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Meijer's top produce trends for 2014

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By Tina Miller
MS, RD Meijer Dietitian and Healthy Living Advisor


Each year a few rising stars in the produce department capture the public's attention and are touted by friends, foodies and food bloggers alike. But what are consumers actually buying at the grocery store?  Top five produce trends from 2013 included: Kale, Fresh Herbs, Portabella Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes and Clementines.  These veggies are expected to stay on trend along with a few new-comers to the trendy list for 2014 which includes power greens and the return of a long-time favorite, cauliflower.

Online: www.meijerhealthyliving.com

PowerGreens & Berry Smoothie
Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 cups Earthbound Farms PowerGreens (a blend of baby kale and spinach)
1/2 cup Meijer Frozen Strawberries
1 Cups Meijer Frozen Blueberries
3/4 to 1 cup Silk Organic Soy Milk
1 (6oz.) container Meijer Vanilla Greek Yogurt
Optional:  Add 1 Tbsp. Flaxseed Meal or Chia Seeds, or 2 Tbsp. Almonds

Directions
Place all ingredients in a Nutri-bullet or blender and blend until smooth.  Add a small amount of additional milk or water if a thinner consistency smoothie is desired.  Sweeten with 1 to 2 Tbsp. honey if desired.

Savory Mushroom Rice Bowl
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. Meijer extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Cup sliced red onion (NuVal® score 96)
4 cups (about 12 oz.) sliced mini bella mushrooms (NuVal® score 99)
1/2 cup Meijer Naturals vegetable stock
6 cups Earth Bound Farm Organics mixed baby kale (NuVal® score 99)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 3/4 tsp. McCormick dried thyme)
4 cups cooked Meijer instant brown rice (NuVal® score 82) or Brown rice and quinoa blend
McCormick Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Directions:
1. Lightly toast pine nuts in a small skillet (3-4 minutes) on stove top over medium heat (watch closely to avoid burning).
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat about 1 minute.  Add onion and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and sauté 3-4 minutes.
3. Add broth and kale; cook and stir about 3 minutes, until kale wilts.
4. Stir in cranberries and thyme.  Lightly season again with salt and pepper.  Cook 2-3 minutes, until cranberries begin to plump.
5. Divide warm rice evenly into four bowls and top with mushroom mixture.  Garnish with toasted pine nuts.

Nutrition Information (per serving):  380 calories, 11g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 212mg sodium, 62g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 12g protein.

Recipe adapted from Meijer Healthy Living Naturally TryFoods International (www.meijermealbox.com)

Roasted Cauliflower
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 Tbsp. Meijer olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely minced
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Optional: 1/4 tsp. McCormick ground cayenne pepper
Salt and McCormick black pepper to taste
Meijer Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, garlic and lemon juice.  Add cauliflower and toss to coat.
3. Transfer to a 9 x 13 baking dish, season with salt and pepper and bake uncovered 25-30 minutes, or until lightly brown. Cauliflower should be fork-tender (bake an additional 5 minutes if needed).
4. Remove from oven, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

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