Seven Days of Sweet & Savory Things

Aug 24: Ran the epic Hood to Coast Relay for the second year,  on a team called Cherry Limeade sponsored by the always awesome, always refreshing Nuun Hydration.  This Seattle-based maker of electrolyte tabs is focused on creating a take-along product that keeps runners and other athletes hydrated flavorfully – in fact, they have so many flavors, it will make your head spin.  My favorites are Kona Kola and Strawberry Lemonade, oh yea — and ½ a Banana tab with ½ a Watermelon tab!  I appreciate the fact that I’m not sucking down a bunch of sugar with this product, goodness knows I’ve been the poster child for losing time on a race course due to GI distress.

hood to coast van two getting ready

I was so inspired by the women runners in my team’s van 2, that I just have to shout them out —  Allison, Tanaya and Tere from Arizona, Emily (now) from Oregon and Paige from Washington. I’m already looking at the upcoming race calendars to cherry pick (or, should I say ‘cherry limeade pick’?) a few for reunion visits! BTW, all the women I met on the Nuun teams rocked; however, these particular ones though had to put up with me for 40 straight hours with no sleep. There was no do-it-yourselfing on this trip, well except the running. We had the luxury of being chauffeured around on this 200-mile race by our fearless, amusingly foul-mouthed and seriously funny van driver Vishal, a Nuun employee who also made sure that we had our Starbucks, Diet Mountain Dew, and never-ending food and pit stops expertly arranged.  Thanks to Megan Fay for organizing the chaos and chief hydrator and company president, Mason Reay, for another year of gracious hospitality. Random side note: I knew Mason lived in Austin for a while, but found out that our children attended the same preschool at the same time! Now that I think of it, he might have been the dad at the Thanksgiving Pow-wow who offered to bring beer.

August 25: Traveled the entire day, plane had mechanical problems and I wasn’t in bed until 2:30, and shortly thereafter greeted my 5:30 alarm clock. That was neither a sweet nor savory thing. But, while waiting at the airport, I did order a “personal mix” of granola from  The site is so cool, you choose a base cereal, other grains, fruits, nuts and add-ins and then bag it up and ship it straight to your door! On the back of the bag, the nutrition label reflects the exact mix that you made. And, it tastes really fantastic on my Greek yogurt.


August 26: School started, enough said. Sweet! Okay, I’ll say more – and I don’t usually dump out this much mushy personal information, so here you go! My three sons have entered 11th, 8th and 5th grades, so proud of them and it’s going to be a great year.  Got a sweet kiss from each this morning!

my three boys

August 28: Finally read my September Cooking Light magazine and made a recipe for Quinoa-Granola Cookies that I will share on the blog tomorrow. Love to put healthy cookies in my kid’s lunches. Sneak peek:


August 30:  Brought a post-practice treat to football practice, Jamba Juice smoothies! Seeing as it was 105 degrees, I had no trouble passing off every last one of the Strawberry Surf Rider smoothies to those hot, sweaty boys. This is one of the reasons why I love being a Jamba Juice Whirl’d Ambassador (disclosure).  If you sign up to receive Jamba Juice news and specials via email, you’ll receive a coupon for a $2 16-ounce smoothie. That’s a sweet-sweet situation!


August 31: Celebrated National Bacon Day by wrapping a piece of cured pork around a club cracker and rolling it in brown sugar – then baked at 400F until bubbling with greasy-salty-sweet goodness. This sweet-and-savory sin was not my own doing – inspired by the Pioneer Woman.

national bacon day

September 1: Shared my love for beef and why it is great fuel for an athlete at the Tri-Rock Triathlon Expo in Austin, Texas.  Looking for a delicious dinner idea that’s healthy and fast? Check out my recipe for Spice Crusted Tenderloin with Street Fair Corn, hurry and make it before grilling season slips away.

jen and jackie tri rock

Hurray! I’m a Pillsbury Bake-Off Semi-Finalist – Please Vote for Recipe

Okay, whoohoo, drumroll, yeah! I finally have a recipe getting somewhere in the Pillsbury Bake-Off®  the big news is that my Spicy Beef & Sweet Potato Samosas recipe is a semi-finalist.  Would you please help make my bucket list dream come true? All you need to do is head to the Pillsbury Bake-Off® and cast an easy one-time vote. The recipe is under my name, Jennifer Fisher, and seems to be rotating from row to row depending on the day. Did you find it? Is your mouth watering yet?


Over the years, I’ve had pretty good luck in recipe contests and cooking competitions and whipped some awesome memories in the process. However, gaining an entry into the biggest and most beloved cook-off has been as elusive as getting a soufflé not to fall in a house of three rowdy boys.  I’ve entered dozens of recipes in the last decade, from tried-and-true family favorites to recipes with bold creative direction  –or, as my husband would say , “What IS this?”

This year the bake-off put forth a new charge and I was ready to rise like a buttery biscuit and meet the challenge – create a recipe that takes 30 minutes or fewer to prepare (not including baking) and uses two eligible ingredients but no more than seven ingredients total.  This sounds like the cooking style of a busy mom like me!

I can’t even imagine what it would be like to win the grand prize – a million freakin’ dollars – I’m just excited I might have a chance to get a little giggle out of the Pillsbury Doughboy as I pinch his belly. I just love the Doughboy!

me and dough boyt

Make sure to VOTE for me at the Pillsbury Bake-Off® and get the entire recipe to make at home!

Fresh Feast – Farmer’s Market Beef, Veggie & Brown Rice Salad

jennifer fisher - - farmers market beef veggie saladIn the excitement of debuting the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner ad, I forgot to add one of my favorite beef dishes to my Top 10 List of Beef Recipes.  Boasting colorful veggies, lots of good lean beef protein, and whole grains, the Farmer’s Market Beef Vegetable & Brown Rice Salad is a repeat winner and a real beauty on the table. One serving has 36 grams of protein and just 6 grams of carbs. Make a big batch for dinner and then pack the leftovers in a to-go container for a sustaining snack on a busy work day or a muscle-making mini-meal after a tough workout. It’s even perfect to pack for just lounging around by the pool or on a summer picnic. In case you’re wondering, this photo shows a triple batch of the recipe. I was hungry.

Brown rice is considered a whole grain since it still has the hull. That also means it’s high in fiber and, as far as carbs go, releases sugar slowly into the body. In fact, studies show that those who eat just one half cup of brown rice daily reduce their risks of developing diabetes by 60 percent. Conversely, those who consume white rice regularly increase their chances of developing diabetes more than 100 fold. But, if you still don’t do rice in your diet, never fear! Just take that right out of the recipe, the salad still tastes great.

Farmer’s Market Beef Vegetable & Brown Rice Salad

  • 1 beef top round steak, cut 3/4 inch thick (about 1 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups asparagus pieces (2-inch pieces)
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 3 cups hot cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup diced, seeded tomatoes
  • 1 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Combine marinade ingredients in small bowl. Place beef steak and 1/4 cup marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steak to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight. Reserve remaining marinade in refrigerator for dressing.

Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Place steak on rack in broiler pan so surface of beef is 2 to 3 inches from heat. Broil 12 to 13 minutes for medium rare (145°F) doneness, turning once. Remove; keep warm.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add asparagus and squash; cook and stir 7 to 8 minutes or until tender. Toss with rice, tomatoes, beans, basil, salt and reserved marinade in large bowl.

Carve steak into thin slices. Serve over rice salad. Serves 4.

Nutrition information per serving: 514 calories; 15 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 8 g monounsaturated fat); 61 mg cholesterol; 593 mg sodium; 6 g carbohydrate; 7.3 g fiber; 36 g protein; 8.6 mg niacin; 1.1 mg vitamin B6; 1.5 mcg vitamin B12; 5.9 mg iron; 50.8 mcg selenium; 7 mg zinc.

This recipe is an excellent source of fiber, protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc.
From The Healthy Beef Cookbook, published by John Wiley & Sons