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.

Sirloin Cobb Kebabs with Ranch Vinaigrette Recipe #LivingWell

Earlier in the Fall, I traveled to Chicago to visit with the Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner people and attend their #LiveWell event. While I mentioned this tasty trip a while back on the blog, all the (ahem) hard studying and sampling of lean beef distracted me from sharing one of my favorite parts of the trip – a recipe challenge!

Scene of the showdown - The Chopping Block in Chicago

Scene of the showdown – The Chopping Block in Chicago

Our blogging, beef-eating group gathered at The Chopping Block, a popular cooking school in the Windy City, and divided up into teams.  I was partnered up with the perfect cooking clique; we were truly “a cut above.” With Amee, the CrossFitting, book-writing mama , from Amee’s Savory Dish wielding bamboo skewers on one side and Shaina, also an author and epicure, from Food for my Family ready to whisk, there was no way we could lose this showdown. Oh, I missed the memo that this was not, in fact, a contest! However, trying to be creative under the time and ingredient constraints, thinking it was a cook-off, is what made it all the more fun!

cobb kebob team

Our team was charged with making over a traditional recipe – Cobb Salad. This iconic entrée salad was only meant to be our inspiration; we could concoct anything we pleased as long as it was a healthy, quick fix. Oh yeah, and it had to include top sirloin steak (which by the way is one of the 29 lean cuts of beef, about 150 calories per cooked 3-ounce serving and under 6 grams of fat).

jennifer chopping block

I use top sirloin all the time for the grill, especially kebab-making (check out these Mojo Beef Kebabs). The collective creative wheels didn’t spin long with our wing-it-and-bring-it party of three. In a matter of minutes, Amee, Shaina and I were grabbing up fresh produce and supplies from the “ingredient bar” to make (drumroll, please) . . . . . Sirloin Cobb Kebabs!

sirloin cobb kebobs

Sirloin Cobb Kebabs with Ranch Vinaigrette Dressing

 Ingredients for the kebabs:

  • 1 ½ lbs top sirloin, cut into 2” bite size pieces
  • 2 red peppers, cut into 2” size pieces
  • 1 pint golden cherry tomatoes, keep whole
  • 3-4 large romaine leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese (block), cut into 2” chunks

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup light ranch dressing
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Additional ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste


Prepare your medium boiled eggs (firm white and semi-firm yolk) by placing them into a small pot and cover with cold water.  Bring water to a full boil, then turn off heat and cover with a lid and set the timer for 6 minutes.  When the timer goes off, immediately place eggs in an ice bath to stop the cooking process while you prepare your other ingredients.

To prepare dressing, mix together the ranch dressing, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and half of the fresh parsley. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Top with remaining parsley before serving.

For the kebabs, soak wooden skewers in water to prepare them for the grill for 10 minutes (or use metal skewers).  Toss steak cubes, peppers, cherry tomatoes and romaine in a little olive oil and season lightly with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Place steak cubes, peppers and cherry tomatoes on a skewer, leaving room for the romaine and cheese on the end (but do not add them yet).

Grill kebabs over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes per side (so steak is medium rare).   Lay romaine leaves onto the grill and cook quickly until each side is starting to wilt and ends are getting brown, approximately 1 minute per side.  Remove from grill, chop into large pieces for skewering and set aside.

In a grill pan, flash cook the cheese until it just gets warm and soft enough to skewer.  Now add the romaine and cheese to the kebabs.  Peel and slice your eggs and arrange on a platter with the kebabs.  Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with the dressing on the side for dipping.

Serves 4 to 6.

cobb kebob close up

Sirloin Cobb Kebabs

Summer Loving | Green Chile & Pork Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - green chile pork stuffed zucchiniBlogging about healthy food has its perks; pretty tasty perks. I’m talking about the opportunity to eat at an endless buffet only limited by my imagination. But it also has a downside; really just little nuisances like cleaning up a mountain of dirty pots and pans and getting critiqued by my kids who can’t fathom wanting to substitute sugar or certain fats in a recipe for something more nutritious. But, today my blogging bothers were multiplied 100x due thanks to my basically skipping a decent lunch.

Although I had pre-prepared most of the night’s meal in the morning before I tackled a day filled with gym-going (training for my Under Armour #WhatsBeautiful Campaign Goal), errands and (gasp) other writing work, I could scarcely contain myself until it was my turn to eat. So, while everyone else was digging into this delicious recipe for Green Chile & Pork Stuffed Zucchini, I was out in the backyard beating the sunset so I could take all the requisite food shots. At one point, I really thought about ditching this post so I could just go ahead and eat.

Glad I didn’t though; the recipe turned out fantastic and offers a practical way to take advantage of a zucchini squash surplus this time of year. I’m also thinking it would be damn good with Calabacita squash, zucchini’s south-of-the-border cousin.  If you are craving enchiladas and want to go a little healthier, this recipe ditches the tortillas and most of the cheese.  It’s hard to believe, but one medium-sized squash only has 33 calories. I think you’d probably go into a calorie deficit just eating and digesting it. All you like-minded vitamin and mineral nerds will be glad to know that zucchini is also a great source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6 and magnesium.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - stuffed zucchini final

Green Chile & Pork Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

  • 4 to 5 zucchini squash (about 1.25 lbs)
  • 1 cup chopped fire roasted green chiles – peeled,seeded and divided in half*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ pound shredded pork roast, pre-cooked
  • 1 15-ounce can green chile enchilada sauce
  • 4 ounces Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
  • 16 grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - scoop out zucchni

Chop stem end off of each zucchini, discard. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and pulp with a grapefruit knife; reserve for use later.

Bring large pot of water to a boil. Par-boil zucchini for 2 minutes or slightly tender. Drain and place, scooped side up, in a 13” x 9” glass baking dish.

Add olive oil to skillet; bring heat up to medium-high. Add cumin and garlic and sauté for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add chopped red onion and sauté for 2 minutes, add reserved zucchini pulp, and ½ cup of green chilies and continue to sauté for 2 -3 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Stir shredded pork into vegetable mixture. Top zucchinis with even portion of mixture, leftover may be place around the sides of dish.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - blend sauce chiles

Add enchilada sauce and remaining ½ cup green chilies to blender; pulse on and off a few times to coarsely break up green chills. Pour over top of stuffed zucchinis. Top with shredded cheese and rows of grape tomatoes to indicate where each stuffed zucchini is buried.

Serves 4 – 5.

2011 HAtch green chili tv segment crop

*By the way, I broke into my stash of fire-roasted Hatch green chiles for the making of this recipe! I have 75 pounds in the freezer, seriously! The recipe is best with fresh, fire-roasted (Hatch season is still a couple months away) — but substituting an 8-ounce can of green chiles will do in a pinch!