Welcome to Busy Women Mealtime Makeover! Whether you are one of the lovely busy ladies participating in the makeover or just interested in taking your meals up a notch – girl, do I have some rockin’ recipes for you! From now until June 1st, I’ll be featuring twelve new delicious makeover-friendly recipes. This week, we are focusing on eating more dark, leafy greens. (And if you want to join in and get the entire makeover PDF complete with meal plans, shopping lists and recipes, videos and photos of me cooking, weekly emails with additional recipes and kitchen tips and tricks and access to our online forum, you can totally start a few days late – click here and sign up!)
This week during the Mealtime Makeover, we are focusing on whole grains. We are looking at the grains we are eating and seeing how we can give them a healthy tweak. My friend Jennifer knows how to get it done in the kitchen. One of her favorite dishes is mixing greens, beans and grains. There are endless possibilities! Keep reading for one of her favorite combinations.
Jennifer, you are busy, right? How do you get a decent, healthy meal on the table?
I cook once and I eat twice or thrice! Make enough so you have leftovers that you can reinvent into something else the next day. I keep staples in my cupboards that I can throw together in a pinch - like whole grain pasta, canned cannellini beans, sun dried tomatoes, pesto, tinned mackerel or sardines - makes a great quick pasta.
Why do you make healthy, real food a priority in your life?
Because I feel so much better when I am eating better. Everything else in my life is easier and runs smoother when I am nourishing myself properly.
What is your favorite thing to make during the spring months?
After a cold winter of warming foods, I like really fresh and often raw food. Smoothies and juices, salads with fresh herbs.
What is that one thing that busy people can do this spring to eat a little healthier?
Drink water. Add a side salad to lunch and dinner.
What is your favorite gadget in the kitchen?
My Japanese mandolin. I like to cut veggies really thin to make a fast salad or so they will cook faster. And my Vitamix. Tough call - it's a tie.
Greens, Beans & Grains
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon chili flakes (more if you like it HOT!)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 shallots, chopped
1 bag baby spinach
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 yellow pepper, diced
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin
*½ teaspoon smoked paprika (optional, but gives a nice smokey flavor)
1 can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1 baked sweet potato, skin removed and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cups of brown rice, cooked
1 avocado, chopped into ½ inch pieces
2 scallions, chopped
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
hot sauce or salsa are optional
Heat olive oil and chili flakes in a large pan or wok.
When oil is hot, add garlic and shallots, sauté to soften.
Add cherry tomatoes, spinach, yellow pepper, turmeric, cumin and smoked paprika. Sauté until soften and spinach is wilted.
Add black beans and a pre-baked diced sweet potato, cook until heated through completely. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over brown rice or mix the rice in with everything else in step 4.
Top each plate with avocado, scallions and cilantro. Hot sauce or salsa are also a nice addition.
This dish is great cold the next day if there are any leftovers.