No-Noodle Lasagna Stuffed Peppers

Whew, I’ve been too busy to blog, and am still playing catch-up with life since coming back from Lake Tahoe where I did that little “thing” – ya know, run in the Spartan World Championships in elite coin heat! More on that insanity later, now I just want to share an easy recipe that I made for dinner this week in an effort to bring life back into balance with some simple, nourishing foods that weren’t complicated to make! No Noodle Lasagna Stuffed Pepper

No-Noodle Lasagna Stuffed Peppers come together in 15 minutes and provides 32 grams of protein for only 312 calories – only 12 grams of fat yet so cheesy, creamy and delicious! Plus, no pasta, noodles or other grains are used keeping it gluten-free and paleo-ish (if you do cheese). Read on to get this easy, 15-minute recipe. Continue reading

Greek Stuffed Breakfast Sweet Potato

I remember when mom used to make whole-grain pancakes, sausage and a fruit salad for DINNER! She would always rationalize the “backwards night” by reminding us that we were getting all the food groups, like we could even hear her through the . Today, I realize that she had a point, it really doesn’t matter what you eat and when, as long as it’s balanced. So, why not put a spin on her flip-flop with dinner for breakfast!96 Greek_Breakfast_Sweet_Potato_Skins_three_fork

I’ve done green salads, rice bowls, and steak kebabs for a morning meal, these are all quite tasty before dawn breaks . . . and super easy if leftover! Today, I’m sharing Greek Stuffed Breakfast Sweet Potatoes, a perfectly portioned and perfectly delicious way to start your day. If you’re time-crunched and always quick grab that sugary pastry, give this recipe a try (it takes only 15 minutes) and I promise you’ll feel so much better. Continue reading

No-Cook Chocolate Protein “Baklava” Bites

Ahhhhh . .  Chocolate. Pistachios. Honey. A hint of cinnamon.  My Chocolate Protein “Baklava” Bites are a muscle-making take on this ancient honey and nut dessert hailing from Greece and Turkey (both countries lay claim to its origin).  Chocolate Protein Baklava Bites

You’ll notice there’s no thin layers of phyllo in this healthy sweet treat! No need to get distracted with difficulty of preparation (and gluten) this adds to the recipe. Instead, I’ve put together a 15 minute recipe that is packed full of great nutrition to fuel your active lifestyle and requires absolutely no cooking. Read on to get all the nutty details along with the full recipe! Continue reading

How to Make Salted Preserved Lemons that are Yummy in Everything!

Preserved LemonsWhen life hands you lemons, make Preserved Lemons! Although back in 80-degree weather in January (!), a super cold spell last weekend required harvesting of citrus off the Meyer Lemon trees . . . including a bumper crop coming from my aunt in Houston. While making lemonade, lemon curd, lemon preserves and other citrus-y staples are a sweet way to use an abundance of the fruit, I was looking for something to use in savory dishes.

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“Go For The Gold” Turmeric Hummus Served 3 Ways

Turmeric Curry HummusWhen I want a satisfying snack that tastes super yummy, has loads of health benefits, and won’t have me hungry again in an hour, my “Go for Gold” Turmeric Curry Hummus with Minted Roast Chickpeas is a winner! It’s definitely what to bring to a football tailgate or sports watching party to show that you are the decided victor of dips and champion of chickpeas.Turmeric Hummus with Minty Roast Chickpeas is creamy and crunchy at the same time! A healthy snack with protein and fiber, perfect for post workout of for a party appetizer.

If you’re not familiar with turmeric, you need to get acquainted ASAP. I’ve featured it before in many recipes — my Turmeric Honey “Health” Shots have been popular! While it’s the primary spice in many Indian dishes (such as curry) and lends everything it touches (including hands) a golden yellow to orange hue, turmeric is consumed not just for its warm and mildly peppery taste, but also for the many purported health benefits.

For example, numerous studies suggest that turmeric’s active component, curcumin, helps alleviate or reduce the incidence of everything from certain cancers to depression – and it’s is highly touted as a natural pain-killer and anti-inflammatory. I take turmeric often to recover from hard workouts faster, I’m a fan of these Curcumin Capsules (from Turmeric Root Extract) sold by NOW Foods.

Turmeric.
I do advise using fresh turmeric along with the dried ground turmeric as directed in the recipe. The fresh has a more pleasingly distinctive aroma, flavor and health benefits in root form (technically a rhizome like ginger) than from the ground powder.  However, the ground turmeric helps distribute the golden-orange color evenly. If you’re looking for fresh turmeric, ask your produce manager to stock it from Frieda’s.
Turmeric Hummus Served 3 Ways - appetizer dip, pasta toss and veggie sandwich!

Make a big batch and portion into individual grab-and-go containers to stash in lunchboxes, backpacks and gym bags along with veggie sticks or crackers. However, dipping stuff INTO hummus isn’t the only way to enjoy it! My two other serving suggestions are to 1) pile up high on whole grain bread or a wrap along with other veggies to make a filling sandwich and 2) to toss with warm pasta or vegetable noodles (like “zoodles”) as a creative sauce.  I wasn’t sure if the sauce idea would work one night when fixing a “clear the fridge” dinner in a pinch — but it most certainly did!

roast chickpeas for a crunch healthy snackAlso, if you love a crunchy, salty snack the roasted mint chickpeas that I’ve used to garnish the top make a fantastic snack on their own.

Just double up that part of the recipe and keep the extra batch for snacking right off the pan – or to use as grain-free “croutons

By the way, I originally developed this recipe for Litehouse Foods using their Instantly Fresh Herbs! Check it out.

 

Do you use turmeric in your diet, what is a favorite recipe? If you’re at a party, do you go for the dips or the desserts? What’s on your upcoming fall season race season? Please share in the comments, XOXO — Jennifer  

Turmeric Curry Hummus
"Go For The Gold" Turmeric Hummus Served 3 Ways
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 40 minutes
Turmeric Curry Hummus
"Go For The Gold" Turmeric Hummus Served 3 Ways
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
  2. After draining and rinsing chickpeas, place them on a paper towel and fold over, gently rubbing them. This will remove any remaining “skins.”
  3. Toss mint and salt together in small bowl. Take ½ cup of chickpeas and toss around with olive oil until coated. Add chickpeas to bowl with mint and shake around until dusted.
  4. Place chickpeas in oven and bake, tossing occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden and crunchy.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool on pan.
  5. Place remaining chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, ginger, curry powder, dried turmeric, fresh turmeric, remaining salt and pepper in a food processor and blend till smooth and creamy. If needed, add a bit of additional lime juice or water to adjust the consistency.
  6. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and roasted chickpeas.
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Lemony Lamb Loin Chops with Gremolata #GoForTheBOLD

This post is sponsored by Mountain States, however all comments, opinions and enthusiasm are my own. Lemony Lamb Loin Chops with Gremolata -- a tangy sauce and grilled lemon slices will lift this lamb dish to the top of your favorites. Grills in less than 10 minutes and an excellent source of lean protein.

I had a wonderful weekend with my family cooking up new memories – well, grilling them up, to be exact! Sitting down together to a simple yet super flavorful lamb dinner was the perfect exclamation point to the end of our summer together (as school started back up Monday and our oldest left the nest again for 2nd year in college). Until recently, my three teen boys didn’t have many memories centered on lamb, but I sure had some recollections – and they mostly involved around stuffy Sunday dinners of yore at a relative’s home wearing uncomfortable clothes, shoes that pinched and being forced to “politely” clean my plate of mushy vegetables and an old-school prepared lamb roast.

Grilling lamb for our last summer weekend together!

Grilling lamb for our last summer weekend together!

After hearing various friends, from Paleo diet devotees and flavor-centric foodies, rave about the virtues of this red meat that’s been enjoyed across various cultures for century upon century, I penciled lamb onto my “things to grill sometime” list – oh, you how I like to grill everything! When Mountain States (producers of Shepherd’s Pride and Cedar Springs lamb, raised right here in the U.S.) sent some delicious looking lamb loin chops my way, they were bumped to the top of the to-do list – it was time to give ‘em my modern, fit foodie spin. If the speed at which my guys devoured dinner is any indication, you are going to LOVE my recipe for Grilled Lemony Lamb Loin Chops with Spinach Gremolata Sauce. #GoForTheBOLD

Grilled Lemony Lamb Loin Chops are a quick and healthy meal solution, only 8 minutes to grill and packed with lean protein and other important nutrients.

Lemony Lamb Loin Chops

After marinating for 1 hour, lamb loin chops are ready for the grill!

The loin chops couldn’t have been any easier to prepare with a simple marinade, less than 10 minutes on the grill, and an easy no-cook sauce. When meal-making is a no-brainer, there is more precious time to spend with family and friends – mine will be seeing this lamb recipe again soon at my backyard Labor Day cookout.

Wow, my lamb chops and lemons grilled up in 7 to 8 minutes!

Wow, my lamb chops and lemons grilled up in 7 to 8 minutes!

If the weather turns too cool this fall season to barbeque al fresco, these lamb chops easily translate to an indoor grill or stove top grill pan. And, the bright lift of lemon will remind you of a beautiful, never-ending summer! You can see them here served with grilled Shishito Peppers (that recipe posted tomorrow).  Lemony Lamb Loin Chops with Shishito peppers

While these lamb chops are delicious served unadorned, I prefer to drizzle them with a gremolata sauce prepared with olive oil, lemons and spinach (another twist on tradition).  I get so excited when this tangy, flavorful gremolata runs off my chops and into my grilled veggies, potatoes or pasta– it’s a versatile sauce to dress nearly every main dish, side dish, pasta and salad.

Protein-lovers, let me tell you a little more why lamb should make it onto your menu weekly rotation.  First of all, a 3.5 ounce serving contains approximately 25g protein, the optimal amount for your body to process at any one “eating experience.”  How many times have you heard me stand on my soapbox and tell y’all to eat 25g to 30g of protein at every meal – you need this amount for sustained energy, muscle management, healthy aging and more! Mountain States lambs roam pastures, grazing on grass, herbs and alfalfa, making it a great source of omega 3s (especial alpha-linolenic acid) and is also rich in iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin B-12 and niacin. If you want to try cuts other than lamb loin, every choice (which the exception of ground) is classified as “Lean” or “Extra Lean” by the USDA. Get more lamb nutrition information here. Mountain States Lamb Loin Chops - a lean, grass-fed protein choice

Shepherd's Pride Lamb - Raised without antibiotics or hormonesBecause I love feeling connected directly to the ranchers, I will keep getting my lamb from Mountain States. Mountain States (sold as the brands “Shepherd’s Pride” or “Cedar Springs American”) is a co-op owned by more than 150 hardworking families across the US who have been ranching for generations. These Shepherd’s Pride ranchers are committed to producing a clean, complete protein given no hormones or antibiotics, raised just the way nature intended. Additionally, it is the only lamb that carries the third-party Where Food Comes From ® source-verified label.  This means, with a scan of the label, I know exactly where my food comes from, where it was raised, and who handled it. Now THAT is some detailed data that will satisfy even the cleanest of clean eaters! Wondering where to buy lamb from Mountain States? When I used their Store Locator, I discovered (yay) my neighborhood H.E.B. grocery store carries it – or, you can ask your butcher!

For additional details on cooking and food safety information regarding lamb, please visit MountainStatesRosen.com.Go For the Bold US Lamb Giveaway

Check out this sweepstakes and enter for a chance to win US lamb and a patriotic dinner wear set perfect for your Labor Day party! #GoForTheBOLD

When is the last time you’ve tried lamb? Do you grill year-round? Any exciting Labor Day plans? Please share in the comments below! XOXO, Jennifer

Lemony Lamb Loin Chops with Gremolata -- a tangy sauce and grilled lemon slices will lift this lamb dish to the top of your favorites. Grills in less than 10 minutes and an excellent source of lean protein.
Lemony Lamb Loin Chops with Gremolata
Print Recipe
1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 cup packed baby spinach leaves ½ teaspoon white pepper ½ teaspoon salt
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 40 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 40 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Lemony Lamb Loin Chops with Gremolata -- a tangy sauce and grilled lemon slices will lift this lamb dish to the top of your favorites. Grills in less than 10 minutes and an excellent source of lean protein.
Lemony Lamb Loin Chops with Gremolata
Print Recipe
1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 cup packed baby spinach leaves ½ teaspoon white pepper ½ teaspoon salt
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 40 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 40 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Instructions
  1. Add lamb chops, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper to heavy-duty plastic zip-top bag. Move the chops around in the bag until well-coated with marinade. Marinate for 1 hour to overnight in the refrigerator, no longer than 12 hours.
  2. After marinating, remove chops from marinade and discard remaining liquid. Season to preference with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat gas or charcoal grill to approximately 400F degrees. Grill chops with the lid up, flipping once, for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees (medium-rare).
  4. While lamb is grilling, also grill lemons for several minutes per side, or until beginning to lightly char. Transfer chops and lemon slice to platter and rest for at least three minutes before serving or slicing.
  5. While lamb is resting, place all ingredients for gremolata in food processor or blender and pulse until partially smooth but with small spinach pieces.
  6. Serve chops with a grilled lemon sauce and drizzle of gremolata.
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“Almost Instant” Spicy Shrimp Spinach Soup, Just Add Hot Water

thefitfork jennifer fisher paddle boardLife is an adventure and many days, I’m so worn out from my adventuring that I just don’t want to make a meal – especially, if my husband and boys are gone doing their own thing, and it’s just me! But, a nourishing meal is a must to keep me fueled up for the next epic event – be that training for an obstacle race, stand up paddle boarding all day, or hurdling over parking lot puddles on my way into the store!

Spicy Shrimp and Spinach Soup with Marzetta Marinara

Today, I’m sharing a single-serve lunch or dinner solution that is, I must say, quite genius! It’s a “Just Add Hot Water” Spicy Shrimp Spinach Soup that is perfect for an almost instant fix when you’ve got the hangries.  The idea is to fill up a glass jar about halfway with fresh ingredients (like marinara, veggies, brown rice and cooked shrimp), stick in the fridge until ready to eat, and then add boiling hot water and shake, shake, shake before slurping up! When you have to work at your desk through lunch, this almost instant soup recipe is 100x better than peanut butter crackers out of the vending machine and can be made just as fast by nabbing hot water from the break room. picy Shrimp Spinach Soup - just add hot water!  The perfect meal for lunch at your desk on nights when kids have to make their own!

Mezzetta Spicy Shrimp Spinach Soup

Just pour in 1 1/2 cups of water heated in microwave, coffee pot or hot water spigot!

But, it’s not only for eating outside the home. If you fancy yourself a meal prepper, multiply this single-serve soup recipe and feed the family all week! Keep loaded in the fridge and your kids can make their own on those busy nights when no one is (unfortunately) sitting down for dinner at the same time. Spicy Shrimp Spinach Soup

I can always count on Mezzetta® Marinara to help me whip up a quick and easy meal, whether it simple zoodles with sauce or an egg poached in marinara (yum)!  I’m all about the #MarinaraSauce . . . every jar of Mezzetta® Marinara is packed with the world’s best tomatoes hailing from the rich soils of Italy’s San Marzano region. Mezzetta® believes in using the fewest, freshest and finest ingredients in their marina sauces (which also contain no added sugar, unlike many other brands).There are six delicious flavors of Mezzetta® Marinara including the Calabrian Chili & Garlic (used in my recipe), Italian Plum Tomato, Whole Garlic & Sweet Basil, Caramelized Onion & Butter, Truffle, Porcini & Cream, and Parmigiano Reggiano

Mezzetta Pizza SauceMezzetta® also makes a pizza sauce that is out of this world!

Use it on pizza or spread it on a panni!

 

Mezzetta Win 11 day trip to Italy

You know what would be a great break from all this business of life? A fabulous Italian adventure!!! I have always dreamed of this trip, it is on my bucket list!  Mezzetta® is giving away an 11-Day Italian Vacation to Italy, you need to ENTER NOW!  One winner (and one guest) will attend culinary experiences (including cooking class and farm tour) in the San Marzano region of Italy and explore other cities of Italy. The Grand Prize trip consists of the round trip coach air transportation between the major commercial airport nearest winner’s residence and Rome, Italy, the culinary experience and tour of Italy. CLICK HERE TO ENTER

What adventure is at the top of your bucket list? What are your everyday adventures? Have a creative use for marinara sauce? Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer

Spicy Shrimp Spinach Soup
"Almost Instant" Spicy Shrimp Spinach Soup, Just Add Hot Water
Print Recipe
Add boiling hot water to a jar full of fresh ingredients, shake, pull out a spoon and . .. viola, you've got a quick and healthy meal solution for lunch or dinner! Yay for portable instant soup!
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 minute
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 minute
Spicy Shrimp Spinach Soup
"Almost Instant" Spicy Shrimp Spinach Soup, Just Add Hot Water
Print Recipe
Add boiling hot water to a jar full of fresh ingredients, shake, pull out a spoon and . .. viola, you've got a quick and healthy meal solution for lunch or dinner! Yay for portable instant soup!
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 minute
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 minute
Ingredients
Servings: serving
Instructions
  1. Layer all ingredients in quart-sized jar with sealing lid. Keep chilled for up to four days until ready to eat. When ready to serve, add 1 ½ cups boiling water (from microwave, tea kettle or coffee pot) and pour into jar. Add lid and shake well to combine, open and enjoy! Serves !
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Slow Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes and La Tomatina

Tomato toes IG‘Tis the season for tomatoes! Load up on this garden staple, slow-cook them in the oven to perfection,, and what you don’t gobble up right away, can be stuck in the freezer and enjoyed throughout the year – the taste of summer will last forever. Tomato lovers are going to absolutely swoon over this easy recipe for Slow Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes!

Also, have you ever heard of the La Tomatina Festival? it’s a wild party of tomato-tossing on the cobblestone streets of a little Spanish town. I say show up with a bottle of Wocestershire and Vodka and just open your mouth! Check out the video at bottom of post!

Slow Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes - multiply the recipe and store in the freezer or year-round enjoyment on salad, pizza, pasta, steak and more.

Even though this recipe takes an hour to cook (that’s a long time in my quick-fix book), it’s well worth the wait. Roasting tomatoes in the oven deepens the sweet, rich flavor of tomatoes. This little trick is especially helpful if your using tomatoes from the produce department, which aren’t as vine-ripe as those grown at home. This make-ahead recipe serves about 10, but feel free to double, triple or otherwise multiply depending on your tomato addiction.

 Also, if you’re looking for a top-notch olive oil, I highly recommend the Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Ellydale Organics, a division of NOW Foods.

Slow Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes 250 - thefitfork

I’ve served these little succulent beauties on salads, pizzas, anti-pasta platters, steaks and chopped up and incorporated into so many recipes. They also make a healthy snack just plucked straight off the pan. Enjoy!

So, if you planning to be in Spain in August on the last Wednesday of the month, don’t miss La Tomatina. This is perhaps the world’s largest food fight – with tomatoes being the only thing thrown! Held in the small town of Bunol (near Valencia), this event draws in more than 50K people who pelt each other with more than 100 metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes!

What is your favorite fruit or veggie of summer?  Would you rather eat a tomato or throw it? Let’s connect in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

Slow Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes
Print Recipe
Celebrate summer all year long by roasting up several batches of these succulent, sweet roasted tomatoes -- so much better than sun dried!
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Slow Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes
Print Recipe
Celebrate summer all year long by roasting up several batches of these succulent, sweet roasted tomatoes -- so much better than sun dried!
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise and gently squeeze out seeds or scoop them with a spoon --leave as much as the flesh as possible.
  2. Lay the tomatoes, cut side up, in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with the thyme.
  3. Roast tomatoes on center rack for 40 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to roast tomatoes about 20 minutes more, or until caramelized.
  4. Let tomatoes rest until reaching room temperature. The tomatoes will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or for up to 6 months in the freezer.
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