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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Skinny Chocolate Cannoli Pudding for the Win! #MeatlessMondayNight

This blog post was sponsored by Silk but the opinions are all my own.

What happens when professional football and feeding the family a vegetarian meal collide – its #MeatlessMondayNight !! So, if your stomach is growling, get ready to rumble, there are so many meal and dessert options that don’t feature meat or dairy products. I’ll get to the entrée later, but let’s talk dessert first!

Skinny Chocolate Cannoli Puddings make a sweet and light ending to any meal!While I eat with my health in mind and look at food as a way to fuel my body for running, yoga and Crossfit, I also think it should taste fantastic – and should include room for the occasional sensible snack and dessert.  To satisfy my sweet tooth after a Meatless Monday dinner, I’ve whipped up these easy Skinny Chocolate Cannoli Puddings that my whole family loves.Skinny Chocolate Cannoli Puddings made with Silk Soymilk

Skinny Chocolate Cannoli Puddings make the perfect, light addition to your football game night spread – especially if everyone has been filling up on heavy dips and appetizers.  I’ve also served the individual-sized portions in clear plastic cups for easy clean up at tailgating parities.  Just fill the disposable cups up with pudding, cover with plastic wrap and then place in a cooler along with a can of dairy-free topping for that special touch.

Skinny Chocolate Cannoli Puddings in Shooter Glasses

Glass of Silk Soymilk

Great in recipes, but Silk Vanilla Soymilk is also yummy by the glassful!

These Skinny Chocolate Cannoli Puddings can be served in 2 ounce shooter glasses for a fancy presentation at a cocktail parting or holiday gathering.  I’ve made the recipe with Silk Vanilla Soymilk, but you can easily swap in Silk Almondmilk, Silk Cashewmilk or Silk Coconutmilk.  Compared to traditional cannoli made with full-fat ricotta cheese, heavy cream and lots of oil from frying the shells, my pudding version will keep you light on your feet!

 

If you’re a meat-eater (and I unapologetically am), why not join in the #MeatlessMondayNight challenge along with me? You don’t have to give up your meat every night of the week, just incorporate a vegetarian meal once a week, like for Monday night football games this season!  Personally, I am never going to give up meat all together, I’m just into a varied diet with lean proteins including meat, poultry, fish, and plant-based protein along with colorful produce in season – my personal hashtag should be #AllTheFoods !  The products from Silk work so well in all my recipes and make it easier to attain this once-a-week change.

meatless monday meal inspiration

Check out my meatless recipes above, and also visit Silk to for their collection of plant-based protein dishes. .

Any vegetarian football game appetizers or desserts in your repertoire? Who are you rooting for this football season?  Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Chocolate Cannoli Pudding for the Win!
Print Recipe
End your Meatless Monday on a sweet note with this quick and easy dairy-free dessert option that uses Silk soymilk. #MeatlessMondayNight
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Chocolate Cannoli Pudding for the Win!
Print Recipe
End your Meatless Monday on a sweet note with this quick and easy dairy-free dessert option that uses Silk soymilk. #MeatlessMondayNight
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add pudding mix, soymilk, ricotta substitute, cinnamon and allspice in bowl. Whisk together for several minutes until well combined and beginning to thicken.
  2. Pour into ramekins or shooter glasses and let chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. To serve, top with whipped topping, chocolate chips and pistachios.
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Chocolate Orange Pistachio Smoothie Bowl #EasyAsBreeze

This “Easy as Breeze” post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. For more “Easy As Breeze” recipes made with five ingredients or less, visit Almond Breeze on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Keep things simple and sweet with this 4 ingredient Chocolate Mandarin Orange Pistachio Smoothie Bowl.

Summer should be a laid back season where kicking back, relaxing and living the easy life is top priority – but, DANG, I’m busier than ever.  Between juggling work projects, shuttling kids to far-away camps, getting my workouts accomplished (that’s a non-negotiable) and lots of organizing and shopping getting my oldest ready to head off to college, I need a break. If I can’t get a break, I at least need things to be easier – like no make-up, breakfast-for-dinner, do-your-own-laundry easy.

One way to keep life easy is to make uncomplicated yet healthy meals and snacks with five ingredients or less – and especially with ingredients that can be stocked in the pantry so there’s no rushing off to the store. I also have a little secret, when the stress starts piling up, I turn to chocolate (gasp). But, I’ve found several healthy ways to satisfy my sweet tooth without completely falling off the semi clean-eating wagon.  One of my treats is a carton of plain Greek yogurt with a bit of flavored Stevia chocolate syrup mixed in along my favorite cereal on top for crunch, don’t worry it’s gluten-free, bean-blend Power Os!

Chocolate Almond Milk and protein bites -- a great snack!But, HELLO, chocolate! The Chocolate Almond Breeze Almondmilk, is pure heaven. It’s rich and creamy and only has 120 calories per 8 ounce serving – plus, it boasts 50% more calcium than milk.  Even though I don’t have any dietary restrictions, this beverage is ideal for vegans and those with food allergies – there is no dairy, soy, lactose, cholesterol, peanuts, casein, gluten, eggs, saturated fat or MSG. Plus did I mention you can buy it either on the refrigerated dairy section or shelf-stable on the  cereal aisle? It’s just super yummy to drink by the glass full!

Chocolate Orange Pistachio Smoothie Bowl made with Almond Breeze

Chocolate Orange Pistachio Smoothie Bowl horizontalShelf stable means I can keep a carton on hand at all times to curb my chocolate needs – and along with a snack pack of Mandarin oranges, mini chocolate chips and pistachios, I’ve created an “Easy as Breeze” Chocolate Orange Pistachio Bowl simplify and sweeten my summer. Check out the printable recipe below!

Coconut Chia Smoothie Bowl makes a quick, easy and healthy breakfast or post-workout snack.If you love smoothie bowls and exotic spices, you’ll love this Coconut Chai Smoothie Bowl I whipped up earlier in the season with the Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk from Almond Breeze along with chai spices, cacao nibs and hemp seeds.

 

Other ways I’m keeping summer easy-breezy and as stress-free as possible is by avoiding rush-hour traffic, taking a break from cleaning the house, living in my workout clothes (oh yeah, that’s nothing new), and making meals that don’t require an oven.

How are you making summer easier on yourself? Please share in the comments below! XOXO, Jennifer

Chocolate Orange Pistachio Smoothie Bowl
Print Recipe
Perfect for a summer breakfast or refreshing post-workout treat -- easy to make and cools you off in the summer.
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Chocolate Orange Pistachio Smoothie Bowl
Print Recipe
Perfect for a summer breakfast or refreshing post-workout treat -- easy to make and cools you off in the summer.
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. Add chocolate almond milk and ice to blender, frappe until well blended. Pour in bowl and let set up in freezer for a couple minutes if needed.
  2. Top with oranges, pistachios and chocolate chips. Enjoy.
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Pig Out (Healthfully) on Baked Pistachio Honey Donuts!

Baked Donuts with Pistachios and honey

Okay, if I didn’t get you to do a double take at this drool-icious photo of Baked Pistachio-Honey Doughnuts, then Ms. Piggy will certainly grab your attention as she shows us how to “do it like a diva” when it comes to eating these yummy green tree nuts. What a fun commercial from Wonderful Pistachios, I love it!

Some people assume that eating nuts is a no-no, but that is so wrong! Nuts, including pistachios, can be part of a healthy lifestyle that embraces exercise along with a balanced diet. In general, nuts are packed with protein, fiber and heart-healthy fats not to mention a host of other vitamins and minerals.  From the almond to the walnut, each variety of nut offers its own unique mix of nutritional perks – some nuts are healthier for you than others. It happens to be National Pistachio Day (2/26) and I want to give a huge shout out to this small little nut that packs a big nutritional punch.

heart healthy pistachio

A one ounce serving of shelled pistachios has 49 kernels, 160 calories and a variety of different vitamins, minerals and beneficial phytonutrients.  For example, pistachios are rich in copper and manganese, and a good source of thiamin and phosphorus. Per serving, pistachios also offer 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin B6 and 12% of the DV for fiber. Goodness knows, we could all use a little more fiber! In terms of fat content, pistachios have a bit less fat than most other nuts, although they are still about 75% fat (that’s why you should stop at a handful). The good news is the fats in pistachios are the “good” kind of fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, and have been linked to supporting healthy cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.

purse snacks

Another thing I love about pistachios is that they are portable and ready for an outdoor adventure (like me) and versatile enough to be enjoyed plain or dressed up (like me). Yeah, the shell might be a protective layer, but once you get down to the meat of a nut, then you’ll be glad you went to all the trouble!  I always have a small pack in my purse or gym bag to snack on!

In honor of National Pistachio Day on February 26th, I’ve whipped up a healthy recipe with a bunch of these little green guys. So, crack open a can of pistachios and get cooking, this addictive recipe for Baked Pistachio Honey Donuts is both delicious and nutritious. Plus, the baked donut recipe is gluten-free, so you can enjoy all you want without worry.

baked protein pistachio donuts thefitfork

Baked Pistachio Honey Doughnuts Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Paleo-friendly cooking spray (I used Kelapo Coconut oil spray) or simply rub down tins with a bit of coconut or walnut oil.
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup ground unsalted, roasted pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup +1 Tbs almond milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup ground unsalted, roasted pistachios
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Sea salt grinder

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly spray mini donut pan with baking spray.

Combine the coconut flour, almond meal, ¼ cup ground pistachios, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; mix well. In another bowl, whisk the egg* and then whisk in almond milk*, honey, applesauce, oil, and vanilla extract. *It is best to start with the egg and milk at room temperature so that the coconut oil doesn’t congeal back up.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the doughnut molds.  Bake for approximately 15 minutes until lightly golden brown around the edges.  Allow to fully cool before topping.

To make the topping, if necessary, chop the pistachios. Microwave ¼ cup honey in microwave-safe bowl for approximately 20 seconds until hot.  Generously spoon over the tops of the doughnuts and then sprinkle with ground pistachios and a light dusting of sea salt.

Yield: 12

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - salted pistachio chocolate cookies

Another popular pistachio treat that I’ve gone back to time and time again is my recipe for Paleo Pistachio Chocolate Cookies.  Chocolate + pistachios = pure happiness!