I’ve been an “elite” runner sponsored by the Texas Beef Team now for at least 6 years and am not slowing down. Okay, okay, my pace-per-mile may have bumped up a teeny tad due age (hey, I’m 50!) but I credit eating lean beef, in large part, to staying fit, fast, and on fire! More on that later.
Running aside, another thing that’s not slowing down is my love for grilling, even in the fall and winter months. Thanks to more delightful than frightful weather in the Lone Star State, I get to grill nearly the entire year ‘round. For the holidays, you can often catch me out on the patio, grilling up something to be very thankful for – like this Cranberry Orange Flank Steak. Read on to get more deets and the full recipe! Continue reading →
Texas weather is wacky. It can be a real treat . . . or a total trick with hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, thunderstorms and flooding. But, today we got a real treat as the highs dropped down from nearly 90 degrees yesterday to a predicted 65 today.
Finally, it feels like fall and I’m suddenly in the mood for soup. However, less in the mood for heading to the grocery store on a Friday afternoon before Halloween. No need to fight the monster shopping crowd, my Turmeric Egg Drop Soup with Noodles comes together in mere minutes with simple items from my pantry and produce bin scraps. Read on to get the recipe. Continue reading →
Disclaimer: I was provided compensation for the development of this recipe and my time at #FreshSummit, however this blog post, my opinions and enthusiasm are provided complementary!
I was in Orlando earlier in the month for Fresh Summit 2016, a massive trade show that brings together produce industry peeps from around the world to showcase innovation, provide inspiration and track trends. With more than 1,100 exhibitors on the expo floor, there were fruits, veggies, nuts, and fresh packaged foods at every turn. But, were there meatballs? Why, yes, there were!
That’s right; I was cooking up a storm again for Litehouse Foods in their beautiful, backyard inspired booth. With football playing on the big screen, a spread of apple cider and snacks, and good eats coming from the kitchen (including my Sriracha Lime Meatballs), this was the ultimate homey hangout.
Hopefully in your house, the crowd gathering for these (Slow Cooker) Beef Meatballs with Sriracha Lime Sauce will not be smaller than at the packed expo. Although, there WILL be a crowd (just sayin’) becase this super simple, slow cooker recipe is a real weekend AND weeknight winner. Just toss in a short list of ingredients into a Crock Pot, pour over a bottle of their new Srirarcha Lime Dressing and walk away. In a couple hours, you’ve got the ultimate football party appetizer to skewer up on toothpicks or a fusion-inspired, “take-out” take off dinner that you can serve with the slow cooker sauce over rice. My kids loved it!
The Sriracha Lime Dressing is a new “sweet heat” product from Litehouse Foods that you can find in the fridge shelves of your produce department – they also make a Mango Habanero version. What I love about these two dressings is that they are super flavorful without being off the charts hot, only have 20 calories per serving, and are made with fresh ingredients that you’ve heard of – no weird chemicals or preservatives. You can also try this dressing as a glaze on chicken, dip for your spring rolls, or drizzle for your salads and wraps.
*I’ve also provided alternate instructions for the sauce in case you can’t find this dressing.
Serve meatballs over rice for supper or on a little bed of rainbow slaw for a healthy, balanced appetizer!
What are you cooking in your slow cooker these days? Can you take the heat or do you like things milder? Big plans, races, events for fall — I’m doing a Spartan Beast this weekend! Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer
(Slow Cooker) Beef Meatballs with Sriracha Lime Sauce
Get the party (or dinner) started in spicy-sweet style with this crazy easy recipe that uses frozen meatballs and salad dressing. Lots of protein, low carb.
Life 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!
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.
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.
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® also makes a pizza sauce that is out of this world!
Use it on pizza or spread it on a panni!
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
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 !
Swoon, Seared Scallops on Baked Rice Stick in Ginger Beer Broth! This Asian-inspired recipe might make your guests think they’re dining in a fancy restaurant, but it’s surprisingly fast and easy. I love to use Sea Scallops in my recipes, they are elegant in a “small plate” sort of way, yet satisfyingly meaty as a full meal. Plus, they are extremely speedy to prepare and are a great source of lean protein with just 112 calories, 1 gram of fat, 23 grams of protein and Omega 3s for 100 grams of scallop (about 4 fairly large ones).
You can find scallops in your market’s seafood department, but I prefer the Sea Scallops from Sizzlefish.com. They source scallops from the North Atlantic and pick only the best — they are off the hook, crazy good and convenient dry-packed, flash frozen in individual portions, and shipped straight to my door. No water or chemicals are added, I just get the rich flavor of unadulterated scallops that I can enjoy so many creative ways.
I was inspired by the deep-fried rice stick that you so often get in Thai food joints – I wondered if there was a healthier way to prepare it. So, I brushed the dry noodle bundles with Coconut Oil Infusions -Garlic from Ellyndale (a gourmet food line from Now Foods that includs cooking and finishing oils) and baked at 350F degrees for 20 minutes – it worked! They were a tiny bit toothy, but once simmered back into the ginger beer reduction, the result was divine!
Heat oven to 350 F degrees. Brush tops and bottoms of uncooked rice stick (noodle) bundles with coconut oil. Place on baking sheet and back for 18 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside on paper towel to absorb any remaining oil.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet and saute shallots over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until caramelized. This will take 3 to 4 minutes, add garlic in last remaining minute. Remove a few caramelized shallots from skillet and set aside for garnish.
Add ginger beer, soy sauce and red onion flakes to skillet with cooked shallots. Cook over medium until boiling, add baked rice stick nests and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, flipping rice nests over halfway through. Cook scallops while this is finishing.
To cook scallops, add remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil to a small skillet and bring to medium-high heat. Add scallops to skillet and sear on one side for approximately 3 minutes or until browning and releasing to flip. Flip scallop over and cook an additional 1 ½ minute. Season with coarse sea salt, if desired.
To serve, add half of ginger beer broth to shallow bowl, add two rice stick nests and four scallops. Garnish with green onions. Repeat for remaining serving.
So, how does a plate of pasta fit in with my higher protein diet? Let me tell you! As many of you know, I’ve been eating a higher protein diet for the last several years and really scaled back the amount of carbs that come in the form of bread, baked goods, rice . . . and pasta! You may have read one or two of my posts on the importance of protein, there have been many!
A higher protein diet helps me stay lean and mean for running, Crossfit, yoga and all my other fitness endeavors. Oh yeah, and for LIFE — that especially!
As a long-time athlete, I decided it was time to take a closer look at what I’ve been eating and how wit as or was not fueling my goals. While carbs have their time and place on my plate (like leading up to and during an endurance event and, of course, pretty much any and all vegetables whenever I want), kicking up my protein intake has really helped me build some much-needed muscle I need to stay competitive as I creep up into the shadows of being 49 years old!
So, until I recently found the Explore Asian line of higher-protein pastas, I had been eating my beef ragu on top of zucchini, my stir-fry on top of spinach and my chicken noodle soup without, err, noodles – you get the idea! As much as I love the extra servings of veggies, sometimes it’s nice and comforting to have pasta to twirl around on your fork or slurp from a spoon. Explore Asian has given me back pasta options – and options that are ridiculously healthy and can be quickly cooked into a nutritious meal that fills me up and helps me stay lean and strong. I’m winning already!
All in all there are five flavors, but I especially love these three Explore Asianproducts- Black Bean Spaghetti, Edamame Spaghetti and Thai Brown Rice Noodles. Every batch is made with the finest, organic NON-GMO ingredients that are also vegan, gluten free, organic, Kosher certified and come in low on the Glycemic Index (around 20). Additionally, Explore Asian has about 400% more protein and fiber and 60% fewer carbs than other pasta making them a great option for diabetics, vegetarians or those following a low-carb, high-protein diet!
I’m sharing a yummy, easy “pasta” recipe (Edamame Spaghetti with Kumquats) using the Edamame Spaghetti from Explore Asian the pasta, coming straight out of the bag, is simply made from edamame beans and water, that’s it! One serving of this bean-based pasta offers 24g of protein in a 2 ounce dry serving – this is pretty much spot on with the recommended 25 – 30g recommended per meal. You don’t really need to add any additional protein, but I threw on a few extra edamame beans to get to the upper range and flavored it up with some zesty kumquats and feta cheese.
The pasta is so easy to boil up too! It basically cannot be overcooked and the fiber content from the beans offers a great texture that keeps this pasta in a constant state of just-right al dente! This means the pasta products will work well in a crock pot and left overs hold up beautifully for reheating the next day! Check out this other recipe I made earlier in the year with the Black Bean Spaghetti — Black Garlic & Steak Curry!
You can find Explore Asian gluten-free pastas at Whole Foods, Costco and Fairway stores as well as at http://www.explore-asian.com/. Costco is now even selling the Edamame Spaghetti in 2lb boxes!
Try this gluten-free, organic, high-protein pasta out for yourself! If you do, take a picture of your recipe using Explore Asian products and enter for a chance to win a $100 gift card to Whole Foods. Head over to the recipe database for inspiration, get cooking, and then send a photo of your finished dish to email@example.com no later than December 24, 2015.
Do not mess with my beef. People have been eating red meat since the dawn of time and lived to tell about it. In fact, beef and other red eats fueled their bodies with some pretty dam good nutrients to help them conquer and recover from the day. I say this in the light of all the “red meat causes” cancer hullaballoo in the media this past week.
That is such media hype. In fact, the International Agency for Research on Cancer itself was divided on whether or not to finger point red meat (beef, lamb, pork, etc) as a “probable” source of cancer. Most scientists agree that it is unrealistic to isolate a single food as a cause of cancer from a complex dietary pattern further complicated by lifestyle and environmental factors.
So, I’m going to keep on eating beef.Just try and stop me! Here’s a new favorite weeknight recipe I’ve been making the family. It uses one of my favorite cuts of beef – top sirloin steak. Sirloin is just such a versatile cut of beef – it’s not too pricey, it’s lean without being tough, and perfect for a range of cooking methods including grilling, pan searing and stir-frying.
This recipe for Black Garlic, Beef and Bean Curry is amazing. The secret ingredient is Black Garlic, a new-to-me ingredient that you can find in your produce section or Friedas.com. It’s soft and mellow and packed with umami wonderfulness – it’s been fermented in soy sauce and aged. You HAVE to try this and also need to discover over friends favorite finds this week at Happy Fit Mama’s High Five Friday!
So, do you have any concerns over eating red meat? How many times a week do you eat beef? Are you sick of media hype over every single thing in the world? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer
Black Garlic, Beef and Bean Curry
Put a little "black magic" into your weeknight dinner with this easy skillet meal that features black garlic fermented and aged to amazing umami perfection.
Bring large pot of water to boil and boil noodles according to product directions. Drain and set aside.
Lightly coat large skillet with oil and quickly cook sirloin strips with black garlic for approximately 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from pan while still somewhat pink in the center. Set aside; this will be stirred back in when recipe is finished.
Add mushrooms, green beans and ¼ cup of water to skillet, cover and let steam for 2 minutes. Take lid off and add curry paste, soy sauce, fish sauce and coconut milk. Stir to blend.
Add drained noodles to skillet and stir until evenly coated. Cook until sauce is reduced, about 3 – 5 minutes. Stir cooked beef into recipe. Add Sriracha sauce, to taste, for desired level of hotness.
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.