Sweaty with Chance of Meatball (& Wilted Greens) Stew + Tabata WOD

Wilted Greens, Beans & Beef Meatball Stew from TheFitFork.com

Yes, I realize that I’m opening every blog post this month with “it’s still hot in Austin.”  Even as a huge fan of warm weather, I’m starting to get sick of it too.  So, what do I do? I make soup and stew! Nothing like slurping up a piping hot bowl of my Wilted Greens, Beans & Meatball Stew after a run in near 90 degrees or a no air-conditioning CrossFit WOD.  I’m not being snarky, I’m being serious – I’m not going to let Mother Nature infringe on the length of my soup season. And, good news, the weathermen are predicting a cold front  . . . . we’ll be dipping down into the upper 70s for the high this weekend. HA!

Looking forward to Austin's upcoming "cold front" !!

Looking forward to Austin’s upcoming “cold front” !!

While my Chipotle Squash & Chickpea Soup is always yummy, the soup in my pot this week is a delicious, easy and super healthy Wilted Greens, Beans & Meatball Stew that I first created for Litehouse Foods.  The beauty of this recipe is that you can use whatever winter greens you have on hand like spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens or Swiss chard – use a mixture, that’s even better. It’s always sad to say my temporary goodbyes to vine-ripe tomatoes and zucchini as the sun fades out on summer, but the farmer’s market will be brimming with all of these vitamin-packed, nutritious winter greens. According to the USDA, dark leafy vegetables are plentiful in potassium, manganese and iron. Not to mention, they are all a good source for vitamins A, C, K and E as well as calcium, folic acid and fiber. So eat up!

Winter Greens, Beans & Beef Meatball Stew - TheFitFork.com


Wilted Greens, Beans & Beef Meatball Soup Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup chopped carrot
  • 8 ounces sliced button mushrooms
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 15-oz can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Litehouse Food Instantly Fresh Garlic (or fresh chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Litehouse Food Instantly Fresh Parsley(or fresh chopped)
  • 1 tablespoons Litehouse Food Instantly Fresh Chives (or fresh chopped)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Litehouse Food Instantly Fresh Thyme (or fresh chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Parmesan rind (dry end from wedge optional)
  • 8 cups of coarsely chopped mixed winter greens (spinach kale collards chard)
  • 24 pre-cooked “mini” or “party size” lean beef meatballs
  • Garnish: shaved Parmesan cheese if desired
  1. In 6-quart Dutch oven or stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and mushroom and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened and lightly caramelized.
  2. Add broth and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add beans, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, chives, thyme, pepper, and parmesan rind. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add one half of mixed winter greens to pot; stir for 2 to 3 minutes to allow leaves to “wilt” down thus providing room for remaining greens. Add remaining greens and continue to stir and cook down for approximately 2 minutes.
  4. Cover pot with lid and keep heat on low. Reheat meatballs according to manufacturer’s instructions in microwave or oven. When reheated, drain on paper towels, if needed, and add to stew. Use a spoon to remove any remnant of the parmesan rind.
  5. To serve, ladle among four bowls and top with shaved parmesan cheese if desired.
  6. Serves 4

Please visit the Living Litehouse blog for lots more yummy and convenient recipes that will work with your healthy lifestyle.

Jump, Slam & Squat Tabata Workout from TheFitFork.com

To help you work up a sweat, I’ve got a Tabata workout that will definitely make you earn that piece of cornbread with your soup. If you’re not familiar with the Tabata concept, it’s basically 20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest and then repeat, repeat, repeat for four minutes. Tabata workouts are meant to increase the capacity of both your aerobic and anaerobic systems – do a couple per week and you’ll be a machine! However (disclaimer), my Tabata workout kicks it up from 4 minutes to 15 minutes – I must really like to suffer.  If it’s too much for you, please stop and catch your breath with extra rest in between exercises.

So, would you rather drink a smoothie on a cold day or have soup on a hot day? What is your favorite soup?

Oh, F-word | Bacon-wrapped Salmon Kebabs with Sriracha-Orange Glaze for Dinner

Oh, F word. And by “F word” I mean fat. Seventy two hours into my quest to eat 180 grams of healthy fat a day for 10 days is proving harder than I imagined. I’m doing this as a fat-loading phase of a marathon nutrition plan. I’ve had avocado, almonds and eggs.  I put real cream in my tea. I was thinking whole plain Greek yogurt would be yummy, but am finding it actually hard to find at the grocery store. Everything is marketed as fat-free, low-fat, reduced-fat or I-can’t-believe-its-not-fat! I did find one large carton of yogurt that had nearly half its calories made from creamy goodness, but the expiration date was looming. Conspiracy!

Eggs, avocado and cheese only got me 1/9th of the way to my 180 gram fat goal.

Eggs, avocado and cheese only got me 1/9th of the way to my 180 gram fat goal.

I was planning a fabulous beef dinner crisped up in rendered fat, but keep forgetting to pull the roast out of the freezer. That will happen this weekend, but I still needed dinner inspiration for tonight. With salmon and bacon on hand, it didn’t take long to realize that these two high-fat proteins would pair up like fine wine and Cheetos (really, try it). With salmon rich in heart-healthy polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids and the bacon sputtering with a hefty dose of (one might argue) less-healthy saturated fats, it only took a mere bamboo skewer to bring together these two opposing forces of dietary fat. You can call the fat combo “naughty and nice” or you can call it “yin and yang,” but why not just make this recipe for Bacon-wrapped Salmon Kebabs with Sriracha-Orange Glaze and call it a damn good thang?!  

jennifer fisher thefitfork bacon wrapped salmon kebabs sriracha

Bacon-wrapped Salmon Kebabs with Sriracha-Orange Glaze Recipe

  • 8 ounces wild-caught sockeye salmon, skin off
  • 6 slices of hardwood smoked bacon
  • Zest from one orange
  • Juice from one orange
  • ¼ cup tamari
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • ¼ cup orange marmalade (all-fruit, no added sugar)
  • 6 6-inch bamboo skewers

jennifer fisher thefitfork raw kebabs1) Soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 10 minutes to prevent burning.Cut salmon into 6 equal-sized strips. Thread onto skewers. Wrap skewered salmon with one slice of bacon.

jennifer fisher thefitfork salmon kebabs grill pan

2) Heat grill pan to medium-high heat. Pan grill kebabs for approximately 4 minutes on each side (including sides), for a total of approximately 16 minutes or until bacon is crisped and salmon cooked through.

3) While kebabs are grilling, prepare glaze by adding juice, tamari, Sriracha and marmalade into a small microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on high for approximately 1 minute, stirring once, or until heated through.

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com bacon salmon kebabs close up

4) Remove kebabs from heat and brush with glaze. Sprinkle with orange zest. Use any remaining glaze on the greens, noodles, rice or whatever you are serving*

Serves 2.

When I made the greens, I just kept the rendered fat from the bacon in the pan because I (ahem) wanted it. But, drain off if you wish.

When I made the greens, I just kept the rendered fat from the bacon in the pan because I (ahem) wanted it. But, drain off if you wish.

I served these Bacon-wrapped Salmon Kebabs with a version of my Kicked-up Orange Cashew Kale. Heck yeah, the cashews add a little extra crunch and healthy fat. Instead of kale, I used a 10-ounce bag of mixed greens (turnip, collard and mustard). By the time it cooks down, that big bag (which isn’t all yet in the pan above) serves just the two of us. Convenient because I still  can’t get my kids to eat cooked greens; pretty sure I wouldn’t as a teenager either.