest at a healthy body weight.
  3. Improved Digestive Support: Did you know that 2 cups of chickpeas will give you approximately 28 grams of fiber? That is 100% of the recommended daily value!  Consider chickpeas a staple on your grocery list if you want good colon health. 65-70% of the fiber found in chickpeas is insoluble fiber.  This means the fiber is not digested until it reaches the very end of your colon which promotes healthy bacteria growth and reduces your risk of colon cancer!

Today, I'm sharing the easy concept of roasting chickpeas so you can always have a tasty, nutrient dense, meatless protein option available for your main entrée or for a snack!

Roasted Chickpeas:

Ingredients:

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  • 2 - 15oz Cans of Low Sodium Chickpeas
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • Assorted Herbs and Spices of Your Choice (I like to use Dried Thyme, Oregano, Ground Cayenne Pepper, and Crushed Rosemary)
  • Garlic Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Cooking Spray

Directions:

Pre-Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.  Drain and rinse chickpeas.  Pat dry.  Once dry, toss chickpeas with EVOO, assorted spices and herbs of your choosing, garlic salt, and ground black pepper.  Toss chickpeas to make sure they are evenly coated with EVOO and herbs/spices.  Pour chickpeas onto baking sheet and spread out so that all chickpeas are in a single layer.  Roast at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes (depending on your oven).  Stir chickpeas halfway through cooking process to cook evenly on all sides. Serve hot or cold.  This recipes makes 4-5 servings.

I like to serve roasted chickpeas on salads or over rice as a curry!  Roasted chickpeas are great to make hummus and delicious as a portable snack!!!  Be creative and enjoy this nutrient dense food!!!

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Organic Tomato & Avocado Slaw

Feeling Sluggish?! Fatigue? Lethargic? Depressed? Frequently Sick?

Wake yourself up from the inside out!!!

Too often we focus on what we need to REMOVE from our diets instead of ADD to our diets to improve our energy levels, reduce toxins, boost our immune system and promote health!

Removing “labels” such as good, bad, healthy, and unhealthy can change your perspective when it comes to your approach towards food. Food does not have a moral code, but it does offer health benefits!!!

How would your attitude & approach towards food and your body change it you started looking at food for its benefits and not its caloric content?! (Heard the term “missing the forest for the trees?”)  

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photo[1]

Organic Tomato & Avocado Slaw:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Sauerkraut
  • 2 Organic Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1 Large Avocado, Diced
  • ¼ cup Feta Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Gourmet Garden Basil Paste
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Lime Infused Olive Oil (I used Organic Persian Lime Oil from Oli.O Shop in Birmingham, AL – You can also use EVOO and Lime Juice)

Directions:

Warm Sauerkraut in microwave or on the stovetop. Once heated, add basil herb paste, feta cheese, sea salt, ground black pepper, and olive oil (or EVOO mixture) and stir. Gently fold in tomatoes and avocado. Enjoy as side dish or as a garnish on eggs, tomato pie, salads, burgers and sandwiches.   

Benefits: fermented foods remove toxins and aids in improving digestion of foods. Tomatoes are full of antioxidants which fight cancer & boost immune system. Avocado provides healthy fats which improves brain function and development and allows you to absorb all the vitamins and minerals in other foods.

Remember, food has the power to give life and to heal so don’t shy away!

Roasted Okra .... Your New Favorite Food

Wash & Pat Dry Okra. Toss with Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil, Thyme, Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, and Freshly Ground Black Pepper.

Place on a Baking Sheet in a Single Layer

Roast for 15 minutes!

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ENJOY AS AN APPETIZER, SIDE DISH OR A NUTRIENT DENSE SUPERFOOD SUMMER SNACK!

Okra is high in antioxidants such as xanthin and lutein, Vit A & C & B, Calcium, Iron, and Fiber!

And the seeds are high in PROTEIN!

National Nutrition Month 2014

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The theme of National Nutrition Month this year is "Enjoying the Taste of Eating Right." Do you enjoy what you eat?! Do you choose what you LIKE to eat versus what you SHOULD eat?! What criteria do you use to choose your food?!! Is your nutrition information accurate or factual?!!

Try adding JOY back into your diet!!! Try adding color with fruits and vegetables, add variety with different cooking methods, add fresh herbs that you plant at your home, take pride in your food, and take time to enjoy food!!!

In honor of National Nutrition Month I tried a new food to week. I tried ROASTED AVOCADO!!! And was glad I did!!!!

ROASTED AVOCADO: 1-2 Large Avocados, sliced into Quarters Olive Oil Sea Salt Pepper Garlic Powder

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve on a salad, sandwich, in a taco, or make roasted guacamole!!! Be creative!!!

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I encourage you to seek the professional help and guidance from a dietitian if you feel you are overwhelmed or confused by the mixed messages in the media surrounding food. Get factual information and get guidance on how to improve your health!!! www.nutrifocusonline.com

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Recipe Recommendation (No Cooking!)

HEALTHY 5-INGREDIENT GRANOLA BARS Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 5 mins. Total time: 15 mins

Author: Minimalist Baker (www.minimalistbaker.com) Serves: 10 bars

INGREDIENTS 1 cup packed dates, pitted (deglet nour or medjool) 1/4 cup honey (or sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option) 1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter Substitute 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters) optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.

INSTRUCTIONS Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency. (mine rolled into a ball)

Optional step: Toast your oats in a 350 degree oven for 15-ish minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw – I just prefer the toasted flavor. Place oats, almonds and dates in a bowl – set aside.

Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.

Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars.)

Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.

Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days.

Great Back to School Snack Recipe

I thought NutriFocus Fans might like this recipe from Whole Foods at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipeId=253 Apple Sandwiches with Granola and Peanut Butter - 2 servings

Kids will love to help you make this healthy snack since it's fun to spread the nut butter and sprinkle the chocolate chips. No corer in the kitchen drawer? Slice the apples into rounds first then use a small cookie cutter to remove the core from the center of each slice. Wrap sandwiches tightly and tuck them into lunchboxes, if you like.

2 small apples, cored and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional) 3 tablespoons peanut or almond butter 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips 3 tablespoons granola Directions

If you won’t be eating these tasty treats right away, start by brushing the apples slices with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.

Spread one side of half of the apple slices with peanut or almond butter then sprinkle with chocolate chips and granola. Top with remaining apple slices, pressing down gently to make the sandwiches. Transfer to napkins or plates and serve.