Strawberry Cucumber & Spinach Salad – There’s an App for That!

Everything seems to finally be coming up spring! Gardens are growing and offering up the first bounties of the season. I plan to be down at the local farmer’s market every weekend decked out in my sandals and sun hat – yes, you guessed it, I’m a warm weather-loving girl. Oh my goodness, the fruits and vegetables of this time of year take my breath away – the amazingly sweet berries, the mild spring onions, crunchy cucumbers and delicate baby greens. Ahhhh!

Jennifer Fisher at Sprouts

Foodie Recipes App to the rescue while shopping at Sprouts!

 

Usually, I’m pretty creative about pulling together a meal out of what I already have on hand in the fridge and pantry. But somehow, when I see the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables at the market, I sometimes get overwhelmed by the unlimited possibilities for my dinner table. That’s why I love Foodie Recipesit’s a virtual cookbook full of recipes that I can take on the go. When my head starts spinning and I don’t know where to start, I can open up this app on my iPhone or iPad to find the perfect healthy recipe complete with gorgeous photos, clear instructions, and preparation and cook times. Yes, I’m the fly-by-the-seat of her pants home chef who plans her menu while pushing a cart or finishing a workout at the gym – thank goodness I now have “an app for that!”

foodie gluten-free meals

It’s really neat how the format of the Foodie Recipes app reads just like a traditional cookbook, but with much more convenience. Every month, a new batch of food-editor curated recipes are uploaded in “editions” that fit the season or a theme – for example, past editions have included “Easy as Pie,” “Dinners for Two,” and “Holiday Sweets.”  One of my favorite editions is “Gluten-Free Meals;” it features a seven day meal plan for folks who have allergies, are intolerant or just want to avoid foods with gluten. All 30 recipes in this “Gluten-Free Meals” edition were created by Café Johnsonia and organized so your every sense will be delighted from Meatless Monday through Sunday Supper (with Traditional Tuesday, Western Wednesday, Thai Thursday, Friday Favorites and Sunrise Saturday in between).

strawberry cucumber spinach salad

So, yesterday, as I toggled my way through the Foodie Recipes app, I found this lovely Strawberry Cucumber & Spinach Salad and it just reminded me of all the things I love about spring. I knew my mom and friends would love the gluten-free recipe too, so I shared through email and my social media outlets to spread this tasteful message of the season.  You could serve this healthy recipe as a side dish or top with your favorite lean protein for an amazing entrée salad.

Enjoy! And, don’t forget to check out the FREE Foodie Recipes app for the iOS platform (iPhone, iPad, iTouch) – available for free download in the iTunes Store.

 

Spring Salad with strawberries and spinach

 Strawberry Cucumber & Spinach Salad Recipe

For salad:

  • 8 oz. strawberries, sliced
  • 1 small or ½ large cucumber, peeled if desired, cut in half lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • 5 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 2-3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup raw almonds, roughly chopped

For dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tsp. honey, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. For salad: Place all ingredients into a large serving bowl. Add some of the dressing and toss gently to coat. Add more if needed. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.
  2. For dressing: Whisk the yogurt, lemon juice and olive oil together. Add the honey, salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings as necessary, to taste. Chill until ready to use. Yield: ⅓ cup dressing

Serves: 2

thefitfork.com strawberries spinach cucumber

This post sponsored by Foodie.com and the Glam Network. However, all opinions are my own.

Healthy Chocolate Recipe Round-Up!

healthy chocolate recipes small

Have yourself a merry little Christmas and let all your treats be light. Dig into my favorite healthy chocolate recipes and your troubles will be out of sight. Troubles out of sight? Okay, there are still a few holiday headaches going on at my house (nothing major), but at least sabotaging all my hard work on the track and in the gym isn’t one of them. Now, if you’re looking for splurge chocolate recipes, check out my Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies or Chocolate Mint Crinkle Kiss Cookies.

When friends and family gather near over the holidays, many of my delicious chocolate recipes are made as special requests – some I even package up in pretty wrappings to give as Christmas gifts. How can you not love holiday treats that are as healthy as they are heavenly tasting – it’s a win-win when your willpower is waning!

I don’t even need to rationalize making all my healthy chocolate recipes; research does it for me. Studies have shown that the flavanols (compounds found in cocoa) have antioxidant properties that help repair damage done by free radicals. The flavinols can also help reduce the risk for heart disease by relaxing artery walls and preventing blood platelets from getting clogged up.

The more cocoa in the chocolate the better it is for your health; this means darker chocolates are healthier than milk chocolates. Eating raw cocoa can be a bitter shock at first; ideally you should try to eat chocolate that is made from 70% cocoa – even this takes some getting used to. But, I think we’re all willing to hang in there when it comes to eating chocolate, right?! So, let’s get to the recipes!

jennifer fisher core power chocolate peppermint sorbet

It’s still pretty warm here in Austin, so we’ve been enjoying this frosty and festive Chocolate Peppermint Sorbet I created for the Core Power blog. Made with the Chocolate Light flavor of Core Power High Protein Shakes, it’s the perfect treat for recovery after a long run or hard workout.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - salted pistachio chocolate cookies

If you have company coming and they are living the caveman lifestyle, you might what to whip up a batch of these Salted Pistachio Chocolate Cookies. The cookies are dairy-free, gluten-free with a sweet-salt addictive quality!

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - chocolate date candy bars

Craving a candy bar, but aren’t willing to give in? My recipe for Chocolate Date “Candy Bar” Bites makes a healthy and heavenly substitution. Also Paleo-friendly, these chocolate treats make a thoughtful gift packaged up inside a sparkly gift tin – that is, if you don’t eat the whole batch up front.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - chocolate strawberry protein donut holes

Power up a holiday breakfast with a handful of Chocolate Strawberry Protein “Donut” Holes. Protein powder giveS my baked doughnut holes a little extra oomph and will satisfy your hunger until lunch!  I’ll let you in on a secret; I like to sneak a few as a bed time snack!

baked chocolate protein donuts

If you want the whole donut, then I’ve got you covered with these Baked-and-Better Chocolate Protein Donuts – ahh, the chocolate glaze is delish!

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com choco cherry protein granola

Another chocolate breakfast yum-yum (and fantastic healthy snack) is my Choco-Cherry Protein Granola. Eat by the handful right out of the container or sprinkle over Greek yogurt – this doesn’t last long at my house.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - paleo pumpkin bread chocolate chip cranberry

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is great anytime of the year; have a piece with your salad, as a snack or a sensible addition to your morning cuppa Joe. Oh, and this one is paleo-friendly and gluten-free too!

jennifer fisher thefitfork corepower chocolate chai

And finally, check back next week and I’ll share my blog post for steamy, silky Chocolate Chai made with Core Power protein drink (and other healthful stuff) – they sell something similar at Starbucks, but this is way better for you!

Summer Loving |Roasted Strawberry Coconut Milk Sherbet

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - roasted strawberry coconut mile sherbet 1Roasting strawberries, hmmm. Normally I would never have enough leftover strawberries in the fridge to consider getting creative with them, but after a trip to the market today I was blessed with a windfall of red, ripe strawberries that were just begging for an adventure. Since it’s been so hot here in Austin (and everywhere else, I’ve heard), I decided that a strawberry sherbet would be the ideal way to end the day. Actually, I think I have a thing for frozen strawberry treats, check out my recipes for Strawberry Lemonade Coconut Water Pops and ‘Whey Cool’ Frozen Strawberry Pie.

strawberry rinse

But, today my mind is going elsewhere with the strawberries; I’m looking to put a new spin on a sure-thing sherbet. In the past, roasting other fruits has worked well for me, magnifying the flavors and intensifying the sweetness. So, I decided to throw caution to the wind, turn on the oven, and give these beauties a blast of heat. I also used coconut sugar and unsweetened coconut milk (the kind from the carton, not the thick sweetened stuff from a can) in my recipe to keep it gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and paleo-friendly. Whoohoo, Roasted Strawberry & Coconut Milk Sherbet for everyone!

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - roasted stawberry shebet scoop

Roasted Strawberry & Coconut Milk Sherbet Recipe

  • 4 cups strawberries (approx. 1 lb), hulled and halved
  • 1 cup coconut sugar*
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (from carton)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

 Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.

Combine strawberries and sugar on a rimmed metal baking sheet, tossing until all berries have been coated with sugar.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - roasting strawberries

Roast strawberries, stirring occasionally, about 12 – 15 minutes until juicy and bubbling. Keep a close eye on oven to make sure sugar doesn’t start burning. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

Add strawberry mixture, coconut mile and sea salt into blender and puree for until smooth, approximately 1 minute.

Process sherbet mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Transfer sherbet to freezer-proof, airtight container until ready to serve.

Let soften for 5 to 10 minutes before scooping.

Serves 6.

*Coconut sugar is actually dried sap from the coconut tree and has a lower glycemic index than conventional sugar. However, it does have a brown color which makes the sherbet have a darker color. If you want “pink,” you’ll have to use white sugar . . . uh, and maybe food color (eek)!

Sweet Rewards – Chocolate Date “Candy Bar” Bites (Recipe)

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - chocolate date candy barsMy major food weakness is that I have a sweet tooth, especially for anything chocolate. I can’t pass a bowl of M&Ms without stuffing my mouth (and pockets) and know through extensive experimentation that truly “there is no wrong way to eat a Reese’s.” When I thought it would be a sneaky idea to hide chocolate chips from myself in the freezer, I realized the next morning they taste better frozen! There is no keeping me from chocolate. Period.

While I am focused on eating healthy most of the time, I’m definitely not a food denier. What’s the point in living? However, since chocolate, in some form or fashion, will probably continue to be part of my (daily) life for the next 50 years, I decided to search around for some healthier options that I could indulge in every so often. I love me a batch of these Chocolate Date “Candy Bar” Bites; a recipe based on a friend’s treat and tweaked to my tastes. These fudgy bites are packed with no-guilt, wholesome ingredients and are raw, gluten-free, vegan and Paleo-friendly, if that matters to you. They also taste completely dreamy and make a great workout reward — and that matters to me!

chocolate date candy bar bites ingredient

Chocolate Date “Candy Bar” Bites Recipe

  • 1 1/3 cups pitted medjool dates
  • ¼ cup organic cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 6 ounces Enjoy Life® Semi-sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks, chopped (reserve 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on tops) *

Place pitted dates, cocoa, melted coconut oil, vanilla and water into work bowl of food processor; pulse until well combined. Add almond flour and chocolate chips; continue to pulse until mixture creates a cohesive ball.

Roll dough into three ropes approximately 12” long. Press remaining chopped chocolate chips into the top of rolls. Cut each roll into 8 pieces.

Serves 24

*Note you can use whatever brand of chocolate chip you like, but if you are trying to keep a vegan diet or a dairy, gluten, and/or soy-free diet, please read the manufacturer’s ingredient label.

date fudge nutrition

A Tasty Giveaway Today – Sun-Rype 100% All-Natural Fruit Snacks

This year I have been representing 100-percent fruity goodness on ambassador Team Sun-Rype, a group of 100 endurance athletes across the country sponsored by the brand Sun-Rype. As we run our races, ride our bikes, and suffer through our workouts, the team has been able to fuel and recover with the company’s line of delicious and completely natural products. As I’ve sampled my way through bushels of the stuff, I have to exclaim, one of my favorite products is the 100% All-Natural Fruit Strip.

Every single ingredient used in the Sun-Rype lineup of 100-percent fruit and veggie snacks, including the 100% All-Natural Fruit Strips, is of the highest quality containing only naturally occurring sugars and absolutely no artificial colors, fake flavors or preservatives. The sweetness of these wholesome products comes straight from fruit and vegetable juice concentrates and purees. Plus, with no artificial stuff or funky preservatives, you can feel confident that you’re giving your body the very best – putting premium gas in the tank, so to speak! Also, no nut or gluten ingredients if that’s an issue in your diet.

Me and Sun-Rype at Boston Marathon

I started replacing my gels, goos and gummies with the 100% All-Natural Fruit Stripsthis year for a couple reasons. First, obviously, the performance benefits of taking in 12 grams of fruit-based carbohydrates while on a long run. But, I found other reasons to love the stuff.  The individually wrapped ½ ounce bars are thin enough to stash in the fuel pocket of my running shorts. Helpful hint, I cut the bars in half so they fit in perfectly and I don’t have to fumble with opening the wrapper in the middle of a race.  Also, since these are “strips,” I can hang onto my fuel while I eat it rather than trying to clumsily squeeze it out into my mouth (like a goo product) or dropping little pieces all over the ground (like a gummie product).  Oh, and did I mention that the strips taste fantastic and my kids go crazy for them too?   It’s so hard to decide on my favorite flavor between Wildberry, Strawberry and Strawberry-Banana – I definitely recommend all!

Sample Nutrition Info

So, I’d love to treat one of my readers to a mixed case of 100% All-Natural Fruit Strip in Wildberry, Strawberry and Strawberry-Banana flavors. The case has 98 fruit strips in all, enough to share with your running buddies and /or family.

It’s easy to enter, see below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway