Farmhouse Winter Veggie Beef Instant Pot Soup

 Boost nutrition while warming up from the inside out with my Farmhouse Winter Veggie Beef Instant Pot Soup – all in under 30 minutes! In the winter months, I absolutely love coming home from a long run or day’s work to a comforting, soul-soothing pot of soup, stew or chili. However, so many of my old family recipes take hours upon hours to complete — ain’t nobody got time for a slow-simmer these days! Farmhouse Winter Veggie Beef Instant Pot Soup

Farmhouse Winter Veggie Beef Instant Pot Soup uses the Instant Pot to cook quickly under pressure and replicate the deep, rich flavor of those traditional all-day dishes our grandmothers, mothers and other matriarchs so lovingly made. Read on to get all the details and full recipe: Continue reading

Plant Protein Kale Caesar Salad Tacos

It’s not unusual to share tacos on Tuesday, my family asks for some version of this Mexican and Tex-Mex staple nearly every day of the week! What is outside convention is today’s taco filling – it’s my take on Ceasar Salad!  These Plant Power Caesar Salad Tacos are a veggie-lover’s delight as kale, avocado, chickpeas, quinoa and seeds and a robust Caesar dressing are tossed together and stuffed right in the shell.

Plant Protein Caesar Salad Tacos

You heard right, a cool, crisp salad in a taco shell! This 10-minute recipe has minimal cooking (just warming the shells) and offers hand-held, utensil-free convenience for backyard munchers – it’s an awesome summer dinner! Read on to get more delicious details.  Continue reading

Paleo Brisket, Sweet Potato & Kale Frittata Fuels Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner!

Ready to wake up and tackle the day or refuel after a long hard one with a healthy meal but feel too rushed or worn down to be in the kitchen? I have a delicious 30-minute dish that uses only five ingredients (salt, pepper and olive oil are freebies) and has a happy balance of protein, carbs and leafy greens to give you that boost of good nutrition your body craves.Brisket Kale Sweet Potato Fritttata Slice

My recipe for Brisket, Sweet Potato & Kale Frittata is destined to become a favorite in your busy workweek repertoire. It’s also a smart solution for any type of leftover beef and ideal for meal prepping, just pop individual slices in the freezer for a blazing-fast meal later. Continue reading

Lucky Day Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways!

 Kale Pesto Oven Fries an be spiralized or cut into wedges for a quick and easy potato side dish. This Irish inspired recipe is fun for St. Patrick's Day.To celebrate the plucky and persevering Irish culture, I’m sharing a “green” potato recipe I recently created for my friends at Litehouse foods – Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways with Blue Cheese Sauce. You can just thank me later, you lucky leprechauns!   Kale Pesto Oven Fries an be spiralized or cut into wedges for a quick and easy potato side dish. This Irish inspired recipe is fun for St. Patrick's Day.

The inspiration for this super easy recipe is “colcannon,” a traditional Irish dish made from creamy mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. Potatoes and Irish culture or forever linked, as we all learned in history class – at one point leading up to the mid-17th century Great Potato Famin, it was said that the average Irish laborer ate 10 pounds of potatoes a day and for three-fifths of the population it was the primary fuel of life.

Okay, eating such a potato-centric diet causes dietary imbalances, but potatoes ARE a smart choice as a side dish to protein and other fruits and vegetables in your healthy diet. Tubers are packed with wholesome nutrients including complex carbohydrates for quality energy and vitamins and minerals, especially iron, magnesium, vitamin B-6 and vitamin C.Kale Pesto Oven Fries an be spiralized or cut into wedges for a quick and easy potato side dish. This Irish inspired recipe is fun for St. Patrick's Day.

It’s no blarney, you are guaranteed to love my Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways with Blue Cheese Sauce  — just remember not to call them French fries, Irish fries is more fitting! The kale pesto is a snap to make in the food processor, and can easily be done while the potatoes are baking in the oven. Make  another batch or use leftovers on pasta, fish, chicken, pizza and more. BTW, the pesto is nut-free so everyone can enjoy!Spiral Cut Potatoes

As for prepping the potatoes – you can use a spiralizer, a mandolin, finely julienne by hand or cut into fatter wedges, it’s the cook’s choice! I’ve used tried-and-true Russet potatoes in this dish, you could use whatever variety potato you like – on super busy days, I’ve also even hacked the recipe with frozen shoestring potatoes.

Kale Pesto Oven Fries an be spiralized or cut into wedges for a quick and easy potato side dish. This Irish inspired recipe is fun for St. Patrick's Day.

To add a blast of bold to the Irish recipe, I serve Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways with the Big Blue Ultra Premium from Litehouse Foods. This incredibly creamy and rich dressing is made with extra chunks of handcrafted Artisan Blue Cheese for maximum flavor—a bowl filled for dunking is like a pot of gold at the end of a cheese-lover’s rainbow.

jennifer and dean jamaica honeymoonOh and speaking of history, did I mention my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last night! Where does the time go? And I wonder how many potatoes we’ve eaten through the years – haha! I also think you’ll get a laugh out of this honeymoon picture and the 1991-style bangs! By the way, check out these blogs I’m linking up with today Happy Fit Mama, The Fit Foodie Mama, Hello to Fit, Fairy Burger, Chocolate Runner Girl , Jill Conyers,


What are you doing to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? What you you slather kale pesto on? Spiral or wedges? Please share in the comment below, I’d love to know! XOXO– Jennifer

This post was sponsored by Litehouse Foods. 

Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways
Print Recipe
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day or any dinner with this quick and easy Irish inspired recipe made with kale pesto, potatoes and blue cheese dressing. A delicious side dish!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 mintues
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 mintues
Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways
Print Recipe
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day or any dinner with this quick and easy Irish inspired recipe made with kale pesto, potatoes and blue cheese dressing. A delicious side dish!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 mintues
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 mintues
For Potatoes
For Kale Pesto
Servings: servings
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Scrub, dry and leave peel on potatoes. Use spiralizer, mandolin or sharp knife to cut potatoes into ⅛" to 1/4” thick pieces. If preferred, cut potato into 1/3” wedges. Place the strips (or wedges) in large bowl and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper, tossing to coat well.
  3. Bake thin fries for 35 to 40 minutes, using tongs to toss halfway through cooking time. Wedge fries may need to cook for 5 to 10 additional minutes.
  4. Thin fries are done when at least half are crispy and golden brown. Thicker wedge fries will be turning golden brown on the sides.
  5. While fries are baking, add kale, olive oil, salt, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and almonds to food processor and pulse until very finely chopped and ingredients incorporated.
  6. Remove fries from oven and toss with pesto while still hot. Serve with blue cheese dressing drizzled on top or served to the side as a dip.
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Grilled Apricot Kale Salad #SaladRevolution

Grill apricots to magnify their flavor and toss on an easy dale salad!If you don’t pay attention, you might miss apricot season – that would totally be the pits! This small, delicate stone fruit is at its peak from May through mid-June and is such a tasty little treat. A cup of sliced fresh apricots has less than 80 calories and provides a natural, unprocessed source of complex carbohydrates — the “good “ kind of carbs that give your body and brain quick energy for doing stuff – fun stuff like running, yoga, CrossFit and playing with your kids along with necessary evils like folding laundry, vacuuming . . . uh, and thinking rationally while stuck in rush-hour traffic.

When greedily hoarding selecting apricots at the grocery store or farmers’ market, keep in mind that this stone fruit doesn’t ripen with sweetness any further after picking. Look for fruit that is moderately soft but not squishy, unblemished and lightly scented with that famous fragrance. I usually gobble up my fresh apricots right away, but they will stay fresh on the kitchen counter for a couple days – after that, stick them in the fridge to give them a couple extra days of edible enjoyment.

Slice apricots in half, remove pit, brush with olive oil and toss on the grill!

Grilled Apricot Kale Salad is a showstopper for all your spring and summer and entertaining.Y’all know I love my grill and decided why not throw some apricots on there and see what would happen. Fabulous, good, yummy things happened as my apricots, brushed only with olive oil and sprinkled with a tiny bit of sea salt, softened and caramelized to perfection.  I ate some right off the grates and had a few with my Greek yogurt for dessert – but the highlight of my fruit grilling was the Grilled Apricot and Feta Kale Salad with Organic Raspberry-Lime Vinaigrette I created for my friends at Litehouse Foods.

Grilling apricots intensifies their summer sweet flavor -- try adding to ice cream or this delicious and nutritious kale salad.

salad revolutionSo many vibrant colors and healthy ingredients to swoon over in this salad including kale, raspberries, Marcona almonds, feta and more. Perfect for your late spring and summer entertaining or wow them at a pot luck.  Add some shrimp or chicken to make this an entrée salad.  Definitely a timely and soon-to-be-trending salad! Share your innovative salad recipe and tag @litehousefoods and #SaladRevolution on Instagram, they’ll send you a $1 off coupon good on their fit and fresh dressings, cheese, dips, and herbs.

Enjoying a trail run in Austin, Texas.

I’ve been taking a break from the roads every now and then and heading to the trails — they are so gorgeous this time of year in Austin and we have 20+ miles of trails in my neighborhood!

Do you like to run or hike on trails? What is the biggest challenge for you — location, terrain, allergies, critters, etc?

What is a unique ingredient you like to put on salads? I’m ALWAYS on the hunt for new ideas, so please share in the comments.


Kale & Quinoa Casserole Recipe + The Running Event

It was a busy day visiting with old friends (like Altra, Nuun Hydration, Pocket Fuel, and others) and meeting new folks in the running industry at THE RUNNING EVENT conference right here in Austin. I have lots of new running gear and race fuel products to update you on —   and perhaps a giveaway or two coming up soon!

Bart Yasso & Jennifer Fisher at TRE14It was also fun to bump into Bart Yasso (aka the “Mayor of Running) who I threatened to track down if his world-famous “Yasso 800s” don’t pay off in my upcoming Dallas Marathon.In the meantime, I wanted to share a nutritious comfort food recipe that is perfect addition to a holiday potluck party or just as a make-ahead and bake later meal for a busy night – Ranch Kale and Quinoa Casserole.  Originally created for the Litehouse Food blog (please visit), this home-style dish a hearty yet healthy riff on broccoli rice casserole, one of my favorite Christmas side dish (but most versions I’ve seen have tons of butter, cream, or “cream of” soups).

Ranch Kale & Quinoa Casserole -

Ranch Kale & Quinoa Casserole Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 cups chopped kale
  • 1 large white onion (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (from 1 cup dry)
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (divided)
  1. Add olive oil to 12” to 14” cast iron skillet and bring to medium-high heat.
  2. Add chopped onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until softening. Add half of kale and cook down for about 2 minutes. Add a couple tablespoons of water, if needed.  Add remaining kale to skillet and sauté for 2 -3 more minutes until completely wilted.
  3. Add garlic, salt and pepper to kale and continue to sauté for 1 minute.
  4. Remove skillet from heat and stir in pre-cooked quinoa, ranch dressing and ¾ cup of parmesan cheese.
  5. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese and bake in 350 F degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling and cheese browning on top.
  6. Serves 8.


cheesy quinoa bake

Using quinoa instead of rice or pasta in a casserole adds extra protein and can often stand alone as a vegetarian or Meatless Monday meal – check out another favorite of mine, Lightened Cheese Quinoa and Cauliflower Casserole.



What is your favorite comfort casserole?

What new running gear do you have your eye on?

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

Wilted Greens, Beans & Beef Meatball Stew from

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 -


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

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?

Kale and Caramelized Onion Sweet Potatoes + Favorite Fall Recipes

Check out Recipes for a Fit & Flavorful Fall

by The Fit Fork at

If you take pleasure in eating the signature dishes of the season, fall is a particularly comforting time of year.  Just thinking about the bounty of upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and autumn harvest inspired recipes gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling of well-being of being at Grandma’s house with all the family gathered round.

Pumpkin aside, the most iconic ingredient of autumn may be the sweet potato. Even though this practically royal root is actually enjoyed year-round to the tune of 2.6 billion pounds in the US, it makes the most of its popularity in October, November and December.  Think about it — if you haven’t had sweet potatoes on your holiday dinner table, you may not be normal.

What is normal in my kitchen is to skip mucking up this orange tuber with marshmallows (why, WHY?!) and instead mash up and mix in other healthy ingredients – like the healthy greens, onions, coconut milk and wellness enhancing spices in my recipe for Kale and Caramelized Onion Sweet Potatoes below. If said it before, but I’ll say it again – I love using the sweet potato as a way to fuel my distance running, it’s the perfect choice for healthy carbohydrate loading. Not only does the sweet potato have a lower glycemic index than the traditional white potato (meaning it will be deployed as energy to your body at a more steady state), it is also packed with other nutrition that benefits athletes including vitamins A and C,  manganese, calcium, potassium, iron, vitamin B6 and fiber.

Bowl of Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This Kale and Caramelized Onion Sweet Potatoes dish is the one I made earlier in the week to complement my Cinnamon-Rubbed Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Sauce.  This recipe is so yummy, it’s BAAAAA-d to the bone!  And, by the way — totally approved by all my Paleo diet friends.Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Greens and Onions

Kale and Caramelized Onion Sweet Potatoes Recipe

  • 2 lb (about 2 large) sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely sliced
  • ¼ cup white wine (or broth)
  • 4 cups shredded kale (or other winter greens)
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Peel the sweet potato and cut into even sized 1 inch cubes. Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot filled with water. Boil uncovered for 15 minutes or until softened.
  2. Drain the sweet potatoes in colander and set aside.
  3. In bottom of same pot, add olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, for approximately 15 minutes or until turning golden brown and caramelizing. Add wine to pot to deglaze pan and then quickly add kale or other greens and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until wilted. Turn off heat.
  4. Add sweet potatoes, coconut milk, ginger, and cinnamon and mash everything together to desired consistency. If needed, add a splash more coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serves 4.

What is your favorite sweet potato recipe? 

This post is sponsored by – however, all comments, opinions and recipes are my own.