PMA Fresh Summit Recap

I often send snaps of myself at the local produce stand and jokingly say I’m “at my happy place.” But honestly, I really do get excited when I walk into the produce market and pick out all the fresh foods that I will get to incorporate into my meal plan for the week. When NatureFresh approached me about attending the PMA Fresh Market Summit as a social media influencer I was beyond excited! I mean…c’mon, the PMA Fresh Summit is one of the largest produce conventions in the world, of course I couldn’t turn down the opportunity (even if it did mean I had to face my fear of driving on the interstate)!

Rewinddddd. So my boyfriend is always giving me a hard time about how I have made it 28 years without driving on the interstate. Technically- I made it 2 weeks short of 28 😉 and that takes dedication! But in all seriousness, interstates and traffic just don’t fend well with me. So when I decided to make the trek to Orlando, I knew this was going to be a ride for the books! Everything started out smoothly…packed up the car (as I was arriving a day early to stay with a local friend) and off I went! About 40 minutes in to my 2.5 hour drive my phone spontaneously turns off and I was unable to turn it back on. Hello anxiety. Luckily I had programmed the address into my car’s GPS. 10 minutes later…the car next to be blows a tire and there are debris flying all around my car. I tried to remain calm as my heart began to race and my hands gripped the wheel with angst. All I could think of at this time is that if I drive off the road I don’t even have a phone to call anyone! Luckily…I made it to my friend’s house (but not without a few more bumps in the road along the way) and her husband was able to fix my phone. Thanks Toby!

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Finally, Friday –which means it’s time for the Summit!

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We arrive at the Orange County Convention Center only to find there is no parking in the west wing. I was unaware of the size off the convention center. We parked on the south side and had to take a shuttle to the west wing. Why would you have to shuttle from one side of a building to another you ask? Yeah, I asked the same thing…the building is literally.that.big. Anyway…. we made it! Our tickets were ready for us at registration and we eagerly entered the doors to the Expo.

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“ahhhhhhhh” Yeah, that was the sound of the angels singing as we entered the land of produce. Could it be true that I was in a room with hundreds and hundreds of companies representing the global produce and floral supply chain from supplies, producers, growers, packagers, transporters, and everything in-between.

Our first stop of course was to visit NatureFresh! I am in complete awe of this great company. Firstly, their tomatoes are AHH-mazing! Their tomberries (the smallest tomato in the world) is also in my opinion the best tomato in the world 😉 It was such a pleasure to finally meet  Kara and have the opportunity to talk with Peter, the president and founder of the company as well as Ray, the director of business development.img_4290 Standing in the middle of this great event, chatting about health and changing the world was a very memorable experience for me. It was so refreshing to be surrounded with such positive people. I am humbled by the opportunity that I was given by this company and I cannot thank them enough for inviting me to tag along! All I can say is, wow. I was thoroughly impressed. I’m excited to watch this company grow more and can’t wait until I can buy all of their goodies at my local grocery store!

 

Now it was time to explore! I have never eaten so.much.guac in.my.life. I promise. And I’m not complaining! Guac on hot dogs, guac on tacos, chips, crackers, vegetables, blueberry guac, guac.on.guac. Sign me up! I tried it all! We had everything from bloody marys, to vegetable jerky, to carnival grapes, apples, BLTs, caprese salad, kraut, chocolate covered everythinggggg, coconut water, fresh nuts, fruits, vegetables, salads, seasonings, fruit juices, fresh cider, and soooo muchhh moreee. Let’s just say- I didn’t leave with an empty stomach 😉

Five hours of exploring the land of produce until my heart was content. I met some really awesome companies that I’m excited to work with and create some yummy new recipes for y’all! Starting with these yummy breakfast tacos I made this morning! Details are linked in the picture on my Instagram!

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Goodfoods

Twang

Happy Cooking!

 

#katiescardiokitchen @kburg21 #freshsummit #pmafreshsummit

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shout out to all these yummy companies for providing me with snacks for daysssss!

Pan seared Greek style meatballs!

Growing up we didn’t eat a lot of Greek food in my house…actually, I’m not sure I had ever eaten any type of Greek food until I moved to Florida 8 years ago. And damn was I missing out!

I am a sucker for easy meals, and Mighty Spark Foods foods has all the the best prepared meats (blended with vegetables, herbs, seasonings) all ya gotta do is cook it up!

So I had a package of their turkey blend with sweet potatoes, lentils, and spinach and I decided to make a Greek bowl for lunch!

The meatballs were definitely the MFP of this quick and easy meal!

Meatball Ingredients

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That’s it! 4 easy ingredients!

First I tossed the meat, egg, and 1/2 cup panko into a bowl and mixed it up. Then I rolled them into bite size balls and rolled them in the other 1/4 cup of panko crumbs. While I was forming he meatballs I drizzled my EVOO in my cast iron skillet and let it warm up on the stove on medium.

Now toss the meatballs in the pan and roll them around until the outsides are seared all the way around. I seared mine because I like that extra crisp that the meatballs get but also because it seals all the juice! Next, toss the cast iron skillet into the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes to cook the meatballs all the way through.

While the meatballs are baking away- prepare the rest of your bowl! I sliced up some beef steak tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach and red onion and tossed them in a Greek vinaigrette. Whats Greek food without a little Tiziki though?!?! And better yet- mini StoneFire naans for dipping!

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Tiziki Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • garlic powder, salt, pepper
  • 2 tsp Greek vinaigrette
  • juice from one small lemon

Mix all the ingredients together and garnish with a little diced red onion and wahh-lahh!

Now assemble, eat and enjoy!

These are great treats to keep in the refrigerator for a snack, appetizer for a party, or you can even freeze some of them for later! They heat up almost as good as if you had just made them!

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Happy Cooking!

#katiescardiokitchen @Kburg21

 

 

Sweet tater toast!

Who doesn’t love a good slice of toast?! I feel like millennials have taken toast to a whole new level- I mean come onnnnn, avocado toast y’allll! But what’s better than a perfectly ripe avocado smashed onto a slice of bread…a perfectly ripe avocado smashed onto the perfected baked slice of sweet potato! Trust me- it’s even better than it sounds. I hated sweet potatoes for virtually my entire life…and this last year they have become one of my staples in my refrigerator. However, I’m still not a fan of a baked sweet potato…there’s nothing like the real thing there if I want a juicy loaded tater I’m going all in!

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Back to sweet potatoes…they are utterly delicious and I eat them for breakfast at least 3 days a week. So today I was craving some good sweet potato toast… I’m never really sure what I’m going to use for toppings because you can literally put anything on them and it’s a flavor burst in your mouth. I usually just dig through my refrigerator and grab some ingredients that need to be used up anyway and toss them on a slice.

First and most importantly you’ve got to pick the perfect sweet potato that’s worthy of toasting. I typically always have at least one potato that I keep on hand just for toast! It’s got to be long enough but not too skinny and not too fat…but also it has to be about the same size around throughout the whole potato! None of those- fat in the middle skinny on the ends kinda sweet potatoes. I feel like the people at the produce stand definitely judge me as I dig through the sweet potato crate in search of the perfect tater but hey! a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do! Right!?

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Now, in order to slice the potato evenly and without cutting off one hand I toss mine into the microwave for 1-2 minutes (just long enough to make it not feel like a total brick.) Then I slice the potato into 3-4 slices depending on the size of the potato.
Now drizzle with your favorite oil- I use LaTourangelle Artisian garlic oil and season mine with Primal Palate breakfast blend because -YUM. Now toss them on a rack in the toaster oven for about 10-12 minutes at 400, then broil for about 3-4 minutes to crisp them babies up! While those are toastin’ away –prep some toppings!

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Like I mentioned before you can top yours with any of your favorite toast toppings! But here’s was I scavenged up to top mine with today…
Slice 1
1 scrambled EgglandsBest egg with @fairlife milk
Ole choizo
Cacique queso fresca
Chopped green onions

Slice 2
½ avocado smashed
1 sliced grape tomato
Feta
Chopped green onion

Slice 3
President CheeseGarlic herb cheese spread
1 slice crumbled ButterBallTurkey low sodium turkey bacon (this is my ABSOLUTE favorite bacon)
A handful of frozen roasted corn from TraderJoes
Cacique queso fresca
Chopped green onion (are you seeing a trend here 😉 )

Slice 4
Soom Tahini
Strawberries
Blueberries
Drizzled with original Sunbutter
And sprinkled with Salba chocolate covered chia seeds

And of course I had to have a fried egg  seasoned with  FreshJaxto dip my toast in the runny yolk because what’s toast with a runny yolk for dippin’?!

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Enjoy!
Simple, healthy, and oh so satisfying!
Tag me if ya make ‘em!
#katiescardiokitchen @kburg21

Cheesy Taco Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers have become one of my go-to low carb meals over the last year. They are just so versatile and you can pretty much stuff anything inside of a pepper…leftovers, chicken, vegetables, cheese, pork, beef, rice, quinoa…did I mention cheese…because we all know cheese is the way to my heart…along with tacos..so what’s better than a cheesy taco stuffed pepper? The correct answer is nothingggggg! HELLO YUM!

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Here’s what you’ll need!

1 lb Mighty Spark Food Renegade Chef Blend (beef, beef sirloin, beef brisket, and beef short rib blend)

1 cup of Trader Joes multigrain blend with vegetables

1 tbs FreshJax taco seasoning

4 large bell peppers

Latourangelle grapeseed oil

½ cup sliced grape tomatoes

½ cup cubed jalapeno jack cheese

Redmond’s garlic salt

2 Green onions sliced

BOOM that’s it!

First, cook your beef blend on medium until there is no pink. While the meat is cooking- cut the tops of the peppers off and clean out the seeds. Drizzle the peppers with the grape seed oil and sprinkle with garlic salt. Once the meat is finished cooking you can add in the taco seasoning and mix in the multigrain blend.

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Now it’s time to assemble these bad boys!

I like the bottoms to be extra cheesy so I stuff some a few cubes of cheese into the bottoms of the peppers before adding in the meat and grain blend and then evenly distribute the tomatoes and the rest of your cheese into the peppers and you’re ready to bake ‘em!

I tossed mine into the toaster oven, but you can use a regular oven if you don’t have one. Cook them at 400 for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is browned on top and the peppers are a little soft. I don’t like my peppers to be too crunchy so I tend to leave mine in a little longer to assure they are thoroughly cooked. Now toss your sliced green onions on top and whaaa-laah!

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And just like that- dinner is served! Protein, carbs, and vegetables all in one easy dish!

Enjoy!

 

As always- tag me on Instagram if ya make ‘em so I can see!

@kburg21 #katiescardiokitchen

The keeper of my heart- Caprese Salad!

For yearsssss, like…27.75 years to be exact, I thought I hated Caprese salad- to be honest, I’m not sure why I thought that! I have always loved cheese, and who doesn’t like mozzarella? I know I sure do! Growing up I hated tomatoes, now ketchup- that’s an entirely different story. But I totally fell in love with fresh, juicy, tomatoes a couple of years ago and there has been no turning back since! But yet- I still thought the idea of Caprese salad was just awful.

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During my recent travel to Italy, my friend Natalie suggested we share a Caprese salad…considering we were in Italy…how could I say no?! Total.Game.Changer. My first Caprese salad on the island of Capri, Italy won my heart forever. We continued our travels and ate many, many more Caprese salads all over Italy and my love only grew!

 

Then today- while picking up from fresh produce at the local produce market I saw these beautiful tomatoes-rich in color and knew exactly what I needed them for! If you’re from Florida- you know tomatoes here are just not the same as Midwestern tomatoes. Most of them are barely red and have zero flavor- I’m sure these tomatoes were shipped in from somewhere else because hot damn they were full of color and they definitely did not disappoint!

Caprese Salad for the win!

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This is what you’ll need!

Gathering the ingredients is probably more difficult than the assembly!

Slice the tomatoes into thick slices and arrange them on a plate with mozzarella in between. Then, tuck fresh basil leaves between the tomatoes and cheese slices. Next- it’s time to drizzle! Lightly drizzle the tomatoes and mozzarella with your basil oil and sprinkle with seasoning and salt! I added a spash of balsamic to mine- but next time I think I will make a balsamic reduction to drizzle!

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Healthy, low carb, fresh and satisfying! This salad is a great appetizer to take to parties or to serve at home while dinner is cooking! Or if you’re like me- it’s the whole meal because YUM!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! As always- tag me on instagram @kburg21 if you make it so I can see it!

#katiescardiokitchen

Easy-peasy InstantPot egg bites!

 

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I don’t know if any of you have tried the sous vide egg bites from Starbucks but they are so-freakin’-gewwwddd! However- they are also pretty pricey! I’m a sucker for eggs, and 2-3 egg bites are the perfect serving size for my post bariatric surgery tummy so I decided to develop my own egg bite recipe using my InstantPot! (have I mentioned how much I love my InstantPot?!)

First things first! Here’s what you’ll need…

  • 3 large Eggland’s Besteggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup of cheese (I used ½ cheddar and ½ mozzarella but Gouda is delicious in these too!)
  • ½ cup FairLife milk
  • ¾ cup large curd cottage cheese (because I hate low fat cottage cheese J )
  • 1 pinch Redmond’s garlic Himalayan sea salt
  • ½ tsp FreshJax herbs de province seasoning blend

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  • 1 handful of fresh spinach chopped
  • 2 slices of shredded Boars Head maple glazed ham
  • ¼ cup Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles (these are seriously the easiest addition to any breakfast dish!)
  • 3tbs fresh salsa (I buy whatever brand is on sale for the week!)
  • 3 diced mini sweet peppers

Now it’s time to blend!

Throw the first set of ingredients into a blender (eggs, egg whites, cheese, cottage cheese, seasonings, and milk) and pulse your blender until the mixture appears mixed and airy (the more air the fluffier..is fluffier a word? Fluffy eggs are life…just sayin’)

Assembly time!

I bought my egg bite molds on amazon for like 6 bucks- just search ‘egg bite mold for instant pot.’ Trust me- these are SO worth it..and you can use them for all kinds of other recipes in your instant pot! The egg bites slide right out and I have never had them stick- total game changer. You’ll thank me later…

Each mold makes 7 egg bites and I use 2 molds. I divided the rest of the ingredients up evenly between the 14 cups and poured the egg mixture into each cup filling them a little over ¾ full. If you over fill they will pop out of the mold (been there done that.)

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Time to cook ‘em!

Set your Instantpot to ‘steam’ for 8 minutes…make sure the valve is sealed. Pour 1.5 cups of water into the bottom of the pot and place the steam rack at the bottom. Now, stack your molds on top of the rack and you’re all set! After they steam for 8 minutes let the pressure release naturally for 12 minutes. Then, release the pressure valve and remove your molds!

I like to let the eggs settle into the mold for a couple of minutes before I flip them over onto a plate lined with paper towel. The paper towel helps absorb some of the leftover moisture from the steaming process and helps firm up the egg bites!

I use mine for meal prep and they last about a week in the refrigerator!

Eat and enjoy!

Tag me on Instagram @kburg21 if you make ‘em so I can see! #katiescardiokitchen