Chai-Spiced Potato Muffin Bars are Spuds for Speed!

This post is sponsored by Potatoes USA  however all opinions, comments, recipes and enthusiasm are my own!

Potatoes are a healthy source of energy-providing carbs for the athlete.

Ever heard the expression “all meat and no potatoes”?

Ironically, this old-school insult means, “Dude, you’re fat!” But, many would probably assume the opposite in this high-protein diet world where we’re all freaking out over carbs. Yes, while protein is good, so are carbohydrates. I’m not talking about sugary or highly-processed carbs that are stripped of their inherent wholesomeness, I’m talking about complex carbohydrates – like the very healthy potato.

Can I get a virtual high-five for the potato?!

As a lifelong athlete, I’ve used potatoes as part of my training diet year after year. Potatoes are an on point food choice to help fuel an active lifestyle. Spuds for speed, that’s what I’ve always told people! Potatoes are packed with complex carbs to provide the energy my body and brain needs to train, compete and recover optimally. Because they are unearthed from the ground, potatoes are also a great source of minerals including potassium, iron and magnesium. Athletes need these things in abundance and that’s why potatoes are actually a common sight along the courses of ultra-marathons, Ironmans and century rides.Pull ups with a 10 lb bag of potatoes!Oh, and you can use a 10-lb. bag of potatoes for a pull-up challenge!

Other potato perks — they come in their own wrappers, are simple to cook, extremely versatile in recipes and are inexpensive – I just love the cleverness of Mother Nature! If you need a healthy,             balanced meal on the quick and cheap, it’s a loaded baked potato piled high with all the leftovers in your fridge for the win.

Pull up with 10 pound bag of potatoes

Another way I love to eat potatoes, just roasted in a pan with some olive oil.

If you’re getting bored with potatoes, think creatively. There are so many other ways to enjoy them than the traditional baked potato. Plus, there is a rainbow array of varieties including white, red, russet, yellow, purples, fingerlings and petite potatoes. While my go-to side dish the night before an endurance event is a simple baked potato with salt, I am way more potato crazy in the weeks leading up to a marathon or long beastly obstacle race. Mashed, minced, toasted, riced, pureed, grilled, spiralized, oven-fried … whew, I’m the Bubba Gump of potatoes.

Chai Spice Potato Muffin Bars

Today I’m sharing a unique and family-approved way to eat your potatoes that includes a healthy balance of protein – and, by the way, a medium (5.3 ounce) potato has more than 3g of protein on its own! My recipe for Chai-Spiced Potato Muffin Bars uses the fluffy innards of a baked potato along with Greek yogurt, eggs and a scoop of protein powder to create a marvelously moist “bar” that has the texture of a muffin. Each muffin bar has only 70 calories and no sugar, but 10 grams of energy-boosting carbs and more than 6 grams of protein. Plus, between the potato and protein powder, there’s no need to use any type of flour, other grain or filler, meaning these muffin bars are gluten-free.

Chai Spice Potato Muffin Bars are gluten-free, sugar-free and a smart way for runners, obstacle course racers, triathletes and other endurance athletes to fuel up and recover optimally.

I devour these Chai-Spiced Potato Muffin Bars for pretty much any occasion – breakfast, pre-workout fuel, post-workout recovery snack, and dolloped with fruity yogurt for a healthy dessert. I betcha these special spud snacks won’t last long at your house. That’s why I always bake two batches and freeze bars from the second batch individually in zip-top bags for grab-and-go munching – they are always thawed out after my workout!

Get spud smart and get more information about how potatoes power performance at PotatoGoodness.com/performance!

How are you putting potatoes on your plate? Favorite recipe? What’s the last endurance event  you tanked at? tanked at? Do you think you needed more carbs?! Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer

Chai Spice Potato Muffin Bars
Chai-Spiced Potato Muffin Bars
Print Recipe
Fuel your next run or workout with this nutritionally balanced energy bar that will optimize performance -- the potatoes provide healthy carbs for energy plus potassium for hydration.
Servings Prep Time
8 bars 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 bars 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Chai Spice Potato Muffin Bars
Chai-Spiced Potato Muffin Bars
Print Recipe
Fuel your next run or workout with this nutritionally balanced energy bar that will optimize performance -- the potatoes provide healthy carbs for energy plus potassium for hydration.
Servings Prep Time
8 bars 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 bars 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: bars
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375 F degrees.
  2. Wash and dry potatoes and pierce around sides with fork. Place in center of microwave and cook on high for approximately 4 minutes, or until yielding when squeezed and soft and fluffy inside. Cut in half, and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Using a tablespoon, scoop pulp of potato and place in blend, discarding skins. Add eggs, Greek yogurt and ¼ cup of the milk and blend until smooth. Next, pulse in vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and white pepper until just combined.
  4. In small bowl, mix together baking soda, salt, white pepper, and protein powder. Pulse this mixture into the blender in batches until smooth, adding the additional milk if batter seems to thick.
  5. Prepare 9” x 9” rimmed baking pan with cooking spray. Pour in batter and bake for approximately 14 to 16 minutes or until turning lightly golden brown and toothpick pulls clean from the center. Let cool for 30 minutes and cut into 8 bars.
  6. Dust with additional cinnamon and a bit of powdered sugar, if desired.
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Tidings of Comfort Food & Joy – Grilled Cheese Steak, Bacon Mac, Chicken Soup ‘n More

Today, I am bringing you tidings of comfort (food) and joy in honor of National Comfort Food Day (December 5th). I believe it’s no coincidence that this feel-good food holiday is falling on a Monday. And, not just any Monday, but the day after I struggled through a cold, windy and rainy marathon.

jen-and-jonathan-san-antonio-marathon-2016Honestly, I’m still feeling a little chilled to the bone, depleted, and licking battle wounds, and embracing the opportunity to take a MAJOR rest day, hang out in my PJs and fuzzy slippers, and make comfort food my new best friend.

Y’all know I typically eat reasonably, mostly clean . . . but I’m never going to deny myself food I’m craving for comfort every now and then. Sometimes your body is telling you to eat these things for a reason, other times it’s strictly soul satisfying. Regardless, when you let go of the guilt and give your food worries a rest day, it tastes even better!

Brazilian Grilled Cheese Steak SandwichBrazilian Grilled Cheese Steak Sandwich – This is what happens when a Philly Cheese Steak meets an American Grilled Cheese meets a Brazilian Bauru sandwich? You can thank me later. Recipe originally developed for my friends at BeefLovingTexans.com, and shared for you at bottom of post!

Brazilian Grilled Cheese Steak Sandwich ith Jalapeno Chimichurri is a delicious lunch or dinner that they whole family will love.

Bacon & Blue Cheese Mac – Ahh, most any pasta dish is comforting, but mac and cheese is a like coming home after being away from loved ones for too long. The addition of blue cheese and bacon makes the reunion even better!

Bacon & Blue Cheese Mac

Comforting Chicken & Rice Soup – When it’s drafty and cold, and your feeling run down and even under-the-weather, this easy chicken and rice soup comes to the rescue in a snap. And, while slurping up a big bowl is comforting to the core, it’s also a healthy choice!

Comforting Chicken and Rice Soup

Simply the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies – They are not sugar-free, calorie-free nor carb-free, but these buttery, chewy chippers are a treat worth treating yourself to!

jennifer fisher thefitfork best chocolate chip cookie

Root Beer Float Fudge –  Imagine if you could have the yummy flavor of root beer and vanilla ice cream in fudge format? Well, you can thanks to this recipe I develop a few years back for the magazine Simple & Delicious. While, I wouldn’t eat the whole pan at once, I certainly say CHEERS to a piece for a sweet treat.

2013_07 rootbeer float fudge

So, what is your go-to comfort food? Do you prefer sweet or savory? What are you making for dinner tonight?! Please share in the comments, XOXO- Jennifer 

Brazilian Grilled Cheese Steak Sandwich
Tidings of Comfort Food & Joy – Beefy Grilled Cheese, Bacon Mac, Chicken Soup ‘n More
Print Recipe
Brazilian Bauru meets Pilly Cheesesteak meets an American diner grilled cheese -- this easy pannini style sandwich makes a delicious lunch or dinner.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Brazilian Grilled Cheese Steak Sandwich
Tidings of Comfort Food & Joy – Beefy Grilled Cheese, Bacon Mac, Chicken Soup ‘n More
Print Recipe
Brazilian Bauru meets Pilly Cheesesteak meets an American diner grilled cheese -- this easy pannini style sandwich makes a delicious lunch or dinner.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Pre-make chimichurri by adding all ingredients to small blender or food processor. Pulse on and off in 10 second increments to break up ingredients into coarse sauce. Set aside.
  2. Heat large skilled to medium-high. Add sliced sirloin and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes. Beef will be ready to remove from pan once lightly browned on edges and pink has been just taken off center. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.
  3. n same skillet (reserved with a tiny bit of beef fat and bits) add onion slices and cook over medium high, stirring as need, for about 6 to 8 minutes or until softened and beginning to caramelize. Add beef back into skillet with onions along with tomatoes, salt and red pepper flakes; stir to combine.
  4. Meanwhile, heat Panini press or clean skillet to medium-high heat.
  5. Butter outer sides of two slices of bread and layer each side with mozzarella. Place slice of bread, butter side down, on pan and top with ¼ of beef mixture. Add top piece of cheese and bread.
  6. Cook for approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side until bread turning golden brown and cheese melting. Repeat for remaining sandwiches.
  7. To serve, lift up tops of sandwiches and drizzle with chimichurri. Serve hot.
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Asparagus and Feta Egg Scramble – Breakfast in 10 minutes

Are you scrambling to get out the door on time when the sun rises and skipping (or stumbling) right past breakfast? Missing your morning meal is a mistake for sure – I always end up getting “hangry” mid-morning and end up molesting the vending machine. That’s why I like to plan ahead just a bit to have ingredients on hand to make a quick fix like the Asparagus Egg Scramble with Feta Cheese  I’m sharing today or to prep a make-ahead meal  such as my Barn Raiser Beef & Egg Casserole (freezable in individual portions).

sparagus and Feta Egg Scramble is a simple, protein-rich breakfast solution that comes together in 10 minutes.

So, if you’ve got 10 minutes in the morning, you have a whole 600 seconds to get cracking on this Asparagus Egg Scramble with Feta Cheese. If you prep veggies the night before, you might be able to get it done more quickly!  This easy egg recipe also makes a lightning-speed dinner solution on those nights when orchestrating a complicated meal is absolutely, positively out of the question.

This is how to get the speed you need -asparagus, spinach and tomatoes sautés together on the stove top while eggs are scrambled on a nearby burner. When the two skillets are just seconds from being done, just slide out the contents from one into the next and stir!

Asparagus Egg Scramble with Litehouse Foods Feta Seasons

I’ve give this breakfast dish some salty, tangy zip thanks to the distinctive flavor of feta cheese – love using the new Simply Artisan Reserve Feta Cheese Crumbles, the container sprinkles these tiny cheese pieces just like a grated Parm. It’s genius!  Look for it, along with Bue Cheese Seaons in the specialty cheese section of your local grocery store.

I’ll be sharing this recipe on the Expo Floor Sunday morning, Jun 5th,  at the International Deli-Dairy-Bakery Food Show in Houston, Texas. Swing on by, if you’re attending!

Asparagus & Feta Egg Sandwich

Meanwhile, make an easy feat of feasting with the Asparagus Egg Scramble with Feta Cheese recipe! Serve straight from the skillet or spoon atop toasted whole grain toast – I’ve even bookended between bread to eat sandwich-style when rushing out the door. Enjoy!

What is your biggest hurdle getting out the door in the morning? Eggs, how do you take them? Are you running or competing in anything this weekend? Please share in the comments — XOXO, Jennifer

Asparagus & Feta Egg Scramble
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
8 mintues
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
8 mintues
Asparagus & Feta Egg Scramble
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
8 mintues
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
8 mintues
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In medium bowl, whisk eggs and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Spray 12” skillet with cooking spray and bring to medium-low heat. When hot, add eggs and stir fairly vigorously using spatula, for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. In another 12” skillet, add olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add asparagus and carrots and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Next add spinach, tomatoes and garlic, stirring frequently and continuing to sauté for about 3 additional minutes or until spinach is wilting.
  4. Keep eggs on medium-heat and add sautéed vegetable mixture, stirring to incorporate.
  5. Remove from heat and sprinkle with feta cheese crumbles.
  6. Season additionally with salt and pepper, if needed.
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