Purple Sweet Potato Salad with Figs, Pomegranate and Balsamic Syrup

Nothing better than a beautiful salad alongside dinner and there have been so many fresh and colorful “fixings” at the market. In Texas, our seasons seem to not pay attention to the rules — they intersect and linger around, meaning lots of produce choices for me!Purple Sweet Potato Salad with Figs, Pomegranate and Balsamic Syrup.


For example, I’m still seeing fresh, summery figs in abundance, but also cooler weather fruits and vegetables like pomegranates and purple sweet potatoes. I can’t decide what to choose, so I choose it all and make a Purple Sweet Potato Salad with Figs, Pomegranate & Balsamic Syrup. Read on to get the recipe and (hello) learn more about these out-of-the-ordinary, colorific tubers! Continue reading

Steak, Fig and Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Fig & Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate VinaigretteLooking for an easy yet elegant salad — a gorgeous plate of early fall flavors that will have co-workers peeking over the cubicle or neighbors knowing at the door? My Steak Salad with Fig, Blue Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette will have you running to the grill for some last minute steak-making before Jack Frost rears his ugly head. Honestly, in Austin, the fall is the BEST time of year for grilling!

Jennifer Fisher Vim & Vigr AmbassadorAnd, time to break out the compression socks, finally!

Check out my favorite brand, Vim & Vigr — I’m an ambassador for this fun, quirky and super stylish sock company!  Their Instagram profile also equally energizing!

Fig & Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

This salad features top sirloin steak, a lean cut of beef that packs a great nutritional punch for athletes and active individuals with only about 150 calories and 6.5 grams fat for a 3 ounce serving plus 26 grams protein and lots of iron and other essential vitamins and minerals. The beauty of sirloin is it’s versatility, convenience and (duh) taste – it’s a weekday AND weekend go-to for me. Because sirloin is already a fairly tender cut, there is no need to marinade except to add flavor — my simple pomegranate marinade adds a slightly sweet, super delish dose of that!  But, if you are rushed and need to skip marinating, the recipe will still be yummy.

Fig & Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Figs have been so great lately, you may want to make a few more fig recipes before the season is over. Check out the 5 Ways with Fresh Figs from the Simmer and Boil blog at CookingLight.com figs with prosciutto

What is your take on fresh figs, love ’em or hate ’em?  What are you doing this weekend, anyone have a race? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Fig & Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Steak, Fig and Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Enjoy the ripe, rich fruits of fall on a delicious steak salad that is kicked up with the aged tang of blue cheese and salty Spanish Almonds.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 25 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 25 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Fig & Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Steak, Fig and Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Enjoy the ripe, rich fruits of fall on a delicious steak salad that is kicked up with the aged tang of blue cheese and salty Spanish Almonds.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 25 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 25 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
For Marinade and Steak:
For Dressing
Servings: servings
  1. Add pomegranate juice, oil, molasses, vinegar, pepper, salt, and thyme to non-reactive boil and whisk together until ingredients are incorporated. Pour into heavy-duty zip-top bag and add sirloin steak(s). Seal top and gently toss a few times to coat meat. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 6 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare vinaigrette by simmering the pomegranate juice in non-reactive saucepan until reduced to 1/3 cup, approximately 9 or 10 minutes. Remove from heat. While still warm, stir in the honey, salt, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil; set aside to cool.
  3. When ready to prepare steaks, heat grill to 400 F degrees. Drain and discard marinade from steaks. Grill steaks for approximately 5 minutes per side, flipping once. Remove from grill when instant read thermometer reaches 135 F degrees when inserted at thickest part of meat. Let rest for at least 5 minutes while prepping salads. To prepare salad, divide spring mix evenly among four plates. Top with halved figs, pomegranate arils, almonds and blue cheese crumbles. Slice steak thinly across grain and top each salad with 3 to 4 ounces of beef. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve immediately.
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4 No-Cook Jicama Wraps for Dog Days of Summer

These No-Cook Jicama Wrap ideas are the perfect meal solution  for the dog days of summer.

I have a jicama wrap for you . . . and a jicama wrap for you . . . and a jicama wrap for you (I’m pointing to all of y’all)!  I’ve been having this love affair with jicama for a while now, you’ve probably seen some of the posts here and on Instagram– this is one of my favorite, Three No-Cook Jicama Recipes for Summer. I now have a new addition to the no-cook meal solutions — Four No-Cook Jicama Wraps!  It’s the perfect solution for the dog days of summer — and speaking of the “dog days,” check out my Lucy helping me with yoga!

I revisited this jicama obsession when I noticed that my grocery store started stocking jicama “tortillas” in their produce department. They are made in-house and sold in the convenience prepped veggie section – I did a little jump for joy when I first spotted them sitting there waiting for me. I’ve drooled over all the jicama “taco” recipes on Pinterest, but I’ve never been able to slice my jicama that thin (cause I’m not losing a finger on the mandolin)! Yay, now I have people that do that for me!

I originally made this collection of jicama tacos (or wraps or rollups – what does one call them?) to showcase the OPA by Litehouse™ Greek Yogurt Dressings.  I love those dressings, they taste so rich and indulgent but they have fewer calories than traditional dressings . . . and more protein, too!

Some of the perks of these jicama rollups – the are Paleo friendly depending exactly what you put on top; they are crispy, crunch and low calorie; and, whoot-whoot – there is no heating up the kitchen with the oven.

Fig, Blue Cheese and Arugula Jicama Wraps

Sliced Black Mission Figs + Arugula + Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese + Balsamic Syrup + OPA by Litehouse™ Blue Cheese Dressing







Black Bean and Mango Relish Jicama Wrap makes a sweet and spicy vegetarian meal -- no cooking!Black Beans+ Mango Pico de Gallo + Cilantro + OPA by Litehouse™ Jalapeno Ranch Dressing






Carrot, Pea and Radish Jicama is so much tastier than bunny food! Matchstick Carrots+ Thawed Frozen Peas + Radish Slice +Fresh Dill + OPA by Litehouse™ Feta Dill Dressing






Quinoa, Tomato and Ranch Jicama Wrap makes a quick and easy summer lunch -- no cooking!Quinoa + Tomato Slices + Flat Parsley + OPA by Litehouse™ Ranch Dressing

Full disclosure on this one — the quinoa is cooked, obviously. It was leftover — use any leftover grain that you have like brown rice, wheat berry, couscous and so on!


Don’t forget to check out my past round-up of Three No-Cook Jicama Recipes for Summer.

Jicama is a root vegetable that tastes a bit like a mild apple. It doesn't oxidize when cut -- the perfect crunchy ingredient for salads and summer no-cook recipes.

Are you a fan of jicama? What is your favorite no-cook recipe for the dog days of summer? Please share in the comments below!


Happy Umami-days! Figgy Blue Cheese & Bacon Bites

Inspired by the taste of umami, I have created an easy appetizer recipe that will have your taste buds exploding with happiness this holiday season – Figgy Blue Cheese Bacon Bites. I’ve talked about umami before, but in case you’re not familiar with the term, it certainly bears repeating. That’s because umami ingredients are a great way to bring crazy flavor to a recipe without tons of fat and calories.

Umami (oo-MA-mee) is a Japanese word that literally means “delicious essence” and is used to describe a fifth taste receptor. We all know the traditional four tastes of sweet, salty, bitter and sour are associated with specific parts of the tongue. However, there is a mouth-watering, savory, meaty and indescribable taste that happens when eating certain foods like beef, mushrooms, bacon, aged cheeses, fermented sauces and red wines – this taste is called umami. To put it sort of scientifically, umami is the taste of glutamates (the salts of an amino acid) and other small molecules called nucleotides working synergistically with other flavors to create a multidimensional taste experience.

blue cheese bacon fig newton appetizer

This recipe for Figgy Blue Cheese Bacon Bites is great to have on hand for impromptu holiday guests.  Using only four ingredients (including Fig Newton cookies!) you can treat guests to something simple and yet oh-so special to eat in no time!  It’s a recipe I’ve put together for Litehouse Foods using their delicious center cut blue cheese. Head on over to the Living Litehouse blog to get the full instructions.

I dare to say, you’ve probably already made quite a few recipes with food pairings that boost umami and not even realized it. Just think of the yumminess that happens when pairing salty feta cheese with ripe tomatoes or shrimp with soy sauce – all of these foods are high in glutamates. Below are a few favorite umami-rich recipes I’ve made lately, check them out!

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com pomegranate balsamic pot roast mushrooms

Pomegranate Balsamic Post Roast with Baby Bella Mushrooms

jennifer fisher litehouse camp stuffing blue cheese

Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Onion Bombs

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - spicy sesame salmon seared watermelon

Spicy Sesame Salmon on Seared Watermelon

Grilled Fig, Blue Cheese & Prosciutto Pizza – Now That’s Umami!

jennifer fisher grilled fig blue cheese prosciutto pizza - title

My mouth is still salivating over this grilled pizza recipe I created for Litehouse Foods. Gourmet enough to serve guests as a prelude to dinner yet simple enough to make for a quick weeknight meal, theses pizzas are seriously scrumptious. The aged artisan blue cheese crumbles, salty proscuitto and sweet fig jam mingle together for a massive explosion of umami flavor. Head over to the Living Litehouse Blog to find out out how salty, sweet, tart and bitter aren’t the only categories of taste — there is also a fifth taste receptor called umami! Translated from Japanese, umami means “delicious essence” and I couldn’t agree more!

jennfer fisher fig blue cheese prosciutto pizza grill on board

Also, if you’re a fig fan like myself, check out my recipe for Fresh Figs with Balsamic Fig Jam — this is a beautiful and simple dish for dessert. Remember, to view the full recipe for the grilled pizzas along with lots of other drool-worthy ideas for healthy living, visit the Living Litehouse Blog. 

living litehouse button


Figs, Not Just for the Birds! Fresh Figs with Balsamic Fig Jam Recipe

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - fresh figs with balsamic fig jam

Years ago, I remember taking care of my Aunt’s house in Houston while they were away on vacation. “You’re welcome to pick the figs as they ripen, but you’ll have to hurry to beat the greedy birds,” she said before leaving.  Having never eaten homegrown figs (a Fig Newton was about the closest I had come), I wasn’t too excited about the invitation to develop my latent “gatherer” gene. But, a few days later when out watering the plants, I saw the fig tree bursting with fruit just crying to be picked.  I sampled a fig straight off the branch and, oh my goodness, I jogged back to the house to get a basket for the harvest. Apparently, my jog should have been a mad dash, because when I returned, a flock of birds had swarmed the tree and were gorging on the spoils.

From that day forward, I have had a new appreciation (make that obsession) with this delicate, delicious fruit. I’m only sad that I don’t have my Aunt’s green thumb nor live near the Gulf Coast where they seem to grow so happily. Summer is really the season for figs, but I am ready now. You can purchase figs in grocery markets with fancier produce departments nearly anytime of the year, although they aren’t as good as homegrown. Common varieties you’ll find in the supermarket are Turkish figs, Mission figs and Calimyrna figs.

My Fresh Figs with Balsamic Fig Preserves recipe makes a uniquely nutritious and utterly delicious dessert that doesn’t wreck a day of clean eating with lots of sugar, fat and bad gunk. Did you know figs offer the most calcium of any fruit?  I was excited to find out that just three figs provide 25-percent of the daily recommended allowance for fiber. The great thing about fruit fiber, besides being filling, is that studies have shown that it can reduce the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women.  A source of many essential vitamins and minerals, figs are especially rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K and B vitamins. Also, when choosing your figs, the ripest fruits yield the most antioxidant health benefits.

Fresh Figs with Balsamic Fig Jam Recipe

  • 2 cups quartered fresh figs (stems removed)
  • 1 cup all-natural honey
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • 2 dozen fresh figs (halved into 48 pieces)

To make jam, add the quartered figs, honey and water to a large pot. Simmer over low heat until the figs break down and the liquid is reduced by one third. Remove from burner and let mixture cool for 30 minutes. Puree fig mixture in food processor, add balsamic and season with the sea salt to suit your personal taste.

Gently wash and dry remaining 2 dozen figs and then slice in half lengthwise for a total of 48 pieces.

Serve jam with fresh figs as a dessert or over a salad of baby greens. Leftover jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Serves 8 (6 fig halves per serving)