25 Tasty Ways to Top a Sweet Potato – Quick Ideas!

Wondering “what to do” when it’s meal time and a sweet potato plus a few minutes is all ‘ya got?  Get your finger off the panic button; I sharing 25 ways to top your ‘tater in 10 minutes or less that will squash your hunger in a wholesome, healthy way.

25 Fast and Flavorful Ways to Top a Sweet Potato - easy meal solutions for busy weeknight dinners.

The good news is that a sweet potato is a very nutritious base for your meal, packed with complex carbohydrates for sustaining energy and a mega dose of vitamin A , more than 400% RDA for a medium spud. Sweet potatoes are also an abundant source of other vitamins and minerals like potassium and dietary fiber. Tired of traditional orange sweet potatoes? Add a punch of unexpected color to dinner with a purple sweet potato! According to the USDA, these vibrant veggies have up to 4x the antioxidant powers of a regular white spud.

purple sweet potatoThe downside is that traditional “baking” or “roasting” a purple or orange sweet potato can take up to an hour. But again, don’t fret!  Use the microwave to fix up your sweet potato in a flash. Wash and dry your sweet potato and rub the outside with a dab of oil olive and season with salt. Use the tines of a fork or small paring knife to jab little holes all around to allow air to escape during the cooking process (and prevent a ‘tater explosion)!  Microwave cooking time varies widely depending on the size on the potato and power of your machine. I suggest starting with 4 minutes, setting your microwave to high. Turn the tuber halfway through and if still firm, continue to cook in 1 minute increments until soft and yielding.

All topping suggestions below start with a microwave “baked” sweet potato and are for one serving, but feel free to double, triple, quadruple or otherwise multiply for a crowd.

Plain Jane:  Fluff pulp of sweet potato, drizzle with 1 tablespoon quality olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Sloppy Joe:  Add ¼ pound cooked ground beef to ¼ cup tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon onion powder and dash of chili powder. Heat until warm and add to sweet potato.

French Onion: Sauté ½ sliced sweet onion in teaspoon of olive oil  6 to 8 minutes until caramelized, add splash of beef broth and stir until heated.  Add to sweet potato and top with shredded Gruyere cheese.

Honey Mustart & Scallion Sweet PotatoesHoney Mustard Sweet Potatoes: Whisk together 2 teaspoons each of Dijon mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar and drizzle on baked sweet potato. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

BBQ Brisket & Beans:  Chop up a couple slices of leftover beef brisket and ½ cup cooked pinto beans.  Stir in 3 tablespoons of barbeque sauce. Heat mixture in microwave, pile on potato and top with pickles and sliced onions.

Chicken Verde Enchilada:  Add ½ cup shredded rotisserie chicken to 2-ounces drained diced green chiles (from can), ½ cup green enchilada sauce and ½ teaspoon ground cumin.  Heat mixture in microwave, spoon over sweet potato, and top with light sour cream.

Greens, Eggs & Ham: Add one teaspoon olive oil to skillet and sauté 1 cup fresh spinach and 2 ounces chopped cooked ham until wilted and warm. Transfer mixture to baked sweet potato. Add egg to skillet and poach or “fry” in baking spray sunny side up. Add egg on top of ham and greens mixture, season to taste.

Tuna Nicoise: Top baked sweet potato with 3 ounces canned albacore tuna, chopped olives, green beans, tomatoes and hard-boiled egg slices. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.  

Sweet Bunny: Sauté ½ cup shredded carrots and ½ cup shredded parsnips with 1 tablespoon butter, teaspoon brown sugar and splash of orange juice.  Top with Greek yogurt and pea shoots.

Beef Chuck Wagon: Mix together 3 ounces shredded cooked beef (like chuck roast), ¼ cup thawed frozen corn, ¼ cup cooked beans, ¼ cup salsa and reheat in microwave until hot. Add to potato and top with cheddar cheese and jalapeno slices.

Cowboy Beef Brisket, Bean and Corn "Slop" on Sweet Potato makes a quick and healthy meal solution!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unique Greek:  Stir together ¼ cup cottage cheese with ¼ cup plain Greek Yogurt, adding a dash of garlic salt and splash of lemon juice to taste. Top with a salad of sliced cucumber, red onions, chopped tomatoes and sliced black olives.

Turkey Meatball Marinara: Heat 3 to 4 prepared turkey meatballs as directed on package, place on baked sweet potato.  Douse with heated marinara sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Hella Cauliflower Hummus: Add 1 cup of cauliflower florets to baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 400 F degrees for 10 minutes. Add generous dollop of hummus to baked sweet potato and top with roasted cauliflower.

Pesto Zoodles & Chickpeas: Spiralize a small zucchini (or julienne chop) and microwave with ½ cup cooked chick peas in microwave until heated, about 2 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons prepared pesto and top on potato.

Garden Guacamole:  Mash together ½ avocado and ¼ cup thawed frozen peas, season with garlic salt and splash of lemon juice. Stir in 1 tablespoon chopped red onion.  Dollop on baked potato and top with chopped tomatoes.

Peanut Thai Shrimp:  Thaw 3 ounces pre-cooked, deviend shrimp. Quickly sauté in 1 teaspoon olive oil along with ½ cup shredded carrots and 2 tablespoons chopped red onion until just heated. Stir in 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 tablespoon peanut butter and Sriracha sauce to taste. Add mixture to potato and top with additional peanuts if desired.

24-Hour Diner Breakfast: Top baked sweet potato with one scrambled egg, 2 slices of bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Broccoli Cheese Please:  Add 1 cup steamed broccoli over baked sweet potato and top with ½ cup “light” broccoli cheese soup from deli or jar. Add shredded cheddar and chopped green onions to garnish.

Mojo Black Bean Mango:  Make relish of 1/3  cup chopped mango, 2 tablespoons chopped red onion, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno and juice of ½ lime. Add ½ cup cooked black beans to sweet potato and top with relish.

Blue Cheese Buffalo Chicken: Mix 3 ounces chopped rotisserie chicken with 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce. Add to top of baked sweet potato and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes until cheese melting. Serve with celery sticks.

Feta Orange Crush:  Scoop out pulp of baked sweet potato, mix with 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice and 1 teaspoon orange zest.  Top with 2 tablespoons Feta cheese crumbles and 2 ounces of mandarin orange segments, broil for 1 minute until cheese bubbling.  Top with chopped mint.

Maple Salmon Pecan: Top baked sweet potato with 4 ounces cooked salmon chunks, 2 tablespoons pecan pieces and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Enchilada Sauce Y Mas: Top sweet potato with grated pepper jack cheese and shredded pork. Pour generous amount of warm enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with pico de gallo.

Coconut Curry: Stir together 1/3 cup Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon coconut “butter,” 1 teaspoon honey and ¼ teaspoon each curry powder, cumin, turmeric and red pepper flakes. Top sweet potato with 1 cup of favorite steamed veggies and pour on sauce.

What is your favorite way to top a sweet potato?  Which of these ideas do you like most?! Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Surf & Turf Recipes for a Delicious Date Night

Surf & Turf Recipes - simple and delicious dishes featuring beef and seafoodEver find it hard to decide between serving seafood or steak when making a romantic dinner or special date night? I say, why deny – the marriage of meaty, mouthwatering steaks with delicate, succulent seafood is a bond that shouldn’t be broken. In fact, I’m pretty sure SURF AND TURF are those three little words your significant other wants to hear on Valentine’s Day. And, maybe “I LOVE YOU” later! Here are a few favorites from my personal recipe collection and from friends at Cooking Light and Texas Beef Council. Pair up one from the beef list and one from the seafood list for a memorable meal your love will LOVE!

FAVORITE STEAK RECIPES FOR DATE NIGHT:

Spice Crusted Tenderloin Steak - TheFitFork.comSpice-Crusted Tenderloin Steaks – I don’t know how many times I’ve made this insanely good beef recipe – you just can’t go wrong with tenderloin.  Slice up your beef into filet steaks (or ask the butcher) and get grilling. If it’s still cold outside, this simple recipe works well on an indoor grill pan like this one XOXOX.

 

Pomegranate Steak with Quinoa makes a healthy date night meal

 

 

Pomegranate Steak with Quinoa – The additional of an ancient grain makes this strip steak super well balanced!

Pan Seared Strip Steak is surprisingly lean, but tastes sinfully delicious.Pan-Seared Strip Steak – Smoky, savory and seemingly sinful, this recipe is made with a strip steak which is actually quite lean. I’d be inclined to sprinkle some blue cheese on top for an umami one-two!

 

 

 

 

Mojo Flat Iron Steak

Mojo Flat Iron Steak – Flat iron is a very tender cut of beef, slice thin and serve with some grilled shrimp for a tasty tropics-inspired treat!

FAVORITE SEAFOOD RECIPES FOR DATE NIGHT:

Cumin-Dusted Seared Sea Scallops are so quick and easy to make -- plus very healthy!Cumin-Dusted Seared Sea Scallops – My simple recipe for scallops is super flavorful and can be made in mere minutes while steaks are resting!

Crab Stuffed Lobster with Citrus DressingCrab-Stuffed Lobster with Citrus Vinaigrette – I went coastal crazy when I tried this — this easy lobster (and crab!) recipe is so easy and elegant plated as a side dish with the perfect steak.

 

 

 

Shrimp sauteed with Cajun spices

Sauteed Creole Shrimp – I originally made these quick Cajun-inspired shrimp to toss on a salad but found a few strategically placed atop a steak are spicy magic!

Lemon Grilled Bay Shrimp are sure to add some zest to any meal!Lemon Grilled Bay Shrimp – Let shrimp soak up flavors in a 10-minute pre grill marinade of lemon juice, garlic and simple spices. I serve with the wedges, it looks so lovely!

 

 

 

 

So what are your dinner plans for Valentine’s Day? Do you love beef and seafood — are you more surf or more turf when it comes to life?  Please share in the comments below — 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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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 

Portobello Eggs Inferno with Mezzetta Pasta Sauces #FallForFlavor

Eggs for dinner, I’m all about that! Nothing worse than coming home from a busy day of work, training and kid stuff being hungrier than a linebacker and have nothing planned, thawed or leftover.  But, with a jar of pasta sauce in the pantry (loving of Mezzetta® Napa Valley Homemade pasta sauce) and some eggs in the fridge, I’ve found I can win dinner and be the champion of chow every night!

Portobello Eggs Inferno makes a quick and easy breakfast, lunch or dinner!I came up with this really delicious, nutritious and filling meal that I can make in about 15 to 20 minutes – Portobello Eggs Inferno. The recipe is single serving, but it can easily be tweaked to feed a larger crowd. With three teenagers and a husband who often works late, I usually know until the last minute how many will be sitting around the table each night, so I love flexible, expandable recipes like this!

Portobello Eggs Inferno Ingredients

Since I have a taste for spicy things, I used the “Spicy Marinara” flavor from the line of Mezzetta Pasta Sauces – and it’s pretty spicy (in a good way)! Some people call recipes that poach or bake eggs in spicy tomato sauce “Eggs in Hell” or “Eggs in Purgatory,” but I call the outcome pure heaven!  Instead of just cracking eggs into the sauce, I decided to bake the two little guys right on top of a meaty Portobello mushroom boat floating in a sea of spicy awesome sauce!  If you eat bread, the warmed, oozy sauce is perfectly sopped up with the crusty ends of a loaf – or I let mine meander over to my side of salad as a hot dressing.

Portobello Eggs Inferno with Mezzetta Spicy Marinara

I’m lucky my kids like most spicy foods too! They use the pasta sauce to make traditional spaghetti and meatballs (okay, the meatballs are store-prepared, but they can make the rest themselves)!  If your young ones don’t like spicy, don’t fret – Mezzetta Napa Valley Homemade pasta sauce has six flavors – Spicy Marinara (what I’m showing), Marinara, Tomato & Sweet Basil, Roasted Garlic & Caramelized Onions, Parmesan, Asiago & Romano and  Wild Mushroom.

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Mezzetta Spicy Marinara

Mezzetta Perfect Pasta Night GiveawaySo, are you getting hungry for these Napa Valley Homemade sauces?! You can find them on the pasta aisle at most grocery stores – in the meantime, enter for your chance to win a Perfect Pasta Night, the awesome grand prize includes all six Mezzetta® Napa Valley Homemade™ Pasta Sauce flavors and lots of other goodies – including a $500 grocery gift card! There are also 10 runner up prizes that include the entire sauce collection with recipes cards. Enter now!

 

What is your favorite quick dish using pasta sauce? Which of these flavors would you try first? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

 

Portobello Eggs Inferno makes a quick and easy breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Portobello Eggs Inferno
Print Recipe
Speed into dinner and #FallForFlavor with this easy baked egg dish that is a quick fix with pasta sauce for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Portobello Eggs Inferno makes a quick and easy breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Portobello Eggs Inferno
Print Recipe
Speed into dinner and #FallForFlavor with this easy baked egg dish that is a quick fix with pasta sauce for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: serving
Instructions
  1. In small 6-inch skillet (that is oven proof), heat olive oil and saute spinach over medium-high for 2 to 3 mintues.
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Add marinara sauce to skillet and stir to combine with spinach.
  4. Wash mushroom cap and remove stem. Place gill side up in middle of pasta sauce -- cut off rounded bottom if needed to keep it sitting flat.
  5. Crack eggs in middle of mushroom leaving yolks intact. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
  6. Bake at 400 F degrees for approximately 15 minutes, more or less depending on preferences of yolk consistency.
Recipe Notes

To make for 4 people, use a 10 - 12" skillet and multiply all ingredients by 4 inches.

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