Super Red Watermelon Quinoa Salad + #LivingOnTheWedge Questions Answered

Super Red Watermelon Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds has a secret ingredient -- beets!School may be starting, but that summer weather will be around these parts for a while  — and that means I can count on good watermelons through October here in Texas. Yeehaw!  When chopping up fresh watermelon for my kids’ lunchboxes, I always hide set aside a bowlful in the fridge to use as the superstar ingredient in in one of my salad creations.  This weekend, “Super Red” Watermelon Quinoa Salad was inspired by a dish I could both serve outdoors for al fresco dining (squeezing out the last few drops of summer pleasure before vacation ends) and also to package up during the week to take to school and work.

“Super Red” Watermelon Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds  is perfect for outdoor summer entertaining and packs well in lunch boxes

“Super Red” Watermelon Quinoa Salad lives up to its name – it’s super beautiful in shades of red made with ripe watermelon, shredded fresh beets and red onion. In addition to all the gorgeous nutrition these super food veggies offer, this quick and easy salad recipe offers enough protein to make it a meal thanks to hearty red quinoa and sprouted pumpkin seeds. Yes, you CAN eat watermelon seeds contrary to the old wives’ tale that eating them might make the fruit grow in your belly!

Raw Sprouted Watermelon SeedsI buy sprouted watermelon seeds to put on this salad and eat as a snack right out of the bag. Why “sprouted” seeds?  Not only does the sprouting process make them easier to eat and digest than the big black seeds, they are high in protein and a good source of iron and heart-healthy fats.  Sprouting seeds “wakes up” dormant seeds and kick starts the germination process that unlocks all their nutritional benefits.  You could make sprouted watermelon seeds at home, but busy-me prefers to buy – you could also substitute sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds in the recipe if you can’t find them.

Watermelon Q & A

Over the course of #LivingOnTheWedge this summer, I’ve received lots of reader comments and questions about watermelon. I’m sharing what I know with you inquiring minds of melon – another great resource for all things watermelon (including nutrition, recipes, and fun facts) is Watermelon.org.

What’s the best way to store a watermelon and for how long can you keep it?Storing watermelons at 55° F is ideal, according to Watermelon.org.  However, whole melons will keep for 7 to 10 days at room temperature – any longer and they’ll start they’ll lose flavor and texture. After cutting, store watermelon in refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. After cut, wrap watermelon in plastic or keep in an airtight container at 36° – 39°F. Also, I’ve noticed if you let watermelon sit in the juice that collects at the bottom of the container for too long, it loses the signature crisp texture – so I always drain off (and drink or save) the juice every time I get into my stash. Another strategy to maintain freshness is to keep melon stored in big chunks or slices as opposed to little bites. This cuts down on the amount of juice that drains out in the bottom of the container.

Do you know why watermelon helps alleviate morning sickness while pregnant?  The high water content in watermelon (92 percent) along with magnesium and potassium helps keep pregnant women from getting dehydrated, a dangerous condition that can also make nausea worse.  Additionally, the cool, mild, lightly sweet flavor of watermelon is easy to tolerate when queasy, especially when paired with other known upset tummy tamers like ginger, lemons or limes. Check out my recipe for Watermelon Ginger Limeade  — take a few sips every 10 minutes until you feel better!

Is it safe to eat a watermelon that was accidentally left in the car overnight in the summer?  My first reaction to this question was – “yes, don’t watermelons grown in the hot sun anyway?” But experts say to abide by the “when in doubt, throw it out” rule.  So, I would say if the outdoor temp was close to “room temp” then eat, if hotter,  throw it away (as horrifying as that is).

Is it okay to swallow watermelon seeds?  One reader said she remembered swallowing her share of seeds during watermelon eating contests as a kid, and was worried about the consequences. Unlike the fear that our mothers instilled in us as young-uns, watermelon seeds are 100 percent safe for consumption. There is nothing at all harmful about them and a watermelon won’t even sprout in your belly! Today’s recipe for “Super Red” Watermelon Quinoa Salad even uses easier to digest “sprouted” watermelon seeds (which can be grown or, easier, bought at a health food store) – they are actually good source of protein and alternative for people with nut allergies.

How many kinds of watermelon are there and which is the best? There are more than 300 varieties of watermelons grown around the world, although not that many are readily available in your local market. The Crimson Sweet is a popular choice that is reliably sweet –check out this link that sums up some of the best from Saveur. And, if looking to pick the BEST watermelon out of the bin, check out these Tips for Picking Watermelon.

What’s the most unusual watermelon recipe you’ve made? Okay, this was a fun question to answer because I got to reminisce about all my watermelon creations and give them superlative awards! Winning “Most Beautiful” is my Chocolate Cherry Watermelon “Cake” and taking the title of “Most Dramatic” is  my Sesame Salmon on Spicy Seared Watermelon, a recipe that caught the unsolicited attention of casting agents for the Food Network (apparently I’m not as exciting as my food although I beg to differ).   “Most Athletic” goes to My Creamy Watermelon Chia Seed Smoothie for its L-citrulline and protein perks that are good for pre and post workout while and “Most Cool” award goes to the Watermelon Coconut Cherry Chiller . Oh, and I can’t forget to mention my go-getter recipe,  Brisket Tacos with Watermelon BBQ Sauce – it’s definitely “Most Likely to Succeed” at your next backyard cookout or family Taco Tuesday night.

Winning Watermelon Recipes

Watermelon, Quinoa, Beet SaladWhat are you packing in lunchboxes this week? Aside from “don’t swallow watermelon seeds,” what other superstitious advice has your mother given you?  Do you have any unanswered watermelon questions? Please share and/or ask in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

BTW, this post was sponsored by the National Watermelon Promotion Board — however, unless otherwise noted, all recipes, editorial content, and enthusiasm for watermelon are all my own.  

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Watermelon, Quinoa, Beet Salad
Super Red Watermelon Quinoa Salad
This delicious Watermelon Quinoa Salad is packed with nutritious benefits and is great f or Labor Day entertaining, summer parties and lunch boxes!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 30 minutes
Watermelon, Quinoa, Beet Salad
Super Red Watermelon Quinoa Salad
This delicious Watermelon Quinoa Salad is packed with nutritious benefits and is great f or Labor Day entertaining, summer parties and lunch boxes!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Place watermelon in blender and blend for about 1 minute, or until flesh is broken down. Pour watermelon through fine mesh strainer, collecting juice in a glass measuring cup. Collect 1 ½ cups of watermelon juice, reserving 1 cup for quinoa and ½ cup for dressing.
  2. Rise uncooked quinoa in fine mesh strainer and place in saucepan with 1 cup of watermelon juice. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until juice is absorbed. Pour cooked quinoa in bow and let cool in fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. While quinoa is chilling, make dressing by adding ½ cup of reserved watermelon juice to bowl. Wisk in jalapeno, salt, pepper, stevia, olive oil and cilantro. Set aside.
  4. Pull quinoa out of fridge. Add beets, red onion, green onion and spouted watermelon seeds to quinoa and toss with watermelon vinaigrette.
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Run Faster 800 Meter Workout + Protein Bar #FeelGooder

The start of the school year has always been the unofficial kick-off of my marathon training. Even though Austin is still in the dog days of summer, with temperatures over 100 degrees, I will start upping mileage and long speed intervals, be mindful of my hydration needs and stock up on one of my favorite protein bars as I ready up for the San Antonio Marathon on December 6th.

Perfectly Simple Protein Bars from ZonePerfect offer 10 - 11g protein to help me recover after a workout or run.

As I hinted, hydration is so important, but I also insist on eating a protein snack after a long run or intense effort workout, like running 800 meter or mile intervals.  Research study after research study has shown that consumeing a protein-rich snack after hard workouts is vital to protein syntheses, and a must-do if you want to repair taxed muscle tissue, increase strength and recover faster.

Perfectly Simple Protein Bars by ZonePerfect

Perfectly Simple protein bars by ZonePerfect are a great solution for me, each tasty on the go snack offers about 10 – 11 grams protein and around 200 calories or less, the perfect post-workout fuel  for me to #FeelGooder until I can follow up with a full-on clean meal. I love how these protein bars embrace the “less is more” approach to life – the company is super-picky about the ingredients they choose to ensure a simple yet tasty feel-good healthy snack.

ZonePerfect Perfectly Simple Bars are great fuel for running and workouts.

Even if you’re not working out, a protien-rich healthy snack, like a protein bar, helps you feel fuller, longer – which means you won’t be grabbing a handful of M&Ms every time you walk by the community candy jar (okay, I’m talking about myself here).

Roasted Cashew & Dark Chocolate protein bar from Perfectly Simple

Oh, Hello My Precious!

Right now, if you visit ZonePerfect Perfectly Simple, you can get a $1 off  coupon for a box of these nutrition bars. Right now, there are four delicious flavors (five protein bars per box) including Almond Toffee Crunch,  Bing Cherry & Almond ,  Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk, and Roasted Cashew & Dark Chocolate.

So, are you ready for the 800 meter workout – it’s a doozy. There is just no arguing that the muscle fatigue, lactic acid build up and special brand of pain that comes with knocking off a bunch of 800s sucks, but if you’re getting ready for a marathon, it’s time to embrace that suck. Am I right?  Plus, 800s can be used as a loose guideline to predicting your marathon time  — just google Bart Yasso’s Yasso 800s. Basically the gist is that you work your way up to 10 800s in a session, keeping them as close in time as possible (a second or two flux is okay). The resulting average 800 time can be extrapolated to be your marathon time – eg: average 3:00 minute 800s equals a 3 hour marathon,  3:30 minute 800s equals a 3:30 marathon, and so on. My workout is a little different, but still great for a marathon.

Try this 800 meter workout challenge to improve your speed and endurance for a maratho.

 

My 800 Meter Challenge workout won’t take you all the way up to the 10 full half-mile laps, but it will get you strong enough to eventually get there! Enjoy.

 

Zone Perfect Perfectly Simple Bars are Healthy SnacksDon’t forget to check out ZonePerfect Perfectly Simple Nutrition Bars to grab your $1 off  coupon for a box of these delicious protein bars.

Do you incorporate speed workouts into your trainjing? Do you have a go-to interval workout for marathon season? I like cashew and chocolate – what two flavors would make the best bar for you? Please share in the comments below – XOXO — Jennifer

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Happy, Healthy Hive + Buzz on #Zarbees Vitamin Drink Mix

This is my hive. A husband of almost 25 years and three teenage boys – can you believe it?!Zarbee's Naturals - TheFitFork.com and her Hive

Even though my children aren’t babies anymore, their health and well-being (as well as my own) is still my number one priority. The busy schedules I help them juggle which includes academics, sports and music combined with my own overloaded agenda of work, athletic endeavors and domestic duties don’t allow for any downtime – let alone spare time for an of us being sick!

Zarbee's Naturals keeps me healthy and well and ready to workout!

Zarbee’s Naturals helps keep me healthy, well and ready to workout!

But, being so busy can make you sick, or at least leave you feeling fatigued and run down. Since I am mindful about the foods I offer my family and personally keep a primarily clean diet, it makes sense that I’ve always been wary of overusing over-the-counter medications. I’d rather take natural, preventative measures that rely on popping pills at every ache or sniffle.

Zarbee's Naturals - Find happiness in all that soothes.That’s why I was excited to discover Zarbee’s Naturals, a product line of delicious vitamin drink mixes created by Dr. Zak Zarbock. When Dr. Zarbock, a parent himself, couldn’t find effective, chemical-free solutions to keep the whole family healthy, he created his own products using handpicked natural, safe and wholesome ingredients. With Zarbee’s Naturals, it’s easy to find happiness in all that soothes!

 

Zarbee's Naturals

Zarbee’s Naturals come in six tasty, all-natural flavors, specially formulated proprietary blends sweetened with honey and other wholesome ingredients – there are no drugs or alcohol of any kind and all products are gluten-free. Depending on the blend, Zarbee’s Naturals can be mixed with hot or cold water and is safe to use daily to help meet any nutritional gaps in your diet.  You can find Zarbee’s Naturals exclusively at Target on the cough aisle – and now, through the end of September, their products are on sale for $4 off.

Zarbee's Naturals Antioxidant Blend with Honey

The Apple Spice flavored Zarbee’s Naturals Antioxidant Blend with Honey is so soothing before bed.

  • Antioxidant Support with Honey – Apple Spice: This high potency antioxidant formula contains essential vitamins, minerals and selenium and is sweetened with honey. Enjoy this blend hot.
  • Immune Support Drink Mix – Citrus Spice: This blend helps support a healthy immune system and features elderberry extract and dark honey. Packed with vitamins A, C, E, selenium and zinc, this mix is best served hot.
  • Invigorating Drink Mix – Lemon Ginger: Get a boost of energy with this blend featuring green tea, ginger, and guarana seed for natural alertness. Full of vitamins B2, B6 and B12, this mix can be enjoyed hot or cold.
  • Calming Drink Mix – Lemon Mint: Enjoy a bit of tranquility and calm with this blend brimming with chamomile and honey. Passion flower offers natural relaxation while the vitamin boost features A, C, D, E, and B-Complex. May be served hot or cold.
  • Multivitamin with Prebiotic – Orange: This blend helps to support a healthy digestive system and contains essential vitamins A, C, D, E, B1, B2 and more. Best served cold.
  • Multivitamin with Antioxidant – Mixed Berry: This antioxidant rich blend features 12 essential vitamins plus selenium to help support optimal health. Serve cold.

Zarbees Naturals College Care BoxI’m drinking Zarbee’s Naturals on a daily basis to help keep me well, rocking through my workouts and ready to take care of my family. When I’m feeling great, it’s just easier to keep my family feeling great! And, speaking of keeping a family feeling great – I’ve put together this care package to send to my oldest son who just left for college. I think the Invigorating blend will be great for all those study sessions and the Immune Support blend will keep his body’s defenses up during a naturally stressful transition time.  Remember to come back on September 10th to check out my follow up post about Zarbee’s Naturals and how awesome it is to shop at Target — first pump, thumbs up, agreed?!  #DrinkForYourself  #Zarbees  #madetomatter

Have you found ways to simplify or lower the stress of the family’s back-to-school schedule? Do you find your “hive” getting sick or catching colds easier during the fall season – what are your natural remedies?  Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer

This post was sponsored by Zarbee’s Naturals via Sverve. However, all editorial content reflects my own honest opinion about the products.

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Eat Clean – Better Food Starts with Simple Ingredients

Eat Real Food - TheFitFork.comLet’s get real. Even as fitness aficionado, it’s not easy, nor realistically possible, to eat clean and healthy 100 percent of the time. But, the mindset that it’s just fine to eat clean 80 percent of the time and the other 20% doesn’t matter at all, rubs me a little the wrong way. Yet, it’s so popular – the “80/20 Principle” is pervasive all over the Internets, Twitter, Instagram, other social media and even t-shirts!

The other 20 percent DOES matter – it’s 1/5 of your daily consumption!  Do you drive your car with reckless abandon 20 percent of the time? Do you only balance your bank account 80 percent of the time?  While, I think it’s fine to treat yourself to more indulgent foods as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes plenty of exercise,  it’s still important to make sure those treats are made with better ingredients – whole foods or unprocessed (or very minimally processed) foods, as much as possible.  Dark chocolate is a favorite treat of mine, as is ice cream with whole food ingredients. If you do break and eat freaky foods like Velveeta queso and Diet Mountain Dew (like I did on my recent beach trip), don’t freak and throw out the baby with the bathwater– just get back on track at your next meal. When I’m really being conscience of what I’m eating on a regular basis, even these little wobbles don’t add up to anywhere near 20 percent.

Sunrise yoga handstand fueled by BETTER FOOD!

Sunrise yoga fueled by BETTER FOOD!

Eating better makes you feel better, and when you feel better you have energy to conquer your goals — for me, that’s new yoga poses, obstacle course races, marathon running and more. Better food starts with simple, fresh ingredients free of artificial preservatives, sweeteners, colors and flavors and other nasty stuff that requires a chemistry degree to pronounce – that’s why I love to work with organizations like the Texas Beef Council, the National Watermelon Promotion Board and Litehouse Foods.  Recently I found out that Panera Bread is tidying up their already pretty darn clean menu.  I’ve always enjoyed stopping into this casual spot for a quick meal after the gym, with the kids for a healthier lunch, and even to pick up salads to-go for a busy weeknight dinner.

Panera has always been a more mindful solution than grabbing burgers and fries at a drive-through, they are known for seasonal ingredients, whole grains and well-balanced plates (would you like an apple with your sandwich?!).  Also, I’ve always appreciated the transparency about each menu item’s calorie count and nutritional information. Well, the good just got better and most menu items including salads and dressing are made without artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and preservatives. The company created a No-No List including chemicals, additives, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial trans fats, etc. (more than 150 ingredients in total) and is currently in the process of removing all of these from their offerings by the end of 2016. I’ve put all the no-no ingredients in a graphic for you to print out or pin.

If it doesn't sound like food, then it's not food. Eat clean.Yesterday, I enjoyed a Strawberry Poppy Seed and Chicken Salad for lunch – it was really too pretty to eat, but I did! It was topped with chicken raised without antibiotics, romaine, fresh strawberries, blueberries and pineapple, mandarin oranges and pecans with fat-free poppy seed dressing with no preservatives or funky stuff.

Strawberry Poppy Seed Chicken SaladThe entire full-sized salad has just 350 calories and yet 29 grams protein – now that’s a lean and mean deal! They have lots of other equally delicious and nutritious options like the new Power Kale and Chicken Caesar topped with handmade Parmesan crisps.

Power Kale and Chicken Salad

What do you think about the “80/20 Rule” ? Have you ever been to Panera?  What is your favorite menu item to order?

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{Slow Cooker} Sugar Free Peach Sauce

Sugar Free Peach Sauce is  great by the spoon and also on pancakes, ice cream and in smoothies!Using a slow cooker in the dogs of summer?  Normally I associate this appliance with winter and making stews and pot roasts. But, in an effort to keep from heating up my kitchen further during this 100+ degree heatwave, so it makes perfect sense to me!  I think you’ll love this Sugar-Free Peach Sauce recipe that is super easy to whip up in the crock pot, is deliciously aromatic as the spices mingle together – and it’s a great way to take advantage of a bumper crop of summer peaches.

bagging peaches for freezerIf you REALLY have a windfall of fresh peaches that you can’t eat up before overripening, then check out my How To Freeze Peaches.

If you don’t have fresh peaches, feel free to swap in frozen peach slices (store bought or home packed) – it’s a pretty forgiving recipe.  It is my experience that the store-bought peaches need the higher range of Stevia listed in the recipe.

 

 

Sugar Free Peach Sauce on Vanilla Frozen YogurtEnjoy this healthy fruit sauce either warm or cold by the bowl full– and also used as a topping on yogurt, waffles, protein pancakes and in smoothies. It is also great to pack up into a small container and send in your child’s lunchbox.  Instead of eating a processed sugary treat, peaches make an excellent source natural carbohydrates for quick brain and body energy – plus, you get the extra benefits of fiber, potassium, vitamin C.

Sugar Free Peach Sauce on Waffles

Sugar Free Peach Sauce simmers all day in a slow cooker and makes a packable lunchbox side dish or healthy topping for pancakes, ice cream and more.

Do you have a summery recipe for the slow cooker? Or, just a peach recipe that will tempt me? Please share in the comments below —  XOXO, Jennifer 

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Sugar Free Peach Sauce is great by the spoon and also on pancakes, ice cream and in smoothies!
Slow Cooker Sugar Free Peach Sauce
This sugar-free peach sauce makes a summery topping for ice cream, pancakes, and yogurt -- or just eat by the spoonful. An easy slow cooker recipe.
Servings Prep Time
16 5 minutes
Cook Time
6 - 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
16 5 minutes
Cook Time
6 - 8 hours
Sugar Free Peach Sauce is great by the spoon and also on pancakes, ice cream and in smoothies!
Slow Cooker Sugar Free Peach Sauce
This sugar-free peach sauce makes a summery topping for ice cream, pancakes, and yogurt -- or just eat by the spoonful. An easy slow cooker recipe.
Servings Prep Time
16 5 minutes
Cook Time
6 - 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
16 5 minutes
Cook Time
6 - 8 hours
Instructions
  1. Blanch, peel and pit peaches; cut into slices. Or, if using frozen (easiest method), partially thaw in microwave. Place fresh or thawed frozen peaches in the food processor and process until flesh is getting smooth, but still slightly chunky. Pour peaches into slow cooker set on LOW for 6 - 8 hours, stirring a couple times during the day. After 8 hours, stir in lemon juice, cinnamon and ginger. Sever warm or cool. May be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days or freezer up to 6 months.
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Hatch Salmon Cakes Recipe + More Green Chile Fish Dinners

Hatch Green Chile Salmon Cakes with Summer Veggie Saute gets a kick of southwestern green goodness from Stubbs Green Chile Anytime Sauce.It’s that time of year – Hatch Green Chile Season! I’m sure I’ll have several new recipe creations to share with you, but let me start off the Hatch love fest with three delicious dinner ideas using fish and Hatch green chile. The first is a brand new recipe of mine – Hatch Green Chile Salmon Cakes with Summer Veggie Saute!  If you have dietary needs, this recipe is Paleo friendly, gluten-free, dairy free and low carb.

Hatch Salmon Patties with Zucchini and Tomatoes makes a southwestern-inspired summer dinner.

There are fire-roasted Hatch chiles in the patties and also a delicious sauce stirred into the veggie saute. I’ve made Hatch sauces from scratch before, but the Green Chile Anytime Sauce from Stubbs BBQ Sauces was awesome and had all that familiar flavor of Hatch, lime and garlic – it’s quite spicy, which my husband and I love! It’s perfect for a sauce, marinade or dip! I was sent bottles of the Anytime Sauces to experiment with, and I love them — check out their entire line of Anytime Sauces that also includes Sweet Black Pepper and Texas Sriracha versions. Yeehaw!

Enjoy some heart-healthy fish and the flavors of the southwest with this easy-to-make, one-dish dinner.

I can’t help but blog about Hatch Green Chiles all I can each year during their short August to early September season. These Hatch salmon cakes aren’t the first time I’ve paired up fish with the chile pepper – my Hatch Green Chile Trout is a personal favorite for quick-to-fix, one skillet meals (I keep a stash of roasted chiles in the freezer at all times).

Tilapia Green Chile Nachos with Stubbs BBQ Green Chile Anytime Sauce

Stubbs BBQ has lots of  Hatch Chile recipes on their site using the Stubbs Hatch Anytime Sauce. Up next in my Hatch Queue are the Green Chile Tilapia Nachos!

2011 HAtch green chili tv segment cropDon’t feel like fish? Check out some of the award-winning recipes I’ve hatched up in years past like Hatch Green Chile Chicken Cheesecake and Hot Mess Hatch Green Chile Burgers on Squash “Buns”.

 

 

The next recipe I NEED to make is this one for Green Chile Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!

Green Chile Grilled Cheese Sandwich

[Tweet “Holy Hatchtastic! Hatch Green Chile Cakes with Summer Veggie Saute #paleo]

Hatch Green Chile Salmon Cakes with Summer Veggie Saute

Are you a Hatch Green Chile fan? Please share your Hatch love in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

 

 

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Hatch Green Chile Salmon Cakes with Summer Veggie Saute
Spice up a healthy fish dinner with the amazing flavor of Hatch green chiles and get out of your salmon rut!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Hatch Green Chile Salmon Cakes with Summer Veggie Saute
Spice up a healthy fish dinner with the amazing flavor of Hatch green chiles and get out of your salmon rut!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In medium bowl, mix together salmon, chiles, green onions, salt and pepper until combined. Next stir in egg and ¼ cup of almond meal.
  2. Form salmon mixture into four 1-inch thick patties; sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons almond meal over each patty, lightly pat down. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-heat. Cook patties in hot oil until golden and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer patties to paper towels to cool off a bit while cooking veggies.
  3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in same skillet. Add zucchini and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until starting to soften, but not getting soggy. Add halved tomatoes and continue to cook, stirring, for another 1 minutes. Add hatch green chile sauce and stir for a few more minutes until heated. Stir in 2 tablespoons of green onions.
  4. To serve, place mound of veggies on plate and top with salmon cake. Drizzle with additional Hatch sauce if desired.
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DIY Popcorn Shakin’ Cups – Mess Free Mix-ins – Pop Secret Popcorn

Enjoy family movie night with Pop Secret popcorn and this genius container hack for serving up the snack!

The end of summer is especially bittersweet this year, not just because our leisure time is coming to an end (well, the kiddos’ respite anyway), but my oldest is heading off to college. Yup, that’s right – this mama bear is letting go of a cub and even with my stoic sensibilities, I’m getting a little choked up just typing out the words. With the Big Boy literally leaving the den in 10 days, our family movie nights seem even more special this summer.

Add your favorite ingredients to customize Pop Secret Popcorn flavors.

Movie night is a great excuse to hang out together (an increasing rarity in the teenage years), have some laughs, engage in some invaluable pre and post movie discussions – and, naturally, share some yummy Pop Secret popcorn and sensible snacks together!

Popcorn with Chocolate Chips and Almonds makes a healthy salty-sweet snack!

Now, over these last 18 years of watching movies with my kids, I’ve learned a several things. First, my lone female vote in a house with four male people means I don’t have a say in what we watch – we’ve made the natural boy progression from non-princess Disney productions to action and shoot-em-up flicks. Not a lot of romantic comedies and historical fiction in the DVR queue – of all the guy movies we watch, I like the superhero stuff best – that’s why I’m pretty pumped to have just watched the 2005 version of “Fantastic Four” in preparations for the reboot coming to theaters. By the way, if you Buy any 3 Pop-Secret items between 7/31 – 8/31 and get a Free ticket to the Fantastic Four movie (up to $5) while supplies last

Make these DIY Popcorn Shakin' Cups for your next party or family movie night.

The second important thing I’ve learned is that no matter the age, boys are just messy – and this includes my husband to a degree. Sharing one big bowl of popcorn means crushed kernels left all over the floor and greasy finger being wiped off on the couch. Hello, napkin? And, of course there will always be a bit of sibling squabbling over who gets to hold the bowl, who’s hogging all the food and exactly what toppings are put on the popcorn. To resolve these irritating movie-time issues, I came up with this a great popcorn-eating hack that will rock your socks off – Popcorn Shakin’ Cups!

These Popcorn Shakin’ Cups allow 1) everyone to have their own portion of popcorn, 2) customizable “mix ins” to be added and neatly shaken up to combine, and 3) the popcorn to be eaten straight from the lid opening to mouth (meaning no messy fingers)! Yes, I know – GENIUS!

Putting popcorn and custom mix-in ingredients into cups with domed lids is an easy and mess-free way to make and eat!

It’s easy to put together your own Popcorn Shakin’ Cups -purchase tall, clear plastic cups (mine are 20-ounce but I’ve seen them larger) and domed lids (usually found at an industry or party warehouse or sweet talk your convenience store for some shake/slurpee lids). Next fill with popcorn and your favorite mix-ins – I did almonds and chocolate chips, but Parmesan cheese and garlic salt, or cinnamon sugar and pecans are other yummy popcorn ideas. Add a cute label if you like –and that’s it! Eat, enjoy and toss – no clean up! Great for a party!Popcorn is perfect for family movie night -- you'll love these DIY popcorn cups.

I picked up my mom-of-teenage-boys-sized haul of Pop Secret at Walmart – I got the Sea Salt flavor for movie night plus an extra box of the Pop Secret 100 Calorie Pop 94% Fat Free Kettle Corn for me to keep on hand for sensible snacking in the afternoon. Also, note to self – perhaps I should buy Pop Secret popcorn flavors by the cart full because a variety of boxes would be great to slip into oldest son’s college care packages since he has a dorm microwave.

Have you seen any good movies this summer? What is your favorite popcorn flavor or mix-in?

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Pop Secret, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #pop4Fantastic4 http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

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Tasty Turmeric Recipes That May Ease Inflammation

Turmeric adds flavor, color and a host of health benefits to your recipes.Turmeric has thousands of scientific studies supporting its health benefits – it’s a remarkable rhizome! Whether used raw like ginger or in dried, ground form, this beautifully orange-yellow spice has been prized for thousands of years for the anti-inflammatory benefits that come from the chemical compound curcumin. Not only does the curcumin in turmeric help reduce inflammation and thereby lessen tendonitis, joint and muscle pain, and arthritis aches, the powerful antioxidants have been shown to regulate blood sugar and lessen the risk for certain cancers.

Check out 10 Turmeric Spiced Foods That May Reduce Inflammation

by The Fit Fork at Mode

Turmeric is a healthy way to add color and flavor to your recipes. The warm and faintly citrusy flavor is delicious and enhances both savory and sweet tastes.  I hope you enjoy the collection of turmeric recipes I curated for Mode.com.

Turmeric Honey Almond MilkDon’t miss the Turmeric Honey Almond Milk I posted about earlier in the year – a little “shot” of this beverages can be taken either hot or cold before bed to help ease the aches and pains of the day – and help you get a better night sleep.  Almond milk and turmeric also help with indigestion and reflux, making this a great nightcap if you suffer with these problems.

 

Are you a fan of turmeric?  What is your favorite way to use the spice? Please share in the comments! XOXO-Jennifer

 

This post is sponsored by Mode Media.

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