Brisket, Corn & Kale Salad with Low-fat Creamy Texas Dressing (+ Other Leftover Beef Recipes)

Mmmmm, so I made a beef brisket this weekend. I used to be afraid of cooking large hunks of meat, but now I say “bring it on” – plus, the center cut of brisket is a lean cut, so no worries there! One of the biggest perks, aside from gobbling up slices of meaty heaven straight off the grill, is having leftovers! I’ve shared recipes I’ve prepared with leftover brisket in the past (hit the bottom of this post for links), and today I have a brand new salad to add to the collection! Brisket Corn and Kale Salad

You will love the smoky sweet satisfaction that my Brisket Kale and Corn Salad with Low-Fat Creamy Texas Dressing offers. Also, since kale is really only one of the salad greens holds up (if not gets better) to prepping ahead, this beef salad is also perfect for packing in a jar for lunch as school, work or the gym. Continue reading

7 Nourishing Soup Recipes for Dinner All Week

December may seem to be the month of BIG FANCY MEALS. Tenderloin, roast turkey, Cornish hens, or lobster tails might headline a celebratory holiday dinner, but there are still plenty of other meals to be made in the month. And, let’s be honest, with a to-do list and social schedule packed fuller than Santa’s sleigh, there isn’t much time left to make a balanced, nourishing meal to fuel up for the festivities. Or, you may even be trying to “eat light” between events that are loaded with delicious, yet indulgent, foods that aren’t typically in your diet.

Seven Nourishing Soups for Dinner All Week -- try one or all 7 of these healthy, nutrient packed soups that are simple to make and will satisfy your soul and body.

SOUP is the answer, soup to the rescue! Soup is the unsung hero of the season and gift to all us family meal makers out there – it’s typically super simple make, extra veggies can be snuck in without backlash, it’s forgiving and easy to swap out ingredients, it can be made ahead and then reheated as-needed, leftovers seem to even taste better as spices have more time to mingle. And, if you need a last-minute gift idea for your neighbor or that single guy in the office, why not whip of a batch of your favorite soup and pair with a loaf of artisan bread for an amazing, edible present.

I hope you enjoy at leat one of my seven super soup favorites!  

Mezzetta Spicy Shrimp Spinach Soup

Almost Instant” Spicy Shrimp & Spinach Soup – So much better than a Styrofoam cup of salty, surprisingly high fat ramen noodles, this fresh and fit soup recipe is meal prepped with fresh veggies, cooked shrimp, brown rice and more and then stored in the fridge (for up to a few days). When ready to eat, simply add boiling hot water, shake and then spoon in up right from the jar.

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.Thai Carrot Crab Soup – Oodles of noodle deliciousness and healthy veggie ingredients, including carrot juice and brown rice noodles keep it gluten-free.  Not feeling crabby? Feel free to swap out the crab with shrimp, chicken, tofu or whatever protein you have on hand.

Best Ever Chicken and Rice SoupComforting Chicken & Rice Soup – A feel good, taste good soup on days when you’re feeling run down and need soul and body satisfying nourishment.  A light roux makes the soup seem richer than it is, and shredded chicken, fresh veggies and brown rice create a balanced bowl of goodness.

Vegan Chipotle Sweet Potato SoupVegan Sweet Potato Soup with Cilantro Chimichurri – It’s easy to make a meal out of this meat-free, dairy-free, vegan soup – it’s as hearty as it is healthy. The velvety texture is spicy, smoky and a touch sweet and the vibrant green drizzle adds an unexpected (yet delicious) tang!

So many different ways to top this delicious, nutritious soup!

Smoky Chipotle Butternut Squash & Chickpea Soup – Frozen cubed butternut squash and rinsed canned chickpeas keep this pleasingly peppery soup convenient for a quick fix on weeknights. A bowl of this soup will fit a vegan or vegetarian diet, but I like to add cheese and bacon!

Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew – When does a soup stop become a soup and start becoming a stew? Perhaps it’s when you add succulent, meaty chunks of beef to a slow cooker like in my delicious stew-soup hybrid that is elevated with a hints of orange and tangy berries.

Lemony Carrot Ginger Gazpacho – Stop thinking of gazpacho as only a warm-weather soup. This twist on the Spanish classic is perfect cool lunch for post-workout when you don’t want a steamy bowl of soup in your face. Or, if you feel chilled to the bowl, just go ahead and heat up Gazpacho, there’s now law that you can’t. I’ve done it and it’s great!

What is your favorite soup to make? Should soup be a “side” or “entree”? Do you ever take soup in a thermos to work? Tell me all the souper soup things in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Molasses & Pepper Crusted Steaks + Iron-Boosting Salad

Molasses Marinated Flat Iron Leftover steak from the grilling makes the BEST next day salad. Tossing a few extra steaks on the grill is my little secret to putting together a quick meal when life just starts getting too crazy to cook. Since we are now officially “Back to School,” my recipe for Molasses & Pepper Crusted Steak and the next-day “Super Iron Boosting” Steak Salad with Dates, Pistachios and Peppers will most likely be in my weekly lunch and dinner rotation until soup season hits (which is still months away in Texas).

pinners conference pic 1I’ll be showing these two recipes (along with a couple others) in my “Empowered Meal Prepping – Protein for Fitness” class line-up for the Pinner’s Conference in the Dallas area on Sept 9th.  Sign up for my class; I’ll also have beef swag and lots of tasty samples!  Use the discount code FITFORK at online registration to save 10% on the very reasonable cost that allows you access to 100+ classes on food, fitness, crafts, home décor and more! Or, if you just want General Admission to shop and see the sights (no classes), you can get a free pass ($7 at door) using FREESHOPPINGRESISTER HERE

So, let’s start with the steak . . . since you need steak leftovers to make the salad! The beef cut I’ve used is the very tender and quite economical Flat Iron steak, but Top Sirloin, Tenderloin or Strip steaks would all work equally well.   The natural sugars from the molasses in this recipe caramelize along with the pepper to make a deliciously crispy crust on the outside of a mouthwatering and juicy center.  I like to pair this steak with Maple Pecan Raisin Butternut Quinoa Molasses and Pepper-Crusted Grilled Steak is a quick dinner to grill up and the leftovers can be used in salads, tacos, breakfast hashes and more.

Make sure to save some steak so you can use the leftovers to make my “Super Iron Boosting” Steak Salad with Dates, Pistachios and Peppers.  Almost everything about this salad is iron-boosting from the red meat and molasses, to the dates, pistachios (highest iron nut), and spinach.  All of us, especially athletes, need iron, a mineral that helps red blood cells get oxygen to the muscles, thusly improving energy, athletic performance and mental functioning.

uper Iron Boosting Steak Spinach Salad with Dates, Pistachios and Peppers is a quick and easy meal-solution made with leftover beef. Nearly every ingredients is an abundant source of iron, making it perfect for athletes or those with anemia.

Molasses Steak Salad with Dates Blue Cheese toesThe salad isn’t a “recipe” per se, just pile fresh baby spinach on a plate and add 3 ounces of leftover steak cut in bite-sized pieces. Top that with other veggies you love, like yellow pepper strips, and a couple tablespoons each of sliced dates, blue cheese and pistachios. I’ve served with my favorite store-purchased Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing from Litehouse Foods.

How to Layer a Jar Salad

Above are some useful tips for prepping your salad in a jar, if taking to school or work.

Brazilian Beef and Plantain Breakfast BowlAnother recipe in my class, and so delicious with these steak leftovers is a Brazilian Beef & Plantain Breakfast Bowl (with Coconut and Honey).

 

 

 

 

 

What is your favorite cut of steak to grill? Do you like your salads savory, sweet or both? Do you go back and make recipes from pins you’ve saved? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

Molasses & Pepper Crusted Steak
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 30 minutes
Molasses & Pepper Crusted Steak
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Whisk together molasses, vinegar, oil, pepper, garlic, ginger, thyme, and red pepper flakes, and pour into plastic zip-top bag containing steaks. Seal tightly and flip a few times to evenly distribute marinade.
  2. Set in refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours, flipping bag occasionally.
  3. Preheat gas or charcoal grill to 400 F degrees. Remove meat and discard marinade. Season with salt and more pepper to taste.
  4. Place steaks on oiled grates and grill for approximately 7 to 9 minutes on one side, or until moisture starts to pool on the top and beef releases easily from grates with tongs. Flip once, grilling on the other side for 6 to 8 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 135 F degrees with instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of steak
  5. Transfer plates to platter and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.
  6. *Double recipe if you’d like to have leftovers to make steak salad and beef breakfast bowl.
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BBQ Brisket and Bean Skillet Nachos – Yee Haw, Y’all!

Barbeque Brisket Skillet Nachos will satisfy a crowd!Today is National Tortilla Chip Day! My appetite just couldn’t wait for National Nacho Day to roll around on November 6th before sharing my recipe for hot, hearty and “yippee-yee-haw” yummy Cowboy BBQ Brisket & Bean Skillet Nachos.  Thousands have actually devoured this recipe, I developed it on behalf of Litehouse Foods to feed thousands of hungry expo carousers at the Produce Marketing Association’s “Fresh Summit” in Atlanta back in October. The line to get my grub was huge!

Cowboy Brisket Nachos with Tortilla Chips

Most “skillet” nachos I’ve tasted have been limp, lame and ready to be put out to pasture, the result of wet and dry ingredients loitering too long. However, this isn’t my first nacho rodeo and I revealed a nacho hack I’d been hiding – to keep the saddle off the horse until it’s time to ride! What I mean by this is to cook up toppings in cast-iron cookware and then slop atop tortilla chips right before serving, the result passes muster with this Sheriff of Sogginess.  Just imagine a platter with crisp, crunchy chips on the bottom and a hella ooey, gooey heaven on top! Don’t just imagine, try it!

Ingredients for BBQ Beef Brisket Skillet NAchosGrab you some barbeque brisket, roasted corn, pinto beans and seasonings – you’ll be wrangled those ingredients up stove top in a skillet at then smothering with a heaping helping of cheddar cheese and jalapenos. I love using the center cut portion of brisket for this recipe because it is actually considered a lean cut of beef (that surprises a lot of folks) and just tastes so down home delicious. When ready to feed your hungry hombres, pile chips on a plate, cover with a generous pile of brisket and bean topping, and dollop with sour cream, guacamole, salsa or whatever scoots your boot!

Cowboy BBQ Brisket Nachos

Cowboy Beef Brisket, Bean and Corn "Slop"  on Sweet Potato makes a quick and healthy meal solution!These skillet nachos are perfect for a party, patio snack or last-minute meal solution with leftovers Any remaining topping from my Cowboy BBQ Brisket & Bean Skillet Nacho can be served over baked potatoes, wrapped taco style in tortillas or scrambled with eggs. And, feel free to swap out the chopped up brisket for equal proportions of lightly seasoned ground beef or shredded chuck roast — you can’t go wrong!

Skinny Garden Guacamole makes a light and nourishing lunch served on whole grain toast.If this inspired by Texas recipe isn’t your style, how about some English pea and asparagus packed Skinny Garden Guacamole?

So, how are your dipping, dunking or topping your tortilla chips today? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

 

Barbeque Brisket Skillet Nachos will satisfy a crowd!
BBQ Brisket and Bean Skillet Nachos
Print Recipe
Believe in the legend of leftovers! My BBQ Brisket & Bean nachos are a right easy way to feed a hungry crowd and use up extra beef from last night's dinner!
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Barbeque Brisket Skillet Nachos will satisfy a crowd!
BBQ Brisket and Bean Skillet Nachos
Print Recipe
Believe in the legend of leftovers! My BBQ Brisket & Bean nachos are a right easy way to feed a hungry crowd and use up extra beef from last night's dinner!
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add olive oil to 12-inch cast iron skillet and bring to medium high heat. Add onion, garlic and thawed corn and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until kernels start lightly browning.
  2. Coarsely chop brisket add to hot skillet along with beans, tomatoes and barbeque sauce. Stir until combined and heated through.
  3. Top mixture with cheddar cheese and jalapeno rings. Place lid on skillet and simmer a few minutes until cheese melts.
  4. To serve, pile tortilla chips on a plate (individual or family-style), spoon on brisket and bean topping, sprinkle with cilantro and add additional garnishes of your choice.
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Lunchspiration | Creative Lunch Ideas & #HarvestSnaps Giveaway

lunchspiration

It’s back-to-school time and my kids keep reminding me that brown-bagging can get a little boring! Turkey sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches and hard-boiled eggs have been overdone at our house. OVER. DONE. Not only are my guys getting older and more adventurous in their tastes, I personally prefer my mid-day meal to be something anticipate with excitement rather than aversion

I have three quick and easy ways to give your lunch a lift plus a giveaway for a stash of a yummy and healthy snack food to take on the go – Harvest Snaps. Read on!

Lunchspiration - Leftovers

Leftover #Lunchspiration: While some detest a repeated, reheated performance of last night’s dinner, I live for leftovers – in fact, I often plan to make extra, just so I’ll have an encore!  Sometimes, I repurpose dinner leftovers into new creations such as transforming fajita beef strips into baked sweet potato toppings, putting pasta, rice or grain remnants into a soup or chopping up leftover veggies to eat cold in a salad. But, not trying to brag, some of my dinners are so yummy (like this broccolini and tenderloin) that the second showing is just as wonderful as the first!

salad lunchspiration

Salad #Lunchspiration:  I may single-handedly eat more salad than anyone on the planet. It’s not because I’m trying to diet — I’m just a lettuce lover!  The kids always want me to buy Iceberg or Romaine lettuce, but I’m a huge fan of the Baby Spring Mix which features an assortment of darker greens – those darker lettuces are much more nutrient rich. But, eating a pile of lettuce day-in and day-out can get dull as a doorknob so I mix it up with a variety of unexpected toppings including any type of fresh or dried fruit (apples, oranges, blueberries, strawberries peaches or bananas). I dare you to put a banana on your salad – do it! Other creative ideas are leftover proteins (even scrambled eggs!), crushed up chips or Harvest Snaps in lieu of croutons, pan grilled or crisped cheese, and out-of-the-box dressings such as Sriracha mixed in plain yogurt, peanut butter mixed in orange juice or even cold spaghetti sauce. Seriously.

healthy yogurt toppings

Yogurt #Lunchspiration:  Some might think that yogurt is only for breakfast or maybe a healthy dessert. But, I think it also makes a great start to any lunch – I use Greek yogurt because it’s packed with so much protein.  The richness and creaminess of Greek yogurt is something I don’t tire of quickly, especially when flavored with a few healthy toppings from a nearly endless array of options. Here are a few of my healthy yogurt toppings:

fruit and nut combo for yogurt

snap pea bento boSo, every lunch needs a little “crunch” for munching and Harvest Snaps is a favorite brand I like to feed my family. Harvest Snaps are gluten-free, baked (not fried), high in protein because they are made from lentils and peas, and have 40 percent less fat than a traditional potato chips. Oh, and did I mention that every one of the six flavors is delicious?! My current favorite flavor is a tie between the subtle Lightly Salted Snapea Crisps and bam-pow Wasabi Snapea Crisps. The other four and also yummy flavors are Black Pepper Snapeas,  Caesar Snapeas, Tomato Basil Lentil Crisps, and Onion Thyme Lentil Crisps.

bento box snapea

I have two ways for you to win – first you can win a BIG PRIZE directly from Harvest Snaps. How? Well, right now, head over to Harvest Snaps and play the really fun mix and match game where you “make” a bento box – then share your creation on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter for a chance to win one of three prizes for school valued at up to $1,000!

 

 

harvest snaps border

Second, you can enter my giveaway below to win one of three 6-pack assortments of Harvest Snap snacks that will come in really handy for packing those back-to-school or work-day lunches. Enter my giveaway in the Rafflecopter app below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Calibee Harvest Snaps, however all opinions are my own.

Pomegranate-Balsamic Pot Roast with Baby Bella Mushrooms Recipe {+ Next Day Meal}

Last week I attended a cooking class called “Indulge the Heart,” and indulge I did – but in a healthy way.  The Heart Hospital of Texas in conjunction with the Texas Beef Council showed us all how to make a delicious date-night meal from a healthy lean cut of beef.  Chef Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House in Dallas, Texas and cardiologist Dr. Paul Coffeen enlightened the group on the health benefits of beef and shared healthy tips for cooking it up.  I’ve never been shy about my love of lean beef and the role it plays in my training and recovery diet, it’s also no surprise that I get around in beef-circles and I already knew these two beef experts – I’d say they were preaching to the choir!

heart health beef chamberlain coffeen fisher

Our menu included an Italian Post Roast with Sweet Peppers, Olives & Capers from the Healthy Beef Cookbook – it was superb!   Not at all like the stringy meat and mushy carrot pot roasts that I remember from my childhood (not that MY mom ever cooked one like that). It’s hard to believe I’ve never actually cooked a pot roast myself, but the chef and doctor sure sold me on the idea and inspired me to come up with my own recipe. Plus, when I saw that Angus Chuck Roast was on special for $2.97 a pound at Sam’s Club, I couldn’t resist. For us fitness types, it’s reassuring to know that pot roast today is a much leaner hunk of meat than it was back in the day. A three-ounce serving has just 5.7 grams total fat (1.8 grams saturated fat) and falls in the middle of the 29 lean cuts of beef.

jennifer fisher thefitfork beef chuck

So, are you hanging on the edge of your seat wondering what I did with the beef and how I ending up with leftovers that were transformed into an equally delicious meal?  Here’s the skinny – I came up with the recipe Pomegranate-Balsamic Pot Roast with Baby Bella Mushrooms following the master idea from Chef Chamberlain. However, since I can never stick to a recipe and didn’t have any red wine (which his recipe called for), I took my meal in a whole ‘nutha direction. When I was plating the meal, I realized that I should have made a “sopping substance” for the sauce — brown rice, noodles, polenta, riced cauliflower or something!

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com pomegranate balsamic pot roast mushrooms

In any event, the recipe made quite a lot of sauce by design – the meat needs to be completely covered up with liquid to braise properly. While we polished off the beef that night, I still had a stockpot more than half full of sweet-savory, umami-packed sauce. I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing it away so I stuck it in the fridge!  So what happened the next day was genius, if I do say so myself. I added a can of petite-dice tomatoes, a can full of water, a pound of cooked ground beef and a handful of bow-tie noodles to the pot, heated it up until the pasta was cooked – and, viola, a rich (but not fattening), ultra flavorful soup!  No chintzy leftovers here; this salvaged meal made a large amount of hearty soup that fed the entire family with refills!  So what would you name this soup? I need a name, let me know in the comments below!!

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com pot roast soup

This is the surprise soup I made the second day with leftovers!

Pomegranate-Balsamic Pot Roast with Baby Bella Mushrooms Recipe

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 boneless beef chuck shoulder pot roast (approx. 2 lbs)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 8-ounce carton of baby bella mushrooms, sliced (use your favorite variety)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups pomegranate juice (make sure actual juice – not “cocktail”)
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 cups beef broth (from can, paste or fresh)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
  • ¼ cup water

In large stock pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat until hot. Place beef in pot and brown evenly on both sides. Remove from pot and season with salt and pepper.

In same pot, add onion and mushrooms and sauté for approximately 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and sauté for 1 additional minute.

Add pomegranate juice to deglaze the pan, stirring until simmering and crusty beef bits have come off the bottom of pot and become incorporated in the sauce.

Add tomatoes, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaves, oregano, thyme and crushed red pepper; stir to incorporate.

Return roast to the pot and bring everything to a boil; reduce heat and cover pot with tight-fitting lid. Continue to simmer for approximately 2 hours or until fork tender.

Add sliced carrots and continue to simmer. Stir arrowroot powder into 1/4 cup water to create a slurry. Pour slurry into pot and stir for a couple minutes until sauce is thickened; take care not to overheat.

Remove bay leaves and serve over rice, noodles, polenta or riced cauliflower.

Serves 6 to 8.