Giant Gluten-Free Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie #TheNaturalCitizen

Sometimes I stumble onto something while shopping and I’m all like “ooooh, I want that so bad. . . but I totally don’t need it right now, I have way too many.” Usually, I cave in . . . and quick! Case in point, the continually growing size of my already enormous running shoe, compression sock, flip flop, trucker hat, miniature bowl, exotic herb, flavored tea and protein powder collections.

The Natural Citizen Organic ProteinYeah, yeah, I have a stock pile of protein powder of all different ilks and ingredients . . . some of it I found, must most found me for review or recipe development.  Naming a “best” protein powder is really so subjective, basically it boils down to individual nutrition needs, lifestyle, taste and tolerance. But, dang, some protein powders are definitely choices than others! My practical side tells me to use up all my stash before I actually BUY the product I prefer.But let me tell you, I recently found a protein powder that had me running to the trash with my mother lode of “meh” products – it’s the Organic Protein from The Natural Citizen. By the way, use coupon code THEFITFORK to get $10 off your purchase at TheNaturalCitizen.com        

Baking with Organic Protein from Natural Citizen

This new plant-based Organic Protein powder is totally on point to boost your next smoothie, but I’ve also used it for baking everything from pancakes and cookies – check out my Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie recipe below!  This protein powder is sublimely simple, and that gives me control over what I do or don’t put it my recipe. On its own, this powdered supplement has just four organic, whole food ingredients – hemp protein, brown rice protein, pea protein, and sacha inchi protein. One serving delivers 15 grams of vegan protein per serving along with fiber, omega fatty acids and amino acids – oh, and for only 80 calories!  Plus, there are no added flavors and other undesirable “extras” so the taste of Mother Nature’s other wholesome food can shine through.Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie is a single-serve, gluten-free recipe for a quick and balanced morning meal or snack.

So, raise your hand if you want a cookie for breakfast but thing you shouldn’t?!  Well, my single-serve Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie will make you think you’re really splurging first thing out of bed, but actually its super healthy and balanced with 25 grams protein for sustained energy and muscle-making and 25 clean carbs to help power your body and brain for the morning’s tasks, workouts or whatever you do! In about 15 minutes from start to finish, you’ll be enjoying a super-sized, under-300-calorie cookie with your morning coffee – and that’s my cup of tea!  It’s also gluten-free, if that is a concern.

Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie is a gluten-free, single serve way to start the day -- or eat later for a healthy snack.

The Natural Citizen has a full line of other wonderful products that are all non-gmo, organic, gluten-free and vegan including Organic Digest, Organic Greens, and  Organic Energy.natural citizen productsAs a totally on-the-go person who probably doesn’t get as much sleep as she needs, I’ve fallen in love with the Organic Energy. This blend features maca, quinoa, green tea and Rhodiola rosea to offer truly balanced and uniquely simple energy support – no more getting jacked up on too much caffeine.  I found the ripest, sweetest Texas melon yesterday and blended up this recipe for a Honeydew Natural Energy Smoothie.

Honeydew Natural Energy Smoothie features maca, quinoa, green tea and Rhodiola rosea to offer truly balanced and uniquely simple energy support.

Honeydew Natural Energy Smoothie - Natural Citizen

This is how you make the Honeydew Natural Energy Smoothie:

Blend together and pour in tall glass (or melon bowl):

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 2/3 cup chopped honeydew
  • 1 scoop Organic Energy
  • Stevia,  to taste
  • Ice, as needed

 

This post is sponsored by The Natural Citizen, however all opinions, recipes and enthusiasm are my own!

Use coupon code THEFITFORK to get $10 off your purchase at TheNaturalCitizen.com

What is your go-to morning meal? Are you getting enough protein at breakfast (you need around 25g)?! What are your non-negotiables in a protein powder? What do you “collect”? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

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Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie is a single-serve, gluten-free recipe for a quick and balanced morning meal or snack.
Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie (Gluten-free)
Print Recipe
3 tablespoons 2 tablespoons 1 tablespoon gluten-free baking blend 1 teaspoon 1 tablespoon 3 tablespoons e 1 teaspoon coconut oil 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon dehydrated cherries (about 10)
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 2 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 2 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie is a single-serve, gluten-free recipe for a quick and balanced morning meal or snack.
Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie (Gluten-free)
Print Recipe
3 tablespoons 2 tablespoons 1 tablespoon gluten-free baking blend 1 teaspoon 1 tablespoon 3 tablespoons e 1 teaspoon coconut oil 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon dehydrated cherries (about 10)
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 2 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 2 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: serving
Instructions
  1. In small bowl, mix together protein powder, oats, baking blend, stevia and chia seeds until combined.
  2. To these dry ingredients, add coconut oil and egg white and stir until incorporated. Use hands to form into one large dough ball.
  3. Spray center of baking sheet with cooking spray, or use silicone baking sheet. Set dough ball on top of this spot.
  4. Use hands or spray a flat-bottomed bowl with cooking spray and press down on dough ball until spread out approximately 5 inches in diameter. Use hands to shape sides, if needed.
  5. Top cookie dough with dehydrated or dried cherry pieces and almonds and lightly press down with bowl again to “set” them. You can also just mix these into the dough, if you don’t want to get fancy.
  6. Bake at 350 F degrees in the oven (or toaster oven) for approximately 10 to 12 minutes, or center set and edges and top turning light golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and let rest on pan for 2 minutes. Eat.
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25 Tasty Ways to Top a Sweet Potato – Quick Ideas!

Wondering “what to do” when it’s meal time and a sweet potato plus a few minutes is all ‘ya got?  Get your finger off the panic button; I sharing 25 ways to top your ‘tater in 10 minutes or less that will squash your hunger in a wholesome, healthy way.

25 Fast and Flavorful Ways to Top a Sweet Potato - easy meal solutions for busy weeknight dinners.

The good news is that a sweet potato is a very nutritious base for your meal, packed with complex carbohydrates for sustaining energy and a mega dose of vitamin A , more than 400% RDA for a medium spud. Sweet potatoes are also an abundant source of other vitamins and minerals like potassium and dietary fiber. Tired of traditional orange sweet potatoes? Add a punch of unexpected color to dinner with a purple sweet potato! According to the USDA, these vibrant veggies have up to 4x the antioxidant powers of a regular white spud.

purple sweet potatoThe downside is that traditional “baking” or “roasting” a purple or orange sweet potato can take up to an hour. But again, don’t fret!  Use the microwave to fix up your sweet potato in a flash. Wash and dry your sweet potato and rub the outside with a dab of oil olive and season with salt. Use the tines of a fork or small paring knife to jab little holes all around to allow air to escape during the cooking process (and prevent a ‘tater explosion)!  Microwave cooking time varies widely depending on the size on the potato and power of your machine. I suggest starting with 4 minutes, setting your microwave to high. Turn the tuber halfway through and if still firm, continue to cook in 1 minute increments until soft and yielding.

All topping suggestions below start with a microwave “baked” sweet potato and are for one serving, but feel free to double, triple, quadruple or otherwise multiply for a crowd.

Plain Jane:  Fluff pulp of sweet potato, drizzle with 1 tablespoon quality olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Sloppy Joe:  Add ¼ pound cooked ground beef to ¼ cup tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon onion powder and dash of chili powder. Heat until warm and add to sweet potato.

French Onion: Sauté ½ sliced sweet onion in teaspoon of olive oil  6 to 8 minutes until caramelized, add splash of beef broth and stir until heated.  Add to sweet potato and top with shredded Gruyere cheese.

Honey Mustart & Scallion Sweet PotatoesHoney Mustard Sweet Potatoes: Whisk together 2 teaspoons each of Dijon mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar and drizzle on baked sweet potato. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

BBQ Brisket & Beans:  Chop up a couple slices of leftover beef brisket and ½ cup cooked pinto beans.  Stir in 3 tablespoons of barbeque sauce. Heat mixture in microwave, pile on potato and top with pickles and sliced onions.

Chicken Verde Enchilada:  Add ½ cup shredded rotisserie chicken to 2-ounces drained diced green chiles (from can), ½ cup green enchilada sauce and ½ teaspoon ground cumin.  Heat mixture in microwave, spoon over sweet potato, and top with light sour cream.

Greens, Eggs & Ham: Add one teaspoon olive oil to skillet and sauté 1 cup fresh spinach and 2 ounces chopped cooked ham until wilted and warm. Transfer mixture to baked sweet potato. Add egg to skillet and poach or “fry” in baking spray sunny side up. Add egg on top of ham and greens mixture, season to taste.

Tuna Nicoise: Top baked sweet potato with 3 ounces canned albacore tuna, chopped olives, green beans, tomatoes and hard-boiled egg slices. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.  

Sweet Bunny: Sauté ½ cup shredded carrots and ½ cup shredded parsnips with 1 tablespoon butter, teaspoon brown sugar and splash of orange juice.  Top with Greek yogurt and pea shoots.

Beef Chuck Wagon: Mix together 3 ounces shredded cooked beef (like chuck roast), ¼ cup thawed frozen corn, ¼ cup cooked beans, ¼ cup salsa and reheat in microwave until hot. Add to potato and top with cheddar cheese and jalapeno slices.

Cowboy Beef Brisket, Bean and Corn "Slop" on Sweet Potato makes a quick and healthy meal solution!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unique Greek:  Stir together ¼ cup cottage cheese with ¼ cup plain Greek Yogurt, adding a dash of garlic salt and splash of lemon juice to taste. Top with a salad of sliced cucumber, red onions, chopped tomatoes and sliced black olives.

Turkey Meatball Marinara: Heat 3 to 4 prepared turkey meatballs as directed on package, place on baked sweet potato.  Douse with heated marinara sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Hella Cauliflower Hummus: Add 1 cup of cauliflower florets to baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 400 F degrees for 10 minutes. Add generous dollop of hummus to baked sweet potato and top with roasted cauliflower.

Pesto Zoodles & Chickpeas: Spiralize a small zucchini (or julienne chop) and microwave with ½ cup cooked chick peas in microwave until heated, about 2 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons prepared pesto and top on potato.

Garden Guacamole:  Mash together ½ avocado and ¼ cup thawed frozen peas, season with garlic salt and splash of lemon juice. Stir in 1 tablespoon chopped red onion.  Dollop on baked potato and top with chopped tomatoes.

Peanut Thai Shrimp:  Thaw 3 ounces pre-cooked, deviend shrimp. Quickly sauté in 1 teaspoon olive oil along with ½ cup shredded carrots and 2 tablespoons chopped red onion until just heated. Stir in 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 tablespoon peanut butter and Sriracha sauce to taste. Add mixture to potato and top with additional peanuts if desired.

24-Hour Diner Breakfast: Top baked sweet potato with one scrambled egg, 2 slices of bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Broccoli Cheese Please:  Add 1 cup steamed broccoli over baked sweet potato and top with ½ cup “light” broccoli cheese soup from deli or jar. Add shredded cheddar and chopped green onions to garnish.

Mojo Black Bean Mango:  Make relish of 1/3  cup chopped mango, 2 tablespoons chopped red onion, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno and juice of ½ lime. Add ½ cup cooked black beans to sweet potato and top with relish.

Blue Cheese Buffalo Chicken: Mix 3 ounces chopped rotisserie chicken with 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce. Add to top of baked sweet potato and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes until cheese melting. Serve with celery sticks.

Feta Orange Crush:  Scoop out pulp of baked sweet potato, mix with 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice and 1 teaspoon orange zest.  Top with 2 tablespoons Feta cheese crumbles and 2 ounces of mandarin orange segments, broil for 1 minute until cheese bubbling.  Top with chopped mint.

Maple Salmon Pecan: Top baked sweet potato with 4 ounces cooked salmon chunks, 2 tablespoons pecan pieces and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Enchilada Sauce Y Mas: Top sweet potato with grated pepper jack cheese and shredded pork. Pour generous amount of warm enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with pico de gallo.

Coconut Curry: Stir together 1/3 cup Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon coconut “butter,” 1 teaspoon honey and ¼ teaspoon each curry powder, cumin, turmeric and red pepper flakes. Top sweet potato with 1 cup of favorite steamed veggies and pour on sauce.

What is your favorite way to top a sweet potato?  Which of these ideas do you like most?! Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

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Why Consistency is the Best “Diet”

Get my thoughts on losing weight in along with the advice from 24 other nutrition, health and fitness professionals in a recent article hitting the internet –25 Weight Loss Experts Expose Diets that Work.

Why Consistency is the Best Diet

But, in a nutshell, the sub-title the author gave my opinion was “Never Take Time Off From Your Healthy Eating Plan.” Just reading the title as-is, that sounds a little strict, however . . I’m anything but rigid in my approach to eating for optimal health. I’d title it — “Why Consistency is the Diet that Works Best.”

running jennifer 20 years between

There is 20+ years between these pictures, my weight is the same!

Check out the story, and you’ll find that I believe the most successful strategy to losing weight and keeping it off for good is to not be on any one particular “diet” or the other, but to create a day-in and day-out lifestyle that balances exercise with eating mindfully! And, I’m not alone in that opinion.

 

 

 

A plate at least half-full full of colorful fruits and vegetables paired with lean protein and a moderate intake of whole grains is the balanced approach I suggest and take myself. Also, I think saying certain foods are absolute no-no’s is a set up for failure too, if you love chocolate or bread, then enjoy in small portions every now and then — just use common sense, and balance in light of your weekly food intake and exercise expenditures.

Studies have proven that successful “dieters” (I hate to use that word) create their own personal strategies to maintain a lean body mass and don’t veer off the path much – despite weekends, holidays, vacations, or even when they are happy with their current weight. In a nutshell, success means being flexible, but never take a hard break from a healthy eating routine.

Dona Jo Fit Wear - FITFORK20 for 20% discount

Also, off topic, but not really considering the importance of daily exercise and feeling good about what you’re wearing . . . I’ve got the cutest yoga shorts to tell you about from Dona Jo fit wear! This fun company makes adorable yoga clothes, running clothes, printed cycling clothing, CrossFit active wear, barre clothes and tennis skirts that make it more motivating to get up, get dressed and get moving!

dona jo 2I picked out the Caribbean Shorts, the new print (which reminds me of a tropical fish) just launched last week! The shorts come in 2 sizes – Size 1 (0 – 8) and Size 2 (10 – 16) – I wear a size 2 normally and these fit just fine, I was worried they’d be too big. While they don’t have that tight compression feeling, they are perfect for summer running and nailing new yoga poses –plus, the wide waistband is very flattering.  If you use discount code FITFORK20 when checking out at Dona Jo, you can save 20% on your active wear purchase!

What is your mindset about “dieting”? Do you follow a stricter diet like Paleo or Vegan? How do you like your yoga pants — bright or black? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer 

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Pepita-crusted Salmon with Skillet Squash

Pepita Crusted Salmon & Calabacitas platedCast your net beyond nachos, tacos and enchiladas, my Pepita-crusted Salmon with Skillet Squash is a yummy Mexican cuisine inspired meal that is guaranteed to reel in compliments. Even though salmon isn’t found anywhere near the mild oceans and seas of Mexico, this seafood-loving culture enjoys fish from around the world – just like we do here in North America. So, it’s salmon for dinner tonight!

Pepita Crusted Salmon with Skillet Squash is a fast, flavorful and fit option for a weeknight dinner.

This fish and veggie recipe will be a regular in your weeknight dinner routine, it’s as easy as uno, dos, tres! First, spread with your favorite ranch or creamy dressing (I use Cotija Cilantro Ultra Premium Dressing) atop a salmon filet. Second, top salmon with crushed tortilla chips and roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), and then bake for 12 minutes. While fish is cooking in the oven, a quick skillet of squash comes together in minutes for a speedy yet stunning side dish generically called “calabacitas”  — I used Mexican-style zucchini but you can easily substitute with your favorite summer squash such as sunburst or crookneck.

Zucchini and Pumpkin Seeds for my  Calabacitas and pepitas

Cooler of Frozen Sizzlefish

This recipe would also work well with a variety of meatier fish types, just swap for your favorite variety. I get my fish from Sizzlefish.com, they only source the best fish and I love how it’s shipped straight to my door, flash-frozen in perfectly portioned, 4-ounce servings. It terms of protein intake for a healthy lifestyle, 4-ounces of most fish and meat proteins gives you 25g (more or less) of protein – which is the optimal amount for your body to process at any one time. So, no guesswork with how much to eat with here, just open the freezer and grab individually-packaged serving from Sizzlefish.  I also love the different “collections” of fish I can order (Paleo Prime Plus my favorite with Coho Salmon, Sokeye Salmon, Wild Gulf Shrimp, Atlantic Scallops, Sable Fish, Cod and Haddock).

Through the end of May, take 10% off your order at SizzleFish.com with the discount code FITFORK10 at checkout.

What is your favorite type of fish? What did you do this weekend? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

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Pepita-crusted Salmon with Skillet Squash i
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Pepita-crusted Salmon with Skillet Squash i
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Instructions
  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  2. Add tortilla chips a zip top bag and crush to a coarse consistency with rolling pin. Add peptias to bag, shake to combine, and pour out mixture onto shallow dish.
  3. Pat salmon filets dry with paper towels, place skin side down and sprinkle top with pepper. Brush each top with approximately 1 tablespoon creamy dressing. 
  4. One at a time, pick up the salmon filets and press the coated side down into the tortilla chip mixture until evenly coated. Place the salmon tortilla side up on the baking sheet and sprinkle with additional pepitas, lightly pressing them down, if desired.  Discard the unused tortilla chip mixture.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes, until the coating is crisp and fish begins to flake when pressed with a fork.
  6. While fish is baking, add olive oil to large skillet and bring to medium-high heat. Add garlic, squash and bell pepper and sauté, stirring constantly, for approximately 4 minutes or until softened. Stir in cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt, continuing to cook for another 1 minute. Remove from heat and toss with pepitas.
  7. To serve, top salmon with an approximate 1 tablespoon dollop of creamy dressing with a side of the prepared squash.
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Globally Inspired Steak Recipes using Wet Rubs

Strip Steaks for Grill with Wet RubWe are just a couples weeks out from Memorial Day, the “official” start of grilling season in most parts of the country. One of the “grate” perks about living here in the Lone Star State is firing up the grill a month or so earlier thanks to near-guaranteed beautiful weather.  However,I’d bet my last bag of charcoal brickettes that even if backyards from Amarillo to McAllen were to be covered in blankets of freak snow, we meat-eating Texans would still be outside fixing up some steaks – make no mistake!

jennifer fisher I love beefI’ve known my way around the grill since knee high, from camping grub to just keeping the kitchen cool in the suumer.  However, if you need a refresher on this meaty matter, you can catch up on grilling basics at TxBeef.org. Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about making the most from your charcoal grilling, gas grilling or smoking experience and also learn just about every other cooking method invented for beef! There is no better job than spreading the grilling love on behalf of Texas cattleman — in fact, I’m teaming up to teach another Grilling 101 class this weekend.

 

Aside from the technicalities of building a fire (or turning a knob), creating memorable flavor while maintaining the juiciness tenderness of a steak is what will ensure your success as a sizzling, tong-twirling superstar at the grill. While salt and pepper always add simple flavor to a good hunk of beef, sometimes a little more “wow” is on the wish-list of dinner guests Rubs are a quick and easy way to add an endless array of flavor profiles to steak.

Globally Inspired Wet Rub Recipes for Steak

Globally Inspired Wet Rub Recipes for Steak – an easy way to add flavor without a lot of fat when grilling or pan searing.

Today, I’m sharing three wet rub recipes that will kick up your grill game in a creative cross-cultural way. The Tex-Mex inspired Mi Casa Steak Rub, Spanish-meets-California inspired Valencia Steak Rub, and Asian-centric Shanghai Steak Rub all added a little something special to steaks at my recent weekend cookout.

Mi Casa Steak Rub

Valencia Steak Rub

Shanghai Steak Rub

These steak rub recipes aren’t the dry rubs recipes you may be familiar with, made with just herbs, spices and other non-liquid seasonings. Instead, wet rubs add just a little bit of liquid, but not enough to be a marinade – the consistency is more like a paste or thick dredge. Liquids used in wet rubs would be similar to those found in a marinade (like oils, juices, wine, wet condiments), but measured in a much smaller volume. While marinades are typically applied for several hours (up to a day) to render tougher cuts less chewy, wet rubs can be used to add loads of flavor on inherently tender cuts like strip steak, tenderloin, ribeye, T-bone, flat iron and more in 15 – 30 minutes.

Tips for Wet Rub Success:

  • For quick clean up, mix ingredients in zip-top bag, add steaks and massage around until coated.
  • Or, mix in small bowl and apply to steaks with a silicone brush or fingers.
  • It is fine to leave wet rub on for more than the 15 – 30 minutes, but make sure to place in refrigerator.
  • Discard any juices that remain in the bag.
  • Feel free to double or triple recipes if grilling for a crowd.
  • Make another batch to use as a grilling sauce for skewers of vegetables.
  • Allow yourself to make substitutions, experiment and create your own signature touch –that’s the fun in grilling!

How do you prep your steaks? What is your favorite cut of steak? Which of these three rubs sounds the best? What are your weekend plans — please share in the comments below – XOXO Jennifer 

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Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette

This post is sponsored by Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q, however the recipes, opinions and enthusiasm are all my own!

There is so much to love about May! The weather is warmer, daylight lasts longer and backyard patios, porches and pergolas are prime party spots for good friends and great food. I don’t know about you, but my go-to cooking method from early spring well into the fall season is grilling. Whether I’m entertaining company or it’s just the family, my trusty grill is this mom’s solution when it comes to whipping up creative, healthy and quick meals. Grilled Chicken, Corn & Jicama Salad with Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce Vinaigrette

I will grill anything and everything.  I get fired up for grilling the gamut . . . meats and seafood to fruit, veggies and dessert (mmmm, banana boats)!  Today, I’m sharing a recipe for Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chopped Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette that relies on one of my secret weapons when it comes to grilling and barbeque – Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Sauces, Marinades and Rubs.

Grilled Chicken, Corn & Jicama Salad with Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce Vinaigrette makes a hearty meal for your backyard cookout, picnic or potluck.

grilled corn in hand squareGrilled corn and chicken are the stars of this simple grilled salad recipe – Stubb’s Chicken Spice Rub gives just the right amount of seasoning to poultry and vegetables without being overpowering or too spicy for my kids to eat. This is the original rub of Stubb’s fame, crafted by the legend himself at his original Texas Bar-B-Q joint — “It all starts with good rub.”

Stubb's Chicken Spice Rub

To dress this chopped chicken salad that also features jicama and avocado , I’ve created a simple barbecue sauce vinaigrette that is a bit spicy, a bit sweet – and certainly fun to eat! Using Stubb’s Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce is my not-so-secret shortcut to prepping this dressing in mere minutes. Of course, this BBQ sauce with hints of brown sugar and chipotle peppers is also excellent used in the traditional way to drizzle or douse on everything from baby back ribs and burgers to pizza and sweet potatoes.

Barbeque Brisket Skillet Nachos will satisfy a crowd!It’s also the sauce I use in my Brisket & Bean Skillet Nachos. I love that Stubb’s Bar-B-Q sauces get their bold flavors from real, wholesome ingredients with no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.  Also, you’ll find absolutely NO (none, zip, nada) high-fructose corn syrup in these quality condiments.

Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q, maker the No. 1 brand of barbecue sauce, rubs and marinades in the the country, is located right here in Austin, Texas — so I can head over and dive head-first in a vat, if I want!  But, these barbecue “helpers” are also sold in 85% of grocery stores nationwide — so, run out and getcha some!

Stubbs Grilled Chicken Corn Chop Salad

Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette is such an easy grilled recipe and the perfect fixin’s for a potluck or picnic – whether for Memorial Day, a graduation or any summer time celebration. You can also make it the night before, the dish is delicious served cold and the vinegar and lemon juice in the dressing help keep the avocado fresh for up to a day in the fridge. If you want to enjoy as a side dish or vegetarian meal — just omit the chicken and dig in!

What have you been tossing on the grill lately? Any big weekend plans for Memorial Day — a race, a party, a picnic? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

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Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Rub uncooked chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon olive oil and rub with 2 tablespoons Stubb’s Chicken Spice Rub.
  2. Heat charcoal or gas grill to approximately 400 F degrees and grill chicken approximately 15 – 20 minutes, flipping once, or until cooked through and internal temperature reads 165F degrees.
  3. While chicken is cooking, rub corn cobs with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon Stubb’s Chicken Spice Rub.
  4. Place corn on grill with chicken and grill for approximately 10 minutes, rotating occasionally, or until turning tender and browning in spots.
  5. Remove chicken and corn from grill and let rest for 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
  6. Chop chicken into small, bite-sized pieces. Slice corn kernels off the cob. Add both to medium bowl along with jicama, red onion, red bell pepper and avocado. Set aside while making dressing.
  7. To make dressing, whisk Stubb’s Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce together with olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, honey and pepper.
  8. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
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Blue Cheese Stuffed Strawberries & Fit Foodie 5k

Blue Cheese & Walnut Stuffed Strawberries make a delicious appetizer or sweet-savory dessert!Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there! If you’re looking to surprise your mom with a gourmet treat my Blue Cheese & Walnut Stuffed Strawberries are a bold choice! I always see chocolate-dipped berries at the store, but this sweet-savory fruit option makes the perfect prelude to dinner, especially when paired with a glass of wine or sparkling water.

Blue Cheese & Walnut Stuffed Strawberries make a delicious appetizer or sweet-savory dessert!

This fruit and cheese recipe is also a spectacular appetizer to bring to either a fancy cocktail party or casual backyard get-together. It can just be our little secret that this healthy recipe only takes 15 minutes or less to prepare, and no cooking! And, I’m partial to Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese Crumbles from Litehouse Foods, look for it in the gourmet cheese section of your market.  Recipe at the bottom of the post!

The Fit Foode 5k and Race Weekend in Austin, TXAnd, speaking of healthy, yummy food, I want to announce that the Fit Foodie Race Weekend will be in Austin June 24 – 26, 2016. You DO NOT want to miss the epic event for the health-minded epicurean! I have been an ambassador for the race all three years it’s come to Austin, and it is absolutely my favorite 5k! Hosted by Cooking Light and Health Magazine, this is a food and fitness lover’s weekend dream come true – running, workouts and really good food!  There are pre-race parties and post-race parties and yoga, workouts, cooking demos and an over-the-top expo area – as they say, calories burned, calories earned!  The Fit Foodie Race Weekend really is amazing! Plus, this year, marathon superstars Bill Rodgers and Ryan Hall will be making appearance – I’m bringing my selfie stick! Early registration is only $35 for the 5k and entrance into the John Hancock Vitality Village.  Plus, use my discount code FITFORK for an additional 10% off! Register HERE!

Do you have a favorite fruit appetizer? Have you ever run the Fit Foodie 5k (in addition to Austin, the race is also in San Diego, Fairfax and Tampa)? Or, tell me one of your top fun 5ks! Please share in the comments below – xoxo, Jennifer 

 

 

 

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Blue Cheese & Walnut Stuffed Strawberries make a delicious appetizer or sweet-savory dessert!
Blue Cheese & Walnut Stuffed Strawberries
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 appetizers 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 appetizers 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Blue Cheese & Walnut Stuffed Strawberries make a delicious appetizer or sweet-savory dessert!
Blue Cheese & Walnut Stuffed Strawberries
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 appetizers 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 appetizers 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: appetizers
Instructions
  1. Slice strawberries in half lengthwise, leaving some of the green top on each half.
  2. With the back of a spoon, scoop out a very small amount of the inner flesh if the berry doesn’t naturally have a significant hollowed center.
  3. In small bowl, mix together cream cheese, blue cheese and walnuts with a small spatula until well combined.
  4. Place about a 1 teaspoon dollop of cheese mixture in the center of each berry half, slightly pressing down to “set” in place.
  5. Drizzle strawberries with honey and sprinkle on a bit more blue cheese, if desired.
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6 Life-Changing Avocado Hacks + $25 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

Getting more avocados in your life is a good thing! Avocados are an excellent source of fiber and protein and pack an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – they are a super star in the world of super foods and are so beneficial in the diet of a runner, stand-up paddle boarder, CrossFitter, mountain climber, yogi, gymnast, obstacle course racer or other active person. Oh, hey, I just described myself!Avocado Pineapple Smoothie

This nutrient-dense fruit regularly stars as guacamole at my house, but also makes a rich and creamy addition to salads, soups, and even baked goods. Plus, have you ever had avocado in a smoothie?  It’s soooooo good!  I’m totally loving the new Veggie Avocado Pineapple Smoothie from Smoothie King, more about that in a second – let me tell you about these Avocado Hacks that will make dealing with the sometimes fragile, fussy and fake-out ripe avocado.

Six Amazing Avocado Hacks That Will Change Your Life.

1) Avocado Dicing for Dummies – Simply cut in half crosswise, remove seed and, key point, leave the skin on! Use a paring knife to make cuts across and down, without piecing the peel. If fairly firm, the avocado will “pop” out of the skin when pushed, or if riper, use a spoon to coax the dices out. This is sooooo much less messy than peeling and then cutting.How to Score Avocado

2) Use Avocados Instead of Butter: Swap out avocados for butter in your baking at a 1:1 ratio, you’ll save lots of calories and get all of the nutritional benefits of avocado. Of course, you can also spread on your toast too – apparently that’s a thang!

3) How to Freeze Guacamole – It’s a rare day that leftover guacamole is left at the bottom of the bowl, but it can happen. More likely, there’s a big sale on avocados and something need to be done with them before over ripening – make a huge batch of guacamole and freeze it! Yes, you can do that – just smash it up with a little lemon juice and freeze in a zip-top plastic bag. When ready to use, just thaw in the fridge! And, the same concept goes for avocado slices – find out How to Freeze Avocadosfreezing guacamole in zip-top bag

4) Prevent Avocado from Oxidizing Overnight – Coating with lemon juice is a popular method, but what if you don’t want that tart-puckery taste to linger around? Simply pour a layer of milk on top of your avocado slices or guacamole and then chill (literally and figuratively)! When ready to get your guac on, simply drain of the milk and stir or mash. Or, you can also set an avocado half cut-side down on a big slice of onion and keep airtight in plastic wrap! These methods will keep your avocado looking pretty good for a day, maybe a little longer.

5) How to Ripen an Avocado in 10 Minutes: Turn a rock hard avocado into creamy, edible goodness by slicing and tossing with lemon juice and baking at 300 F degrees for 10 minutes or until just softening.

6) How to Ripen an Avocado Overnight: If you don’t need to eat your avocado ASAP, then stick it in a brown paper bag with a banana or apple and leave on the countertop. Overnight, the fruit’s ethylene gases will soften your avocado to perfection.

Veggie Blend Smoothies at Smoothie King - thefitfork.comOkay, back to the avocado in smoothies? Have you ever tried it? It sounds weird, but blended beverages are blessed with a super creamy taste. In fact, nearly everything from the produce section is good in a smoothie – when I don’t have time to make my own, I swing by Smoothie King for one of their Veggie Blends – these veggie-packed smoothies are deliciously blended to help fuel my health and wellness goals and I love the fact they are so transparent with their nutrition details, so I can pick and choose which one is going to work the best to optimize my “fuel” needs for the day.

I’m not on a calorie-restricted diet. In fact, as an athlete, I’m often looking for ways to get filled up without scarfing down junk foods. The new Veggie Avocado Pineapple Smoothie has more calories and fat content than the other Veggie Blends (Carrot Kale Dream, Berry Carrot Dream, Apple Kiwi Kale) – but offers a long-lasting, satiating boost of nutrition is what I need to power me through an intense workout without making me feel bloated and filled up with a heavy meal. A 20-oz drink has 6 grams of fiber to fill me up and is naturally hydrating, providing me the electrolytes I need for a sweat session.

In fact, all the Veggie Blends at Smoothie King are hydrating and healthful – some even have a “Make it Skinny” option.  You can check out the nutrition info on all the green smoothies and other menu choices either on the Smoothie King web site or in the store.

Win a $25 Visa Gift Card at TheFitFork.comI’m hosting a $25 Visa Gift Card giveaway so one of you readers can load up on veggie smoothies or whatever your heart desires at Smoothie King or anywhere!

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