How to Make Salted Preserved Lemons that are Yummy in Everything!

Preserved LemonsWhen life hands you lemons, make Preserved Lemons! Although back in 80-degree weather in January (!), a super cold spell last weekend required harvesting of citrus off the Meyer Lemon trees . . . including a bumper crop coming from my aunt in Houston. While making lemonade, lemon curd, lemon preserves and other citrus-y staples are a sweet way to use an abundance of the fruit, I was looking for something to use in savory dishes.

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Meet Buddha’s Hand, a Freaky Fingered Fruit + Citrus Dressing

Buddha's Hand - exotic citrus fruitThe Buddha’s Hand may just be the strangest citrus fruit known to man and it’s definitely one of the oldest, dating back to the ancient Far East. While this citrus fruit resembles a lemon that exploded and tried heal itself, this strange fruit with splayed extremities is definitely not a deformity – it’s designed just the way Mother Nature intended!  She is so creative!

The strange citrus fruit, Buddha's Hand is primarily peel and mild pith -- there is typically no flesh or juice.Also known as the Fingered Citron, and aptly described as a “lemon with fingers,” this freaky fruit is prized for its sweet floral fragrance and mild zest. Inside the fruit there is no flesh or juice to speak of — it’s all yellow rind and white pith. So, don’t try and buy the Buddha’s Hand isn’t for traditional snacking or juicing, it’s more an aromatic ornamental.

jennifer-and-buddhas-handHowever, the strange citrus IS actually edible, the sweet smelling rind can be used anywhere you would add lemon, lime or orange zest to a recipe. Ideas for consumption of Buddha’s Hand include using fresh zest in salad dressings, on fish, or in baked goods. The rind can also be sliced and used to infuse liqueurs, water, and vinegar. Frieda’s Produce also suggests using the bountiful rind to make candied citrus – the white pith is not bitter at all, so it requires no pre-soaking or pre-boiling like traditional candied peel recipes.

 

 

 

Buddha’s Hand, rich in Vitamin C,  is also used as a healing agent and alternative to modern-day prescription medicine. Possible Health Benefits of Buddha’s Hand include:

  • Boosts for  Immune System
  • Relief from Gastrointestinal Issues
  • Quelling of Nausea
  • Reduction of Menstrual Discomfort
  • Lessened  inflammation
  • Lowered high blood pressure

If you are lucky enough to score a Buddha’s Hand, display it at room temperature for a few days and enjoy the fragrance. Then, try it as a zesty way to add flavor to a recipe. I think you’ll like my Creamy Greek Yogurt Buddha’s Hand Dressing that can be used on salads, fish, and veggies:

Creamy Greek Yogurt Buddha's Hand Dressing is a flavorful way to use the abundant sweet, aromatic peel from this exotic citrus fruit.

Creamy Greek Yogurt Buddha’s Hand Dressing Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons finely diced shallot
  • 2 Tablespoons Meyer Lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Frieda’s Buddha’s Hand, zested
  • ½  teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme, minced
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

Directions: Soak diced shallot in cold water for 5 minutes. Drain and allow to dry on paper towel. Add shallot and zest to small bowl and add lemon juice and salt. Let sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add olive oil, vinegar, thyme, garlic and yogurt. Whisk until combined and use to dress vinaigrette salad greens, on fish or as a sauce for vegetables.Makes ½ cup dressing.

Have you ever seen or used a Buddha’s Hand? What is your favorite citrus fruit? Big weekend pans? Please share in the comments — XOXO, Jennifer 

Speedy Orange Jalapeno Salmon – Fueling More Fun

Orange Jalapeno Salmon makes a quick and healthy weeknight meal. Served on a bed of brown rice mixed with quinoa.You can’t beat salmon for a quick weeknight dinner — I probably eat it once a week and have fixed it up so many ways. I still can’t stop thinking about that time I skewered up salmon filets, completely wrapped them in bacon and threw on the grill! That’s when I was experimenting with fat-loading for a marathon. That’s a whole ‘nutha story.

orange jalapeno salmon toes

Firefly Pose Yoga - Jennifer Fisher - TheFitFork.comI’m not bringing bacon back today, but I am sharing a recipe for Orange Jalapeno Salmon that keeps the flavor kicked up with a punch of pepper. Many similar recipes do an orange marmalade in the sauce, but I’ve opted that out to avoid added sugar. This recipe is sure to become a favorite on fish day – plus it can be finished in 30 minutes, freeing you up to spend your late afternoons in more leisurely pursuits. Of course, “leisurely” is a relative descriptor, because the hour I spent trying to straighten my legs out practicing the yoga “firefly pose” was, errr, a little more challenging that leisurely.

If you’re looking for other ways to eat this heart-healthy fish, check out the 100 Ways to Cook with Salmon from CookingLight.com — you’ll never get bored with salmon again!

Salmon Recipes from Cooking Light are easy and packed with important nutrients.

What is your favorite fish? Do you have a secret salmon recipe? If you had and extra hour of free time, what would you do?  Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

Speedy Orange Jalapeno Salmon
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Speedy Orange Jalapeno Salmon
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Instructions
  1. Add orange juice, oil, jalepenos, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper in a small food processor or blender and pulse for about 30 seconds to a minute until combined. Set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 400 F degrees. Place salmon, skin side down, into 2” rimmed pan or oven proof skillet that has been rubbed with oil. Top with orange slices. Pour marinade over top and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until opaque.
  3. Serve on a salad or favorite whole grain -- pictured with 50/50 mixture of brown rice and tri-color quinoa.
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Lime Pie Smoothie + Blender Giveaway

Healthy Surprise Lime Pie Smoothie features hemp seeds and spinach for extra nutrition!Lime pie, don’t you just love this sweet, tart and tasty treats?! A big slice of Key Lime pie or the fabulous lime sherbet pie my mom used to make always reminds me of warm-weather memories and how sweet the slower pace of summer can be. Wouldn’t it be grand if summers were endless and we could all kick back on the lawn or hang out at the lake with the biggest worry in life being a bit of sunburn or not being able to get out of the hammock to fish before dinner?!

Enjoying some relaxing family time at the lake.

Enjoying some relaxing family time at the lake.

But, eventually, we all have to get back to the daily grind! But, my recipe for {Healthy Surprise} Lime Pie Smoothies is a delicious and nutritious way to fuel up for the day while serving as a reminder to slow down and smell the saltwater, chase the fireflies or just sit back on the patio and wait for the rainbow to appear over the sprinklers. The recipe for this protein smoothie features protein powder (use your favorite brand) and a tablespoon of hemp hearts for added protein and heart-healthy fats.  I like to have about 25g protein in my smoothies, but you can also just skip the protein powder scoop and cut back the milk an ounce or two.

Relax, Hamilton Beach's Wave Action Blender is ready to whip you up a smoothie, shake or icy drink this summer!

hamilton beach wave blender If you love to make smoothies, shakes and icy drinks (the most important refreshments of summer), the powerful and durable Hamilton Beach® Wave~Action® Blender will keep you whirling without any annoying chunks!  Ordinary blenders spin contents around the walls of the jar, which can leave whole chunks untouched by the blades. But, the unique Wave~Action® System is designed to continually force the mixture down into the blades for consistently smooth results.

 

blender lid spout

Other features I appreciated about this blender(and you’re sure to love, too) are an easy-pour spout,  700 watt motor, stir spoon for thick foods and dishwasher-safe 48-ounce glass jar.

So, YAY, I get to give one of these blenders away to a lucky reader – just enter via the Rafflecopter instructions below the recipe!

This Lime Pie Smoothie has a surprise -- spinach and hemp seeds for a boost of nutrition.

Healthy Surprise Lime Pie Smoothie Recipe

  • 12 ounces unsweetened coconut, soy or almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder of choice
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts (hulled hemp seeds)
  • ½ medium frozen banana
  • One large lime, zested and juiced
  • ½ cup packed spinach leaves
  • Stevia or honey to taste
  • Garnish – yogurt, lime slices

Add hemp seeds to blender and pulse for a few seconds to grind up. Add milk, frozen banana, lime juice and zest, and spinach. Blend until smooth and add stevia or honey to desired level of sweetness. If needed, add a few ice cubes and blend to create a thicker consistency. Garnish with a dollop of Greek yogurt and lime slices.  Serves 1.

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5 Unexpected Ways to Enjoy Grapefruit

5 Unexpected Ways to Enjoy Grapefruit - TheFitFork.com

Grapefruit are known for their intense aroma and sharp flavor. It’s hard for me to believe that these jumbo-sized treasures of winter and early spring are not loved by all – because they are definitely one of my favorite seasonal fruits! It’s my guess that these people who say grapefruit are “bitter” or “messy” just don’t know the right tricks of picking out and dealing with grapefruit.

How To Segment Grapefruit - numbered- TheFitFork.comSo, let’s start with the picking — to select the most gloriously ripe grapefruit, the skin will range in color from yellow to rosy pink depending on the variety and all types will feel heavy for their perceived size.  Grapefruit do not further ripen after being plucked from the tree, so there’s no leaving a grapefruit on the counter to “get ready” – just dig in!  If you feel like grapefruits are messy or hard to extract the segments without breaking them up, check out the photo tutorial I put together on how easy it is peel and cut up grapefruit.

I’m also sharing below five of my favorite (and unexpected) ways to enjoy grapefruit that will hopefully convert everyone into fans of the nutritious and delicious fruit!

 

Creamy Grapefruit Green Tea Smoothie: Get your morning off to a great start with this creamy grapefruit smoothie – the green tea and protein powder will keep your motor running until lunch! Recipe at bottom of post.Creamy Grapefruit Green Tea Protein Smoothie - TheFitFork.com

Grapefruit Water: Another way to enjoy the pleasant “bite” of grapefruit flavor without actually taking a bite is to add a few slices to your water – the bonus is that it will encourage you drink more water and meet (or exceed) your daily hydration needs! You can also infuse with herbs as desired – I used mint! Grapefruit Mint Infused Water - TheFitFork.com

Broiled Grapefruit: End your meal with the zing of citrus, broiled grapefruit makes a light dessert option that won’t undo a clean eating diet. Sprinkle a little sugar on top (plus whatever herbs or spices you like) and caramelize under the broiler for about 3 – 4 minutes.This Salted Honey and Ginger Broiled Grapefruit is made by drizzling about 2 teaspoons honey on 1/2 grapefruit and then sprinkling with 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon dried mint — I always use the Instantly Fresh herbs from Litehouse Foods for convenience.Honey and Lemongrass Broiled Grapefruit - TheFitFork.com

Grapefruit, Avocado and Feta Salad: Another dish so easy-breezy that you don’t really even need a recipe. Simply segment grapefruit (use my directions here) and toss with diced avocado and crumbled feta cheese, herbs or jalapeno peppers if you dare! One of the perk of this dish is that the citric acid in the grapefruit helps to keep the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown – just make sure you “dress” the salad with any remaining juice squeezed from the skin; toss salad gently.

Grapefruit, Avocado, Feta Salad - TheFitFork.com

Pink Grapefruit SorbetPink Grapefruit Sorbet – Doesn’t this frozen confection from CookingLight.com look refreshing?! Use as fancy-schmancy palate cleanser between courses or scoop up in frosty bowls. You can even pack this recipe in to pop molds and freeze for pure citrus sunshine on a stick.

 

 

 

What is your favorite way to eat grapefruit?

 

Creamy Grapefruit Green Tea Protein Smoothie - TheFitFork.com
Creamy Grapefruit Green Tea Smoothie
Print Recipe
Get your morning off to a great start with this creamy grapefruit smoothie – the green tea and protein powder will keep your motor running until lunch! Recipe at bottom of post.
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Creamy Grapefruit Green Tea Protein Smoothie - TheFitFork.com
Creamy Grapefruit Green Tea Smoothie
Print Recipe
Get your morning off to a great start with this creamy grapefruit smoothie – the green tea and protein powder will keep your motor running until lunch! Recipe at bottom of post.
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: serving
Instructions
  1. Use serrated spoon to remove flesh from ½ of grapefruit, add to blender. Squeeze any remaining juice from grapefruit shell into blender. Add green tea, milk banana, and protein powder to blender; blend until smooth. Add ice, as needed, until desired consistency achieved. Garnish with hulled hemp seeds.
Recipe Notes


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How To Segment Grapefruit – More Fruit, Less Mess!

Peeling Grapefruit - TheFitFork.comDon’t you just love grapefruit?! It’s both sweet and tart at the same time which makes my mouth initially confused, but ultimately happy. Plus, grapefruit is super healthy — just one half of a grapefruit provides 64 percent RDA of vitamin C, 28 percent of vitamin A, 5 percent of vitamin B-6, 166 milligrams potassium and 2 grams dietary fiber (all for just 52 calories).

grapefruit heartThe complex carbs found in grapefruit are your friend, especially if you are looking for some healthy quick energy for your workout. Plus, some studies suggest that consuming ½ grapefruit before meals helps to balance blood sugar levels and encourages the liver to burn, not store, excess fat. And, the antioxidents and flavinoids in grapefruit may help lower cholesterol and reduce in incidence of cardiovascular disease.

So, you can see I have a lot of love for the grapefruit. However, it’s not one of the easiest fruits to prep for recipes. The skin is hard to remove, the pith usually doesn’t peel off easily and the segment membranes are a little tough to chew. Plus, with all the hard work of removing the flesh, there always seems like a ton of waste. However, if you follow this How to Segment a Grapefruit tutorial, you’ll be enjoying juicy whole segments in no time – with less mess and waste!

Check back next week when I share some new recipes I created for the blog at Litehouse Foods – meanwhile, check out past recipes for Broiled Grapefruit with Feta and Zingy Citrus Salad.

How To Segment Grapefruit - numbered-  TheFitFork.com

Step 1.  Using a sharp knife, cut the top and bottom off grapefruit just enough to expose the pink flesh. This creates a stable object to work with rather than a round sphere that keeps rolling around!

Step 2. Slice off grapefruit peel, cutting downward from top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit. After removing all skin, go back to remove any remains of the white, bitter pith.

Step 3. To start removing the grapefruit segments, cut from the outside to the center just inside the membrane on one side of a section. Leave knife in center of fruit and gently “roll up” to the opposing side of the segment membrane, gently lift and remove. Repeat for remaining sections.

Step 4. One large grapefruit should yield about one cup of segments. Enjoy!

What is your favorite way to eat grapefruit?

Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish & #StackandSnap Food Processor #Giveaway

This post and giveaway are sponsored by Hamilton Beach. While they provided products for review, all opinions, editorial comments and recipes are my own.

Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish - TheFitFork.com

Looking for an easy, healthy holiday side dish you can make CHOP, CHOP?! My recipe for Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish is a real winner that beats that nasty canned jelly stuff with a wallop of fresh, zingy flavor. Versions of this recipe have been served at my family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations for as long as I can remember – while Grandma used to dump in a cup of granulated sugar, I keep it lower carb by using Stevia instead.

Cranberries Oranges and Ginger - TheFitFork.com

Can you believe there are only four (FOUR!) ingredients in this simple recipe and it can be whipped up in two minutes or less with the help of a food processor. Seriously, all you do is wash the fruit, quarter the orange (leave skin on!) and peel the ginger, throw all the healthy ingredients along with a touch of Stevia (or you could use honey) into the food processor and pulse for about a minute. Viola, you’re done – it’ tastes even better the next day and can be used as a side salad, relish for lean proteins, topping for yogurt, or as a way to add some seasonal razzamatazz to your turkey sandwich or roast beef wrap. And, for those of you with dietary concerns, this fruit recipe is sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and appropriate for Paleo, vegetarian, vegan and raw diets.

Hamilton Beach Stack and Chop Food Processor -and recipe from TheFitFork.com

I was so excited to receive a brand spanking new Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor from Hamilton Beach just in time for the holidays. My old one is almost 24 years old (wedding gift) and a pain in the butt to use – although, back then it was AWESOME! Today my new awesome is this good-looking Stack and Snap™ processor – it’s super easy to use thanks to a simple function guide that shows you which blade to use and which button to press. Another thing I appreciated right out of the box is that everything assembles with ease — there’s no twisting, turning or locking required when assembling the food processor. Uh, I hated using my old one because I could never remember how to put it together. I would have to holler for my husband to come into the kitchen to fix it because it was “broken.” Hey, don’t judge – I do all the cooking, he should make himself useful in the kitchen too!

Cranberry Relish in Food Processor - TheFitForkWith a powerful 450 Watt motor, this healthy-food-making bad boy can chop, slice, shred, mix and puree in no time, making my recipe prep time nearly non-existant. The Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor is also leak-proof, has a lock-down blade that won’t fall out when pouring and a Big Mouth® feed tube that can handle many whole-sized food (less pre-chopping by me)! Oh, and clean up’s a breeze, the parts (except for the base) are dishwasher safe.  So, you know it – I’m giving one away! Enter via the Rafflecopter app at the end of the recipe. 

 

Raw Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish Recipe

  • 1 lb. package fresh cranberries
  • 1 large navel orange
  • 2-inch chunk of ginger root, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons powdered Stevia
  1. Rinse cranberries and drain in colendar.
  2. Wash and quarter orange, remove any seeds but leave peel on.
  3. Peel ginger with paring knife and cut into chunks.
  4. Place all ingredients in work bowl of processor and pulse intermittently for one minute, or until coarsely chopped.
  5. Serves 6 – 8.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - bourbon cranberry apricot pecan relishIf you’re looking for another cranberry relish idea, check out this Bourbon Apricot Pecan Cranberry Relish recipe I did for last year’s feast. It is also sugar-free, but has a more syrupy, cooked on the stove top taste.

 

 

 

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Lemon-Lime Chicken & Grilled Grapes – Love the One You’re With

I call this post, “Love the one you’re with” after that folksy 1970s song by Crosby, Stills & Nash. I had my heart set on making a grilled steak with tomatoes for dinner but all I had in the fridge was chicken breast and grapes. As the chorus of this oldy-but-goodie goes, if you can’t be with the one you love – honey, love the one you’re with!    

grilled citrus chicken and grapes

Getting flexible and going with the flow is just my way (usually) and I rarely know what I’m making at dinnertime until minutes before – or sometimes the dish just evolves during the process. I know I can’t be the only one leaving evening meal planning until the last minute – pretty sure that “chicken recipes,” “easy dinner ideas,” and “30 minute meals” are some of the most Googled phrases between 4 pm and 6pm.

google search chicken dinner

If you’re guilty of Googling, then I’ve got your back! My recipe for Tuscan Lemon-Lime Chicken with Grilled Grapes (created for my friends at Litehouse Foods) will get dinner on the table in half an hour and impress your family with gourmet goodness. The chicken dinner is “fancy” enough to show off your ad hoc hospitality skills should guests unexpectedly drop by. Of course, you can follow the recipe to the letter – or use it for inspiration and get creative with other fruits and veggies.

Get the whole recipe for Tuscan Lemon-Lime Chicken with Grilled Grapes at the Living Litehouse blog.

I have another grilled citrusy chicken dinner that is a winner – Mojo Chicken Breast with Grilled Citrus. Keeping it colorful and creative and loving the one I’m with! Tomorrow, steak

grilled chicken and oranges