Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette

This post is sponsored by Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q, however the recipes, opinions and enthusiasm are all my own!

There is so much to love about May! The weather is warmer, daylight lasts longer and backyard patios, porches and pergolas are prime party spots for good friends and great food. I don’t know about you, but my go-to cooking method from early spring well into the fall season is grilling. Whether I’m entertaining company or it’s just the family, my trusty grill is this mom’s solution when it comes to whipping up creative, healthy and quick meals. Grilled Chicken, Corn & Jicama Salad with Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce Vinaigrette

I will grill anything and everything.  I get fired up for grilling the gamut . . . meats and seafood to fruit, veggies and dessert (mmmm, banana boats)!  Today, I’m sharing a recipe for Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chopped Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette that relies on one of my secret weapons when it comes to grilling and barbeque – Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Sauces, Marinades and Rubs.

Grilled Chicken, Corn & Jicama Salad with Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce Vinaigrette makes a hearty meal for your backyard cookout, picnic or potluck.

grilled corn in hand squareGrilled corn and chicken are the stars of this simple grilled salad recipe – Stubb’s Chicken Spice Rub gives just the right amount of seasoning to poultry and vegetables without being overpowering or too spicy for my kids to eat. This is the original rub of Stubb’s fame, crafted by the legend himself at his original Texas Bar-B-Q joint — “It all starts with good rub.”

Stubb's Chicken Spice Rub

To dress this chopped chicken salad that also features jicama and avocado , I’ve created a simple barbecue sauce vinaigrette that is a bit spicy, a bit sweet – and certainly fun to eat! Using Stubb’s Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce is my not-so-secret shortcut to prepping this dressing in mere minutes. Of course, this BBQ sauce with hints of brown sugar and chipotle peppers is also excellent used in the traditional way to drizzle or douse on everything from baby back ribs and burgers to pizza and sweet potatoes.

Barbeque Brisket Skillet Nachos will satisfy a crowd!It’s also the sauce I use in my Brisket & Bean Skillet Nachos. I love that Stubb’s Bar-B-Q sauces get their bold flavors from real, wholesome ingredients with no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.  Also, you’ll find absolutely NO (none, zip, nada) high-fructose corn syrup in these quality condiments.

Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q, maker the No. 1 brand of barbecue sauce, rubs and marinades in the the country, is located right here in Austin, Texas — so I can head over and dive head-first in a vat, if I want!  But, these barbecue “helpers” are also sold in 85% of grocery stores nationwide — so, run out and getcha some!

Stubbs Grilled Chicken Corn Chop Salad

Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette is such an easy grilled recipe and the perfect fixin’s for a potluck or picnic – whether for Memorial Day, a graduation or any summer time celebration. You can also make it the night before, the dish is delicious served cold and the vinegar and lemon juice in the dressing help keep the avocado fresh for up to a day in the fridge. If you want to enjoy as a side dish or vegetarian meal — just omit the chicken and dig in!

What have you been tossing on the grill lately? Any big weekend plans for Memorial Day — a race, a party, a picnic? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Rub uncooked chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon olive oil and rub with 2 tablespoons Stubb’s Chicken Spice Rub.
  2. Heat charcoal or gas grill to approximately 400 F degrees and grill chicken approximately 15 – 20 minutes, flipping once, or until cooked through and internal temperature reads 165F degrees.
  3. While chicken is cooking, rub corn cobs with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon Stubb’s Chicken Spice Rub.
  4. Place corn on grill with chicken and grill for approximately 10 minutes, rotating occasionally, or until turning tender and browning in spots.
  5. Remove chicken and corn from grill and let rest for 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
  6. Chop chicken into small, bite-sized pieces. Slice corn kernels off the cob. Add both to medium bowl along with jicama, red onion, red bell pepper and avocado. Set aside while making dressing.
  7. To make dressing, whisk Stubb’s Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce together with olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, honey and pepper.
  8. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
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Fit, Flavorful, Fast Dinner Ideas – Ragu and My Funny Family

I have to admit, making long complicated recipes is NOT a family tradition. I do it sometimes, but not on typical nights when I am trying to fit in running, working out or watching the kids play their sports – you know, HAVING FUN!  Instead, I tend to fly by the seat of my pants and let creativity reign, based on what I happen to have in the fridge, produce bin and pantry. So, I guess you could say dinner traditions in my family of five are rooted in being quick and easy yet fresh and flavorful – you’ll see this with the two RAGÚ pasta sauce recipes I’m sharing today (Eight-Minute Egg & Zucchini Ragu and Low-Carb Chicken Club Zoodles).

Ragu pasta sauces are simmered in tradition and the perfect meal solution for my busy nights.

jen and dean college

Yeah, here we are in 1986 — the early Ragu days.

One ingredient that is always on hand help me pull off a speedy supper is RAGÚ® Pasta Sauce. When I say I’m a fan, I mean it – I’ve been eating the RAGÚ® Traditional Sauce (and now Organic Traditional) for 30 years beginning when I first met my husband in college (It’s the only sauce we eat)! Who has time for homemade, really?!

I appreciate how RAGÚ® does all hard work, and when I pop open the jar it tastes just like grandmother’s secret recipe that had been simmering all day.  That’s because RAGÚ® has super high standards and uses no artificial anything or high fructose corn syrup – it’s slowly simmered to add layers of insane flavor, just like Assunta’s (the single-mom founder) original recipe from way back in 1937.

So, this first vegetable pasta recipe is seriously made in eight minutes – Egg & Zucchini Ragu. It’s my go-to meal solution when totally slammed but in need of a nutritious meal packed with protein and fresh veggies. By the way, did you now that a serving of Ragu pasta sauces is the equivalent of two servings of veggies?!

Eight Minute Egg & Zucchini Ragu

Eight Minute Egg & Zucchini Ragu

  • 2 large zucchini, spiralized or cut in julienned strips
  • 1 cup Ragu Organic Traditional Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 to 4 eggs (depending on appetite)
  • Salt and Red Pepper flakes, to taste
  • Garnish – snipped basil

Directions: Place zucchini in microwave-safe bowl, top with lid slightly cracked. Steam in microwave for 1 ½ to 2 minutes or until softened, but not mushy.  Add pasta sauce and microwave for an additional 30 to 45 seconds, stirring well after to combine. Heat olive oil in small skillet and cook eggs sunny side up, until yolks set to preferred consistency. Top eggs on pasta and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with snipped basil. Serves 2.

Low Carb Chicken Club Zoodles

My second under ten minute dinner fix (Low Carb Chicken Club Zoodles) is a yummy use for nights when I have some slowcooker chicken already in the fridge (I make big, big batches at once) or have swung by the store for a rotisserie chicken.  I love to use zucchini in place of traditional noodles to keep the grains and carbs down – I like to eat a higher protein diet and prefer most of my carbs to come from fruits and veggies.

Low Carb Chicken Club Zoodles

  • 2 large zucchini, spiralized or cut in julienned strips
  • 1 cup Ragu Organic Traditional Sauce
  • 12 ounces shredded slow cooker or rotisserie chicken with skin removed
  • 4 slices par-cooked bacon
  • 1 ounce shredded cheese of choice

Directions: Place zucchini in microwave-safe bowl, top with lid slightly cracked. Steam in microwave for 1 ½ to 2 minutes or until softened, but not mushy.  Add pasta sauce and chicken and microwave for an additional 60 seconds, stirring well after to combine. Wrap bacon in paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds or per package instructions. Sprinkle top of pasta with bacon and cheese before serving. Serves 2.

davis spoon balancing 2015I have another family dinner tradition to share – and it’s just being silly. With three now teenage boys, it can get pretty crazy and rowdy at the dinner table. More than one time, I’ve spewed water out my nose – the utensil balancing contests always crack me up.  We’ve been doing it for years, as you can see – youngest son holds the record number of spoons and forks balance.  Yes, we’re weird – but these are indelible (if insane) memories to enjoy along with the RAGÚ®  Pasta Sauce.

So, what are your favorite family dinner traditions – recipes or activities? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

Comforting Chicken & Rice Soup Recipe – Really Helps You Feel Better!

Comforting Chicken and Rice SoupThis is a bad news, good news post. Unfortunately, it’s that time of year when the sneezes, sniffles and the stuffy-head crud comes on. But the upside is that a comforting bowl full of chicken soup (your grandmother’s remedy) actually has some merit to making you feel better — plus, it tastes great too!

Best Ever Chicken and Rice Soup

fort davis boysI whipped up a huge batch of my  Best-Ever Chicken and Rice Soup when the kids came back from our recent trip to the mountains feeling under the weather. I had them licking their colds . . . and the bottom of their bowls in record time.

Dozens upon dozens of scientific studies have investigated the basis for this centuries-old remedy — from how the hot temperature unblocks stuffy airways to how the zinc found in certain ingredients might just shorten the length of a cold. Science aside, it’s pretty much agreed on that slurping up soup helps keep you hydrated, chases away chills associated with fever and reduce certain annoying symptoms of being sick. Plus, the addition of turmeric, a golden spice related to ginger, helps to provide the antioxident power you need to start feeling better.

Immunity Boosting Turmeric Chicken Soup takes away the chills and provides nutrients you need to start feeling betterIf you’re not feeling up to par, please see a doctor to make sure it’s nothing serious. But, I’d also highly recommend a batch of my Best Ever Chicken and Rice Soup.

<——- PIN THIS

This easy soup recipe is also ideal for light dinner and lunch leftovers to keep your wellness in check every day of the year.  Plan ahead and double the recipe – freeze in single serve portions for busy or sick day convenience.

Best Ever Chicken and Rice Soup with Instantly Fresh Herbs

instantly fresh herbsI’ve used Instantly Fresh Italian Herb Blend as a recipe shortcut to lighten and brighten the broth – it’s a medley of basil, oregano, garlic, red onions, red pepper, marjoram, rosemary and sage conveniently bottled together. I love these freeze-dried Instantly Fresh Herbs by Litehouse Foods — they have a huge assortment (I also love the Mint). Find them in the produce section or herb aisle of your grocery store. Head over to my Instagram profile (@thefitfork) now through this Monday (1/4) at midnight for a flash giveaway for three free product coupons. Look for my Chicken Soup photo and follow the post instructions to enter.

Do you have a home remedy for times when you’re feeling under the weather? What is your favorite soup? Please share in the comments below, XOXO — Jennifer  

I

Best Ever Chicken and Rice Soup with Instantly Fresh Herbs
Best Ever Chicken & Rice Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 large bowls 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 large bowls 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Best Ever Chicken and Rice Soup with Instantly Fresh Herbs
Best Ever Chicken & Rice Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 large bowls 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 large bowls 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Instructions
  1. Prepare rice according to package instructions. Set aside. In large stock pot, boil chicken breasts in water for 15 to 20 minutes or until no longer pink inside and internal temperature reaches a minimum of 165 F degrees.
  2. Remove chicken breasts from pot, but do not discard water. Skim off any residue not desired in soup. When chicken is cool enough to handle, pull apart with fingers or fork into large shreds. Add back to pot with water. Add bouillon cubes. Turn heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, add olive oil to large skilled and bring to medium high heat. Add chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, and carrots. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are softening. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Add vegetables to stock pot with chicken. Return skillet to stove top. Add Instantly Fresh Herb Blend to pot with chicken and vegetables, keep simmering and stirring occasionally.
  5. To make thickening roux, melt butter in skillet over medium heat. When butter is beginning to bubble, whisk in flour and stir constantly and quickly for several minutes, or until it has turned a light golden brown. Remove skillet from heat and allow roux to cool a bit.
  6. Once roux is no longer hot (can be warm), scrape into stock pot and stir well to combine. Stir in prepared rice. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Continue to simmer soup for 15 more minutes, or until everything heated through.
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Complete BBQ Chicken Dinner in a Jar! #FullnRichFlavor

Life got you jumping like grease on a hot skillet? My schedule is sizzling (that’s a good thing), but I’m often so busy that forgetting to eat (or grabbing something bad right before bed) could be a real issue if it weren’t for my three teen boys asking “what’s for dinner” as soon as we roll in from after their school activities. Geeze, all I want to do is take a quick nap.Birds Eye Vegetables and Farm Rich Smokehouse make it easy to get a nap before dinner!

But, that’s when the panic can start to set in about making nutritious and flavorful dinners, knowing I don’t have anything simmering all day in a slow cooker or thawing and ready to throw on the grill. I don’t want my boys to be one of the estimated 20 percent of Americans who eats at least one fast food meal a day in the car. But, now I can get my nap and still make quick flavorful dinners in a snap thanks by keeping fresh produce and healthier convenience foods on hand like Birds Eye® Flavor Full vegetables and Farm Rich® Smokehouse high-quality, high protein cuts of meat. Both of these time and sanity-saving products are recipe ready, straight from the freezer.

BBQ Chicken Dinner in a Jar

I have a super quick and easy recipe to share today for BBQ Chicken Dinner in a Jar – it’s hearty yet nicely-balanced, perfect to serve my whole passel of hungry boys in under 15 minutes!  All the yummy things you’d find on a barbecue dinner plate – like corn, coleslaw, beans, smoked chicken and pickles are piled up with love in a glass mason jar.

Birds Eye Vegetables and Farm Rich Smokehouse make last-minute dinners easy!

Another perk of these healthy flavorful dinners in a jar is that they can be eaten on-the-go and in the car (gasp)!  Just layer them up warm (or reheat premade jars) and the kids can eat them right out of the jar on the way to or from tutoring, sports games, band practices or what-have-you.  When done, screw back on the lid and deal with the “dishes” when you get home.  This quick and easy dinner recipe can also be prepped and eaten cold – it’s actually quite good on top of a bed of lettuce!Layer this BBQ Chicken Dinner in plastic cups for easy tailgaing!

If you need a comprehensive tailgate recipe or hosting an outdoor hoedown or some other fall-season festivity, these BBQ Chicken Dinners can be assembled in plastic glasses – guests can still see the beautiful layers of barbeque ingredients, but clean-up is super easy-breezy. Complete Barbecue Chicken in a Jar, perfect for tailgaing and outdoor parties.

Making a healthy, balanced meal like these Barbeque Chicken Jars does not have to be difficult if you have products from Birds Eye® and Farm Rich® Smokehouse. The high-protein, high-quality meats from Farm Rich® Smokehouse can be prepared in minutes; the hours of flavor-infusing smoking have been done on your behalf!  I also appreciate how Birds Eye Flavor Full vegetables deliver the flavor my family wants (Buffalo Cauliflower, Ranch Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Potatoes, Teriyaki Broccoli and Barbecue Sweet Corn) with the nutrition they need. Find both these brands in the freezer aisle at Walmart.

For a limited time, earn $0.75 on Birds Eye Vegetables and unlock $1.00 off one Farm Rich® Smokehouse product with Ibotta while supplies last. Note: If you haven’t used Ibotta, you have to download the app available on iOs and Android. Before you shop, be sure to unlock the rebates for both Birds Eye Vegetables and Farm Rich® Smokehouse. Then, shop! Buy the products that you’ve unlocked at major retailers. Finally, verify your purchase by scanning your barcodes and submitting a photo of your receipt!

What night of the week is craziest for you? How do you deal with dinner with only a few free minutes? Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®, Birds Eye®, and Farm Rich® but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #FullnRichFlavor  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Layer this BBQ Chicken Dinner in plastic cups for easy tailgaing!
BBQ Chicken Dinner in a Mason Jar
Print Recipe
Make a complete BBQ Chicken Dinner in 5 minutes, layer ingredients up in a jar to eat on the go, at a football game, tailgating or other outdoor parties.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Layer this BBQ Chicken Dinner in plastic cups for easy tailgaing!
BBQ Chicken Dinner in a Mason Jar
Print Recipe
Make a complete BBQ Chicken Dinner in 5 minutes, layer ingredients up in a jar to eat on the go, at a football game, tailgating or other outdoor parties.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Instructions
  1. May be served warm or cold. To prepare warm, heat beans, corn and chicken in separate containers according to instructions on packages. Skip this step if preparing cold.
  2. Using 16-ounce glass mason jars or 12 - 16 ounce "squatty" clear plastic glasses, layer ingredients in each container in this order, starting at bottom -- approx 4 oz beans, 2.5 oz corn, generous handful rainbow slaw, 2 tbs. dollop of ranch dressing, 3 oz chicken and 2 tbs. dollop of BBQ sauce.
  3. Skewer pickle slices and grape tomatoes together on toothpick and add as garnish. Serve immediately.
  4. May be prepared cold and stored in refrigerator (with lid or cover) for up to 3 days.
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Orange Chicken Love + $25 Giveaway to Panda Express

Orange. Chicken. Love. #OrangeChickenLove. Do I have your attention? If you’ve never eaten at Panda Express, you really need to try it out ASAP.  Panda Express has been a tried-and-true, busy-day meal option for my family – and with so many delicious menu items, there is always something everyone – even my pickiest eaters.  While the healthy mama in me appreciates that a “side” option is steamed veggies instead of fried rice or noodles, the universal, hands-down family favorite classic Chinese dish is the Orange Chicken.

Panda Express Orange Chicken - TheFitFork.com

PAnda Express Orange Chicken Love - TheFitFork.comYup, The Orange Chicken love is strong with the three hungry teen boys and he-man in my house, and I have to personally admit, the recipe is definitely chopstick lickin’ good. Inspired by flavors and culinary style of the Hunan Province in South Central China, Panda’s Original Orange Chicken is prepared with crispy boneless chicken bites, and wok tossed with Panda’s secret sweet and spicy orange sauce – it’s Panda’s most beloved dish.

There are so many other dishes to try out at this quick-stop restaurant, you’ll never get bored – some of my other favorites are the chicken and green beans and the broccoli and beef. Plus, as an athlete who is mindful about what she eats, I appreciate that Panda Express puts all the calorie counts right on the menu so you can make an informed choice. For example, the Orange Chicken isn’t one of the lightest, lowest-fat options – but I crave it, so I pair it up with the steamed veggies. It’s all about balance.

Panda Express - TheFitFork.com

I love how you can get steam veggies as a side at Panda Express, rather than fried rice or noodles.

Panda Express Orange Chicken Food TruckIf you’re in one of the lucky cities, you can get your fix on the Orange Chicken Love Truck Tour – it just came through Austin last weekend at the UT vs. Rice game. Head over to OrangeChickenLove.com to get the Panda Express Food Truck stop schedule and shop for orange chicken swag (seriously some cute stuff)!

 

 

Panda Express Fortune Cookie - TheFitFork.comSo, let’s talk fortune cookies. The irony of fortune cookies is they aren’t even eaten in China, historians say they were actually invented in Japan and popularized in America. More than three billion are gobbled up a year, that’s a lot of predictions.  What’s the funniest or most spot-on message you’ve ever cracked open a cookie to find?  Please share in the comments! Win a $25 Panda Express Gift Card at TheFitFork.comHow about finding “There is such a thing as a free lunch.” That would be awesome, and it may come  true if you enter my giveaway for a $25 gift card to Panda Express. However, I hope you’ll understand if the message doesn’t actually arrive in a fortune cookie! Oh, and please get you some Orange Chicken Love whether you win or not!  To enter, please follow the Rafflecopter instructions below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fall Veggie Chick’n Curry in a Hurry! #OMGardein

We are getting a cold front this weekend – the temps will only be reaching 89 F degrees with lows dipping into the 60s! That’s hardly sweater season, but I’ll take – especially after enduring a summer of running in an inferno. I can also tell that fall is on its way, the days are getting shorter and there’s that beautiful amber glint in the sky starting mid-afternoons. This gets me in the mood for a warm and nourishing plate of goodness (using Gardein products), something other than the no-cook entrée salads I’ve been eating for months.

Fall Veggie Curry with Gardein Chick'n Strips

Fresh fall produce, like sweet potatoes and cauliflower, come together beautifully in my Fall Vegetable Chick’n Curry. It’s a pot of soul-satisfying, exotically spiced food that will fuel any active lifestyle – just enough healthy carbs for quick energy and plenty of plant-based protein for muscle management thanks to Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n Strips. Whole grains, legumes and well-seasoned veggies round out the easy meal to add fiber and other essential nutrients, not to mention add tons of flavor and texture.

Ingredients for Fall Veggie curry

If you’re not familiar with the Gardein (garden + protein, get it?!) you need to be! It’s no secret I’m a meat-eater — I’m a grilling instructor, certified BBQ judge and elite running team member sponsored by BEEF. That being said, I’m all for variety in a healthy diet (I eat it all) and the products from Gardein are versatile, convenient and tasty way to get adequate protein when I’m preparing a vegetarian or Meatless Monday meal – which I eat at least once a week.

Fall Veggie Curry with Gardein Chick'n

Gardein makes over 20 plant-based protein products including these favorites — Gardein BBQ porkless pocket meal, Gardein The Ultimate Beefless Ground, Gardein Golden Fishless Filets, Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders and Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n Strips (used in my recipe today). Found in the frozen foods  aisle of your market,  Gardein products cook from frozen making them an ideal meal starter for those crazy, busy nights when you can’t get something going all the way from scratch or are too worn out to figure out if your vegetarian or vegan meal is packing enough protein. Gardein’s award winning products are made from non-GMO soy and wheat, ancient grains and veggies and offer a similar taste and texture to traditional meat with a bit fewer calories, cholesterol and fat.

Fall Veggie Chick’n Curry Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 package Teryaki Chick’n Strips from Gardein
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/3″ cubes
  • 1/2 yellow onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup halved Brussels sprouts
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Serve with prepared rice.
  1. Heat oil 1 tablespoon of oil and cook Chick’n Strips according to package instructions, but don’t add sauce packet yet.  Remove cooked strips from skillet.
  2. Add remaining olive oil to same skilled and brown sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onions and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add broth, sauce packet (that came with  Chick’n Strips), chickpeas, tomatoes and spices to skillet and let simmer for approximately 10 minutes, until everything warmed and juices reduced a bit.
  4. Add cooked Chick’n back to mixture, stir. Serve over warm rice and sprinkle with cashews and cilantro.
  5. Serves 4.

For additional information, easy dinner solutions, and chef inspired recipes, visit Gardien – you can also get a $1 off coupon until October 9th, 2015.

If you’re NOT a vegan or vegetarian, how many times a week do you go meatless? What is your favorite dish? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer 

Bird is the Word for Protein #SayYesToJerky

Chicken Jerky makes a great snack to fuel your workouts or mid-day office munchies.I chickened out!  How did the word chicken become associated with retreat caused by fear or cowardice? I surfed around on the web and found a couple etymological explanations, with the most plausible being based on a ritual performed by army officers in ancient times. Apparently, before heading off into battle, military leaders would offer sacred chickens grain. If the chickens ate the grain, the battle would commence – but if they refused, it was a sign to withdraw from the fight (example, Battle of Drepana 249 BC).

women more protein

Protein Infographic from WellWisdom.com

So, I imagine that over the last couple thousand years, other phrases like “Don’t be a chicken” and “He’s a chicken #@$!” evolved from this phrase, sort of giving chicken, in general, a bad rap. But, there is a ton of cool facts about chicken including the fact that mother hens show empathy for their chicks and that the birds also have complex communication systems with more than 30 different vocalizations.

And, well, to put it bluntly, chickens are also a great food source for athletes – high in protein for muscle management, a source of tryptophan (like turkey) that can aid with restorative sleep, as well as numerous  benefits from vitamins and minerals. Like other proteins, chicken curbs hunger and helps to control weight. Check out all these other benefits of protein (including chicken) from WellWisdom.com

Other perks of poultry? Chicken is inexpensive compared to many other protein sources and the sheer volume of delicious chicken recipes is enormous – I probably have enough chicken recipes pinned on Pinterest and torn from magazine pages to last a lifetime!

So, basically the bird is the word – I say, it’s GOOD to CHICKEN OUT every now and then!

jack links chicken photo

 

 

I’ve been fueling my workouts with a brand new product from Jack Link’s Jerky – Chicken Jerky. It’s dang tasty, packed with 11 grams of protein per serving and conveniently packaged to toss in my gym bag for immediate post-exercise muscle recovery. I typically workout over the lunch hour, so often jerky and a banana are all I have to appease my ginormous appetite until I can sit down to a proper meal.  So thank goodness for healthy, portable snacks!

You may already be familiar with Jack Link’s Jerky in turkey, pork or beef, but the chicken version is a recent addition to the line up. Jack Link’s Chicken Jerky is made from white-meat chicken seasoned and marinated with cracked black pepper and spices, is 98 percent fat-free and provides 11g protein for just 80 calories – that’s hard to beat!  Now we can all enjoy the nutritious benefits chicken offers on the go without the mess, inconvenience and craziness of whipping out a rotisserie chicken. My Paleo diet friends, you need this — really we all do!

jack links giveaway

One of my readers will win a Jack’s Link Jerky “Gift Pack” (similar to photo) which includes Jack Link’s Chicken Jerky, Jack Link’s Turkey Jerky, Jack Link’s Sweet Teriyaki Turkey Jerky, branded glass water bottle (really nice), headband, “cool” sweat towel and EOS lip balm. Just enter through the Rafflecopter App below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Jack Link’s.

Raspberry Walnut Wheat Berry Salad with Grilled Chicken

Raspberry Walnut Wheatberry Salad with Grilled Chicken is a quick and easy summer meal but is also beautiful enough for outdoor entertaining.Berry delicious! Are you craving a dinner that is bursting with seasonal yumminess, simple to pull together and healthy with an exclamation point? My recipe for Raspberry Walnut Wheat Berry Salad with Grilled Chicken is all these things — plus it’s gorgeous enough for outdoor entertaining.

Raspberry Walnut Wheatberry Salad with Grilled Chicken so delicious, nutritious and easy on a summer day!I first made this recipe for the Living Litehouse blog at LitehouseFoods.com; it builds on the flavors of their vibrant Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette. This elegant entrée salad features all the food groups with spinach, grilled chicken breast, raspberries, walnuts and wheat berries all playing nicely together.  What, you’ve never eaten wheat berries?! This versatile whole grain has a sweet, nutty taste and pleasant, chewy texture – a nice swap for brown rice when you’re looking to bust out of a rut. Wheat berries are also a great source of vitamins, fiber and other essential nutrients – and offer healthy source of carbs to fuel your day.

 

Raspberry Walnut Wheat Berry Salad with Grilled ChickenYou can also layer up all the ingredients into a jar salad to take to work or to refuel right after a gym session. Starting by pouring dressing in the bottom of the jar, then layer up everything in order of “sturdiness and wiltability” – meaning the wheat berries go next and then the delicate spinach up top.  When you’re ready to eat lunch, just shake-shake-shake the jar and pour out on a plate (or eat straight from the container, it’s one less dish to clean)!

Raspberry Salad DressingIf you can’t find the Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette from Litehouse Foods, then try this homemade Raspberry Dressing recipe that first appeared in Southern Living.

Raspberry Walnut Wheatberry Salad with Grilled Chicken so delicious, nutritious and easy on a summer day!
Raspberry Walnut Wheat Berry Salad with Grilled Chicken
Print Recipe
Make life easy and grill chicken ahead of time or substitute rotisserie chicken from the deli that has been cut up into chunks!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Raspberry Walnut Wheatberry Salad with Grilled Chicken so delicious, nutritious and easy on a summer day!
Raspberry Walnut Wheat Berry Salad with Grilled Chicken
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Make life easy and grill chicken ahead of time or substitute rotisserie chicken from the deli that has been cut up into chunks!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Instructions
  1. In small bowl, mix together the cooked wheat berries with ¼ cup of Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette. Set aside.
  2. Add spinach to large bowl. Toss with dressed wheat berries, grilled chicken strips, green onions, raspberries, walnuts and feta.
  3. Serve with remaining ¼ cup dressing.
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