Lemony Turmeric Cauliflower-Quinoa + Quickie Crossfit 17.1 Recap

Quinoa is just such a handy grain . . . er, seed, to have around. It easily cooks up on the stove top in about 15 minutes (with less mess than rice, in my opinion) and is packed with a head-spinning assortment of nutrients including lots of iron, an abundance of fiber and plenty of protein. In fact, quinoa is considered a complete protein because it boasts all 9 of the essential amino acids — a rarity in plant foods.Lemony Turmeric Cauliflower-Quinoa

A fluffy pot of quinoa turns into pure bliss when you pair beautiful golden turmeric, a “superspice” with mild taste and beacoup de health benefits, along with a bit of lemon. Oh, and cauliflower’s in there too — dang my recipe for Lemony Turmeric Cauliflower-Quinoa is healthy!  Continue reading

Easy Seared Ahi Tuna with Rainbow Winter Veggie Toss

Seared Ahi Tuna with Riced Rainbow Winter VegetablesAhi Tuna, a fish so nice they named it twice!  Yup, “ahi” is simply the loosely translated name for “tuna” in Hawaiian. If you love fish, but aren’t familiar with Ahi, you need to make its acquaintance soon – and the Seared Ahi Tuna from the line of Bumble Bee SuperFresh® seafood is a quick, convenient way to make waves and earn raves at the dinner table. Bumble Bee SuperFresh Seared Ahi Tuna

With colder weather just around the corner, I tossed together some of my favorite hearty and vibrantly-hued veggies into a simple yet stunning side dish – Winter Rainbow Veggie Toss with Gingered Lemon Glaze. This healthy vegetable recipe of finely diced purple sweet potato, butternut squash and cauliflower makes a colorful sidekick to the beautiful pink center of seared Ahi but it would also be totally on fleek with other fish or lean proteins. In the summer, this no-cook tuna is the perfect protein to top a crisp, fresh salad and is sure to elevate any lunchbox and get co-worker’s tongues wagging! Bumble Bee SuperFresh Seared Ahi Tuna

Easy Seared Ahi Tuna with Rainbow Winter Veggie Toss makes a quick, convenient and healthy weeknight dinner.I really appreciate that Bumble Bee SuperFresh® Seared Ahi Tuna is wild caught and harvested from sources managed to promote healthy fish stocks for future generations – that’s important to the values held by me and my family. A more selfish benefit however is the lack of nasty fish smell. Thanks to prepping straight from the freezer, there is no off-putting “fishy smell” that sometimes comes with thawing and cooking fish and seafood at home – it’s amazingly fresh tasting and fresh smelling! None of my kids has ever walked in the house and said “ewwwwww”!

So, let’s get this Ahi party started! To “prepare” the Bumble Bee SuperFresh® Seared Ahi Tuna, simply remove from the finely sliced fish from the freezer and vacuum pack wrapping and allow to defrost in the refrigerator for 3 hours. That’s it! The wild caught, premium grade fish is already encrusted with a garlic peppercorn rub and pre-seared to enhance taste and texture. That’s it, that’s all!

Riced Rainbow Winter Veggies with Gingered Lemon GlazeWhile the tuna is thawing, you can prep the veggies for the Winter Rainbow Veggies with Gingered Lemon Glaze. The recipe is super simple to heat up, but there is some elbow grease required to chop all the veggies. For speed, I suggest using an official potato ricer or even a spiralizer on the squash and purple potato, dicing down the spirals afterward. Head down to the recipe below for the full detail!

Find out where to buy Bumble Bee SuperFresh SeafoodAre you ready to impress your family and friends with Bumble Bee SuperFresh® products, they’ll naturally assume a lot of time and trouble went into preparing a such fine dining holiday experience. No need to mention that the Bumble Bee SuperFresh® Seared Ahi Tuna is simply “thaw and serve,” that will be our little secret. Head over to the Store Locator or Amazon Fresh to get your hands in this convenient, high quality product that is perfect for both special celebrations and everyday dining. If tuna isn’t your thing, the line of Bumble Bee SuperFresh® also includes Tilapia with Lemon, Pepper & Herbs, Tilapia with Garlic and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salmon with Garlicky Black Pepper and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Salmon with Garden Pesto.

Are you a fish fan? How many times a month do you eat it at home? Favorite fish or recipe? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Seared Ahi Tuna with Riced Rainbow Winter Vegetables
Easy Seared Ahi Tuna with Rainbow Winter Veggie Toss
Print Recipe
Create a vibrant and very festive weeknight dinner this holiday season with convenient, frozen seared tuna and a simple diced medley of winter vegetables.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Seared Ahi Tuna with Riced Rainbow Winter Vegetables
Easy Seared Ahi Tuna with Rainbow Winter Veggie Toss
Print Recipe
Create a vibrant and very festive weeknight dinner this holiday season with convenient, frozen seared tuna and a simple diced medley of winter vegetables.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Instructions
for Ahi Tuna
  1. To prepare fish, simply remove from the finely sliced fish from the freezer and vacuum pack wrapping and allow to defrost in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
For Rainbow Winter Veggis
  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet to medium-high heat.
  2. Add sweet potato, cauliflower, and squash and saute, stirring frequently, for approximately 5 minutes or until becoming tender.
  3. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 additional minute.
  4. Stir in lemon juice and soy sauce and until heated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with lemon zest.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

5 Ways to Get Teens’ Taste Buds to Grow Up + Visa GC Giveaway

Even though my family eats (mostly) a healthy diet, I’ve been encouraging my teenagers to break their monotonous meal preferences and try new dishes with exciting flavors. As they move through high school and college there are so many diverse and cultural eating experiences that will be missed (along with a wider array of nutrients) if they are dead set on having turkey meatballs, plain brown rice and an undressed salad for dinner (an all-too-common menu). That’s why I was excited to hear how Birds Eye Veggies is on a mission to redefine the way we all eat our vegetables with their Birds Eye® Flavor Full line of bold and exciting veggies that can be enjoyed as a side dish or the main course!  Keep reading down to the end of the post for the Gift Card Giveaway.

Birds Eye Flavor Full Veggies - Buffalo Cauliflower

This got me to thinking. Can picky eating-children change, or do they just grow up into adults who are ultra finicky about their food? There are valid reasons why a young child may avoid certain foods at all costs — did someone say “temper tantrum”?!  Factors that contribute to a picky eater include all the legitimate sensory things you’d connect with food aversions like texture, temperature, taste and flavor. Picky eating is also encouraged by parental response as well as peer pressure when kids get a little older. Allergies, too, can play a welcomed defensive role in picky eating, a way your body tells you to say away from a certain harmful food – but I won’t get into that here.

I believe that with the right opportunities and encouragement, most kids can join the adult world of eating as they move into their ‘tween, teens and early twenties. One reason is that as we age, taste buds dwindle away from an average of 10,000 working taste buds in small kids to only 5,000 in adults – simply put, things start tasting less intense and we naturally seek out more flavor. To support this, a 2005 study published in the Pediatrics journal reports that most children do not like bitter tastes (often found in vegetables), while adults do not find offense.

Birds Eye Flavor Full Vegetables

Always funny or philosophical, this kiddo says “Potatoes are the ‘gateway’ vegetable”

Another interesting study conducted in 2012 at the University of Copenhagen reported that when children move into their teens, they have a decreased interest in sugary tastes and a higher sophistication to distinguish between tastes – however, they are often more resistant to trying new foods than toddlers! This is why, we as parents, need to set a good example by eating a balanced diet filled with a variety of colorful, nutrient-dense whole foods.

Here are some tips to encourage the teenagers in your family to become veggie lovers and also try out other exciting new flavors. Of course, if your teen is not eating because of control issues, an eating disorder, real or perceived allergies or other concerning reasons, please see a medical professional as soon as possible.

5 ways to get your teen's taste buds grown up

  • Get teens cooking: Not only does teaching your older children how to prepare meals create self-sufficiency; it also creates a more adventurous attitude about eating as they master various skills.
  • Host international night: Once a month, prepare a meal that features cuisine from a different culture – for example, Indian, Korean, Thai, or Italian (no pizza!). To keep everyone happy, every family member gets to select one recipe to be included on the menu, but has to eat at least three bites of every other dish. Have them invite a friend over who may just announce “ooh, I love curry” – and suddenly your son or daughter will too!
  • Focus on vegetable variety: As teens lose their taste for sugar (allegedly it’s a real thing!), support their savory side with more and more vegetables. Look past buttered green beans and toward more exotic or bold tastes, like Buffalo Cauliflower! Filling up your plate with a rainbow of vegetables is the easiest and tastiest way to optimize health, in my opinion.
  • Educate and relate: Share online resources for healthy and clean eating with your children. Older kids are smart enough to understand that eating vegetables and a variety of foods is best, but are sneaky when it comes to actually eating what you serve – just think of all the Brussels sprouts “dropped” on the floor or yogurt and berry parfaits swapped for pink cupcakes at lunch. I always share the story of how I traded my celery, peanut butter and raisin “ants on a log” for Ding Dongs at lunch and quickly lost my get-up-and-go for gymnastics practice in the afternoon.
  • Role model without pushing: No one likes a pea pusher, and even worse so if it’s your own mother or father. With most teens, realize that the more you “strongly suggest” you eat your vegetables or try new dishes, the more likely they are to rebel by absolutely doing the opposite. They are teens, they will come around – just keep the message honest yet low-key, the most important thing you can do is be a role model for clean eating.

Birds Eye Flavor Full Veggies - Buffalo Cauliflower

As I hinted, I’ve been using Birds Eye Vegetables in my covert parental plan to encourage my teens to embrace new foods. The line of Birds Eye® Flavor Full vegetables transforms plain veggies with bold and on-trend flavors – it makes eating healthy side dishes so much fun. Plus, I love the convenience of the Steamfresh packaging – you just heat up in the microwave right in the bag. When my kids are making dinner, having one less dish to clean up is a major selling point! The unexpected but utterly delicious flavors include Buffalo Cauliflower, Ranch Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Potatoes, Teriyaki Broccoli, Barbecue Sweet Corn, Sweet Chili Carrots, Wasabi Peas and Fiesta Lime Corn.  Check here for a product locator.

Head over and get a $1.00 off coupon that is good for 30 days once downloaded (but must be used by 12/31/2015).

Win a $25 Visa Gift Card at TheFitFork.comEnter to win my giveaway for a $25 Visa Gift Card — you can spend it on vegetables for your teens, or whatever you please. Although I really hope you get some cauliflower and beets!

Follow the Rafflecopter app directions to enter now through Dec 9th.

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 Reasons to Give Thanks for Sweet Potatoes and 9 Recipes

10 Reasons to be Thankful for Sweet PotatoesPerhaps the official vegetable of the holiday season, sweet potatoes are a delicious addition to a healthy diet any day of the year.   It’s easy to eat well with sweet potatoes — they are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients that are naturally designed to help your body attain peak performance.  If you don’t like sweet potatoes, keep an open mind (and mouth) and look beyond your grandmother’s icky-sticky, marshmallow sweet potato casserole — there are so many delicious ways to enhance the taste of this sweet, mildly earthy tuber. In a list I originally compiled for Core Power, here are my top 10 reasons to be thankful for the humble sweet potato — my favorite reason may be #5 – a healthy source of complex carbohydrates. Unless logistically impossible, I always include sweet potato with my night-before-a-big-race meal. Also, don’t forget to read down to discover my collection of Family Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes:

  1. Inexpensive Eats: The cheap price tag on sweet potatoes (less than $1/lb.) chops the “it costs too much to eat healthy” argument to the core.
  2. Year-Round Availability: While peak season for sweet potatoes is in the fall, this produce department staple is easy to load-up on year round thanks to a long shelf life and global economy.
  3. Stockpile Friendly: Don’t rush out and buy a lifetime supply, but do fill your cart when you see a sale — sweet potatoes stay good in the pantry for a season or two. Freshness can be maintained for up to six months when stored in a pantry, cabinet, unheated garage or other dark, cool space ideally in the 50 F degree range.
  4. Versatile Veggie: Sweet potatoes are awesome baked and eaten plain or can be cooked with much for creativity. Try them mashed, grilled in planks, oven-roasted in wedges, or add chunks to salads, stews and sandwich wraps. Sweet potato puree also adds lots of interest to smoothies, soups and baked goods. See my round-up of personal sweet potato recipes below!
  5. Healthy Complex Carbohydrates: Natural sugars in sweet potatoes are the “good” kind of carbs that are slowly released into the blood stream, providing sustained and balanced energy to fuel your body and brain. No blood sugar spikes and subsequent sugar crashes with this tasty tuber!
  6. Amazing Antioxidants: Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are a super source of beta-carotene (from vitamin A) that can help protect eyes and damage from the sun, among other things. Purple-fleshed sweet potatoes feature powerful anthocyanins which have important antioxidant anti-inflammatory properties.
  7. Vitamin Rich: Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins, high in vitamin A, vitamin B5, B6, thiamin, niacin and riboflavin. In fact, this veggie offers 100 percent of the daily value for Vitamin A, a powerhouse shown to be beneficial for anti-aging, eyesight and cancer prevention.
  8. Quercetin Factor: Quercetin, a dietary flavonoid, is abundant in sweet potatoes. Studies have shown that quercetin can help lower LDL cholesterol, reduce inflammation and serves as a natural antihistamine to fight seasonal allergies. Additionally, studies on athletes have shown that this phytochemical bolsters health during the 3 to 72 hour window of impaired immunity following heavy training and also may help increase endurance.
  9. Potassium: Potassium is a mineral that helps your body balance fluids and minerals, maintain a health blood pressure, and keep your neuro-muscular system function normally. A medium, baked sweet potato offers about 450 mg of potassium (about12 percent of your daily value) — even more than the famous banana!
  10. Iron: Grown under the soil, sweet potatoes are a great source for iron, a mineral needed for oxygen delivery throughout the blood system. A surprising number of athletes are low in this important mineral (foot strike can actually be a contributor to deficiency) and an iron boost can help restore energy, resistance to stress and optimal immune functioning.

Family Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes for Thanksgiving, Holidays and everyday weeknight dinners.

Cinnamon Chicken Cashew Sweet PotatoI also love this no-recipe “recipe” from the CookingLight.com blog, Simmer & Boil — Cinnamon Chicken and Cashews on Baked Sweet Potato. Just toss a half-teaspoon or of ground cinnamon with warmed shredded chicken, pile on top of a baked and fluffed sweet potato, sprinkle with cashews and dig in!  What an quick and easy solution for busy weeknight dinners during the holiday season!

 

What is the one Thanksgiving dish you can’t live without? Do you have any big plans for the holiday?  Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

 

Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Mash + More Healthy Recipes

Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Mash - TheFitFork.com

Call me a clairvoyant, but I know you’re making sweet potatoes sometime in the next week. Everyone eats sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving Day, it’s the law. Even though my Kale & Caramelized Onion Sweet Potato  recipe was a huge hit at home, I really don’t like to make the same recipe for dinner twice in the same month!  So, tonight, I decided to cauliflower-ify my favorite tuber – and yum, yum, yum! Gosh, now what am I going to come up with for Thanksgiving dinner?

 Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Mash Recipe

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 pound cauliflower florets
  • 3 tablespoons milk of choice
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish (or Instantly Fresh Parsley)
  1. Peel and cut sweet potato into 1 ½ -inch chunks.
  2. In large pot with steam basked, steam sweet potato and cauliflower with 1 inch of water in bottom of pot. Vegetables will be ready in about 10 – 12 minutes, or when fork tender.
  3. Place in large bowl and mash the potato and cauliflower with the milk. Stir in the Greek yogurt, garlic powder, salt and pepper. If too thick, add milk 1 tablespoons at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
  4. Serves  4 – 6

Bowl of Mashed Sweet PotatoesHere’s the Kale & Caramalized Onion Sweet Potatoes I was mentioning.

jennifer fisher thefitfork sweet potato ruffle

Last year, I made this recipe for Sweet Potato Skillet Stack with Srirracha Orange Glaze – delish!

 

Of course, you know Cooking Light knows how to do up a sweet potato right, check out this gallery for additional inspiration.

Cooking Light Sweet Potato Recipes

So, how do you like to eat sweet potatoes best?

 

 

Healthier Comfort! {Lightened} Cheesy Cauliflower Quinoa Casserole Recipe

When you hear the words “melted cheese,” what comes to mind? I think of all kinds of comfort foods like homey mac & cheese, ginormous slices of mozzarella blanketed pizza blanketed, and hot Tex Mex queso and a basket of chips. However, all this ooey, gooey goodness comes with high-fat, high calorie consequences if I’m not careful. But, there are a few tweaks and tricks that will allow you to enjoy cheese in recipes while keeping you light on your feet (and hands)!

yoga handstand pose jennifer fisher

My cheese tips & tricks will keep you light on your feed (and hands)!

First of all, portion control. Just because you CAN eat a whole batch of cheese sticks, doesn’t mean you should. Second, moderation in the use of cheese as an ingredient – if a recipe calls for 1 cup, cut back and see if a little less will still yield the same effect. If you don’t want to sacrifice the “creaminess,” often you can also substitute a little Greek yogurt or a roux made with low fat milk as in my {Lightened} Cheesy Cauliflower Quinoa Casserole recipe below. Another way to keep cheese the star of the dish without globbing it on is to use a high quality cheese. Fresh cheese and artisan cheese taste so much better than the dried out, shredded stuff hanging in the bags at the supermarket – the taste is more pronounced and therefore you can use less!

aged cheddar cheese thefitfork

Recently, I took advantage of this last healthy cheese tip, by making a comforting casserole with a ton of healthy swaps.   First off, I used one of my favorite cheeses – Kerrygold Aged Cheddar – as the topping on my {Lightened} Cheesy Cauliflower Quinoa Casserole. Kerrygold Aged Cheddar is a cheese made from the milk of grass-fed cows and then aged for taste for one year – it’s described as “rich and full-bodied with a smooth finish” and I agree (nom,nom).  By using aged cheddar as the bold accent on top of the recipe, I was able to cut significantly on the cheese used within the interior of the casserole – in fact, only two ounces were stirred into the easy roux that had been kept light with low-fat milk and just a skosh of canola oil (no butter)! Also, instead of traditional rice or noodles, I used quinoa in this healthy casserole recipe for added protein – although it has no meat, it could make a hearty side dish as part of a Meatless Monday dinner.  Oh, and it has cauliflower – it just seems to turn to creamy, dreamy butter in this dish!

cheesy quinoa bake

{Lightened} Cheesy Cauliflower Quinoa Casserole Recipe

  • 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil (divided)
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 1 12-oz bag microwave-in-bag frozen cauliflower florets
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups chopped sweet yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic from jar
  • ½ cup 1% milk
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
  1.  Heat medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 ½ teaspoons oil and coat pan. Add quinoa and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until lightly toasted; stir frequently.
  2. Add 1 ¼ cups water and bring to a bowl. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
  4. In large skillet, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan and sauté onions for 3 to 4 minutes until softened and turning golden. Stir in garlic during last 1 minute of cooking.
  5. In small bowl, whisk together milk and flour; stir chicken broth, salt and pepper into this mixture.
  6. Add milk-broth mixture to skillet and bring to a boil; stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  7. Remove skillet from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese until melted.
  8. Microwave cauliflower according to package directions. Carefully remove from bag and very coarsely chop.
  9. Stir in quinoa and cauliflower into Parmesan mixture.
  10. Place in 1 ½ to 2 quart baking dish that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Or, you can do in individual ramekins as pictured below.Top with grated cheese.
  11. Bake at 400 F degrees for 15 – 20 minutes, or until heated through and cheese bubbling and lightly browned on top.
  12. Serves 6 – 8.

cauliflower quinoa ramekins

Cooking Light Best Cheese RecipesOkay, so I won’t lie. I was inspired to make this cheesy, delicious dish after getting my October issue of Cooking Light magazine. Hello, the headline is “Our Best Cheese Dishes” and it included a kid-friendly, make-ahead recipe for a Broccoli Quinoa Casserole with Chicken — of course, I HAD to tweak it and make it my own. Check out some of the other healthier cheese recipes from Cooking Light – you will be drooling!

 

What is your favorite type of cheese or recipe using cheese?

This post is sponsored by Cooking Light and KerryGold. I received free products / gifts in return for this post; however, all opinions and content (unless otherwise noted) are my own. 

Cauliflower and CrossFit

crossfit clean woman

Okay, doing this whole 2014 CrossFit Games Open has been a real challenge for this runner who likes to cherry pick her WODs. I’m the one who won’t do the heavy squats because “I’m saving my legs for a race” or substitutes pull-ups for muscle-ups because “they are more fun and I can actually do them.” I’m made it through four of the open workouts with just one left this weekend, and let me tell you every weakness has been exposed –but my spirit hasn’t been broken.  For every double-under I tripped over and weighted lift I buckled under, I made up for with pretty-darn good abilities on the bar and lots of endurance. Really the failures (although I really can’t call them that) only put a burr in my britches to become proficient in the skill.  Check back next week for a full report on the whole experience.

thefitfork cauliflower

Now onto the food! If you’ve been on Pinterest or crossed paths with a Paleo food fanatic, you’ll well aware that the once neglected cauliflower has been elevated to king of the cruciferous vegetables.  This big white vegetable is no longer looked upon as your grandma’s cauliflower, boiled and bland. Today you’ll find smashed cauliflower, riced cauliflower, cauliflower in muffins, soups and curries – and even cauliflower pizza crust.

My kids think cauliflower looks like a human brain and I tell them that’s because it’s a really smart food to put on their plates. High in dietary fiber and low in calories, this versatile veggie is packed with beneficial vitamins (including vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese) that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

While you can get crazy with cauliflower, sometimes simple healthy recipes are the best. My recipe for “Oh Yes” Oven-Roasted Cauliflower will be gobbled up by everyone in the family, even the pickiest kids! Creamy and slightly sweet when roasted, my husband took a bite and exclaimed about it’s deceiving decadence — “it tastes like butter!”

baked cauliflower florets

“Oh Yes” Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees.
  2. Remove outer leaves from head and thoroughly wash cauliflower.  Use a knife and/or hands to break up cauliflower into approximate 1-inch pieces.
  3. Add florets into bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with chili powder and garlic salt; toss to distribute evenly.
  4. Place cauliflower on large rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 425 F degrees for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring once or twice, until beginning to turn light brown.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese and return to oven for 2 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 4.

Cooking Light always does a great job on making my favorite vegetables even more delicious. Check out this recipe  gallery that is blooming with 21 of their inspiring cauliflower recipes – you won’t know where to start!

cooking light cauliflower recipes

{Green} Giant Taste! Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites Recipe + #Giveaway

It’s a very familiar scene. I’m in the midst of preparing a holiday dinner (or even a weeknight supper) and family and friends begin congregating in the kitchen to see what smells so good and make diversionary chit chat. It’s not that I don’t want to visit with them, because I most certainly do! But, at the same time I am totally aware of their ulterior motives – and that is to get their greedy hands on a pre-dinner sample.

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com green giant appetizer

My husband calls it “quality control” and my three teenage boys don’t even bother explaining away this blatant devouring of the dinner rations. Forget about sneaking tastes on the sly; mounds of shredded cheese, meticulously sliced fruit, chopped nuts and other ingredients intended for the night’s recipe disappear right off my cutting board. In all honesty, I’ve been the guilty party as a guest in other folks’ homes . “Oh, do you think that roast is done yet or should I add a little more salt and pepper to those mashed potatoes? I’ll just have a small taste, if you don’t mind – thank you very much!”

jennifer fisher green giant appetizer

However, with a little pre-planning, it’s easy to whip up a first course that will tide everyone over until the main dish is ready. My stash of frozen Green Giant vegetables has become not just a reliable source for healthy side dishes, but also nutritious ingredients for hors d’oeuvres.   If you’ve read the blog more than once or twice, you may have noticed I love me some southwestern cuisine – the smoky flavors and spicy heat turn even the mildest-mannered menu into a boot-stompin’, chop-smackin’ experience.  My recipe for Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites with Chipotle Crema will keep even the most ravenous rustlers satisfied and out of the main dish until the dinner bell is rung. It’s also a festive and flavorful offering to bring along to a casual holiday party – the host will totally be high-fiving you at the door!

An easy snack to make, these mini muffin-esque appetizers use Green Giant’s boxed Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce, a surprising low in fat and calorie product that is endorsed by Weight Watchers® with a 1 PointsPlus™ value per ½ cup serving.  The creamy dip that accompanies these Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites is mindful of fat and calories as well – it’s simply fat-free sour cream blended with lime juice and ground chipotle powder.

Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites with Chipotle Crema Recipe

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com green giant ingredients

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (10 oz) Green Giant® cauliflower & cheese sauce
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted Hatch green chiles (or 4-oz can green chiles)
  • 1/3 cup grated Colby Jack cheese
  • ¼ cup bacon crumbles

Chipotle Crema:

  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder

Heat oven to 375°F. Generously grease or spray 24 mini muffin cups with cooking spray. Cook cauliflower as directed on bag for minimum time. Let cool for 5 minutes and coarsely chop cauliflower.

In medium bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, milk, eggs cumin and salt with whisk or fork until blended. Stir in cauliflower and cheese sauce, green chiles, cheese and bacon. Divide mixture evenly among cups, filling ¾ full.

Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and tops are light brown. Cool 5 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of bites from pan; remove to cooling rack.

Meanwhile, mix sour cream, lime juice and chipotle powder in small bowl until smooth. Top each warm bite with mixture or serve on the side.

Makes 24.

green giant

Looking for more veggie inspiration? Check out all the other appetizer ideas from Green Giant. And, don’t forget to enter my giveaway  – one winner will be sent three coupons for a free Green Giant Steamers product (11 – 12 ounce bags).  It’s so easy to eat healthy when you can steam vegetables right in the microwave. Choose from a variety of delicious, low-fat, 100% natural sauces or your favorite plain vegetables.

****This was a sponsored post and I was compensated for my time. However, all opinions and recipes are completely my own.****

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE:

a Rafflecopter giveaway