Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew w/ Sage Romano Grits + #StubbsInsider Giveaway

This post and giveaway was sponsored by Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q , however all opinions, comments and enthusiasm are my own.

Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits

This holiday season, I’ve made a vow to make all my meals with love, happiness and smiles. Not just the big celebration dinners, but also the crazy night meals when we’ve been out all day running errands, visiting with family or volunteering with our favorite charity (Brown Santa).  Some times on these chaotic nights, I get grumbly about making supper, but shortcuts with Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q products  keep me grinning even after sitting in shopping mall traffic or spending hours trying to figure out which bulb in a string of lights has burned out.

Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits in slow cooker

For this slow cooker recipe, I’ve used Stubb’s Smokehouse Bourbon Cookin’ Sauce. This convienient product (which is gluten free) works in both the skillet and slow cooker. It contains a flavorful sauce pouch made with bourbon, garlic and rosemary along with a spice packet that can be used to prep the meat. Browning Stew Meat

One little hint extra step I have for this quick and easy recipe is to brown the stew meat before putting in the crock pot. While this may seem unnecessary (and you can skip if absolutely pressed for time), it does create an amazing caramelization on the beef which helps to create a more complex flavor experience. Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits -  an easy slow cooker meat that will satisfy your guests this holiday season.

Don’t just think of Stubb’s ONLY as a way to fix traditional Texas BBQ. They have so many delicious Bar-B-Q sauces, marinades, rubs and Cookin’ Sauces that offer bold flavors to spur on your creativity in the kitchen this holiday season.

Of course, I love to create my own new holiday recipes as well as revisit family food traditions, but why recreate the wheel on every single side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other winter family gatherings when Stubb’s has complied a delicious collection of recipes for the season?! stubbs-roasted-brussels-sprouts

Yes-sir-ee, the Stubb’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts will be a delicious compliment to my Slow Cooker Cranberry-Orange Beef Stew with Rosemary Garlic Grits. You need to try these, so amazing!   

stubbs-cranberry-orange-beef-packageTo help you get cooking with down-home but daring style, I’m hosting a giveaway for one reader to win a Stubb’s Prize Pack that includes a spatula, T-shirt, Stubb’s hat and coupons for free Stubb’s products (yeehaw)!  Just enter via the Rafflecopter app below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits
Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew w/ Sage Romano Grits
Print Recipe
Warm up with this tasty beef stew that is slightly spicy, sweet and tangy -- it makes a hearty meal topped on grits but you can also pair with pasta, potatoes, and whole grains.
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits
Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew w/ Sage Romano Grits
Print Recipe
Warm up with this tasty beef stew that is slightly spicy, sweet and tangy -- it makes a hearty meal topped on grits but you can also pair with pasta, potatoes, and whole grains.
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Instructions
for stew
  1. Sprinkle stew meat with spice packet from Stubb’s Slow Cooker Sauce (or simply season with salt and pepper for alternative preparation).
  2. Heat large, heavy-duty skillet to medium-high heat and brown stew meat in single layer. Don’t overcrowd, work in batches if necessary, draining cooking liquid between.
  3. Add browned stew meat to 6-quart slow cooker along with chopped onion, cranberry sauce, orange segments, orange zest, bourbon and Stubb’s Slow Cooker Sauce. Stir to combine.
  4. Top slow cooker with lid and simmer on high heat for 4 to 6 hours, or until beef tender. If desired, add 1 cup fresh cranberries to last 1 hour of simmering.
  5. *** If you can’t find Stubb’s Cookin’ Smokehouse Bourbon Flavor, the use this substitute. To season stew meat before browning, sprinkle with mixture of 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes. For liquid, add 1 cup beef broth, 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and add an additional 1 ounce of bourbon whiskey.
for grits
  1. Add water to saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Slowly stir in grits, sage and salt and then reduce to medium-low for simmer.
  2. Simmer for about 7 minutes stirring frequently. When thickened, stir in cheese until incorporated. Remove from heat.
  3. To serve, place a mound of grits on a plate and use a slotted spoon to remove beef, onions and fruit from slow cooker. Top with optional garnishes of grated orange zest and chopped parsley.
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Dreamy Orange Vanilla Protein Fluff #1UpYourCup

We are several weeks into 2016 and I’m checking in to report how I’m sticking with my New Year’s health and wellness best intentions.  Increasing my flexibility? Taking baby steps, but to say I’m there is a stretch! Sleeping better?  Still just day dreaming about it. Drinking more water? That’s a check!  Keeping with my fitness routine? Of course, that’s the fun part of my day!  Whipping up creative protein-rich meals and snacks? Naturally – some good things never change!

 

One thing that hasn’t changed for me over many, many years is my love for Yoplait® yogurt. I have my “old friend” flavors, like Vanilla that is yummy just as it is or as the base for my many fit foodie creations, and new favorites like Plenti already packed with wholesome ingredients.  I don’t think my taste buds will ever get bored with Yoplait®  — with 125 flavors in the Yoplait® family and my imagination, I think I could come up with a new way to “1-Up My Cup” of yogurt every day for the rest of my life!  Yoplait 1-Up Your Cup

yoplait walmart

Love the Everyday Low Price on Yoplait at Walmart!

For example, adding a little carton of Greek 100 is a great way to pump up my smoothies with a creamy texture and boost of protein. Adding berries, bananas, chocolate chips and some sugar-free chocolate syrup makes a healthy sundae I would feel good about eating every day of the week!  Oh, and I’ve made a million yogurt parfaits, put yogurt atop my pancakes, and dipped fruit slices into dessert-like flavors such as Red Velvet Cupcake, Strawberry Cheesecake and Boston Cream Pie! Dreamy Orange Vanilla FluffSo, are you ready to 1-Up YOUR Cup? Today, I’m sharing Dreamy Orange Vanilla Fluff in an Orange Bowl — a frosty and fit treat made with Orange Crème Light Yoplait®.  The Orange Crème is from the “Light” line which is one of my favorite as I’m always looking for ways to avoid added sugar.

Love I can count on the Everyday Low Price on Yoplait®  at Walmart.

Love I can count on the Everyday Low Price on Yoplait® at Walmart.

 

I’m also happy to report that Yoplait® now adds NO aspartame to any of their flavors and they are easy to stock up on at your local Walmart —  that’s where I find all the best flavors!

Dreamy Orange Vanilla Protein Fluff

 

 

 

 

My recipe for Dreamy Orange Vanilla Fluff in an Orange Bowl incorporates vanilla protein powder to provide even more protein– after intense workouts and long runs, I need to PUMP IT UP with 20 to 25 grams of protein to help my taxed muscles recover.   Yoplait® helps me get a good start on that goal as I 1-Up my Cup!  This easy recipe doesn’t necessarily need to be served in an orange “bowl” and be tweaked to work with any of the yogurt flavors that appeal to you – how amazing would Chocolate Cherry Cupcake Fluff be?!

 

Dreamy Orange Vanilla Protein Fluff with Yoplait perfect for post workout treat.

How do you 1-up your cup? Do you make any special recipes with yogurt or use unusual mix-ins? Please share in comments, XOXO — Jennifer

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills. The opinions and text are all mine.


Dreamy Orange Vanilla Protein Fluff
Dreamy Orange Vanilla Fluff in an Orange Bowl
Print Recipe
2 small oranges or tangerines 1 scoop ( 2 cartons Orange Crème Light Yoplait® 2 teaspoons mini chocolate chips 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios
Servings Prep Time
2 servings (2 halves each) 5 minutes
Passive Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings (2 halves each) 5 minutes
Passive Time
15 minutes
Dreamy Orange Vanilla Protein Fluff
Dreamy Orange Vanilla Fluff in an Orange Bowl
Print Recipe
2 small oranges or tangerines 1 scoop ( 2 cartons Orange Crème Light Yoplait® 2 teaspoons mini chocolate chips 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios
Servings Prep Time
2 servings (2 halves each) 5 minutes
Passive Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings (2 halves each) 5 minutes
Passive Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings (2 halves each)
Instructions
  1. Slice oranges (or tangerines) in half crosswise. Use serrated spoon to carefully remove segments, leaving outer peel intact. Set scooped out “bowls” aside.
  2. Squeeze juice out of extracted citrus segments (approximately ¼ cup). Use whisk to incorporate protein powder, adding a bit more juice or water if mixture gets too thick – but it should be pudding like.
  3. Gently fold in yogurt until just combined. Spoon into orange cups.
  4. Place in freezer to set up along with any excess “fluff” still in bowl. To serve, top filled oranges with remaining semi-frozen fluff and a sprinkling of chocolate chips and pistachios.
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Life of Party! 5-min Blue Cheese and Orange Gingersnap Appetizer

Blue Cheese & Orange Gingersnap BitesInvited to a holiday party, you dutifully ask “can I bring anything,” fully assuming the host will not want you to risk ruining her celebratory spread of nibbles and noshes. But this time (gasp) you to “it would be so lovely for you to bring an appetizer or dessert . . . if it isn’t too much trouble.” 

sweet treat personalityYou’re thinking –

“It really IS too much trouble, why’d I have to open my big mouth.”

 

 

 

As I see it, you have several options to this potluck-ish predicament. First, you could skip the party and save yourself the trouble. Second, you could show up empty-handed and blame it on the dog or dropping your dish on the way to the car. Third, you could attempt a fancy recipe seen in a gourmet cookbook and spend precious free-time hours in the kitchen with no guarantees of the results. Fourth, you could grab anything left on the store shelf like a bag of chips and onion dip and end up looking like an uninspired slacker. Or, fifth, and the obvious winning choice – make this proven to be insanely delicious app in a snap  — Gingersnap Blue Cheese & Orange Bites.

Gingersnap Blue Cheese Orange Bites

So many things to love about Gingersnap Blue Cheese & Orange Bites – the taste is insane with “pows” of sweet, spicy, pungent, salty and zesty citrus tastes with every bite. You also get pretty much every texture in the textbook too – crunchy, smooth, juicy and chewy. But, drum roll, one of the most amazing things about this appetizer recipe with a complex flavor profile yet simple presentation is that it can be made in 5 minutes or less. You don’t need a culinary school certificate to make this easy and elegant appetizer recipe — in fact, you don’t even need to know how to cook!

I originally made this hors d’oeuvre recipe for Litehouse Food as a way to feature their deliciously rich and creamy Artisan Reserve Center Cut Blue Cheese.

cooking light appetizer gallerLooking for more quick, easy and healthy nibbles for your party? Check out Cooking Light’s gallery of Top Rated Party Appetizers!

What is your favorite 5 minute appetizer? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

 

 

Gingersnap Blue Cheese Orange Bites
Blue Cheese and Orange Gingersnap Bites
Print Recipe
Razzle dazzle holiday guests with this 5 minute appetizer that mixes and mingles orange segments, blue cheese, honey and crunchy ginger cookies into a festive flavor experience worth celebrating any time of the year.
Servings Prep Time
36 appetizers 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
36 appetizers 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Gingersnap Blue Cheese Orange Bites
Blue Cheese and Orange Gingersnap Bites
Print Recipe
Razzle dazzle holiday guests with this 5 minute appetizer that mixes and mingles orange segments, blue cheese, honey and crunchy ginger cookies into a festive flavor experience worth celebrating any time of the year.
Servings Prep Time
36 appetizers 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
36 appetizers 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: appetizers
Instructions
  1. Lay gingersnaps out on serving platter. Top each with an orange slice and chunk of blue cheese. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with mint.
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Speedy Orange Jalapeno Salmon – Fueling More Fun

Orange Jalapeno Salmon makes a quick and healthy weeknight meal. Served on a bed of brown rice mixed with quinoa.You can’t beat salmon for a quick weeknight dinner — I probably eat it once a week and have fixed it up so many ways. I still can’t stop thinking about that time I skewered up salmon filets, completely wrapped them in bacon and threw on the grill! That’s when I was experimenting with fat-loading for a marathon. That’s a whole ‘nutha story.

orange jalapeno salmon toes

Firefly Pose Yoga - Jennifer Fisher - TheFitFork.comI’m not bringing bacon back today, but I am sharing a recipe for Orange Jalapeno Salmon that keeps the flavor kicked up with a punch of pepper. Many similar recipes do an orange marmalade in the sauce, but I’ve opted that out to avoid added sugar. This recipe is sure to become a favorite on fish day – plus it can be finished in 30 minutes, freeing you up to spend your late afternoons in more leisurely pursuits. Of course, “leisurely” is a relative descriptor, because the hour I spent trying to straighten my legs out practicing the yoga “firefly pose” was, errr, a little more challenging that leisurely.

If you’re looking for other ways to eat this heart-healthy fish, check out the 100 Ways to Cook with Salmon from CookingLight.com — you’ll never get bored with salmon again!

Salmon Recipes from Cooking Light are easy and packed with important nutrients.

What is your favorite fish? Do you have a secret salmon recipe? If you had and extra hour of free time, what would you do?  Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

Speedy Orange Jalapeno Salmon
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Speedy Orange Jalapeno Salmon
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Instructions
  1. Add orange juice, oil, jalepenos, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper in a small food processor or blender and pulse for about 30 seconds to a minute until combined. Set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 400 F degrees. Place salmon, skin side down, into 2” rimmed pan or oven proof skillet that has been rubbed with oil. Top with orange slices. Pour marinade over top and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until opaque.
  3. Serve on a salad or favorite whole grain -- pictured with 50/50 mixture of brown rice and tri-color quinoa.
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Orange Miso Steak Lettuce Wraps + 6 More Protein Salads

Adding grilled strip steak to my Orange Miso Lettuce Wraps ups the protein to 25 grams -- perfect for the #proteinchallenge!

I love LOVE salads, many of you know that – I post my salad photos ( #saladselfie #saladrevolution #saladintheATX)  nearly every day on Instagram @thefitfork.  Often the mounds of lettuce I get at casual restaurants or take-away are pretty skimpy on the protein – this makes me hungry within the hour, no matter how BIG the salad was – that’s one of the reasons I prefer making my salad at home. Protein is so important for people living a fit and active lifestyle – adequate quality protein promotes heart health, helps muscles recover and grow and gives a long-lasting feeling of fullness that prevents unhealthy snacking later in the day. I got a chance to talk about this and the 30 Day Protein Challenge on Good Day San Antonio on 4th of July Morning!

Sharing ways to get more protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner on KENS5 Great Day San Antonio.

Sharing ways to get more protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner on KENS5 Great Day San Antonio.

There are lots of ways to boost the protein in salads, everyone should be aiming to get 25 – 30 grams of protein per meal adding beans (edamame, garbanzo, and black beans are some of my favorites) and adding a modest amount of nuts with heart-healthy oils like (almonds, walnuts and pistachios are so good) are two ways to reach optimal protein intake – I also love these Snack Crisps from Eat Enlightened. They are baked crunchy from broad (fava) beans and come in a bunch of yummy flavors like Sriracha, Garlic and Barbeque! For only 100 calories, I get an extra 7 grams of protein and lots of satisfying crush – whoohoo, they work as paleo croutons!

Lean beef ups the protein in this healthy, asian-inpsired salad.

Of course, the most direct way to pump up the protein in a salad is by adding lean red meat; chicken, turkey or other poultry; or fish, shrimp  or type of seafood. Today, I’m sharing my recipe for Orange Miso Beef Lettuce Wraps along with a collection of other beef salad ideas I curated in a collection for Mode Stories.

Check out Beef Up a Light Lunch – Seven Steak Inspired Salads

by The Fit Fork at Mode

Eat Nakd Bars - thefitfork.comAlso, I wanted to share with you a yummy snack I’ve been enjoying lately –  Eat Nākd from Natural Balance Foods . Eat Nākd bars are basically fruits and nuts “smooshed” together in a nutritious, healthy bar for convenience  Eat Nākd Protein Crunch bars are just as delicious and are have a bit of plant-based protein added for sustained energy. Individually wrapped for convenience and available in a ton of tempting flavors (hello chocolate mint), these bars are the perfect way to get some quick energy before a workout or when you need a little pick-me-up to nosh on at the office. They are also vegetarian and Paleo diet friendly; gluten, wheat and dairy free; and have no added sugars or hidden extras. These bars are made in Britain and you can order online with quick delivery – this product totally worth checking out!

protein challenge badge

Click photo to sign up!

Join the 30 Day Protein Challenge — you’ll learn how to get enough protein in your diet. Or, you’ll discover why you should rearrange the protein you’re already eating — did you know most Americans eat 2/3s of their daily requirement at dinner? It needs to be evenly portioned out through the day! The #ProteinChallenge also gives you access to delicious recipes and support with nutrition tips and a hunger scale to help you optimize your health!

What is your favorite or most unusual way to add protein to a salad? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

 

This post is sponsored in part my Mode Media. 

Adding grilled strip steak to my Orange Miso Lettuce Wraps ups the protein to 25 grams -- perfect for the #proteinchallenge!
Miso Orange Steak Lettuce Wraps
Print Recipe
This healthy, Asian inspired salad can be grabbed and wrapped up to-go -- or eat like a traditional salad! Beef and edamame beans pump up the protein so you'll be satisfied through to the next meal!
Adding grilled strip steak to my Orange Miso Lettuce Wraps ups the protein to 25 grams -- perfect for the #proteinchallenge!
Miso Orange Steak Lettuce Wraps
Print Recipe
This healthy, Asian inspired salad can be grabbed and wrapped up to-go -- or eat like a traditional salad! Beef and edamame beans pump up the protein so you'll be satisfied through to the next meal!
Instructions
  1. Combine Rub ingredients; smear evenly onto beef steaks.
  2. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 11 to 14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill 11 to 15 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally.
  3. Carve steaks into slices. Place lettuce leaves on serving platter. Evenly layer vegetables onto lettuce leaves. Top evenly with steak. Drizzle with vinaigrette; sprinkle with nuts.
  4. Tip: To pan-broil steaks, preheat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet; cook steaks 12 to 15 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally.
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Superfoodie: Kicked-up Cashew Orange Kale Recipe

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - cashew orange kaleAll signs in the vast expanse of the veggie world seemed to indicate that I should make some kale for dinner tonight. Not only did I have a huge bundle of locally-sourced kale in the produce bin courtesy of the organic delivery service Greeling.com, but every magazine I’ve opened for the last few days has been abuzz about this looser-leafed cousin to cabbage. It is a “superfood,’ after all. Convinced to put some green in this running machine, I whipped up a spicy-sweet side of kale using an orange and Sriracha sauce. Try it, you’ll like it!

Kicked-up Cashew Orange Kale Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 8 cups chopped kale
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
  • 2 ounces cashews (I used cayenne spiced cashews)

Add olive oil to large skillet; bring heat to medium-high. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for approximately 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add kale and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes; add wine, orange juice and Sriracha sauce. Stir well to combine.

Add lid to skillet and let kale steam for 3 – 4 minutes, until softened. Remove lid and continue to cook, stirring as needed, until most of the liquid has cooked off. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with orange zest and cashews.

Serves 2.

all hail the kale

So Why Kale?

And there are many nutritional reasons to exclaim “all hail the kale.” This dark leafy green veggie is high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and also has loads of iron and more calcium than a serving of milk. Kale boasts anti-cancer properties thanks to a chemical called sulforaphane. Another chemical found in kale, indole-3-carbinol, is said to encourage DNA repair in cells. Kale has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels and decrease the absorption of dietary fat.  And, all this for 36 calories per cup!

Steaming, braising, microwaving, and stir-frying are all good ways to cook kale; however, boiling this veggie can decrease some of its beneficial properties. Check out these fabulous-looking, creative ways to cook kale brought to you from some of my fellow healthy food-loving Fitfluential.com ambassadors:

Heather at fortheloveofkale.com has an awesomely unusual kale recipe she’s calling Sexy Salad of the Moment – you’ll have to click to find out what gives it so much appeal!

Laura at sprint2thetable.com threw together a lot of yummy stuff in a pot and is calling it White Bean, Butternut and Kale Soup.  Here in Austin, we’re having a weird April cold front, so I’m making this nutrient-rich and warming meal tomorrow night.

Cat at breakfasttobed.com has me motivated to prepare her make-ahead salad. Massaged Kale and Wheatberry Salad with Feta. It’s true that kale salads are so much tenderer when pampered with an olive oil massage.