Healthy Holiday Side Dishes for Procrastinators

It’s a one-week countdown to Thanksgiving! I’ve noticed that on-task, super-planning people have already locked in their holiday menus and have loading up their carts at the market. I’m a bit more of a slacker, waiting until the final days to formulate my feast. No shame in my game, I get side tracked with work, working out and life!Holiday Side Dishes for the Procrastinator

If you are a like-minded lollygagger, you’ll appreciate my guide to Healthy Holiday Side Dishes for the Procrastinator. Most of these side dish recipes take between 15 and 30 minutes to make and combine pantry staples with fresh ingredients you can STILL find in the produce department. Read on to get six quick and easy recipes that actually look like you put some effort into it. Continue reading

Pear Pressure! Healthy Dessert Recipes for Poached Pears and More!

jennifer fisher austinfit video capture poached pears

Fruit for dessert, when I was a kid I thought this was a fate worse than cleaning my room on a Saturday. Sheez, if I finished my meatloaf and polished off the peas, I deserved a GOOD reward, something sickly sweet like a Hostess cupcake or Bomb Pop. But, alas, my mom, bless her healthy heart, never (okay rarely) bought junk like this.  Instead we had homemade ice pops, frozen bananas and the occasional chocolate chip cookie (whoot)!


But then, one day it happened – I gave into the siren song of a golden foil-wrapped pear. Straight from Harry & David, nestled in in a holiday gift basket.  Although my rational self was saying “no,” just pass on that fruit for dessert and go straight for the chocolate, I couldn’t help greedily peeling off the sparkling paper and digging in — it was divine, it was to die for and I was completely woozy with pear intoxication. Still, to this day, if someone was to send me a basket of golden foil-wrapped pears, I would be beyond thrilled (hint, hint).

poached pears pomegranate

Pears poaching in pomegranate juice.

So, last year for New Year’s Eve, a family friend made poached pears for dessert. I’m not sure exactly what he did to make them so delicious, but they were sublime – easy yet elegant and just the right amount of sweet to top off the celebratory meal without making me feel even more stuffed than I already was. Inspired by these memories of pears past, I created my own recipe for dessert pears – Poached Pears with Pomegranate & Mascarpone Sauce.

If you want the full step-by-step video instructions on how to make this healthy dessert, you got it – I recently made this little poached pear how-to for Austin Fit Magazine online. The recipe is a super star!

blogger pear pictures


Fast, Fit and Family-Friendly Recipes with – Poached Pears with Pomegranate-Mascarpone Sauce: 

All this talk about pears being so fantastic for dessert (or anytime) and I never mentioned the health benefits. Pears are a great source of fiber and offer important nutrients including vitamin B2, C, E, copper, and potassium. They also contain a significant amount of pectin, a water soluble fiber which is thought to help reduce cholesterol and regulate the body’s use of sugars. Pears are a healthy choice in carbohydrates and provide longer-lasting energy thanks to their low glycemic load — this just means the carbs in pears are slow to convert to sugar before entering the bloodstream.

Poached Pear Bread cooking light

Poached Pear Bread from Cooking Light Magazine

This recipe for Poached Pear Bread from Cooking Light magazine made me do a double take, and probably you as well! Poached pears were placed right into quick-bread batter before being baked up into a rustic yet refined loaf of bread that, when sliced, reveals a mouthwatering cross-section of pear! Yes, please!

Another wonderfully warm, homey dessert featuring pears is my Cranberry-Ginger Pear Crumble – mmm, this is perfect for a cold winter treat! So, what are you waiting for? Grow a “pear” and get healthy — pears are perfect for dessert!

pear crumble recipe thefitfork

 Do you have a favorite way to eat pears? Maybe for dessert or on a salad? Please share in the comments, I am always looking for new pear inspiration!