Six Fall Season Smoothie Recipes

smoothie recipes for autumn

I’m starting off another post with “It’s still in the upper ninety degrees, y’all!” The official start of fall is just a few days away, yet the Texas sun is still burning us up! It’s so hot, the asphalt is sticking to the bottom of my running shoes and the neighbor’s suburban hens are laying hard boiled eggs. Hotter than a stolen tamale, a fur coat in Corpus Christi, or rubbing your eyes in a pepper patch – okay, you get the idea!

That’s why I’m still drinking my daily smoothie – not just as a way to cool off but also nourish myself with lots of healthy ingredients. I’ve pulled together some of my favorite fall season smoothies, each uses either fruit, vegetables or spices that remind me of the awesomeness of autumn.  Even if the arctic air is blowing in your part of the world, just bundle up, these healthy smoothie recipes are too good to pass up – perfect as an on-the-go breakfast or healthy snack.  If I am drinking one of these as a meal replacement or after an intense workout or long run, I’ll add a scoop of protein powder or substitute the milk with a vanilla high protein shake like Core Power.

pear maple smoothie

Pear Maple Chia Chiller: MMM, a little maple syrup (the real stuff) give this pear smoothie the flavor of fall – throw in some chia seeds for some omega-3 goodness.

Directions: In blender blend together 8 ounces almond milk, ½ ripe peeled pear, ½ frozen banana, 2 tablespoons cottage cheese, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 tablespoon chia seeds and 1/8 teaspoon cardamom. Add ice, as needed, to achieve desired consistency. Serves 1.

carrot cake smoothie

Carrot Ginger Date Smoothie: This smoothie will have you in whole food heaven and will remind you of a nice slice of carrot cake without all of the cream cheese frosting guilt – get the recipe in my recent post.

 apple cider smoothie

Apple Cider Sipper: If I had an apple tree in my backyard, I’d be making apple creations in the kitchen every day – everything from strudels to cobblers and fritters. Thankfully, I can satisfy my lust for apple desserts with this healthy non-alcoholic cider based smoothie (love the Litehouse Food brand cider).

Directions: In blender blend together 6 ounces almond milk, 2 ounces apple cider, ½ cup unsweetened applesauce, ½ frozen banana and ½ teaspoon cinnamon and pinch of nutmeg.  Add ice, as needed, to achieve desired consistency. Serves 1.

pumpkin pie smoothie thefitfork

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie: My grandma’s pumpkin pie sure brings back memories of family get-togethers in the fall. She always used a gingersnap crust and drizzled the top of her pumpkin pie with caramel. I’ve replicated this deliciousness in a healthier way in my recipe from last year – check it out!

spinach avocado smoothie

Autumn Greens & Avocado Smoothie: I love my lettuces and greens, but only have recently become accustomed to putting them in a smoothie – something about texture. This delicious smoothie is silky smooth and oh-so creamy thanks to a few slices of avocado. You’ll love this one!

Directions: In blender blend together 10 ounces unsweetened almond milk, ½ small avocado, a large handful of greens (like kale, chard, spinach or mixture).  Add ice and bit of honey or Stevia, as needed, to achieve desired consistency and sweetness. Sprinkle with hemp seeds. Serves 1

mango smoothie.

Chai-Spiced Mango Lassi: I love the exotic flavors of chai both served hot and cold. This healthy mango lassi gives you lots of protein and calcium thanks to the milk and yogurt base – keep those bones strong!

Directions: In a blender, blend together 1 cup of milk, 1/3 cup of plain unsweetened yogurt, 1 cup  cubed mango, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ginger, pinch of cardamom, pinch of nutmeg and pinch of allspice. Add honey or stevia to taste.

If you are looking for more inspiration, Cooking Light has a yummy collection of creamy, dreamy smoothies to try! You must see (and slurp)!

Skinny Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

sugar free banana chocolate muffins

Fall baking season is upon us! While I strive to eat nutritiously, I can still enjoy a little lovin’ from the oven thanks to a few healthy recipe swaps.  My recipe for Skinny Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins will satisfy any sweet tooth but without nearly as much sugar as bakery shop treats. Because these healthy muffins are sweetened with just a bit of Stevia and the natural sugars found in bananas, the only real naughtiness is in the chocolate chips. But then, who ever said chocolate is bad for you? Quite the contrary with the company I keep.  Also, to keep these muffins light, I omitted oil for Greek yogurt (extra protein) and unsweetened applesauce.

Tips, I like to use “mini” chocolate chips because they spread out better in the batter and also allow fewer to be used with still the same indulgent effect.  Also, you’ll want your bananas to be as ripe as possible – I’m talking so ripe that the banana peel is black. When the bananas on my counter get to this state of super sweetness, I just peel them and toss them in the freezer for future baking and smoothie recipes. Another tip, if you’re using paper liners, set the liner in the muffin tins and then spray the paper with a mist of baking spray – the muffins will fall out effortlessly when ready to eat.

close up banana chocolate chip muffin

Skinny Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

  • 4 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt (6-oz carton)
  • ¼ cup milk of choice
  • 10 packets Stevia (or 1 tsp. liquid Stevia)
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips*

*Save extra chocolate chips in bag to sprinkle on top before baking, if desired.

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. In large bowl, mash together bananas. Mix in applesauce, Greek yogurt, milk, stevia vanilla and egg whites until combined.
  3. In separate bowl, stir together salt, baking soda, baking powder, all-purpose flour, and whole wheat flour.
  4. Beat dry ingredients into wet ingredients a little at a time.  Once combined, pour in chocolate chips and stir in by hand.
  5. Spay muffin tins with baking spray or use paper liners. Fill muffin cups 2/3s the way up and sprinkle top of batter with a few extra mini chocolate chips, if desired.
  6. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until tops are turning lightly golden brown and center is set with prodded with a toothpick. If using mini muffin pans, reduce baking time 5 – 7 minutes.
  7. Makes 2 dozen.

banana bread chocolate chip - photo by 'Taste of Home' If this recipe appeals to you, you’ll probably like my “Better For You” Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, a delicious take on everyone’s favorite quick bread.  I had this one published a while back in Country Woman magazine.

Nike 5.0 Free Review & a Workout They Rocked

jd sports running shoes

JD Sports out of London (insert trumpet fanfare) sent me a pair of Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 4 Print to try out and review. I haven’t run in Nike in like FOREVER, so I was super excited to get my feet to the street in these stylish running shoes that I’ve been hearing so much about. JD Sports mentions how this product is part of the Crosstown Running rage.  What is that? I’m from Texas, y’all, but I think it has something to do with Londoners getting into the lifestyle and community of running – and showing off their street chic style while running or just hanging out in their stock of versatile fitness gear.

 

nike 5.0 tri 4 printSo, what do I think specifically of the Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 4 Print? Well, there’s no arguing that the shoe is quite fashionable for pounding the pavement on a run, leaping parked cars in parkour class or just knocking back some beers after work with friends.  With quite a lot of print color combos, it’s easy to find just the right ones for your personality – or difficult, if you’re a complicated, multi-faceted . . . err, indecisive person like me.

wall sit stars

As for the technical aspects, the shoe is light and has a breathable, engineered mesh upper which I like, especially in this Texas heat. Nike flywire technology provides just enough support and lockdown on the forefoot and an inner sleeve hugs the heel for a snug (but not tight) fit. What I really like about the running and fitness shoe is the sole, which has a nice bit of traction yet is still really flexible meaning – this bodes well for transitioning from a run right into a workout with jumping, burpees and fluid multi-directional movements. I NEED shoes that are flexible in the midfoot and toes and the Nike Free 5.0s totally delivered. Now, if you’re a runner that needs a bunch of stability and support due to biomechanical issues, this may not be the dream shoe for you. But, for the runner who needs a neutral, lightweight, high-performing, flexible shoe – the Nike Free 5.0 will be your new besties!

You also may be wondering what it was like to order running shoes from an overseas store. I was skeptical of delivery time at first but, honestly, my shipment arrived in about the same amount of time as here in the good ole U.S. of A. Now, these shoes did hop the pond by way of London to Dubai to Austin, so they moved a great distance quickly – I hope that translates into my running performance!  One thing to know if you are buying running shoes or trainers from the UK, footwear is sized differently. For example, my women’s size 8.5 in America is a women’s size 6 in England – but don’t worry, they have size charts to help you out.  JD Sports doesn’t just sell Nike, they also carry Adidas, Asics, Fila and more  . . . you really should really check out all their running shoes and get yourself some of that British style!

workout with run, planks, wall sits and more

So, to celebrate all this shoe can DO, I created a workout filled with all the moves it will help you perform better – like running,  jumping and multi-directional movements!  While you COULD do the Crossfit inspired WOD alone, it’s much more fun to pair up with a friend to push you all the way through the final 2k run! Have fun!

Have you every worn this or any version of the Nike Free?  Whatdidjathink?

 

Lime Coconut & Basil Roasted Chickpeas + #FitFoodieRun Austin #Giveaway

litehouse roasted chickpeas title

Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) have been a hot item in my home lately. From a warm and comforting bowl of Smokey Chipotle Squash & Chickpea Soup to a crisp and cool Kale Cucumber & Chickpea Salad (served in the cutest tomato bowls), the humble chickpea has no problem showing chutzspa! Check out this healthy snack recipe I created with garbanzo beans for Litehouse Food – Coconut Basil Lime Roasted Chickpeas! We’ve been gobbling them up for an after school snack and as “croutons” on salads — they would also be perfect as party food or to take tailgating. Head over to the Living Litehouse blog to get the full recipe and all of the yummy details.

roast chickpeas for a crunch healthy snack

Chickpeas aside, if you love running and “fooding” as much as I do, The Fit Foodie 5k weekend is for YOU! As an ambassador, I shared a bunch of details about this coming weekend’s events in a recent blog post (check it out) , but I want to let everyone know I’m having a FLASH giveaway for tickets that will get the winner and a guest into the 5k race, yoga event and boot camp – and, of course, all the post-race gourmet tastings are included as part of the finish line party.

fitfoodie will run for food enter giveaway

 

If you want to enter to win these awesome Fit Foodie 5k passes, you’ll need to act FAST, I’m closing the entries on Wednesday at midnight (CT) so that the winner will have time to round up a friend, get registered with the free codes and decide what running outfit will accommodate lots of good food at the finish!  So, please enter if you are from Austin and the surrounding Hill Country area (or plan to be visiting this weekend) – the 5k run starts at 8am on Saturday morning (Sept 13th) and afterward is the food grazing at the Finisher’s Village along with a chance to meet celebrity Allison Sweeney.  Sunrise yoga and the boot camp both start at 9am on Sunday, September 14th  and you’ll have likely need to pick between the two events.

fiitfoodierun collageFor more details on the race, check out The Fit Foodie 5k Weekend and if you don’t want to take any chances about getting registered, use my promotion code FITFORK for 10% off any registration.

Hope to see you there! Don’t forget to enter to win 2 free passes to the 5k run + yoga or boot camp!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My World Record Wall Sit Attempt and #FFWallSit Challenge

wall sit guinness square

Okay, it was awkward and humiliating enough to be in sixth grade let alone be denied the glory of one the most significant demonstrations of mental and physical strength I have accomplished to date. I’m talking about “sitting on the wall” or as some people used to call it back in the day, “Sampson’s Chair” – and I was a champion. If you look beyond the clumsy legs that were at the time too long for my body and the bookworm personality (and also ignore the 70s style angel-sleeve shirt and Tony Tennille haircut), what lurked inside my heart was a 12 year old girl who wasn’t going to give up – NO MATTER WHAT!

Lots of letters to Guinness Book of World Records

Lots of letters to Guinness Book of World Records

My elementary school had an annual Olympics for the 6th graders and I was out to win the wall sit – gymnastics had made my legs pretty strong and I didn’t have any reason to think I couldn’t match the previous year’s record of 25 minutes. Well, I hung in there for 1 hour and 36 minutes until the school nurse made me quit (apparently worried about the Arizona heat and all) . . . . I got my picture in the Tempe Daily News and, more importantly, got out of math and social studies class!

The event was so epic (notice the two boys feeling inferior in the background) that my teacher decided to submit it Guinness Book of World Records (notice the old fashioned typing and air-mail envelopes circa 1978). Anyway, although the record was “impressive,” Guinness did not choose to publish my notarized and media-confirmed “claim” because in 1978 the publisher decided that “wall sitting” didn’t have enough “widespread and preferably international” appeal to warrant creating such an inaugural entry. Well, fast-forward 11 years, I was casually flipping through the famous record book and came across a world record entry for Sampson’s Chair (wall sit) that had made it into print– some guy held the title for about 5 or so minutes LESS than me!

I still have the Wall Sit Winner trophy from 6th grade!

I still have the Wall Sit Winner trophy from 6th grade!

I was robbed and a flurry of air mail letters flew back and forth in protest (this was still before email)!  In the end, because my head wasn’t in “exactly the same position” (uh, because I was posing for a picture, duh) my claim couldn’t compare to the record holder’s accomplishment – so they said.  Apples to apples, I agree – but, I just think they didn’t want the tough looking dude with a snazzy uniform and digital clock overhead being upstaged by a little girl at recess. Oh well, I’m over it. REALLY – I’m over it, because apparently now the world record for “static wall sit” is over 11 hours!!!!  Plus, I still have my trophy -  and, it’s a true treasure because it’s from back in the day when kids didn’t get a trophy every time they showed up to be on a team or “participated” in an event. This one was EARNED with burning, quivering quads!

wall sit demo with med ball

I still like to do this isometric exercise as a way to keep my legs strong for running, CrossFit and our ski trips in the winter. There are a ton of different variations – two of my favorites are Marching Wall Sits and Medicine Ball Wall Sits (above).  For this med ball version, pick a ball that you can comfortably handle – probably somewhere between 6 to 12 pounds, depending on your arm strength. Keeping your back straight against the wall and legs bent into a 90 degree angle at the knee (with knees about 2 feet apart), grasp ball and lift straight in front of you with arms straight. Alternate rotating arms from left wall, back to center, and then to right wall. Do as many of these at an even pace as you can while holding the wall sit for 1 minute; repeat for three sets total. As you increase your strength extend the time of your sets – eg. 90 seconds, 120 seconds, etc.

fitfluential wall sit challengeSo, are you ready for more? Fitfluential in conjunction with Reebok are having a Wall Sit Challenge for September – it’s not too late to get in on the action! Join the challenge on a special Facebook page and invite your friends – accountability is a huge part of getting through any challenge! There is also a giveaway for a pair of Reebok Nano 4.0s (I review them here) and a Reebok top or shorts.  Use hashtag #FFWallSit on Twitter and Instagram to share your hard work and make new fitness friends!

Is this exercise in your repertoire, if not – what is your favorite leg exercise? Have you ever been unjustly treated in a sporting event? Would you just rather sit than wall sit? Let me know in the comments below:

Chipotle Squash & Chickpea Soup #SilkProteinPower

The weatherman said we had a cold front today, dropping the temperatures down into the upper nineties. Yeah, you heard me right 98 degrees in September, but that’s the trade-off for getting to live in the awesomeness that is Austin, Texas. Getting an outdoor workout this time of year can really take a toll, and I always have to remind myself to bring plenty of water for hydration and a healthy snack for immediate post-workout refueling. Because my tummy usually doesn’t want solid food right after a high-intensity, high-heat run or WOD I often rely on Silk Chocolate Soymilk in the shelf-stable 8-oz boxes – it’s a favorite to pack in my gym bag for healthy carbs, no cholesterol and plant protein.

In anticipation of cooler weather, I’ve been playing around with soup recipes. I love soups that are CREAMY, but I don’t like the added fat and calories. Light bulb moment – why not substitute the cream with a healthier option, such as Light Original Silk Soymilk. If you’re curious about the nutritional benefits of Silk Soymilk, head over to Silk.com to learn more about soymilk – they can explain it all in every delicious, nutritious detail, but in a nutshell (or a legume pod, as the case may be)– soymilk is a smart addition to any healthy diet.

So, despite the heat, everyone at the dinner table slurped up my latest soup creation – Smoky Chipotle Butternut Squash & Chickpea Soup. Perfect for a weeknight meal, this soup is super easy to make because it relies on frozen butternut squash, canned chickpeas, and a blender. After the soymilk and other ingredients are ingredients are incorportated, it can quickly be heated up on the stove or in the microwave. Between the soymilk and the chickpeas, this autumn-inspired soup packs a nice little punch of protein power to support overall wellness and a “Meatless Monday” or vegetarian meal.

Smoky Chipotle Butternut Squash & Chickpea Soup Recipe

  • 1 10-oz bag frozen cubed butternut squash, thawed
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 oz. chipotle peppers with adobe sauce (from 7.5 ounce can)
  • 2 cups Light Original Silk Soymilk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons minced dried onion
  • Garnishes: crumbled queso fresco, chipotle chili powder, fresh cilantro, jalapeno pepper slices, pepita seeds
  1. In blender, add all the ingredients except for the garnishes. Puree for approximately 1 minute or until mixture is smooth.
  2. Transfer to 2 quart pot and heat on medium low until desired temperature is achieved (or microwave loosely covered with a lid) in consecutive 30 second blasts, stirring between, until heated.
  3. Garnish with toppings of choice. Makes 4 large servings.

Okay, you know I #LoveMySilk, so when I saw this outdoor marquee photo from one of my favorite restaurant in Austin, I knew it was too silly not to share!

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Benefits of Ginger & How To Use Ginger in Beverages + Smoothie Recipe

Gnarly and knotted up, a chunk of ginger may not be the most appealing item in my fruit and veggie bin – but, trust me, this weird-looking root is well worth your time, it is loaded with flavor, nutrients and healthy benefits.  What first draws me to ginger is the spicy explosion of flavor it adds to my recipes – it’s at once lemony, peppery, sweet and pungent. Kinda complicated, like me! Foodies around the globe have been kicking up their respective cuisines with the zing of ginger for thousands of years – I’m surprised it’s not more popular in American kitchens beyond gingerbread and ginger ale.

benefits of ginger

In addition to feisty flavor, ginger also offers a powerful punch of preventative and restorative nutrition. For example, ginger eases up inflammation and muscle pain, something I appreciate as an athlete needing some extra recovery.  Ginger also helps with a host of digestion issues including nutrient absorption and the reduction of gas and bloating (so I hear).  Ginger also takes the edge off the “queasies,” including nausea caused by morning sickness, motion sickness and hangovers (again, so I hear).   And, if that isn’t enough, ginger fortifies the immune It system, protects against many types of cancer and relieves migraines. Oh, and ginger helps clear the sinuses – take a bite of raw ginger root and you’ll see what I mean!

Try my Carrot Ginger Date Smoothie for a morning pick-me-up – it’s super nutritious with carrots, banana, and only the added sweetness from a date. The ginger in the recipe can be grated on a micro place or you can boil it down with water and mix in stevia to make a sugar-free simple ginger syrup. I’m including that recipe too!

carrot cake smoothie

Carrot Ginger Date Smoothie Recipe

  • 8 steamed baby carrots (cooled)
  • 2 large dates (seeded)
  • 1/3 frozen medium banana
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger ( or 1 tablespoon sugar-free ginger syrup (recipe follows)
  • 8-ounces milk of choice ( or protein shake like Core Power)
  • Handful of ice
  • 1 teaspoon hemp seeds

Add steamed carrots, dates, banana, ginger, milk to blender; process until smooth. Add ice and blend to achieve desired consistency. Pour into tall glass and sprinkle with hemp seeds. Serves 1.

stevia sweetened ginger simple syrup

Here is my special stevia-sweetened Zingy Ginger Simple Syrup recipe it will keep in the fridge, covered, for a couple of weeks! Plus, it’s made with

  •  4 oz fresh ginger root, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon powdered Stevia

Add ginger and water to small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Lower to medium low and let simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Remove from heat and pour through strainer into container. Discard ginger slices. Stir in Stevia and keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

low sugar watermelon drink for hydration I also like to use the ginger syrup in this refreshing Watermelon Ginger Limeade recipe. Such a thirst-quenching beverage, especially considering it is still in the upper 90s here in Austin. At least six more weeks until noticeably cooler weather in Austin!

Another little tip – you can also extract the juice of ginger root by squeezing it in a garlic press!

So, these are my top three ways on how to use ginger in beverages: 1) grate it on microplaner, 2) infuse it into a sugar-free simple syrup and 3) juice it in garlic press.

Do you have a specific herb or food you eat to feel better?

 

 

 

Paleo Pecan-Paprika Tilapia on Bacon Brussels Sprout Toss + Fit Foodie 5k

With autumn just around the corner, it’s time to start salivating about all things that include pumpkin and pecans to bacon and Brussels sprouts – and, of course, other delicious fall-inspired ingredients. The Paleo diet embraces so many healthy foods that remind me of the cooler weather season – squashes, sweet potatoes, onions, cranberries, persimmons, pomegranates, broccoli, chard, spinach, all types of nuts, turkey, wild game and more.

Check out Fall Into Paleo

by The Fit Fork at Foodie.com

If you’ve scrolled through my blog, you may have noticed I don’t live and die by the strict rules of the Paleo diet. That being said, I DO believe that the Paleo diet has many great benefits that can contribute to a healthy lifestyle and I always feel great when I’m eating meals that follow a Paleo-esque menu. However, this regime, which eliminates wheat, cereals, dairy, starches (including most starchy vegetables & fruit), grains and anything containing gluten and/or legumes, can be difficult for me to maintain for many reasons including practicality (sometime I just can’t find or afford grass-fed beef), performance (I need extra carbs to support my athletic output – check out the book Paleo Diet for Athletes) and personal sanity (an excessive focus on food makes me freak out). So, I’m one of those “I eat 100% Paleo 80% of the time” kind of people and I don’t feel bad about it nor do I pass judgment on others who are strict abiders or those who would never, ever eat caveman style.  Also, when I’m thinking about Paleo recipes and what I should or shouldn’t do, I remember a quote from one of the go-to cookbooks on my shelf, Paleo Comfort Foods. The author makes a great point that the “Paleo (diet) is a logical framework applied to modern humans, not a historical reenactment.”  Amen. pecan crusted tilapia and warm brussels sprout salad I hope you enjoy my fall-season paleo dinner I whipped up as part of a Foodie.com campaign — Pecan-Paprika Crusted Tilapia on Bacon Brussels Sprout Toss.  Of course, this duo is delicious together, but can also be made and served individually – for example, the fish is also excellent in lettuce-wrap tacos and the warm Brussel sprouts salad makes the perfect seasonal side dish to bring to a potluck or Thanksgiving dinner. .paleo diet pecan paprika tilapia For Pecan Paprika Tilapia Recipe:

  •  1 lb tilapia filets
  • ½ cup pecan meal (ground raw pecans)
  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  1.  In large shallow dish, mix together pecan meal, paprika, and salt.
  2. In another shallow dish, whisk egg.
  3. Dip each fish filet into egg and then dredge in pecan mixture.Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add fish to skillet and pan fry for 3 to 4 minutes per side, flipping once. Fish will be done when white and flakey throughout and turning golden brown on crust. Serves 4.

Paleo Bacon Brussels Sprouts For Bacon Brussels Sprout Toss:

  • 4 slices bacon
  • ¼ cup finely minced sweet onion
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (sweet or hot, your preference)
  • 1/3 chopped raw pecans
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup wine or cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 lb shaved Brussel sprouts
  1. In large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon from skillet and crumble up (set aside); reserve about 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings in skillet.
  2. In same skillet with drippings, add paprika, onion and pecans; stir over medium-high heat for several minutes until nuts are lightly toasted, onions are softened and paprika has become fragrant.
  3. Add vinegar and cooking wine to skillet; stir quickly for 1 minute to deglaze pan. Lower heat to medium and add syrup and garlic paste; stir combine.
  4.  Add shaved Brussels sprouts (either slice thinly with sharp knife or mandolin or buy prepared) to skillet and saute for approximately 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften and caramelize.

Tips: Finely slice the Brussels sprouts with a knife or mandolin – or just by them pre-prepped from the produce section of your market.  Also, it’s important to add the paprika to the beginning of the saute so the spice has time to bloom, lending a richer and deeper flavor – this is a trick of trade with chefs fiitfoodierun collage Also, I want to share with y’all an upcoming event that so matches my personality and interests, I’m assuming it must have been put together specifically for me! But, I want you to come join the fun too – it’s the Fit Foodie 5k Weekend hosted by Cooking Light and Health magazines. In addition to the 3.1 mile race, there are gourmet tastings from Texas chefs, fitness demos, sunrise yoga, an obstacle course and boot camp. Allison Sweeney from The Biggest Loser television show will be there signing her newest book and showing support for the race beneficiary, City of Hope. City of Hope is a leading treatment and research center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases – 10% of all race entry proceeds benefit this official charity.

The Fit Foodie Weekend is coming up quick (Sept. 12 – 14), but it’s not too late to register!  Use the promotion code FITFORK and get 10 percent off your registration. Please let me know if you are coming by sending me a note in the comments – I’d love to plan a meet up! Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Foodie.com, however all opinions, comments and recipes are my own.  Also, I am an ambassador for The Fit Foodie Race Series – whoot, whoot!