Almost six years ago, I started experimenting with making my own edible race fuel. There weren’t as many options on the market back then, and I also liked the control I had over ingredients and flavor when making energy gels, jellies and chews from scratch – not to mention saving a ton of money.
Today I’m sharing my recipe for Watermelon Beet & Chia EnergyBlocks that are surprisingly easy to make and take advantage of the inherent health and performance benefits of the featured ingredients. Read on to get the recipe, nutrition info and details on how you can use these chews in your next marathon, triathlon, obstacle race or other endurance event. Continue reading →
Ahi Tuna, a fish so nice they named it twice! Yup, “ahi” is simply the loosely translated name for “tuna” in Hawaiian. If you love fish, but aren’t familiar with Ahi, you need to make its acquaintance soon – and the Seared Ahi Tuna from the line of Bumble Bee SuperFresh® seafood is a quick, convenient way to make waves and earn raves at the dinner table.
With colder weather just around the corner, I tossed together some of my favorite hearty and vibrantly-hued veggies into a simple yet stunning side dish – Winter Rainbow Veggie Toss with Gingered Lemon Glaze. This healthy vegetable recipe of finely diced purple sweet potato, butternut squash and cauliflower makes a colorful sidekick to the beautiful pink center of seared Ahi but it would also be totally on fleek with other fish or lean proteins. In the summer, this no-cook tuna is the perfect protein to top a crisp, fresh salad and is sure to elevate any lunchbox and get co-worker’s tongues wagging!
I really appreciate that Bumble Bee SuperFresh® Seared Ahi Tuna is wild caught and harvested from sources managed to promote healthy fish stocks for future generations – that’s important to the values held by me and my family. A more selfish benefit however is the lack of nasty fish smell. Thanks to prepping straight from the freezer, there is no off-putting “fishy smell” that sometimes comes with thawing and cooking fish and seafood at home – it’s amazingly fresh tasting and fresh smelling! None of my kids has ever walked in the house and said “ewwwwww”!
So, let’s get this Ahi party started! To “prepare” the Bumble Bee SuperFresh® Seared Ahi Tuna, simply remove from the finely sliced fish from the freezer and vacuum pack wrapping and allow to defrost in the refrigerator for 3 hours. That’s it! The wild caught, premium grade fish is already encrusted with a garlic peppercorn rub and pre-seared to enhance taste and texture. That’s it, that’s all!
While the tuna is thawing, you can prep the veggies for the Winter Rainbow Veggies with Gingered Lemon Glaze. The recipe is super simple to heat up, but there is some elbow grease required to chop all the veggies. For speed, I suggest using an official potato ricer or even a spiralizer on the squash and purple potato, dicing down the spirals afterward. Head down to the recipe below for the full detail!
Are you ready to impress your family and friends with Bumble Bee SuperFresh® products, they’ll naturally assume a lot of time and trouble went into preparing a such fine dining holiday experience. No need to mention that the Bumble Bee SuperFresh® Seared Ahi Tuna is simply “thaw and serve,” that will be our little secret. Head over to the Store Locator or Amazon Fresh to get your hands in this convenient, high quality product that is perfect for both special celebrations and everyday dining. If tuna isn’t your thing, the line of Bumble Bee SuperFresh® also includes Tilapia with Lemon, Pepper & Herbs, Tilapia with Garlic and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salmon with Garlicky Black Pepper and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Salmon with Garden Pesto.
This post is sponsored by Mountain States, however all comments, opinions and enthusiasm are my own.
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!
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
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!
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).
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.
Because 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!
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.
After marinating, remove chops from marinade and discard remaining liquid. Season to preference with salt and pepper.
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).
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.
While lamb is resting, place all ingredients for gremolata in food processor or blender and pulse until partially smooth but with small spinach pieces.
Serve chops with a grilled lemon sauce and drizzle of gremolata.
The inspiration for this super easy recipe is “colcannon,” a traditional Irish dish made from creamy mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. Potatoes and Irish culture or forever linked, as we all learned in history class – at one point leading up to the mid-17th century Great Potato Famin, it was said that the average Irish laborer ate 10 pounds of potatoes a day and for three-fifths of the population it was the primary fuel of life.
Okay, eating such a potato-centric diet causes dietary imbalances, but potatoes ARE a smart choice as a side dish to protein and other fruits and vegetables in your healthy diet. Tubers are packed with wholesome nutrients including complex carbohydrates for quality energy and vitamins and minerals, especially iron, magnesium, vitamin B-6 and vitamin C.
It’s no blarney, you are guaranteed to love my Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways with Blue Cheese Sauce — just remember not to call them French fries, Irish fries is more fitting! The kale pesto is a snap to make in the food processor, and can easily be done while the potatoes are baking in the oven. Make another batch or use leftovers on pasta, fish, chicken, pizza and more. BTW, the pesto is nut-free so everyone can enjoy!
As for prepping the potatoes – you can use a spiralizer, a mandolin, finely julienne by hand or cut into fatter wedges, it’s the cook’s choice! I’ve used tried-and-true Russet potatoes in this dish, you could use whatever variety potato you like – on super busy days, I’ve also even hacked the recipe with frozen shoestring potatoes.
To add a blast of bold to the Irish recipe, I serve Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways with the Big Blue Ultra Premium from Litehouse Foods. This incredibly creamy and rich dressing is made with extra chunks of handcrafted Artisan Blue Cheese for maximum flavor—a bowl filled for dunking is like a pot of gold at the end of a cheese-lover’s rainbow.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Scrub, dry and leave peel on potatoes. Use spiralizer, mandolin or sharp knife to cut potatoes into ⅛" to 1/4” thick pieces. If preferred, cut potato into 1/3” wedges.
Place the strips (or wedges) in large bowl and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper, tossing to coat well.
Bake thin fries for 35 to 40 minutes, using tongs to toss halfway through cooking time. Wedge fries may need to cook for 5 to 10 additional minutes.
Thin fries are done when at least half are crispy and golden brown. Thicker wedge fries will be turning golden brown on the sides.
While fries are baking, add kale, olive oil, salt, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and almonds to food processor and pulse until very finely chopped and ingredients incorporated.
Remove fries from oven and toss with pesto while still hot. Serve with blue cheese dressing drizzled on top or served to the side as a dip.
First of all, Happy Father’s Day to the dads! I’m cooking dinner over here for my own special dad and will be hooking him up with this healthy salad. Grilling up a hunk of meat and serving it atop a bed of leafy greens is definitely my specialty – you could say I’m an expert and an addict! As far as obsessions go, at least it’s a healthy one and I’m super excited to share it with my father and the other dads in my life.
Message fpr Dad’s Birthday “You are a Prime Cut aged to perfection.”
If I had my way, I’d be grilling a juicy, tender USDA Prime tenderloin for my salad every night – ahh, but I have children going to college. I know my dad understands — if he doesn’t I hope he remember how I hooked him up with some of the best ribeyes for his birthday.
However, using a marinade is a simple solution that transforms a tough (and thusly less expensive) cut of beef into delicious, succulent slices of heaven for your salad – or any type meal. The acidic liquids used in marinade help to break down tough muscle fibers found in beef cuts like chuck, round, flank, skirt and others. These toothsome cuts can be marinated for a minimum of 4 hours to 24 hours to improve tenderness and add flavor – don’t marinate any longer though because the texture will turn mushy. Inherently tender cuts of beef (like tenderloin, ribeyes and such) can be marinated too, but just to add flavor –the optimal time is about 30 mintutes of soak time, don’t go any longer than 2 hours because of the mush factor. Oh, and when marinating for any purpose, always keep meat soaking in the fridge (not on the counter) and discard any marinade that has come into contact with raw meat.
I’ve been putting together a post for BeefLovingTexans.com on Marinating Beef 101 – it’s yet to be published, I’ll let you know when it is! In the meantime, check out the Basic Beef Marinade Recipe I put together for them (and also the one I use in the recipe below). What I love about this super simple marinade recipe is that it is fantastic “as-is,” but can be spiced up with your choosing of any herb, seasoning, alternate juice or fermented sauce. The possibilities are endless, just stick to the “one-third, one-third, one-third” format.
Food for Fathers | Lemon Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Persimmons
This nutritious beef salad made with grilled flank steak is topped with charred lemons and persimmons and makes a lovely entree for summer outdoor entertaining.
1 1.5 lb flank steak
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
4 lemons, halved
1 large red onion, sliced crosswise into 4 thick disks
1 bunch green onions with tops
2 persimmons (or can substitute peaches or another fruit of choice)
4 ounces crumbled Feta cheese
Add trimmed flank steak, lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil and garlic to zip top bag. Seal closed and turn several times to coat meat. Place in refrigerator to marinate for 6 hours to over night. Remove and discard all marinade, pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
Bring grill to approximately 400 F degrees and grill flank steak for approximately 10 - 12 minutes, turning halfway through. Steak will be done at medium rare when instant-read meat thermometer pulls at 135 F degrees in thickest part of steak. Set on cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Ten minutes into grilling, add lemons,red onion and persimmons cut side down on grates. Grill alongside beef and remove when softening and have grate marks. Toss on green onions during last 2 minutes of grilling, they will cook fast.
Remove veggies from grill, let cool a bit and then slice up into desired size. Add to platter of spring mix lettuce.
Slice flank steak thinly across the grain. Add to top of salad, sprinkle with feta cheese and serve with dressing of choice.
It’s a New Year and I’ve made a pledge to continue yet another year of striving to be the best me I can be. I’ll stay on this path (although there are always a few detours) by making nutritious food choices, exercising in some way every day, stepping outside my comfort zone with personal challenges and just being at peace with myself. While I don’t have a lot of resolutions (sounds so shaming), I do have one oath of an epicurean nature to make – never make a rash judgment that prevents a delicious healthy food trend from meeting my mouth.
What delicious healthy food trend, you ask? I’m talking about avocado toast, the creamy and crunchy hookup that has been buzzing all over the Internet. I’ve seen avocado toast in some form or fashion on every social media channel imaginable in the last few months, but I dismissed the toast and topping as not protein-rich enough for my diet (although I don’t mind eating an entire avocado in one sitting – wink, wink).
But then, I had a moment of clarity yesterday while trying to come up with a quick healthy meal from the pantry – what about tuna fish?! I always keep a few cans of tuna from Bumble Bee Seafoods to elevate salads, sandwiches and simple ingredients into yummy and healthy meals. For example, my recipe for Fiesta Tuna Quinoa Salad is still a make-ahead favorite for a whirlwind week as is my Speedy Salad Nicoise.
Tuna is a simple (and frugal) way to add a host of nutrients to your diet, including lean protein, healthy fat, and important vitamins and minerals. I’m a fan of the single-serve, 2.5 ounce pouches of Bumble Bee® Premium Albacore Tuna and Light Tuna because the packages don’t require a can opener, messy draining, or any cooking!
Lightly brush tops of bread with olive oil and set under broiler until lightly brown on top. Remove from oven and set aside.
Cut avocado in half, remove seed and score flesh inside of skin. With a spoon, scoop out one half of the scored avocado and add to bowl with lemon juice, garlic and sea salt. Mash together very well. Add in the other half of scored avocado and mix lightly to combine – this will keep a chunkier texture.
Spread equal portion of avocado mixture on the top of each toast. Top each toast with just a little over ½ ounce of tuna fish and sprinkling of radish slices.
In another small bowl, wish together Greek yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest and hot pepper sauce until incorporated.
Drizzle lemon crema over tops of toast and garnish with pea shoots.