One-Pot Balsamic Chicken and Couscous + #Giveaway LitehouseFoods

One Pot Creamy Balsamic Chicken with Couscous - TheFitFork.com

Do you ever look around after preparing a meal and feel like you’ve dirtied up EVERY pot, pan and bowl in your collection? No one ever seems to honor the “I cooked so you clean” rule on those nights when I create a bit too much chaos in the kitchen!  But, wait until you see this delicious recipe I created for the Litehouse Foods blog —  One-Pot Cream Balsamic Chicken and Couscous!  It’s truly a busy-night blessing, only ONE dish and a couple utensils to clean up . . . and did I mention tasty?

This one-pot recipe is a well-balanced, nutritious meal inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, so pour yourself a glass of red wine if you must!  Featuring colorful red tomatoes (I love the little Cherubs) and yellow peppers, everyone’s favorite chicken breasts, whole wheat couscous, creamy balsamic sauce and a finishing crunch or garlicky croutons, I seriously doubt you’ll have any leftovers to scrape out of that one single pot!!

One Pot Balsamic Chicken and Couscous - TheFitFork.com

Please head over to Living Lighthouse to grab this recipe for One-Pot Creamy Balsamic Chicken and Couscous!

So, what’s for dessert? I love having “dressed up” fruit for dessert like my Salted Honey and Ginger Broiled Grapefruit or Watermelon with Fruit Salsa. But if you’re looking for a quick and healthy dessert that won’t dirty up any dishes in the making, how about just sticking some dark chocolate chips into raspberries and eating right out of the carton!

Chocolate Chip Stuffed Raspberries - TheFitFork.com

Win Litehouse Foods Coupons - TheFitFork.comTo encourage you to make some of these yummy recipes, I’m giving away five (5) coupons for Litehouse Food’s Products (they expire on 12/31/15).  Litehouse Foods makes all sorts of fresh products like traditional salad dressings and vinaigrettes; Greek yogurt based dressings and dips; caramels and sweet dips, freeze-dried herbs; artisanal cheeses and more. You can find most of these products in the refrigerated section of your market’s fresh produce section and gourmet cheese area. Two of the coupons are specifically designated for the Artisan Reserve Cheeses including gorgonzola, blue cheese and feta.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

So Good! Slow-Roasted Balsamic Tomato Recipe

Slow-Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes - TheFitFork.comSo good, so good, you see! These slow-roasted balsamic tomatoes transform a simple salad, piece of crusty bread or unadorned eggs into a masterpiece of epic, mouthwatering proportions. You can also use them on pizzas, blend into sauce, serve on an anti-pasta platter or just pluck them right off the pan. Lust-worthy, luscious and loaded with flavor, these tomatoes are super easy to make — however, don’t rush the job, you’ll need at least an hour. The result of this patience is an intensified breadth and depth of flavor that is to die for. The other thing I love about this recipe is that nearly every type of tomato works beautifully, from Cherubs to Campari to Romas. Make a big batch, they keep well in the freezer!

Slow-Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes - TheFitFork.com

Use them on a salad!

Pan Seared Tenderloin Steak with Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes - TheFitFork.com

Use them on a steak!

Are you a tomato-phile or a tomato-phobe? Do you like little grape tomatoes or big beefsteak? Ever tried them slow-roasted?

Slow-Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes - TheFitFork.com
Slow-Roasted Balsamic Tomato Recipe
Print Recipe
This easy recipe is worth the wait -- roasting in the oven deepens the sweet, rich flavor of tomatoes.
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Slow-Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes - TheFitFork.com
Slow-Roasted Balsamic Tomato Recipe
Print Recipe
This easy recipe is worth the wait -- roasting in the oven deepens the sweet, rich flavor of tomatoes.
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise and gently squeeze out seeds or scoop them with a spoon --leave as much as the flesh as possible.
  2. Lay the tomatoes, cut side up, in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with the thyme. Roast tomatoes on center rack for 40 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to roast tomatoes about 20 minutes more, or until caramelized.
  3. Let tomatoes rest until reaching room temperature. The tomatoes will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or for up to 6 months in the freezer.
Recipe Notes


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Pomegranate-Balsamic Pot Roast with Baby Bella Mushrooms Recipe {+ Next Day Meal}

Last week I attended a cooking class called “Indulge the Heart,” and indulge I did – but in a healthy way.  The Heart Hospital of Texas in conjunction with the Texas Beef Council showed us all how to make a delicious date-night meal from a healthy lean cut of beef.  Chef Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House in Dallas, Texas and cardiologist Dr. Paul Coffeen enlightened the group on the health benefits of beef and shared healthy tips for cooking it up.  I’ve never been shy about my love of lean beef and the role it plays in my training and recovery diet, it’s also no surprise that I get around in beef-circles and I already knew these two beef experts – I’d say they were preaching to the choir!

heart health beef chamberlain coffeen fisher

Our menu included an Italian Post Roast with Sweet Peppers, Olives & Capers from the Healthy Beef Cookbook – it was superb!   Not at all like the stringy meat and mushy carrot pot roasts that I remember from my childhood (not that MY mom ever cooked one like that). It’s hard to believe I’ve never actually cooked a pot roast myself, but the chef and doctor sure sold me on the idea and inspired me to come up with my own recipe. Plus, when I saw that Angus Chuck Roast was on special for $2.97 a pound at Sam’s Club, I couldn’t resist. For us fitness types, it’s reassuring to know that pot roast today is a much leaner hunk of meat than it was back in the day. A three-ounce serving has just 5.7 grams total fat (1.8 grams saturated fat) and falls in the middle of the 29 lean cuts of beef.

jennifer fisher thefitfork beef chuck

So, are you hanging on the edge of your seat wondering what I did with the beef and how I ending up with leftovers that were transformed into an equally delicious meal?  Here’s the skinny – I came up with the recipe Pomegranate-Balsamic Pot Roast with Baby Bella Mushrooms following the master idea from Chef Chamberlain. However, since I can never stick to a recipe and didn’t have any red wine (which his recipe called for), I took my meal in a whole ‘nutha direction. When I was plating the meal, I realized that I should have made a “sopping substance” for the sauce — brown rice, noodles, polenta, riced cauliflower or something!

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com pomegranate balsamic pot roast mushrooms

In any event, the recipe made quite a lot of sauce by design – the meat needs to be completely covered up with liquid to braise properly. While we polished off the beef that night, I still had a stockpot more than half full of sweet-savory, umami-packed sauce. I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing it away so I stuck it in the fridge!  So what happened the next day was genius, if I do say so myself. I added a can of petite-dice tomatoes, a can full of water, a pound of cooked ground beef and a handful of bow-tie noodles to the pot, heated it up until the pasta was cooked – and, viola, a rich (but not fattening), ultra flavorful soup!  No chintzy leftovers here; this salvaged meal made a large amount of hearty soup that fed the entire family with refills!  So what would you name this soup? I need a name, let me know in the comments below!!

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com pot roast soup

This is the surprise soup I made the second day with leftovers!

Pomegranate-Balsamic Pot Roast with Baby Bella Mushrooms Recipe

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 boneless beef chuck shoulder pot roast (approx. 2 lbs)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 8-ounce carton of baby bella mushrooms, sliced (use your favorite variety)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups pomegranate juice (make sure actual juice – not “cocktail”)
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 cups beef broth (from can, paste or fresh)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
  • ¼ cup water

In large stock pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat until hot. Place beef in pot and brown evenly on both sides. Remove from pot and season with salt and pepper.

In same pot, add onion and mushrooms and sauté for approximately 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and sauté for 1 additional minute.

Add pomegranate juice to deglaze the pan, stirring until simmering and crusty beef bits have come off the bottom of pot and become incorporated in the sauce.

Add tomatoes, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaves, oregano, thyme and crushed red pepper; stir to incorporate.

Return roast to the pot and bring everything to a boil; reduce heat and cover pot with tight-fitting lid. Continue to simmer for approximately 2 hours or until fork tender.

Add sliced carrots and continue to simmer. Stir arrowroot powder into 1/4 cup water to create a slurry. Pour slurry into pot and stir for a couple minutes until sauce is thickened; take care not to overheat.

Remove bay leaves and serve over rice, noodles, polenta or riced cauliflower.

Serves 6 to 8.

Figs, Not Just for the Birds! Fresh Figs with Balsamic Fig Jam Recipe

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - fresh figs with balsamic fig jam

Years ago, I remember taking care of my Aunt’s house in Houston while they were away on vacation. “You’re welcome to pick the figs as they ripen, but you’ll have to hurry to beat the greedy birds,” she said before leaving.  Having never eaten homegrown figs (a Fig Newton was about the closest I had come), I wasn’t too excited about the invitation to develop my latent “gatherer” gene. But, a few days later when out watering the plants, I saw the fig tree bursting with fruit just crying to be picked.  I sampled a fig straight off the branch and, oh my goodness, I jogged back to the house to get a basket for the harvest. Apparently, my jog should have been a mad dash, because when I returned, a flock of birds had swarmed the tree and were gorging on the spoils.

From that day forward, I have had a new appreciation (make that obsession) with this delicate, delicious fruit. I’m only sad that I don’t have my Aunt’s green thumb nor live near the Gulf Coast where they seem to grow so happily. Summer is really the season for figs, but I am ready now. You can purchase figs in grocery markets with fancier produce departments nearly anytime of the year, although they aren’t as good as homegrown. Common varieties you’ll find in the supermarket are Turkish figs, Mission figs and Calimyrna figs.

My Fresh Figs with Balsamic Fig Preserves recipe makes a uniquely nutritious and utterly delicious dessert that doesn’t wreck a day of clean eating with lots of sugar, fat and bad gunk. Did you know figs offer the most calcium of any fruit?  I was excited to find out that just three figs provide 25-percent of the daily recommended allowance for fiber. The great thing about fruit fiber, besides being filling, is that studies have shown that it can reduce the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women.  A source of many essential vitamins and minerals, figs are especially rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K and B vitamins. Also, when choosing your figs, the ripest fruits yield the most antioxidant health benefits.

Fresh Figs with Balsamic Fig Jam Recipe

  • 2 cups quartered fresh figs (stems removed)
  • 1 cup all-natural honey
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • 2 dozen fresh figs (halved into 48 pieces)

To make jam, add the quartered figs, honey and water to a large pot. Simmer over low heat until the figs break down and the liquid is reduced by one third. Remove from burner and let mixture cool for 30 minutes. Puree fig mixture in food processor, add balsamic and season with the sea salt to suit your personal taste.

Gently wash and dry remaining 2 dozen figs and then slice in half lengthwise for a total of 48 pieces.

Serve jam with fresh figs as a dessert or over a salad of baby greens. Leftover jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Serves 8 (6 fig halves per serving)