Complete BBQ Chicken Dinner in a Jar! #FullnRichFlavor

Life got you jumping like grease on a hot skillet? My schedule is sizzling (that’s a good thing), but I’m often so busy that forgetting to eat (or grabbing something bad right before bed) could be a real issue if it weren’t for my three teen boys asking “what’s for dinner” as soon as we roll in from after their school activities. Geeze, all I want to do is take a quick nap.Birds Eye Vegetables and Farm Rich Smokehouse make it easy to get a nap before dinner!

But, that’s when the panic can start to set in about making nutritious and flavorful dinners, knowing I don’t have anything simmering all day in a slow cooker or thawing and ready to throw on the grill. I don’t want my boys to be one of the estimated 20 percent of Americans who eats at least one fast food meal a day in the car. But, now I can get my nap and still make quick flavorful dinners in a snap thanks by keeping fresh produce and healthier convenience foods on hand like Birds Eye® Flavor Full vegetables and Farm Rich® Smokehouse high-quality, high protein cuts of meat. Both of these time and sanity-saving products are recipe ready, straight from the freezer.

BBQ Chicken Dinner in a Jar

I have a super quick and easy recipe to share today for BBQ Chicken Dinner in a Jar – it’s hearty yet nicely-balanced, perfect to serve my whole passel of hungry boys in under 15 minutes!  All the yummy things you’d find on a barbecue dinner plate – like corn, coleslaw, beans, smoked chicken and pickles are piled up with love in a glass mason jar.

Birds Eye Vegetables and Farm Rich Smokehouse make last-minute dinners easy!

Another perk of these healthy flavorful dinners in a jar is that they can be eaten on-the-go and in the car (gasp)!  Just layer them up warm (or reheat premade jars) and the kids can eat them right out of the jar on the way to or from tutoring, sports games, band practices or what-have-you.  When done, screw back on the lid and deal with the “dishes” when you get home.  This quick and easy dinner recipe can also be prepped and eaten cold – it’s actually quite good on top of a bed of lettuce!Layer this BBQ Chicken Dinner in plastic cups for easy tailgaing!

If you need a comprehensive tailgate recipe or hosting an outdoor hoedown or some other fall-season festivity, these BBQ Chicken Dinners can be assembled in plastic glasses – guests can still see the beautiful layers of barbeque ingredients, but clean-up is super easy-breezy. Complete Barbecue Chicken in a Jar, perfect for tailgaing and outdoor parties.

Making a healthy, balanced meal like these Barbeque Chicken Jars does not have to be difficult if you have products from Birds Eye® and Farm Rich® Smokehouse. The high-protein, high-quality meats from Farm Rich® Smokehouse can be prepared in minutes; the hours of flavor-infusing smoking have been done on your behalf!  I also appreciate how Birds Eye Flavor Full vegetables deliver the flavor my family wants (Buffalo Cauliflower, Ranch Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Potatoes, Teriyaki Broccoli and Barbecue Sweet Corn) with the nutrition they need. Find both these brands in the freezer aisle at Walmart.

For a limited time, earn $0.75 on Birds Eye Vegetables and unlock $1.00 off one Farm Rich® Smokehouse product with Ibotta while supplies last. Note: If you haven’t used Ibotta, you have to download the app available on iOs and Android. Before you shop, be sure to unlock the rebates for both Birds Eye Vegetables and Farm Rich® Smokehouse. Then, shop! Buy the products that you’ve unlocked at major retailers. Finally, verify your purchase by scanning your barcodes and submitting a photo of your receipt!

What night of the week is craziest for you? How do you deal with dinner with only a few free minutes? Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®, Birds Eye®, and Farm Rich® but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #FullnRichFlavor  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Layer this BBQ Chicken Dinner in plastic cups for easy tailgaing!
BBQ Chicken Dinner in a Mason Jar
Print Recipe
Make a complete BBQ Chicken Dinner in 5 minutes, layer ingredients up in a jar to eat on the go, at a football game, tailgating or other outdoor parties.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Layer this BBQ Chicken Dinner in plastic cups for easy tailgaing!
BBQ Chicken Dinner in a Mason Jar
Print Recipe
Make a complete BBQ Chicken Dinner in 5 minutes, layer ingredients up in a jar to eat on the go, at a football game, tailgating or other outdoor parties.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Instructions
  1. May be served warm or cold. To prepare warm, heat beans, corn and chicken in separate containers according to instructions on packages. Skip this step if preparing cold.
  2. Using 16-ounce glass mason jars or 12 - 16 ounce "squatty" clear plastic glasses, layer ingredients in each container in this order, starting at bottom -- approx 4 oz beans, 2.5 oz corn, generous handful rainbow slaw, 2 tbs. dollop of ranch dressing, 3 oz chicken and 2 tbs. dollop of BBQ sauce.
  3. Skewer pickle slices and grape tomatoes together on toothpick and add as garnish. Serve immediately.
  4. May be prepared cold and stored in refrigerator (with lid or cover) for up to 3 days.
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Watermelon Spritzer Star of Al Fresco Fun

thefitfork watermelonThe summer season takes too long to get here and then leaves so fast.  I’ll personally miss the extended daylight to get in all my outdoor activities and wearing running shorts, flip flops and a ponytail 24/7! At least in Texas, we have a few more weeks (make that months) of warm weather to pack in some farewell picnics and patio dining. I don’t know about you, but I adore al fresco dining – something about eating outdoors makes me eat slower, savor the actual taste off food and linger a little longer over good conversation. With Labor Day weekend coming up, my family, friends and I will have plenty of opportunity to bond in the back yard and down at the boat dock.

Watermelon White Sangria Spritzer

Spritzers are always a favorite with the adults in my family – and since I’m not a big drinker (full disclosure, I’m a lightweight who might fall on her face after one full drink — but I can have “half”), I appreciate a cocktail that has a lighter touch of alcohol. Beso Del Sol White Sangria made such a delicious base for my Watermelon Spritzer, I’m so glad I had the big box because I had to go inside mid-party and stir up another batch!  Beso Del Sol White Sangria is made from 100% Spanish wine blended with fruit to create a refreshing and sweet drink that is ideal for any warm weather get-together. While my Watermelon Spritzer recipe adds extra fresh fruit and flavored sparkling water, this wine is also delicious on its own merits served chilled or over ice.

Beso De Sol White Wine Sangria is perfect for a spritzer!

To make the Watermelon Spritzer, simply add a glass one-third full of your favorite seasonal fruit (I used watermelon, grapes and peaches). Next, add chilled Beso Del Sol White Sangria to approximately the half-way point, more or less to taste and tolerance. Top with cold lemon-lime sparkling water, stick a sugar cane swizzle stick in it and enjoy!

Since it’s still pretty hot, I’ll want to make sure EVERYONE has a cold drink in hand – I am the coolest mom in town, after all! The kids will love a virgin alternative where I’ve swapped in lemon-lime soda for the wine – I also have rounded up a few other fun, fruity and thirst-quenching drinks that are perfect for your Labor Day al fresco dining.

These five fruity drinks are perfect for your next party and there are options with alcohol and virgin.

Blackberry Nectarine Margarita (with smoothie option)

Watermelon Sangria Spritzer (today’s feature, see recipe above)

Watermelon Coconut Cherry Sippers (non-alcoholic)

Mojito Mint Iced Tea (non-alcoholic)

Raspberry Acai Sipper (non-alcoholic)

What are you drinking this weekend?! Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

This post was sponsored by Beso de Sol, all opinions and recipes are my own.

 

Last Minute Ideas for Grill – Burgers, Bananas & More Recipes!

LaI’m not a plan-aheader. I used to make lists, follow detailed workout schedules and fret about the future. I’d also worry what we were going to eat days in advance — not that meal planning is a bad thing, actually it’s awesome. It’s just right now, where I am in life coupled with how busy my family is, there is just no telling who will be home for dinner when.  So typically, I just wing it knowing that if I keep lean meats in the freezer and fresh produce in the fridge, I can always whip up a quick and reasonably healthy meal out on the grill. Lucky to be in Austin where I can pretty much grill year-round.

Showing folks how to grill (indoors) at Whole Foods with Sarah from Mix 94.7 !

Showing folks how to grill (indoors) at Whole Foods with Sarah from Mix 94.7 !

Grilling is one of my cooking methods; I’ve taught classes on it and you could say I flip for it! Not only does it make beef, chicken, fish and all the veggies (and fruits) taste fantastic, it’s a healthy way to prepare food because you are not adding any additional fats.  However, research has shown that meats cooked over high heat can cause carcinogens to form — but there are easy ways to keep grilling safe. Namely, marinate if possible to create an “invisible” barrier, clean the grill grates, par cook thicker cuts in microwave, prevent and flare ups of fire by cooking over medium heat – these will all help carcinogens heterocyclic amine (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from forming. However, if you do get crispy bits, don’t freak – just cut that part off.

Here are some great grilling recipes for a last-minute BBQ bash! Enjoy!

Sirloin Cobb Kebab - Your favorite entree salad on a stick!

Sirloin Cobb Kebabs with Ranch Viniagrette

jennifer fisher - grilled bananas - main photo option1

Grilled Chocolate Raspberry Banana Boats

Mojo Chicken Breast and Grilled Citrus -- perfect for spring and summer entertaining.

Mojo Chicken Breasts with Grilled Citrus

Seared Steak and Mango Thai Noodle Salad

Seared Thai Steak Salad

Grill apricots to magnify their flavor and toss on an easy dale salad!Grilled Apricot Kale Salad (add grilled shrimp to make this one an entree)

Beef Burger Bonanza

Enjoy ALL the burgers with this round up of unique hamburgers – and, BTW, I have no guilt about eating one now and then.

What are you grilling today?  Please share in the comments!

Cinco de Mayo Means Guacamole and Limey Drinks #ZestyInADash

This post is sponsored by ConAgra RO*TEL.

otel Rockin Guac and Lime-A-Ritas are a festive addition to Cinco de Mayo.

We know how to put on a fiesta every weekend here in Texas. But, Cinco de Mayo is an extra special reason to celebrate because five out of seven years the party falls on a work day – and that’s a legitimate reason to tell the boss “adios” and cut loose early to enjoy some patio time. This year, Cinco de Mayo is on a Tuesday which so conveniently aligns with Taco Tuesday, Tostado Tuesday and Guacamole & Tortilla Chips Tuesday. I am a food blogger and thus allowed to make up these extra observances dedicated to food and drink.

Kick back and relax with a Bud Light Lime-A-Rita and Plate of Rockin' Guac -- get the recipe at RO*TELThere can be no fiesta without guacamole. In these parts, guacamole is not just a healthy dip and satiating snack — it’s an appetizer that draws people together, have you ever seen the mob scene near the guacamole bowl?! Smashed up avocado is also a condiment smeared on everything from eggs and enchiladas to burgers and burritos, and salads and sandwiches – and, of course, devoured right off a dipped chip.  You can even serve it up with a super healthy spin by serving it in tomato cups along with mild green chilies! Ole!

RO*TEL's Rockin' Guac is perfect for dipping and stuffing!

RO*TEL's Rockin' Guac -- this avocado guacamole is easy to make and delicious!

There are only four ingredients (plus salt and pepper) in RO*TEL’s Rockin’ Guac – more time to enjoy the fiesta!

 

 

One of the best recipes I’ve found is RO*TEL’s Rockin’ Guac – it’s so simple to make and gets a zesty (but not too spicy) kick from the tomatoes and green chilies.

 

 

 

I’m keeping things simple this Cinco de Mayo and making Black Bean, Zucchini and Corn Tacos – they are just screaming for  RO*TEL’s Rockin’ Guac! It’s a vegetarian recipe, but even those carnivorous folks in the crowd love it (I think it’s the guac that makes it so satisfying). The beauty of this recipe is that I can sauté the veggies up in a skillet, keep it warm, and then sit back and enjoy the party – no sweating over the grill!

veggie black bean tacos

 

Start your Cinco de Mayo off right with a Bud Light Lime-A-Rita!

 

So, what will we all drink?  Creamy watermelon smoothies for the kids and the adults will enjoy Bud Light Lime-A-Ritas, a margarita-like drink that isn’t quite as strong. Tequila has never agreed with me, so these perfectly-portioned cans of yum (made with malt alcohol) don’t give me a hideous hangover the next day. That is a GOOD thing to ensure I can fiesta on the Seis de Mayo, too!

 

 

rotel rockin guac

 Zest up your fiesta with RO*TEL’s Rockin Guac and Bud Light’s Lime-A-Rita. How are you planning to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

Bud Light Lime-A-Rita® is a registered trademark of Anheuser-Busch. ConAgra Foods, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Headstands and Hot Dogs + Healthy Chip #Giveaway

headstand balance challengeFirst, let’s just get the headstand out of the way. This is not your ordinary inversion. It’s a headstand that will challenge you to the very core as you tighten every muscle trying to maintain balance – I’ve thrown in balance busting elements including WIND and WEIGHT! To try this, you’ll need a heavy-duty garage fan, 4 to 10 pound medicine ball and the ability to safely kick up and hold a headstand for at least a minute (you don’t want to crash into the fan). To add in the balance challenges, grab a medicine ball between your feet on the way up, fully extend legs upward, and then bend knees downward. Repeat as long as possible. To test your balance further, continue the upside down medicine ball leg presses, but have a friend turn the garage fan on full blast. Whoohoo!

Hot dogs are a staple of summer – I can’t imagine how many dogs the world has downed at ball parks, boardwalks, and backyard barbeques. Sure, some foodies might be too high faulting for a hotdog, while fitness-oriented folks may shy away assuming all frankfurters are loaded with fat, random animal parts, chemicals and other questionable stuff.  Okay, well maybe the most widely available hotdogs are not so “hot” in the nutrition department, but there are lots of healthier options around today including this round up of grass-fed, all-beef hotdogs from Health.com.

hotdog ingredients

It can be quite confusing to pick a healthy hot dog!

Definitely read labels; that’s your job as a consumer. For example, when the package rattles off ingredients such as “by-products” or “variety meats,” this means the hotdog may have as little as 15 percent muscle meat , the amount required by the USDA. Depending on your preference, make sure beef or grass-fed beef is the number one, first ingredient. Also, if you think you’re getting an uncured, chemical-free hot dog, think again because I don’t think it’s possible.  It’s common practice, even by “healthy” companies, to label products as “uncured” and “nitrate free”  . . . . .wait for it . . . “with the exception of nitrates naturally occurring in celery salt.”  It’s not like celery salt is innocently added to perk up a hot dog’s flavor. Instead, when this water-dense plant is grown in nitrate-rich water and then dried, ground and passed off as “salt,” it also passes on (you guessed it) a concentrated level of nitrates. Studies have shown that hot dogs labeled “nitrate free” contain between ½ to 10 times the amount of nitrates found in conventional hot dogs – WOW!  Check out this interesting article on What’s Inside the Bun from the New York Times.

Sonya Thomas competes in the 2012 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Eating Contest at Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York

Champ Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas getting it done!

So, even with all of these questionable issues at hand, I’ll still eat an all-beef hot dog every now and then, especially in the summer.  Really it’s about moderation, I’m only eating one hot dog at a sitting, a couple times a year – and not trying to break the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island. By the way, the men’s record is 67 hot dogs and the women’s is 45 – in ten minutes! Okay, so this is more than a little gross, but so morbidly fascinating – and it does sort of appeal to my competitive spirit. But, for now I will just weenie out and remain a spectator!

fit rank toppings

Another way to make your hot dogs “healthier” is to top them with fresh, nutritious ingredients. I recently shared my recipes for “Healthy Hot Dog Toppings” on Litehouse Foood’s Living Lighthouse blog. Instead of adding gut-busting chili and cheese, I used the new line of Opadipity Greek Yogurt Dips to create gourmet dogs. Head over to Litehouse Foods to check out my Greek God Hot Dog, Garlic Green Machine,  and Cha-Cha Chipotle Dog!

jennifer thefitfork food should taste good

Okay, you can’t have hot dogs without chips – and of course, I’m talking about healthier chips! Food Should Taste Good (aka FSTG) recently sent me a box full of their delicious, nutritious flavors to test out – and I also get to give some away! I’ve loved these tortilla chips for a long time . . . . but had only tried the Whole Grain flavor until recently . Holy guacamole . . . there is a Guacamole flavor .  . . and an Olive flavor . . . and a Jalapeno Cheddar flavor and a gazillion other creative flavors – too many to mention!

I love that these chips are made from real ingredients, have zero trans fats, and no cholesterol – plus, they are certified gluten free and Kosher, making them the perfect anytime snack for pretty much everyone!  My husband eats these healthy chips straight out of the bag while I like to crunch them up and use them as croutons on my salad. Or with dip, dips are good – especially my favorite Chipotle Ranch Dip made with Greek Yogurt. And with my new favorite FSTG chips – Jalapeno Cheddar. Chips, super double good. Dip, good. Got it? Good. Now get it! Or, win some good food (see Rafflecopter app below):

food should taste good jalapeno cheddar

a Rafflecopter giveaway