I’ve whipped up my version of Hoppin’ John, a traditional Southern dish made with black eyed peas, rice and ham eaten to ensure prosperity in the in the New Year. My Black Eyed Pea Grain Bowl with Spicy Orange Dressing is easy to make and will fuel you up with healthy ingredients to start off 2018 with success!
Read on to find out some of the details behind this New Year’s Day tradition and why I skipped the ham and added an egg, extra veggies and a fabulous spicy citrus dressing to my 20-minute meal. Continue reading →
I have a proposition! I’ll share my 15-minute Beef & Veggie Fried Rice recipe and with all the time you save on dinner, you’ll spend the 1 minute it takes to vote for me in the Eggland’s Best “America’s Best Recipe Contest”! My regional-inspired recipe is for Texas Egg and Steak Hash with Chipotle Street Corn Relish (copied the photo below so you know exactly what to vote for) — thank you, thank you!
Now, onto the 15-minute Beef & Veggie Fried Rice recipe (originally developed for Beeflovingtexans,com) — it’s a win on so many levels. Not only is it a lightening speed dinner solution, it can be kept simple enough that an older kid can make it. Honestly, realizing that my teenage boys were completely capable of cooking dinner every once in a while was a light bulb moment for me. What a relief to know I can call ahead and get them to start dinner on those crazy days when I’m stuck in traffic, sitting at another kid’s sports game or even trying to finish up my own workout.
One of the tricks to cooking the recipe so quickly is super-thinly cut sirloin steak — a method that also stretches my food budget as it makes the meat look like, well, a larger quantity than it actually is! So, just firm up your steak in the freezer for 10 to 30 minutes or before getting after it with a super sharp knife across the grain in razor-thin slices (like 1/8″ or less if you can). When the meat is this thin, it literally takes 3 minutes or less to cook with the stir-fry method — toss in the hot, hot skillet and stir around constantly and quickly just long enough to take the “red” of. Beef should still look pink when you take it off the skillet as it will continue to cook a tiny bit, trust me, it will always be juicy and tender this way! Do NOT leave it in the skillet or wok as you continue to cook the veggies, that will just cause a lot of undesirable toughness.
Another WIN is my recipe also includes a scramble of eggs, an assortment chopped vegetables selected by the young chef (a good trick to get kids to eat more veggies), a simple sauce and pre-prepared rice. Of course, you can cook your rice the old-fashioned way, but in a hurry and with the kids, I either keep those rice pouches from the frozen aisle on hand or meal prep my own and package into portions.
Love to use crunchy nuts for the top, NOW Foods has a great selection of organic options — cashews may be my favorite!
William, the 16-year old chef who picked out all the yummy veggies for this recipe and cooked them up for his mama!
So, no need to call for Chinese take-out to solve dinner – make your own healthier version in less time than it would take the delivery guy to show up. What’s even better than this? Getting the kids in the kitchen while you kick your feet up!
So, do you get your kids in the kitchen to cook? What’s in their repertoire? If you could only have 3 veggies (or fruits) in a stir fry – gasp – what would they be? Please share in the comments below – XOXO , Jennifer
15-minute Beef & Veggie Fried Rice Recipe
Get a vibrant and very healthy fried rice dinner on the table in less time that it would take to wait on delivery -- faster, fitter, fresher and easy enough for older kids to prepare!
Bring large skillet to high medium-heat. Add olive oil and add cut sirloin and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 4 minutes or until no longer red but pink n the middle with edges browning. Remove from heat immediately and drain on paper towels.
Spray same skillet (now empty) with cooking spray. Add eggs, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring vigorously, until scrambled. Scoop out of skillet to rest next to beef.
Place bag of rice in microwave and cook on high for 4 minutes. Or, used 10 ounces of previously prepared rice. Remove and set aside.
Add remaining olive oil to same skillet (now empty again) and stir fry vegetables on medium-high for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp tender. Exact time will depend on size and type of chopped vegetables.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add cooked rice, cooked beef and cooked eggs back to skillet with vegetables. Stir to combine.
Quickly mix together soy sauce and Sriracha. Evenly drizzle over top of mixture and stir well to combine, continue to cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes until heated through.
Ahhh, wouldn’t a tropical vacation be wonderful about now?! You won’t actually feel the sand beneath your toes, but my recipe for Jerk Halibut with TipsyTropical Fruit Salad will whisk you away on a transcendental taste adventure thanks to plenty of Caribbean-inspired flavors. You can use any fish you like for blacking with my jerk seasoning blend, but meaty halibut really satisfies and holds up well in a skillet or on the grill. All the spicy heat of jerk is offset by a cool chopped fruit salad that has been macerating in a tasty tequila dressing.
Now, as you may already know, Halibut is not caught in tropical waters. It’s a cold water fish and Sizzlefish.comdoes a great job with their Alaskan-sourced halibut. But, boy oh boy, how I do love this elegant, steak-like fish that cooks up so light and flaky. Halibut isn’t part of the Paleo Prime fish collection I typically order from Sizzlefish.com (includes a variety of items from Gulf Shrimp to Coho Salmon), but their Halibut is sold in 14 4-ounce pieces that ships flash-frozen on dry ice straight to your door — it would make a nice stash in the freezer!
To prepare fish, unwrap and pat dry with paper towels. Leave skin on underside of halibut if attached.
In small bowl, toss together allspice, cinnamon, brown sugar, red pepper, cloves, cumin, salt and black pepper until combined. Add 2 tablespoons of avocado oil and mix until a paste is formed.
Rub paste over all sides of fish. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of avocado oil (or other high smoke point oil) to large skillet and bring to medium-high heat. Add halibut and sear on each side (front and back or all 4 sides if cut think and long) for several minutes each until spices have formed crust and fish is no longer translucent.
Add all ingredients for fruit salad, except avocado, to bowl. Prepare dressing by whisking together all dressing ingredients in small bowl until combined. Pour dressing over fruit salad. Gently stir in avocados.
To serve, place mount of fruit salad on plate and top with halibut. Season with Sriracha or hot sauce if desired.
Summer on a stick! My recipe for Spicy Shrimp & Watermelon Kebabs is a salute to so many things I love about the warm-weather season – grilling, shrimp, watermelon, being outside and enjoying my family.
It’s also featured in the upcoming August/September issue of Simple & Delicious magazine (available on newstands July 12th). . . I just got an advance copy!
In the magazine, I mention how much my three boys love watermelon.
It never fails that every time I’m cubing the watermelon for this recipe, the kids start circling around like flies – I swear, they can eat it faster than I can prep it!
This is the perfect, light meal to make for the 4th of July weekend – guests will marvel that you grilled watermelon, and it’s so easy!
By the way, I like to use Wild Caught Gulf Shrimp from www.sizzlefish.com They are already peeled, de-veined and frozen with no additives – plus all their products are healthy, high-quality perfectly portioned and have an athlete’s lifestyle in mind! These little babies are shipped right to my door in vacuum-sealed in individual serving size packets (8 shrimp per packet) – that allows me to tweak the recipe based on how many people will be joining for dinner!
I love LOVE salads, many of you know that – I post my salad photos ( #saladselfie #saladrevolution #saladintheATX) nearly every day on Instagram @thefitfork. Often the mounds of lettuce I get at casual restaurants or take-away are pretty skimpy on the protein – this makes me hungry within the hour, no matter how BIG the salad was – that’s one of the reasons I prefer making my salad at home. Protein is so important for people living a fit and active lifestyle – adequate quality protein promotes heart health, helps muscles recover and grow and gives a long-lasting feeling of fullness that prevents unhealthy snacking later in the day. I got a chance to talk about this and the 30 Day Protein Challenge on Good Day San Antonio on 4th of July Morning!
Sharing ways to get more protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner on KENS5 Great Day San Antonio.
There are lots of ways to boost the protein in salads, everyone should be aiming to get 25 – 30 grams of protein per meal adding beans (edamame, garbanzo, and black beans are some of my favorites) and adding a modest amount of nuts with heart-healthy oils like (almonds, walnuts and pistachios are so good) are two ways to reach optimal protein intake – I also love these Snack Crisps from Eat Enlightened. They are baked crunchy from broad (fava) beans and come in a bunch of yummy flavors like Sriracha, Garlic and Barbeque! For only 100 calories, I get an extra 7 grams of protein and lots of satisfying crush – whoohoo, they work as paleo croutons!
Of course, the most direct way to pump up the protein in a salad is by adding lean red meat; chicken, turkey or other poultry; or fish, shrimp or type of seafood. Today, I’m sharing my recipe for Orange Miso Beef Lettuce Wraps along with a collection of other beef salad ideas I curated in a collection for Mode Stories.
Also, I wanted to share with you a yummy snack I’ve been enjoying lately – Eat Nākd from Natural Balance Foods . Eat Nākd bars are basically fruits and nuts “smooshed” together in a nutritious, healthy bar for convenience Eat Nākd Protein Crunch bars are just as delicious and are have a bit of plant-based protein added for sustained energy. Individually wrapped for convenience and available in a ton of tempting flavors (hello chocolate mint), these bars are the perfect way to get some quick energy before a workout or when you need a little pick-me-up to nosh on at the office. They are also vegetarian and Paleo diet friendly; gluten, wheat and dairy free; and have no added sugars or hidden extras. These bars are made in Britain and you can order online with quick delivery – this product totally worth checking out!
Click photo to sign up!
Join the 30 Day Protein Challenge — you’ll learn how to get enough protein in your diet. Or, you’ll discover why you should rearrange the protein you’re already eating — did you know most Americans eat 2/3s of their daily requirement at dinner? It needs to be evenly portioned out through the day! The #ProteinChallenge also gives you access to delicious recipes and support with nutrition tips and a hunger scale to help you optimize your health!
Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 11 to 14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill 11 to 15 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally.
Carve steaks into slices. Place lettuce leaves on serving platter. Evenly layer vegetables onto lettuce leaves. Top evenly with steak. Drizzle with vinaigrette; sprinkle with nuts.
Tip: To pan-broil steaks, preheat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet; cook steaks 12 to 15 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally.
Hey there, so “Sriracha” eating for dinner today? I hope you’re hungry because I’m sharing a simple healthy snack followed with a hearty halibut recipe – both with a spicy Sriracha spin.
The Sriracha brand of Hot Chili Sauce that lit a billion taste buds on fire.
If you haven’t been part this condiment craze, Sriracha is an Asian sauce made from chili peppers, garlic, sugar, salt and vinegar. It first was produced by hand in the early 1980s and is sold in a signature squirt bottle with green cap and bearing a rooster on the front (so, I’ve always called it Rooster Sauce). In recent years, Sriracha has developed a cult-like following, but I’ve always been ahead of the curve when it comes to food and have been using it in my recipes since the early 1990s – while you can get it in your local grocery store today (even Walmart, it’s that mainstream), back then we’d have to venture down to the Asian market in Houston to score a couple bottles.
These days, Sriracha is used just about on everything, not just Thai or other Asian food — you’ll find it used on eggs, meats pizzas, pastas and other entrees as well as a bold flavor for popcorn, chips and nuts. In fact, I’ve been enjoying a couple cans of Sriracha Almonds from Blue Diamond – the flavor is intense and spicy, but not so over-the-top that your taste buds can handle the heat.
We love to enjoy Sriracha Almonds from Blue Diamond just as they are or paired with crispy roasted seaweed for a far eastern-inspired snack. Almonds make a sensible snack any time of day, the protein and heart-healthy fats found in this nut are satiating and take away the “hangries” until mealtime.
I love to make halibut for dinner – it’s such a hearty fish and great source of lean protein. However, the mild, sweet flavor of halibut needs a bit of spicing up in my opinion, so I decided to grind up some of the Sriracha Almonds to create a crunchy topping for this baked shrimp recipe. I’ve paired it with black rich (super rich in antioxidants) and edamame beans for a balanced, nutritious meal.
I’m that fast girl you’ve been warned about. I talk fast, I run fast . . . . and, I like to get my food fast. But NOT fast food, no way. To keep my diet fit and fresh, I like to make the majority of my meals at home, despite the insanely busy schedule I keep. So, while a 30-minute weeknight meal might sound pretty quick to most, I’m kicking it up into super-sonic speed on the typical night with 10-minute, pan-to-plate dinners!
Tonight, I whipped up a far-out, far-east inspired dinner using Teriyaki Chick’n Strips from Gardein. These tasty strips have 15 grams of plant-based protein for a mere 120 calorie cost. They are made with non-GMO soy and wheat, ancient grains and veggies and remarkably have a similar taste and texture to real chicken breast – they are also work for those of you who keep vegan and kosher diets. My husband, a carnivorous guy who would normally turn his nose up at such “nonsense,” didn’t even realize he was eating a meat substitute! I call that winning dinner! #MeetChef
In addition to the Teriyaki Chick’n Strips magic, I employed my favorite busy-night trick and used what I could find in the produce bin to make the remainder of dinner. While the strips were browning for five minutes in the skillet, I quickly chopped up some jicama, carrots and red onion and thawed out shelled edamame that I always keep in the freezer. The Teriyaki Chick’n Strips come with a sauce packet that also I also found to make a serendipitous salad dressing (there was plenty to drizzle on everything)!
This quick and easy meal solution is definitely going to be in my dinner rotation — I now have more time for running fast . . . and running errands!
Gardein makes lots of other yummy, healthy, meatless proteins like Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground, Golden Fishless Filets. Check back next week, because I’ll have a new recipe for you! All Gardein products are found chillin’ in the freezer aisle at your favorite grocery store. Save yourself a dollar with this coupon (available for download until May 31, 2015).
Heat olive oil on medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add thawed chick'n strips and cook for about 5 minutes, flipping once. Remove from heat. Add thawed sauce packet to skillet to coat strips.
Toss carrots, jicama, edamame beans and onion into skillet and stir quickly to coat veggies with sauce, yet not heat them.
Divide chicken and veggies among three plates and sprinkle with cashews. Drizzle with Sriracha sauce, if desired.
The BIG GAME will be here in a little over a week and my guys have been uncharacteristically fussing about the football-watching party preparations. I have some football players, past and present in my house! What television should we watch – in the game room or downstairs closer to the kitchen?Should we play games like ‘squares’ or have a bean bag toss? And, most importantly, what will everyone eat?!
It’s not JUST going to be (root) beer, Buffalo wings and burgers. It’s impossible to be a healthy food and fitness blogger and not bring a little sumptin’ sensible to the shindig. But I’m not talking about a sad little tray of carrot and celery sticks, instead imagine a nutritious array of nibbles that is as exciting and epic as the BIG GAME itself – a HEALTHY SNACK STADIUM!
I created this masterpiece of munch-worthy goodness for Litehouse Foods – they challenged me to put a healthy spin on the increasingly popular and pin-worthy food displays made for football-watching gatherings. The stands are packed with fruit and veggies and the field is covered in healthy salsas and dips made from Greek yogurt. Guests even get an all-access pass to refuel at a sandwich-making station and dig into sidelines loaded up with whole-grain chips and football-decorated eggs!
While the Patriots and Seahawks rumble on the Super Bowl gridiron, I’ll be serving up even more healthy appetizers alongside my Snackadium. Here are a few ideas for healthy snacks that will make you an MVP on game day, any day and every day!
Cilantro Lime Guacamole – Simple, smooth and just so darn good that I have been known to eat the whole bowl at one sitting! A perfect dip for chips or healthier options like carrot, jicama, or zucchini sticks and to use as a spread on your sandwich. If you have leftover guacamole (yeah, right!) or just want to make extra in advance, check out my blog post on How to Freeze Guacamole.
Nutty Slow Cooker Snack Mix – Snack mix is a perennial party favorite, my recipe uses a slow cooker (really!) to make the process stress-free and super tasty. I like to add lots of nuts to my snack mix for healthy fats and extra protein. A sure bet!
Football Deviled Eggs – Are these the cutest eggs ever? And, the good news is you will not go to hell for incorporating them into a healthy diet – eggs are a great source of protein and essential vitamins. I’ve used Greek yogurt instead of the traditional mayo for a slimming swap-a-roo!