Have you ever shown up at a holiday party, office event, potluck gathering or even hosted your own shindig and been that person who brought the way too healthy appetizer to share? As a typically clean-eating, food-as-fuel sort of girl, I’ve been guilty of that. It was the dish everyone avoided like getting the flu on Christmas Eve, another holiday tragedy I wish not to repeat. In the spirit of “let’s live a little,” I’m sharing my recipe for Pull Apart Bacon Blue Cheese Bread.
No one can resist the flavor bomb which comes from piling bacon and blue cheese on cut-up, buttered-up biscuits. I ran all the miles and lifted all the weights this year, and I don’t feel one bit regretful about incorporating this easy appetizer into my holiday entertaining (and eating) plans. I noticed that guests didn’t seem to mind Pull Apart Bacon Blue Cheese Bread either, not one little (bacon) bit! Read on to get the quick and easy cheese bread recipe: Continue reading →
Set aside part of Sunday, or any day really, to meal prep myHoney Garlic Slow Cooker Shredded Chickenthat can be used in the four recipes that I share in this post — its an economical and convenient way to set yourself up for success on your health, fitness or weight-loss journey.
The slow-cooker chicken is spread divided up to make 4 different recipes covering breakfast, lunch and dinner — that means you can stock your fridge with 16 individually-portioned meals than can be enjoyed throughout the week or frozen for use later. Read on to get the shopping list, recipes and execution strategy. Continue reading →
The holiday season is imminent and busy shoppers are filling their baskets with hams, birds and beef roasts to deck out dinner table. But, let’s not talk turkey, let’s talk eggs! With Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the other equally celebratory winter holidays that people hold near and dear, many of us will find ourselves hosting guests. And, in my experience, guests are always ready to eat from sun up to sun down. I’m happy to all my ravenous revelers, in fact I love cooking for company — I just don”t like to feel rushed in the morning.
My easy Artichoke and Blue Cheese Egg Bake comes to the rescue on so many levels – it’s simple to make, can be prepped the night before and kept in the fridge until next morning, can be make in individual servings or in one big family-style pan, and . . .most, it just tastes delicious!
Artichoke and Blue Cheese Egg Bake makes is a beautiful recipe for brunch or breakfast. Lovely for holiday entertaining.
Who wants a bland, boring breakfast when the flavors of blue cheese and artichokes are ready to add extra AMAZING to the day?! Also, there are tomatoes and a ton of spinach in this recipe, so it’s also kinda like eating a salad for breafast or brunch. This statement makes even more sense when I tell you that blue cheese dressing is one of the secret ingredients!
I actually posted this egg recipe in January 2104 after developing for Litehouse Foods using their award-wining Simply Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese Crumbles and OPA Blue Cheese Dressing (made with Greek yogurt). Because it has been so popular, I decided to refresh the photos — oh, and also it will be featured in an upcoming 2017 food calendar! Ooh, I wonder if it will be the centerfold — keep you posted!
This is the perfect breakfast to power up for all that upcoming Black Friday shopping or as a simple, light dinner when you come home from the shop-a-thon and need quality protein and healthy veggies for recovery.
What do you like to serve holiday house guests for breakfast? Are you running in a Turkey Trot this week? What has your best shopping deal been so far (I know it’s early) — please share in the comments, XOXO – Jennifer
Artichoke Blue Cheese Baked Eggs
Wake up to bold and beautiful baked eggs featuring artichokes, blue cheese, spinach and tomatoes. Easy to prep night before and then just stick in the oven.
Lightly spray 4 ramekins or small gratin dishes with baking spray. Coarsely chop spinach and divide evenly among dishes.
Drizzle even portions of blue cheese salad dressing over spinach and sprinkle with red onion.
Slice grape tomatoes in half and drain liquid from jar of artichoke hearts. Place tomatoes and artichokes around perimeter of dishes.
Gently crack 2 eggs over top of spinach mixture, taking care not to break yolk. Repeat for remaining 3 personal-sized baking dishes. Sprinkle tops with chives. This may also be made in a 8” to 9” round baking dish with all the ingredients for “family style.”
Place dishes on a rimmed baking sheet and place on center rack of oven. Back for approximately 20 minutes or until egg whites have set and yolk has achieved desired level of doneness.
Remove from oven and sprinkle tops with an even portion of blue cheese crumbles. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
Don’t you just love nectarines?! The sweet juicy goodness of this stone fruit is at a peak in the summer season — so I’ve celebrating with lots and lots of nectarine recipes. Nectarines salads, nectarine smoothies, nectarine salsa — you get the idea!
Yesterday, I confirmed a hunch that nectarines would go together awesomely with bacon and blue cheese – duh! What doesn’t go with bacon and blue cheese?! In order to get straight to the good stuff, let me present Caramelized Nectarines with Bacon & Blue Cheese:
Surprisingly, this decadent sounding summer fruit recipe isn’t all that much of a healthy diet bomb. Fist, you get all the luscious nutrients found in a nectarine like fiber, potassium and quick-sourced quality carbs to provide energy for workouts and life. Plus, the color of nectarines is a dead giveaway that they are loaded with Vitamin A and the antioxidant Beta Carotene.
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.
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!
And, 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 Weekendreally 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
Not only is it Monday, but it’s raining! I’m going to brighten up my mid-day meal with this Strawberry Blue Cuke Salad (aka Strawberry Blue Cheese Salad with Cucumber and Snap Peas), it’s bursting with fresh flavors and a palette of eye-popping colors. It’s definitely the super-delicious, super-healthy silver-lining to being stuck-inside over the lunch hour!
I originally developed this recipe for the Living Litehouse Blog as a way to feature their insanely delicious Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing. Head over there to check out my Four Tips for a Sensational Salad. I know all the salad-eating secrets and how to keep the love for lettuce alive – I should, since I gobble up about 365 big salads a year!!
Meanwhile, make a bowlful of this beautiful goodness and share family-style with those you love. I’m showing this salad as a side today, but I’ll often turn it into apan sauteed shrimp, grilled chicken breast, or chickpeas to add some sustaining protein for the day.
Or, bottle up this easy salad in a mason jar to take for lunch on-the-go at the office, school or gym. Just remember the number one tip with jar salads, put the dressing on the bottom and layer upward according to the durability of the ingredients – heartiest go low, fragile an prone to wilt go higher. Check out more jar salad tips here. Due to my Kitchenaid Spiralizer Attachment addiction, I processed the cucumbers up into twisty-twirly ribbons. But, feel free to use slices or julienned strips. Enjoy!
Prepare cucumbers with spiralizer or use vegetable peeler to make long ribbons by swiping end to end. Place prepped cucumber in colander and rinse away any seeds (even “seedless” have some) and let drain for 5 minutes.
Hull and quarter strawberries.
Cut sugar snap peas in half crosswise or larger ones in thirds. Slice a few open lengthwise at the seam to show off peas inside.
Layer in jar in this order: dressing, cucumbers, strawberries, snap peas, and blue cheese. Or, toss with dressing and serve in bowl or on platter.
Looking for an easy yet elegant salad — a gorgeous plate of early fall flavors that will have co-workers peeking over the cubicle or neighbors knowing at the door? My Steak Salad with Fig, Blue Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette will have you running to the grill for some last minute steak-making before Jack Frost rears his ugly head. Honestly, in Austin, the fall is the BEST time of year for grilling!
And, time to break out the compression socks, finally!
Check out my favorite brand, Vim & Vigr — I’m an ambassador for this fun, quirky and super stylish sock company! Their Instagram profile also equally energizing!
This salad features top sirloin steak, a lean cut of beef that packs a great nutritional punch for athletes and active individuals with only about 150 calories and 6.5 grams fat for a 3 ounce serving plus 26 grams protein and lots of iron and other essential vitamins and minerals. The beauty of sirloin is it’s versatility, convenience and (duh) taste – it’s a weekday AND weekend go-to for me. Because sirloin is already a fairly tender cut, there is no need to marinade except to add flavor — my simple pomegranate marinade adds a slightly sweet, super delish dose of that! But, if you are rushed and need to skip marinating, the recipe will still be yummy.
Figs have been so great lately, you may want to make a few more fig recipes before the season is over. Check out the 5 Ways with Fresh Figs from the Simmer and Boil blog at CookingLight.com
Add pomegranate juice, oil, molasses, vinegar, pepper, salt, and thyme to non-reactive boil and whisk together until ingredients are incorporated. Pour into heavy-duty zip-top bag and add sirloin steak(s). Seal top and gently toss a few times to coat meat. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 6 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare vinaigrette by simmering the pomegranate juice in non-reactive saucepan until reduced to 1/3 cup, approximately 9 or 10 minutes. Remove from heat. While still warm, stir in the honey, salt, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil; set aside to cool.
When ready to prepare steaks, heat grill to 400 F degrees. Drain and discard marinade from steaks. Grill steaks for approximately 5 minutes per side, flipping once. Remove from grill when instant read thermometer reaches 135 F degrees when inserted at thickest part of meat. Let rest for at least 5 minutes while prepping salads.
To prepare salad, divide spring mix evenly among four plates. Top with halved figs, pomegranate arils, almonds and blue cheese crumbles. Slice steak thinly across grain and top each salad with 3 to 4 ounces of beef. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve immediately.