Rainbow Eats! Cumin Seared Scallops with Strawberry, Jicama and Jalapeno Confetti Salad

Scallops dusted with cumin and quickly pan seared make a quick and healthy dinner -- especially atop Strawberry, Jicama and  Jalapeno Confetti Salad

My fresh and fit recipe for Strawberry, Jicama & Jalapeno Confetti Salad is truly an edible rainbow. Strawberries, papaya, pineapple, jalapenos, cilantro and jicama mingle together with a limey dressing – it’s so utterly utopian, the chances of seeing a unicorn run by increase with every spoonful.

Strawberry, Jicama and Jalapeno Confetti Salad  is so colorful and healthy!

Of course, you could eat this fruit salad alone, but it’s also amazing as a salsa on fish tacos – or with my dinner tonight, Cumin-dusted Seared Sea Scallops. Scallops are so easy to prepare, it’s almost ridiculous. Get your oiled skillet really hot, pat on some spices and then sear for just a couple minutes each side is turning crispy golden brown and the flesh is still just slightly translucent in the center. Pan to plate in less than five minutes!

Cumin-Dusted Seared Sea Scallops are so quick and easy to make -- plus very healthy!

Sea Scallops from Sizzle FishI’m a big fan of the scallops from Sizzle Fish.  Plump, natural sea scallops from the North Atlantic (flash- frozen and packaged in individual serving packs of 4 scallops) are shipped right to my door! No shopping in a busy supermarket and five minutes of cooking – it’s the easiest way ever to get your muscle-making protein.

Scallops dusted with cumin and quickly pan seared make a quick and healthy dinner -- especially atop Strawberry, Jicama and Jalapeno Confetti Salad
Cumin Dusted Scallops with Strawberry, Jicama and Jalapeno Confetti Salad
Print Recipe
It's an eating rainbow! Cumin Seared Scallops with Strawberry, Jicama and Jalapeno Confetti Salad recipe makes an insanely quick, colorful and healthy meal.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Scallops dusted with cumin and quickly pan seared make a quick and healthy dinner -- especially atop Strawberry, Jicama and Jalapeno Confetti Salad
Cumin Dusted Scallops with Strawberry, Jicama and Jalapeno Confetti Salad
Print Recipe
It's an eating rainbow! Cumin Seared Scallops with Strawberry, Jicama and Jalapeno Confetti Salad recipe makes an insanely quick, colorful and healthy meal.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
For Confetti Salad
For Scallops
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In medium bowl, add all diced fruit, red onion, and jalapeno.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, cumin and ancho chile pepper. Gently stir into salad.
For Scallops
  1. Add oil to skillet and heat to medium-high.
  2. Pat scallops dry and dust with cumin and ancho powder. Arrange in hot skillet so they are not touching each other.
  3. Cook for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes per side (depending on thickness). Scallops should be crusty golden brown on top and bottom and still a tiny bit translucent in the center (because the will still cook a bit once removed from pan).
  4. Drizzle with sriracha and sprinkle with minced cilantro. Serve with confetti salad.
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Easy Autumn Dinner! Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Sauce

Fall weather is here! Fall flavors are here! Fall family togetherness is here! All I want to do through the end of the year is gather my family ‘round the dinner table for a hearty and healthy meal paired with productive, thought-provoking conversation with my three teens. After all, one is leaving the nest next year and the others aren’t far to follow.

Sometimes the dinner chatter is really deep – like the other night my middle son posed the question, “Do you believe that retaliation can ever be justified?”  I’m thinking, “oh no” what happened, who did what to whom? The good news is that these three brothers who usually get along so well, still do – the query was actually one asked in school. Apparently, my son was the only kid who vocalized that retaliation, in any form, is not okay. He said, “If everyone gave an eye for an eye, then the whole world would be blind.”  So true!  Although he paraphrased this wisdom from Ghandi, I still got that warm fuzzy feeling of good parenting — ahhh, I’m doing an awesome job.  Then, youngest son – “I will so smash your computer if you take that last dinner roll.”

This is what a boneless lamb shoulder looks like!

This is what a boneless lamb shoulder looks like!

So, let me just say, there was no retaliation against mom after serving a (gasp) new food to the kids – lamb.  My husband and I have both had lamb in the past, served as chops or roasts with the nasty mint jelly – it’s not something I’ve ever thought to make myself. But, American Lamb sent me a big ole boneless shoulder roast and some votes of confidence that I could create something really delicious with this often overlooked meat.

 

 

So, I came up with a fall-inspired recipe for Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Glaze and I served it over some insanely mouth watering Caramalized Onion and Kale Sweet Potatoes – I will share this sweet potato recipe later this week (you do not want to miss it)!

Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Sauce Caramalized Onion Kale Sweet Potatoes Jennifer Fisher

So, these are the things I learned from the lamb experiment. The lamb was delicious and braised up just like a beef chuck roast and shreds up really nicely to serve over sweet potatoes, rice, or even in a sandwich – my kids thought it was really great! I also realized you could easily make this recipe in a slow cooker rather than the Dutch oven – just set it on the low setting and slow cook for 8 – 10 hours.  Another thing I learned is that fresh cranberries lose their color when you cook them all day. That’s okay — I still needed to reduce the sauce down, just threw in some extra. Bam, there you go – meaty, sweet, tangy, total deliciousness.

braised lamb shoulder with cranberry ginger sauce title

Braised Lamb with Cranberry-Ginger Glaze Recipe

  • 1 3 – 4 lb. boneless American lamb shoulder roast
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • 12 oz bag fresh cranberries (divided)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • ½ cup cranberry juice
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (divided)
  • ¼ cup honey
  1.  In 6 quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil to medium high.
  2. In small bowl, mix together pepper, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and thyme. Rub into lamb roast, coating evenly.
  3.  Add lamb shoulder roast to heated pot and sear for approximately 3 – 4 minutes on each side until browned nicely.
  4. Lower heat and add chopped onions, cranberries, wine, cranberry juice, garlic and 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger. Top with lid and simmer on medium to medium low for approximately 3 hours or until fork tender and easy to shred.
  5. Remove roast from pot and discard unwanted fat.  Pour off approximately ½ of cooking juices and add remaining fresh cranberries, remaining 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, and honey.
  6. Simmer this mixture for approximately 15 minutes until cranberries have popped and sauce reduced and thickening.
  7. Serves 8

The American Lamb Board provided me with product for this post, but all thoughts, comments, opinions and recipe are my own.

Just curious , have YOU ever cooked lamb at home before?

#SlowCookerMeals – Ancho Mama’s Pot Roast Recipe & Tacos!

Taught a class on economical cuts of beef last night – ground beef immediately comes to mind when the word “budget” is tossed around. However, top sirloin and chuck roast are both versatile cuts that can stretch your family’s food allowance and still give you that “mmmmmm” satisfaction that comes along a nice, hearty and yet healthy beef dinner.

win me slow cookerI’ve been in slow-cooker mode for the past few weeks and want to remind you about my giveaway for a programmable slow cooker from Hamilton Beach – this modern convenience will transform your life. I broke in this bad boy with Honey Balsamic Chicken (with 3 recipes) earlier this week.  Typically when I pull the slow cooker out of the cabinet, I think of time-honored comfort foods like a fork-tender, juicy pot roast.

 

jennifer fisher thefitfork beef chuckA chuck roast is THE cut of choice when it comes to fall-apart, fork-tender deliciousness.  This budget-friendly hunk of meat may look intimidating, but there is no way you can mess it up with any type of liquid-based, low-and-slow cooking method like braising or the slow cooker. Chuck roast in the slow cooker will rock your world, just add some chopped up veggies, a little broth, the spices you like and then WALK AWAY. IT’S JUST THAT EASY. I now reclaimed the time I need to manage my crazy life and workout routine —  and even indulge in frivolous hobbies  like gardening, reading and catching up with friends.

If you love southwestern foods, you’ll be all over this slow cooker recipe for Ancho Mama’s Pot Roast.  Ancho is just a dried poblano pepper –  this flavor profile adds a mild heat and smoky flavor to recipes. For convenience, I buy ground ancho chili powder at the market – you can usually find the McCormick brand on the spice aisle.

ancho chili slow cooker pot roast

Ancho Mama’s Pot Roast Recipe for Slow Cooker (aka Crock Pot)

  • 1 2 ½ to 3 lb boneless beef chuck pot roast
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 16-ounce container salsa (I used fresh salsa from produce dept.)
  1. Trim fat from meat and cut down, if needed, to fit into 4 qt. slow cooker.
  2. Add onion and corn to slow cooker and top with meat.
  3. Sprinkle garlic, chili powder, pepper, and salt over meat. Pour salsa over spices.
  4. Cover and cook on low heat in slow cooker for 8 – 10 hours or on high heat for 4 – 5 hours.
  5. Transfer roast to rimmed baking sheet and shred. Top with strained corn, onion and salsa mixture.
  6. Serves 8

So how can you serve this delicious dinner – well, one night we usually have it over rice and the next night is TACO NIGHT!  You can’t beat the leftovers on this recipe for tacos, quesadillas or mixed into a breakfast hash.

shredded ancho chili chuck roast tacos

Also, check out these 23 slow cooker meals from Cooking Light — I love this collection of recipes that represent a healthy, balanced eating plan. Easy to make comfort food CAN be good for you!

slow cooker ideas from cooking light

What would you do with the time saved by preparing dinner in a slow cooker? Please share in the comments.

 

 

 

 

Balsamic Honey Chicken – 3 Easy Recipes + Slow Cooker #Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Hamilton Beach. However, all opinions, suggestions, recipes and content are my own.

Now that we’re well into the back-to-school routine, it’s time to kick back and enjoy the blessings of fall – however these are busy blessings that require chauffeuring, chaperoning and cheering from the stands. So, how am I supposed to provide a hot home cooked meal and gather the family round the table with everyone coming and going and looking at me for a ride? And, when I’m rewarded with a couple rare hours to take a break from mom mode, I’m often finishing up a work project or squeezing in a run  — typically cooking dinner is not at the top of my priority list, even as a food blogger!

slow cooker gone running

You parents with equally over-the-top schedules already know the two lifesaving words I’m going to say – SLOW COOKER! It was only just a few years ago that I fell in love with slow cooking, my prior history with the method was only that of an innocent child dutifully eating her dinner – I have some not-so-fond memories of old-school slow cooker meals. Mom, I know you’re reading this and it wasn’t you, I think mushy carrots and fatty meats were just culinary trends of the 70s.

artichokes in crock pot litehouseThese days, there are many creative and healthy recipes that can be made in a slow cooker. One of my favorite recent creations is a side dish recipe for Slow Cooker Caesar Artichokes. Side dishes, desserts, beverages – all these things can be made in a slow cooker. But, probably the most convenient slow cooker recipe is to make a big batch of beef, chicken or pork that can be rationed out over the week or frozen for later in the month. Since I’m a big fan of doing some global variation of chuck roast in the slow cooker (insane flavor and fall-apart fork tender), I thought I’d branch out and do some chicken breast  — enough to last me through a few recipes for my family of 5!

HB_OCT_33967_slowcooker_blogger_7

Needless to say, I was pretty excited that Hamilton Beach sent me the Set ‘n Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid – the stainless-steel beauty is a real workhorse in the kitchen that will cook up ever your biggest batches in hands-free, stress-free style. It’s really helpful that this particular model has three modes — program, probe and manual. The “program mode” is super convenient for those SUPER busy days – just set the cook time and then when it’s up, the slower cooker automatically shifts over to warm.  To avoid overcooking, I really appreciate the “probe mode” – here you stick a metal probe into the thickest part of a roast or other hunk of meat and, once the internal temperature you’ve indicated has been reached, it switches to warm.

Do you like to bring hot meals to holiday parties or pot luck gatherings? Another useful feature of this slow cooker is that it has travel-friendly clips that lock down the lid so you don’t end up with a big batch of chili all over your car. Want to get in on the fall slower cooker craze? I have a great chicken recipe below that can be used in three meal variations and I’m also hosting a giveaway for the Set ‘n Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker with Spoon/Lid (bottom of post).

slow cooker chicken

You get the idea — shred it up and use it in a zillion quick dinner recipes!

Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Chicken Recipe

  • 5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion (like 1015 or Vidalia)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cup balsamic vinegar (don’t use your best)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (this can be omitted if you don’t want spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1.  Place chicken breasts in bottom of 6-quart slow cooker; cut into pieces if needed. Cover chicken with chopped onion
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together broth, vinegar, ketchup, honey, Worcestershire, sriracha, garlic, pepper and salt. Pour over chicken in slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 9 – 10 hours or high for 5 – 6 hours.
  4. Transfer chicken breasts out of liquid and place on rimmed baking sheet. Let cool for 10 minutes and then shred with fingers or fork.
  5. Take 4 cups of cooking liquid (discarding any fat) and place in medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for approximately 30 – 40 minutes or until volume reduced in half.
  6. Drizzle approximately ¾ cup sauce over shredded chicken and lightly toss. Reserve remaining in refrigerator for use in other recipes.
  7. To serve, serve between a bun or with one of the three recipes below. Leftovers may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Serves 20.

loaded bbq chicken baked potato

Balsamic Honey Chicken BBQ Baked Potato Recipe

  • 1 lb. cooked, shredded Honey Balsamic Chicken (recipe above)
  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce (may use reserved sauce from chicken recipe)
  • Suggested toppings: pico de gallo, fresh cilantro leaves and queso fresco crumbles
  1.  Bake potatoes in microwave or oven until steaming and fluffy.
  2. Slice each potato lengthwise (without cutting through bottom) and top with ¼ pound warm shredded chicken.
  3. Drizzle with bbq sauce and favorite toppings.Serves 4.

fig salad with chicken

Balsamic Honey Chicken with Fig & Snap Pea Salad Recipe 

  • 1 lb. cooked, shredded Honey Balsamic Chicken (recipe above)
  • 6 ounces baby spring mix lettuce
  • ½ pound figs, quartered
  • 4 ounces sugar snap peas, halved lengthwise
  • 2 ounces blue cheese crumbles

For dressing:

  •  1/4 cup reserved cooked down sauce from chicken recipe (or any BBQ sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Divide lettuce among 4 plates and top each portion with ¼ pound shredded chicken.
  2. Add figs and sugar snaps; sprinkle with blue cheese
  3. In small bowl, whisk together sauce, juice, vinegar, oil, parsley and black pepper. Drizzle over salads. Serves 4.

honey balsamic chicken pineapple pepper stir fry

Balsamic Honey Chicken Pineapple Pepper Stir Fry Recipe

You just get the photo today – recipe coming next week so check back!

To enter the giveaway for a Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker with Spoon/Lid, just follow the rafflecopter instructions below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway