Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew w/ Sage Romano Grits + #StubbsInsider Giveaway

This post and giveaway was sponsored by Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q , however all opinions, comments and enthusiasm are my own.

Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits

This holiday season, I’ve made a vow to make all my meals with love, happiness and smiles. Not just the big celebration dinners, but also the crazy night meals when we’ve been out all day running errands, visiting with family or volunteering with our favorite charity (Brown Santa).  Some times on these chaotic nights, I get grumbly about making supper, but shortcuts with Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q products  keep me grinning even after sitting in shopping mall traffic or spending hours trying to figure out which bulb in a string of lights has burned out.

Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits in slow cooker

For this slow cooker recipe, I’ve used Stubb’s Smokehouse Bourbon Cookin’ Sauce. This convienient product (which is gluten free) works in both the skillet and slow cooker. It contains a flavorful sauce pouch made with bourbon, garlic and rosemary along with a spice packet that can be used to prep the meat. Browning Stew Meat

One little hint extra step I have for this quick and easy recipe is to brown the stew meat before putting in the crock pot. While this may seem unnecessary (and you can skip if absolutely pressed for time), it does create an amazing caramelization on the beef which helps to create a more complex flavor experience. Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits -  an easy slow cooker meat that will satisfy your guests this holiday season.

Don’t just think of Stubb’s ONLY as a way to fix traditional Texas BBQ. They have so many delicious Bar-B-Q sauces, marinades, rubs and Cookin’ Sauces that offer bold flavors to spur on your creativity in the kitchen this holiday season.

Of course, I love to create my own new holiday recipes as well as revisit family food traditions, but why recreate the wheel on every single side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other winter family gatherings when Stubb’s has complied a delicious collection of recipes for the season?! stubbs-roasted-brussels-sprouts

Yes-sir-ee, the Stubb’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts will be a delicious compliment to my Slow Cooker Cranberry-Orange Beef Stew with Rosemary Garlic Grits. You need to try these, so amazing!   

stubbs-cranberry-orange-beef-packageTo help you get cooking with down-home but daring style, I’m hosting a giveaway for one reader to win a Stubb’s Prize Pack that includes a spatula, T-shirt, Stubb’s hat and coupons for free Stubb’s products (yeehaw)!  Just enter via the Rafflecopter app below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits
Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew w/ Sage Romano Grits
Print Recipe
Warm up with this tasty beef stew that is slightly spicy, sweet and tangy -- it makes a hearty meal topped on grits but you can also pair with pasta, potatoes, and whole grains.
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits
Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew w/ Sage Romano Grits
Print Recipe
Warm up with this tasty beef stew that is slightly spicy, sweet and tangy -- it makes a hearty meal topped on grits but you can also pair with pasta, potatoes, and whole grains.
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Instructions
for stew
  1. Sprinkle stew meat with spice packet from Stubb’s Slow Cooker Sauce (or simply season with salt and pepper for alternative preparation).
  2. Heat large, heavy-duty skillet to medium-high heat and brown stew meat in single layer. Don’t overcrowd, work in batches if necessary, draining cooking liquid between.
  3. Add browned stew meat to 6-quart slow cooker along with chopped onion, cranberry sauce, orange segments, orange zest, bourbon and Stubb’s Slow Cooker Sauce. Stir to combine.
  4. Top slow cooker with lid and simmer on high heat for 4 to 6 hours, or until beef tender. If desired, add 1 cup fresh cranberries to last 1 hour of simmering.
  5. *** If you can’t find Stubb’s Cookin’ Smokehouse Bourbon Flavor, the use this substitute. To season stew meat before browning, sprinkle with mixture of 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes. For liquid, add 1 cup beef broth, 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and add an additional 1 ounce of bourbon whiskey.
for grits
  1. Add water to saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Slowly stir in grits, sage and salt and then reduce to medium-low for simmer.
  2. Simmer for about 7 minutes stirring frequently. When thickened, stir in cheese until incorporated. Remove from heat.
  3. To serve, place a mound of grits on a plate and use a slotted spoon to remove beef, onions and fruit from slow cooker. Top with optional garnishes of grated orange zest and chopped parsley.
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Brunch on This | Tipsy Topsy Turvy Cranberry Ginger Cake

Tispy Topsy Turvy Cranberry Ginger Cake delicious for breakfast, brunch or dessert!Merry Christmas, y’all! Actually, I’m getting my post up late . . . so the day is almost over, but I hope lots of hugs were had, laughs were shared and memories were made!  With our oldest home from college, it’s been wonderful to have everyone together again . . .  and get back the full-immersion effects of being the only female of five people under the roof.

christmas jennifer and boys 2015

Today, I made big Christmas morning brunch for my kiddos, husband, mom and dad and family visiting from out of town.  A few of the dishes are traditional non-negotiables, like the Overnight French Toast, Barn Raiser Beef & Egg Bake, and Cinnamon Monkey Bread.  But, I always like to come up with a new holiday brunch recipe – and this one for Tipsy-Topsy-Turvy Cranberry Ginger Cake was a hit! There is still plenty of holiday time left to make this delicious dish which can also double as a dessert (throw a scoop of ice cream on top). Don’t worry, the alcohol content in the liquor burns off, so it’s just fine to feed to the children.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Oh, so did I mention that after brunch and presents and clean-up, we went stand-up paddle boarding?! Only in Austin!

Jennifer Fisher of thefitfork.com stand up paddle board

So, what was your most memorable happening today? Or, have you ever made an upside down cake — with what fruit? Please share in the comments, XOXO — Jennifer

Cranberry Upside Down Cake
Tipsy Topsy Turvy Cranberry Ginger Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Cranberry Upside Down Cake
Tipsy Topsy Turvy Cranberry Ginger Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In small saucepan, melt butter and whisk in liquor and brown sugar. Stir in ginger and lemon zest and continue to cook for 2 minutes until combined and beginning to bubble.
  3. Spray pan with cooking spray and pour brown sugar mixture into bottom of pan. Add cranberries to top of brown sugar mixture; set aside.
  4. In medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together oil, milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour wet contents into bowl of dry contests and beat for 2 minutes with mixer or by hand, until well combined but not over mixed.
  6. Pour batter over cranberries.
  7. Bake for approximately 50 minutes in center rack of oven or until toothpick pulls clean.
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Olive You! Easy Holiday Recipes and Entertaining Inspiration

As the holidays approach, I think fondly of all those who are near and dear – and also my loved ones further away. And, of course, the readers of my blog and friends and supporters on social media are on my mind and heart, what would I do without you all! I just want to let you know that it would be the total PITS without you . . .  OLIVE YOU! Because OLIVE YOU so much (bear with the puns please), I’m sharing some of my favorite ways to use olives in holiday recipes.

Olive You

First, it’s cocktail hour. Might I suggest skewering up a salty olive to complement a sweet drink – you’d be surprised at how well the combination goes. Because I fall on my face easily enough sober, I typically limit myself to ½ a drink. With just one “mini” drink, I can still wake up refreshed for the fiercest workouts and morning to-do lists, but can still enjoy a little taste of fa-la-la libations.

Cranberry Martini with Mezzetta Olive

Here, I’ve added a Mezzetta Olive to a Mini Cranberry Martini – it’s a tablespoon each of vodka and cranberry juice along with a splash of lime juice – and cranberries for garnish.

Mezzetta Olives for a Cheese Board

Holiday Olive TrayNo cocktail party would be complete without an olive tray and cheese board filled with delicious noshes –  olives, aged cheeses, seasonal fruit, artisan crackers and an array of almonds. It’s simple yet sophisticated as a focal “snack” for your festivities and also makes a lovely prelude to any holiday meal and creates an abundance of Mezzetta Memories.

 

Pasta with Blue Cheese OlivesSpeaking of holiday meals, think of all those busy-night dinners leading up to and after the BIG DAY where a huge roast or bird isn’t on the menu – yet you have a house full of folks who have worked up quite the appetite shopping, wrapping, visiting, caroling, baking or being on hall-decking detail. My recipe for Pasta with Blue Cheese Olives is the easiest, most amazing holiday meal that comes together practically in the wink of an eye – or as long as it takes to cook pasta al dente. If you’re making it after Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanza or whatever your holiday celebration may be, feel free to toss in any leftover main course protein such as beef tenderloin, pork roast or turkey breast!

Pasta with Blue Cheese Olives Recipe

  • 8 ounces uncoooked whole grain pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup Mezzetta Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives, halved crosswise
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 12 ounces pre-cooked protein leftovers, like chicken, turkey, roast beef
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat up olive oil in large skillet and saute garlic and red pepper flakes for approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add olives and tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes until warmed.
  4. Toss with noodles optional protein leftovers (warmed) and a little extra olive oil, if needed. Season with salt to taste. Stir in blue cheese while still warm.
  5. Serves 4.

 

 

 

Pasta with Mezetta Blue Cheese OlivesBeing able to make a speedy yet special recipe like Pasta with Blue Cheese Olives which uses extraordinary ingredients I wouldn’t necessarily use every day (including gourmet olives, bold blue cheese and sun-dried tomatoes) frees up my time to make more meaningful Christmas memories with family and friends that will last a lifetime. Plus, I appreciate the fact that Mezzetta, a fourth generation family-owned company, also values holiday tradition, family and providing the highest quality olives available from the sun-drenched soils of California, Italy, Spain, France, and Greece. I like to keep quite a few varieties of Mezzetta olives stocked in my pantry for impromptu salads, pizzas, pastas, snacks and more — inspiration is just a twist away!

Mezzetta MemoriesPlease visit Mezzetta to find daily inspiration and enter the Holiday Memories Sweepstakes for a chance to win the holiday memories sharing pack. One winner will receive an Instant Print Digital Camera plus an Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket and ten others will receive the Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket – I have one, it’s fabulous! Expires Dec. 31, 2015 – enter here.

What are your favorite holiday memories that involve gathering friends and family around good food? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Tart Cranberry Grape Protein Bites Recipe #BehindTheMuscle

This post is sponsored by Isopure, but recipe, editorial remarks & enthusiasm are all mine!Tart Cranberry Grape Protein Bites TitleI was looking for a snack to take on a trail run the other day and just wasn’t happy with the packaged options available. I wanted something that would offer me enough quality carbohydrates to keep my body moving, but also protein for sustained energy and muscle recovery. It was going to be a long day – I also had a big workout planned later in the day. I needed to avoid nuts, wanted a snack that was good for my guts, and was in the mood for tart and tangy, something completely different that the normal chocolate and caramel concoctions. A big order!

Tart Cranberry Grape Protein Bites using Isopure AminosI ended up making my own concoction, Tangy Cranberry Grape Protein Bites — perfection and just what I “ordered”!  Made with a whey protein isolate and Isopure Amino Acids, I knew my workout snack was going to give me quality nutrition for muscle recover and building – especially with those BCAAs.

Drinking Isopure Aminos right after my workout has been really helping with muscle recovery! I’ve blogged about the Isopure Amino Acids before, I love this product – not only does it taste great, it features everything I need for head-to-toe recovery including all the branch chain amino acids ( BCAAs) to help me make more of my muscles, but also tart cherry to ward off inflammation and L-theanine for a calm and relaxed mind.

Other nutrition perks of these on-the-go energy protein bites? Lots of vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin C) and quality carbs to keep the engine revved on high. Not only are the unsweetened cranberries and drizzle of honey a good, dense source of carbs for any high-energy sport, the unmodified protein powder used serves the dual purpose of binder and beneficial resistant starch.

So, what am I talking about when I say unmodified potato starch is a “resistant starch”? It’s a type of prebiotic starch that “resists” digestion and prevents spikes in blood glucose and insulin.  As a type of prebiotic (aka, and digestible carb), it helps to establish and support good gut health – the right environment for gut bacteria. Studies are also suggesting that resistant starches may also help contribute to weight loss through lowered blood sugar spikes, decreased appetite, lessened fat storage in fat cells and preservation of lean muscle mass. There are many kids of resistant starches, but unmodified (aka, raw) potato starch is a reliable and easy-to use option (the Bob’s Red Mill brand is sold at most stores). Anyway, all the science is a little over my head, but I thought this article How Resistant Starch Will Help to Make You Healthier and Thinner  at ChrisKresser.com was very helpful in understanding.

Tart Cranberry Grape Protein Bites using Isopure Aminos

Tangy Cranberry Grape Protein Bites

  1. Add cranberries, honey and water to work bowl of food processor and process for 1 -2 minutes, or until cranberries very, very finely chopped up and sticky.
  2. In large bowl, mix together protein powder, amino powder and potato starch until combined.
  3. Add dry mixture to cranberry mixture about ½ cups at a time, processing each time until incorporated. Dough should be forming up into a big ball with some crumbling back down. If mixture still looks too sticky, process in 1 tablespoon of potato starch at a time until desired results are achieved.
  4. Roll into 24 bite-sized balls approximately 1-inch in diameter. May be left out in gym bag, but store in refrigerator overnight for best freshness.

Quick Macros Per Bite: 50 calories, 7g protein, 18g total carb (0.3g sugar), 0.125g fat, 12% DV Vitamin C,

 

Hope you get a chance to make this easy protein bite recipe for your next run or workout. They pack really well in a little zip top bag that you can take wherever you go, they don’t melt or fall apart or “go bad” sitting out all day. Stash a handful of these recovery treats in a fuel belt, pocket or gym bag and then feel free to KILL that workout knowing all your post exercise nutrition needs will be met in a few little “bites”. Also, check out Isopure BCAAs and all the other clean, lean quality protein products they offer.

Do you have a homemade workout snack? Have you ever heard of resistant starches? Did you run a race, have a fitness competition, do something else fabulous this weekend? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

DIY Cranberry Vanilla Sugar Scrub #BerryBeautyTrends #AzoCranGummies

Creamy Cranberry Orange Smoothie - TheFitFork.comSome people only think of cranberries during the holidays, but these little tart berries are awesome all year ‘round! Especially in summer tossed in recipes like my Creamy Cranberry Orange Smoothie, whirled up and frozen into fruit pops or tossed atop salads. Having a hard time tracking down fresh packages of this bog berry in warm weather months? Then, do what I do – stock up at the produce section right after Thanksgiving and Christmas (they are often also on sale) and then stick the straight into the freezer in original packaging where they’ll stay good for at least six months – or longer if packed air tight in a zip-top freezer bag.

You can also use cranberries to make a really effective and inexpensive sugar scrub! Natural beauty experts say that skin-care with cranberries is perfect for the acne-prone or those who have oily skin because – you can thank the berry’s inherent antibacterial properties. Used in a sugar scrub, cranberries also help to smooth skin texture and brighten your complexion.  My DIY berry beauty treatment only takes a few ingredients and few minutes to whip up — the “recipe” for Cranberry Vanilla Body Scrub makes enough for you and another container to give as a gift!

Make your own Cranberry Vanilla Sugar Scrub that is great for acne-pron and oily skin -- plus is softens and smooths!

Another important health benefit of cranberries is the prevention of urinary tract infections. After the flu and the common cold, urinary tract infections (UTI) are the most common medical complaint among women age over the age of 18 – and the majority of us will experience the significant discomfort (to put it mildly) of a UTI at least once during their lives. If you’ve ever had one, you know UTIs are a real pisser, to put it bluntly.

You’ve probably heard that drinking cranberry juice may help prevent UTIs. But why? According to WebMD, researchers used to think that cranberries created a more acidic environment that bacteria wouldn’t want to grow in. Now they believe that cranberries contain compounds that prevent infection-causing bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls – while research is still evolving, it appears that either the antioxidants in cranberries alter the bacteria in some way or create a slippery coating on urinary tract walls that keep bacteria from adhering or maybe both.

azo bottleBut, what if you don’t like the taste of cranberry juice, can’t drink it for dietary reasons, or it’s just not convenient to have a jug of the juice on hand at all times? You should try AZO Cranberry Gummies – just two of these mixed berry-flavored gummies provides the equivalent health benefits of a 10-ounce glass of cranberry juice**.  AZO Cranberry Gummies contain Pacran®, a super-concentrated cranberry powder that helps flush the urinary tract to maintain cleanliness.  The gummies taste really great and are an easy solution if you are worried about UTIs — AZO also has a bunch of other products that help women dealing with other delicate problems.

azo prizeAlso, don’t miss out on the Berry Beauty Sweepstakes – you could win a Berry Beauty Basket full of Sephora Goodies!

 

 

Have you ever made a DIY beauty product? Do tell! Share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

 

Disclaimer Stuff: I am being compensated to share my honest opinion of AZO Cranberry Gummies. **Biological activity of 10oz cranberry juice cocktail. *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. AZO Cranberry® used under license by i-Health, Inc. Pacran® is a trademark of Naturex.

Fruit & Nut Holiday Couscous Mix – DIY Gift for Foodies

Fruit & Nut Couscous Mix - TheFitFork.comI am here to rescue you from last-minute gifting stress and solve holiday side dish dilemmas – both at the SAME time! You can thank me later. In my opinion, there’s nothing more tasteful than a healthy gourmet gift, and my recipe for Fruit & Nut Holiday Couscous Mix will delight all the fit foodies on your list. This homemade gift looks like a lot of time and effort went into it, artistically arranged with jewel-toned layers of cranberries and pistachios between pearled whole wheat couscous. In reality, it’s super simple to make (like a kiddy sand art project) and, for my craft-challenged self, more time and effort went into tying the bows and making gift tags!

jar of cranberry pistachio couscous mix for giftsYou can use a new mason jar, recycled glass jar or any container of your choosing – get creative! Also, I’ve made the same mix and swapped out other types of dried fruit and nuts for the cranberries and pistachios with excellent results. Consider combinations such as Apricot & Almond, Apple & Pecan or Date & Almond – the possibilities are nearly limitless!
Gift Tag for Fruit & Nut Holiday Couscous MixHere is a gift tag you can print out on sticker paper and place right on the jar – or use with card stock, write your personal sentiments on the back, and then tie around the neck of bottle with ribbon.

 

 

 

Cranberry Pistachio CousCous - TheFitFork.com

While you’re busy making batches of these jar food gifts to give friends, family and neighbors, don’t forget about stocking your own pantry. The Cranberry & Pistachio Couscous makes a fast and festive side dish that pairs beautifully with beef, chicken, pork and more and can be completed from pot to plate in just 5 minutes. I’m serious!

Fruit & Nut Holiday Couscous Mix Recipe

Supplies needed: 3 approximate 12-ounce jelly or mason jars, ribbon, gift tags.

  • 1 tablespoon dried mint*
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley*
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes*
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes that have be smashed into powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat pearl (Israeli) couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups regular pearl (Israeli) couscous
  • • 1 cup raw shelled pistachios (can sub any nut)
  • • 1 cup dried cranberries (can sub any dried fruit)
  1. In small bowl, mix together mint, parsley, dried onion, crushed vegetable bullion and pepper.
  2. Pour approximately 2 tablespoons of spice mix into the bottom of clean, dry jar. Repeat for total of 3 jars.
  3. Layer ingredients in a manner that pleases you until ½-inch from top. The approximate measurements I used for my layers were 1/3 cup for each couscous layer and 3 tablespoons for each fruit and/or nut layer.
  4. Screw lid tightly on and decorate with ribbon.
  5. Makes 3 gift jars that serve 2 – 3 people each.
  6. Cooking directions on gift tag (above).

*Litehouse Food’s line of Instantly Fresh Herbs work very well in this recipe and actually they’re having a Pinterest Sweepstakes where you can win the entire line of Instantly Fresh products plus a $250 Amazon gift card (but hurry because winner will be drawn on 12/23/2014).

micheles granola

Also, I want to share with you a delicious granola that I was recently sent to sample – Michele’s Granola! I tried the Cherry Chocolate and Pumpkin Spice flavors and they were both oh-so yummy (better than cookies!) that I can’t wait to munch on every other variety of this handmade, small-batch granola. Michele’s Granola is made with 100% organic whole grain oats (most other ingredients are organic too) and everything is also GMO-free, preservative-free, dairy-free, wheat-free and peanut-free.

micheles granola logoYou can find Michele’s Granola at natural food retailers (Whole Foods in Austin), grocery stores or online at MichelesGranola.com. Use promo code FRESH10 to get 10% off your online order.

 

 

 

Do you make any homemade food gifts for the holidays? Please share your ideas!

 

 

Cranberry Recipes for Thanksgiving Feasts + Health Benefits

Check out What's Thanksgiving Without Cranberries?!

by The Fit Fork at Foodie.com

This post is sponsored by Foodie.com.

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without cranberries on the table and I’m happy to be sharing a collection of cranberry recipes I put together for Foodie.com – you’ll find healthy cranberry recipes for Thanksgiving and the remainder of the holiday season.

12 Healthy Cranberry Recipes for the Holidays - thefitfork.com

If you’ve wondered why we mainly eat cranberries in the fall, it’s because they are in season October, November and December – the primary holiday meal making months! However, this sweet-tart berry has so many health benefits that I like to eat them year round.  Many of these health benefits are attributed to the phytochemicals known as proanthocyandidins found in cranberries – this compound in cranberries inhibit bacteria from adhering and multiplying in the body – that’s why drinking cranberry juice is a natural remedy for urinary tract infections. Cranberries may lower incidence of cancer; studies show polyphenolic extracts from cranberries diminish the growth of prostate, lung and esophageal tumor cells – cranberries have the highest level of this powerful antioxidant than 20 fruits and vegetables tested. As an athlete, cranberries are also a great source of natural carbohydrates to fuel workouts. Health Benefits of Cranberries - thefitfork.com

So, how can you enjoy cranberries year round when the store shelves are cleared out at the New Year? You can freeze fresh cranberries to use later in sauce, relish and other recipes. If you’re in a hurry, simply place original packing inside a heavy duty freezer bag and freeze for up to one year. If you have more time, I’d suggest rinsing and drying the cranberries and then freezing in a single layer on a baking sheet before placing in an airtight container. This allows you to grab a handful at a time without the berries being clumped together.

Do you have a favorite cranberry recipe? Please share!

Skinny Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad + Jump Rope Workout

lightened chicken salad

I love chicken salad. Cool, creamy and packed with lean protein, chicken salad is a go-to meal on my family’s overscheduled evenings. With multiple obligations that have us crisscrossing each other’s paths, I make dinner less stressful and more healthful (avoiding fast food) by whipping up a big batch earlier in the day, plate it up on lettuce and leave waiting in the fridge for self-serve meals as people arrive home.

Unlike deli chicken salads, my recipe for Skinny Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad is much friendlier on your figure. No-fat Greek yogurt replaces most of the mayonnaise used in traditional chicken salad; just a bit of reduced-fat mayo is added in for the familiar flavor. Dried cranberries add a hint of natural sweetness and toasted pecans give a satisfying crunch!  Serve on lettuce (my favorite way) or sandwich between bread, dollop atop crackers or roll up in a wrap.

Skinny Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe

  • 4 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
  • 2/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced (including tops)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-tat mayonnaise
  • 6 ounces 0% fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Romaine Lettuce, chopped
  1. Add first 9 ingredients to a large bowl, and stir with a fork to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to overnight before serving. This gives the flavors time to mingle.
  3. Serve over a bed of romaine lettuce.

Serves 6.

 

Jump rope workout

Now that you’re fueled up with a healthy salad topped with Skinny Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad, you’ll have plenty of energy later in the day to knock out my “Just Jump & Plank” WOD I created for Core Power. All you need is a bit of space and a jump rope and you’ll be getting a great cardio workout along with some core-strengthening action. Have fun!