Carnitas & Street Corn Stuffed Zucchini with Ole Frijoles Pinto Bean Sauce

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Farmer Direct Co-op, however all opinions, content and enthusiasm are my own.

Spiralizing zucchini is trend that will never grow old, but every now and then I like to turn the tide and unleash deliciously stuffed zucchini boats for dinner. I’m not talking about the old-school stuffed squash my mama used to make with our backyard garden bumper crop, it might have been a bit mushy, bland, and hard to swallow (sorry mom). Instead, my recipe for Carnitas & Street Corn Stuffed Zucchini Boats with “Ole Frijoles” Pinto Bean Sauce is totally crave-worthy and turns supper-time with spicy south-of-the-border fiesta. Carnitas & Sreet Corn Stuff Zucchini With Bean Sauce

With pre-shredded pork roast and pinto beans cooked overnight, this family favorite recipe can be made in just 30 minutes – making it perfect for a busy weeknight meal. It can also be prepped the night before and popped in the oven 20 minutes before dinner. I’ve used pinto beans from Farmer Direct Co-op and, at the end of this post, you can grab the zucchini recipe and also enter to win a giveaway prize pack that includes an assortment of their top-selling organic, non-GMO and fair-trade products packaged in 1lb. bags.

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Copy Cat Freebird’s Ancho Salad Dressing Recipe

Grilling 101 - Texas Beef Council & The Fit ForkThis past weekend, I teamed up with the Texas Beef Council to teach a Grilling 101 class – and it was the perfect day for outdoor cooking with members of the Beef Team. Weather was in the mid-80s and it seems nearly every Austinite was down at our venue, Zilker Park, my hometown’s favorite urban spot for relaxing and recreating!  Texas Beef Council - Grilling 101

beef team grill

After learning some grill basics on how to operate gas and charcoal grills and prep beef before it hits the grates, participants put their skills to practical use firing up flat iron steaks to perfection – they were delicious!  A+ to everyone, especially genius, fast-learning student who cooked my steak to a magnificent medium-rare while I was off making the final salad preparations!

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I’ll get back to the beef another day (oh, you know I will), but today wanted to share the dressing I made I made to accompany our steak lunch. Since I’m a huge fan of the Freedom Salad (with beef) at Freebird’s World Burrito that is drizzled with the yummiest ancho dressing ever, I knew I needed to replicate it for our post-class meal. Check out my recipe for Freebird’s Copy-Cat Ancho Dressing :

Freebirds Copy Cat Ancho Salad Dressing

Ancho Salad Dressing Hope you enjoy the Freebird’s Copy-Cat Ancho Dressing as much as I do!

This southwestern-inspired vinaigrette is delicious on everything from salads to corn-on-the-cob and other veggies — or use as a marinade for meats and seafood.

 

Copy Cat Freebirds Ancho Salad Dressing

Did you know that Anchos are smoked poblano chile peppers?!  What would you drizzle this dressing on? What is your favorite steak cut? Do you prefer chacoal or gas grilling? Please share in the comments below – xoxo, Jennifer Fisher

 

Copy Cat Freebirds Ancho Salad Dressing
Print Recipe
This vinaigrette is not too spicy and a tiny, tiny bit sweet -- it's perfect for salads, side dishes and marinades.
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 4 hours
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 4 hours
Copy Cat Freebirds Ancho Salad Dressing
Print Recipe
This vinaigrette is not too spicy and a tiny, tiny bit sweet -- it's perfect for salads, side dishes and marinades.
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 4 hours
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 4 hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add dried ancho chiles to bowl of water, weight down with a plate so they don’t float to the top. Soak 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain water off rehydrated ancho chiles. Discard stems and cut open to remove seeds. Chop.
  3. Add chopped chiles, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, honey, salt, pepper and chile powder to blender.
  4. Pulse blender on and off, blending ingredients until smooth and combined – about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Pour in 16-ounce Mason jar or salad dressing cruet and refrigerate until serving time.
  6. Makes 12 – 14 ounces.
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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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Raw Vegan Jicama Nachos, Freezing Guacamole and Cinco de Mayo Sippers

Raw Jicama Nachos make a vegan swap for the traditional dish.

Keep your Cinco de Mayo fiesta fit with my recipe for Raw Vegan Jicama Nachos with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette. No cheese here people, but lots of creamy guacamole and vegetable goodness that will make you shout “Ole” – especially when you bite into the crispy, crunchy jicama ‘chips.’ While these thin wedges of jicama obviously aren’t bona fide, deep-fried tortilla chips, they do provide a nutritious and neat way to shovel a bunch of tasty toppings into your mouth.

Raw Jicima Nachos make a vegan swap for the traditional recipe.

I cut my jicama into ¼-inch rounds and then quartered them to resemble triangle-shaped nacho chips. I’ve seen other veggie lovers and Paleo diet types slice the jicama nearly paper thin to use as a flexible wraps for taco fillings.

freezing avocado guacamoleIf you’re looking for a great guacamole recipe, I am a fan of RO*TEL’s Rockin’ Guac or simply mash up avocado, squeeze in lime juice and season with garlic salt. If you have leftover guacamole, it can be frozen. Just follow the steps in my DIY post from last year on how to make guacamole that you can keep in the freezer!

Need a drink for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta? Might I suggest my Skinny Blackberry Nectarine Margarita or Watermelon Ginger Lmeade? Or, check out these south-of-the-border inspired beer cocktails and other Cinco de Mayo ideas from CookingLight.com.

two ingredient beer cocktails

Raw Jicima Nachos make a vegan swap for the traditional recipe.
Raw Vegan Jicama Nachos with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Get your fiesta off to a fit start with these no-cook nachos made from jicama and veggies. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo. And, find out how to freeze guacamole.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Raw Jicima Nachos make a vegan swap for the traditional recipe.
Raw Vegan Jicama Nachos with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Get your fiesta off to a fit start with these no-cook nachos made from jicama and veggies. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo. And, find out how to freeze guacamole.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Nachos
Dressing
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Slice jicama into 1/4" discs and then cut each slice into 4 to 6 wedges.
  2. Top each wedge with large dollop of guacamole. Sprinkle with veggies and pepita seeds.
  3. In small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients until emulsified. Drizzle onto "nachos," enjoy.
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Passport to Healthy Quick Meals + Gym Ring Workout

Check out Passport to Healthy Quick Meals

by The Fit Fork at Foodie.com

Don’t get so busy at mealtime that you slip into the bland habit of eating the same thing every night. Occasionally this happens to me, I realize that I am eating the same lettuce mix with the same toppings and dressing for days on end – like some sort of salad robot!

Just like you plan a vacation by leafing through brochures and surfing the web, why not spend a few extra minutes each week finding some quick and easy ways to give your busy weeknight meals some international flair and flavor. To get you started, I’ve put together a collection simple and healthy dinner recipes for Foodie.com that are a one-way ticket to flavor town – groan, did I just say that?! There is a healthy international recipe for everyone – Thai recipes, Italian recipes, American recipes, Middle Eastern recipes, Latin American recipes and more! I’ve also put together a challenging workout for the gymnastic rings. I love to get a workout in on the rings because, unlike a stable bar or floor surface, the rings make your muscles work in over drive to find balance and work in harmony with your whole body. On the rings everything is a little more difficult –  okay, some things are a lot more difficult. With the movement of the rings,  I’m constantly having to rely on joint position and muscle senses in order to accomplish an exercise – that’s called proprioception, y’all! Gymnastics Ring Fiend Workout - TheFitFork.com While I’ve written this gymnastic ring workout for 5 sets, feel free to go at your own pace and rest between sets and individual exercises. Also, reduce the number of sets and reps, if needed. If you can’t do one of the exercises, simply hang from the rings and stretch your spine out and then practice the hollow body rock movement needed for kipping. If workout is too easy, wear a weight vest like I suggest in my Rings of Fire workout – ha! Swinging on the Rings - TheFitFork.com

zooma run texasAlso, if you are planning on running Zooma Texas (or even just sorta thinking about it), join me, the other Zooma ambassadors and lots of new running friends at Athleta at the Domain ( 11601 Century Oaks Terrace Suite 121, Austin, TX 78758 ) for a Kick Off Training Run.  We’ll run 3 miles together as #ZOOMAnation and then enjoy post-run beverages and a gift-with-purchase (of $75+) from Athleta. All levels of runners are welcome, you do not have to be registered for the race to attend, so grab your girlfriends and join us!

Have you ever been on the gymnastic rings? My favorite exercise on the rings is “toes-to-bar,” what is yours . . . or what would you try first? Have you ever run a Zooma race?