How to Top an English Muffin Ideas for Any Meal

My childhood years were fueled by a lot of English Muffin Pizzas. My parents both worked and this quick-fix meal or snack could be made in the toaster oven in under 10 minutes, reducing my mom’s worry that I was sitting at home starving, or worse yet, burning the house down. Naturally, I’ve taught my own three boys how to fend for themselves and make these little single-serve pizzas and variations of an open-faced sandwiches.Quick & Easy English Muffin Ideas For Any Meal

One of the perks of English Muffin Pizzas is that each can easily be adapted to suit picky palates and gourmet appetites alike.  With just a quick switch-a-roo of ingredients (even leftovers found in the fridge or freezer), you can come up with a one-of-a-kind, personal-sized cure for any craving – even dessert!  Check out these quick recipes using English muffins and solve your current breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack situation.  Continue reading

3 Ways to Grill Corn Perfectly this Summer

Raise your hand if you can’t resist corn on the cob !  Not only is this vegetable fun to eat, it’s usually super cheap in the summer season – I just bought a dozen plump, juicy organic ones at Whole Foods for $3 total! Making corn on the cob on the grill is super easy; it’s a must-have at our house for backyard barbecues and casual entertaining. You know it’s on my menu for all the big summer celebrations including Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and our big family reunion!    jennifer grilling cornThere are three main ways to cook a whole ear of corn on the grill, and I’m going to run you through them. But, first, you’ll want to find the freshest corn possible for the yummiest result. Corn sugars undergo enzymatic reactions after ears are picked, slowly converting into less tasty, mealy starches. So, the fresher the corn, the sweeter – all the more reason to make friends with your local farmers.

3 Ways to Grill Corn Perfectly -- the perfect side dish to any backyard BBQ or summer celebration!

Method 1 – Cook Corn in Husk

 Grilling an ear of corn in the husk is so simple and mess-free – the end part of the cob serves as a handle as your peel back the husk dig into the steamed kernels. Notice how I said “steamed” – that’s because this method actually uses water from all the parts of the corn to steam it into tenderness – the grill just serves as the heat source. If the corn is fresh, it won’t need a pre-soak in water. However, if the husk looks a bit dried out, soak the entire ear of corn in water for about 10 minutes before grilling.

How to: Simply place corn directly on the coals or grates of your grill or campfire (heated to about 400F degrees) and cook for approximately 10 to 15 minutes until tender (peel back husk if needed). The outside will be blackened, but inside it’s pure perfection. Peel back the husks; remove the silks and butter and season to your preferences. If you want to get fancy, you peel back husks without taking completely off, remove silks, butter and season and then pull back up the husks before grilling. But, I think this makes it too complicated (and the butter tends to drip out!)

Method 2 – Foil-wrapped

Grilling your corn wrapped in foil is a handy-dandy way to prepare it if you don’t want family and friends to be dealing with charred, messy husks. Again, you are actually steaming it with this method.  Plus, you can easily oil, butter or season your corn before cooking and the toppings won’t drip out . . . and you don’t have to deal with mess and logistics of setting out these perishable condiments if you have a large crowd.

How to: Shuck corn toss away silks and husk. Wrap the corn in heavy duty aluminum foil, with or without flavorings like butter, herbs, salt, pepper, grated cheeses, etc.  Grill right on top of hot coals, or on a grill grate set, turning a few times, about 10 – 15 minutes

Method – Naked

This is my favorite way to prepare corn on the grill because I like the nutty, smoked flavor that a bit of charring on the kernels brings. However, this method is not “steaming” like the other ways to grill corn, so the final result is not quite as juicy and, it can’t be cooked directly on coals. But, I feel like this is how we do it down here in Texas and it tastes so good — yeehaw!

How to: Pull back husks and remove completely or braid and tie off for a decorative effect. Pull away most of the silks – the remaining will burn away on the grill! Cook corn over a medium-hot grill (about 400F degrees) for about 10 to 15 minutes, rotating frequently to prevent burning and encourage all-over light charring. In the last few minutes you can brush with a flavored olive oil and sprinkle with herbs or do that while still warm before serving.

Grilled Corn with Ancho Vinaigrette is a southwestern inspired side dish for your next bbq or summer celebration.

I love serving my grilled corn with slightly spicy-sweet Ancho Vinaigrette – you can get my recipe here:

CalCornia Shrimp Pizza makes a speedy mead for busy weeknights - grill or make in the oven.

I’ve also been known to grill waaaaaaay to much corn and I’ll shear off the kernels and use in recipes like my Cali-Corn-ia Shrimp Pizza!

cooking light cornAlso, check out Cooking Light’s collection of in-season ideas for Cooking with Corn.

So, how do you usually make your grilled corn – foil, husked or naked? Also, do you use those little stab-in handle thingies or just eat right out of hand? Got any corny jokes? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

 

 

 

 

 

2-Ingredient, 2-Minute Homemade Pizza Crust

2 Ingredient Ranch Pizza Dough whole pizza close up - litehouseDitch the delivery guy and make a delicious meal just about as fast as you can say “winner, winner, pizza dinner” 10 times.  Today, I’m sharing a pizza crust recipe that whips up in warp speed – just grab two simple ingredients and give yourself two minutes to create homemade dough that is ready to roll out and pile up with all those favorite toppings.  2 Minute 2 Ingredient Homemade Pizza Crust is an easy dinner solution that packs a little extra protein with Greek yogurt.

2 Ingredient Ranch Pizza Dough LitehouseI originally made this 2-ingredient, 2-topping Pizza Crust Recipe for Litehouse Foods using, their Homestyle Ranch. For Ranch Dressing devotees, the concept was capturing that signature buttermilk and herb flavor and baking it right into the crust – so no dipping, dunking or drizzling required! I must say, that crust was delicious! I’ve also swapped out the Ranch dressing with whole-fat Greek yogurt for a tangy, tasty twist that offers up a bit more protein – a consideration if you are making a veggie pizza.

While you only need 2 minutes to make the pizza crust, you’ll need another 12 minutes for it to bake in the oven, loaded with sauce, cheese, fresh veggies, meats and other toppings your crave. Still, you’re eating homemade pizza in less than 15 minutes and that is definitely faster than delivery! Homemade garlic pizza sauce tastes better, saves money and can be made ahead and frozen for a busy weeknight dinner solution.

You’ll also want to try my DIY Garlic Pizza Sauce, another 2 minute recipe (made in the blender) that will take your pie to a whole ‘nutha level.

tomatoesmozerella in bowl feetWhat fresh toppings do you put on your pizza? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

2 Ingredient 2 Minute Pizza Dough
2-Ingredient, 2-Minute Homemade Pizza Crust
Print Recipe
Have a homemade pizza on your plate in less than 15 minutes thanks to this easy recipe for a 2 minute, 2 ingredient crust!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 2 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 2 minutes
2 Ingredient 2 Minute Pizza Dough
2-Ingredient, 2-Minute Homemade Pizza Crust
Print Recipe
Have a homemade pizza on your plate in less than 15 minutes thanks to this easy recipe for a 2 minute, 2 ingredient crust!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 2 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 2 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 475 F degrees. Place pizza stone or unrimmed baking sheet in oven to pre-heat.
  2. In medium bowl, add self-rising flour and Greek yogurt, stirring to combine. If mixture seems too sticky, add in more flour a tablespoon at a time.
  3. Plop dough out on liberally floured portable work surface, such as large cutting board or unrimmed baking sheet. Shape into one large ball for a 12” pizza or two smaller balls for personal-sized pizzas.
  4. Use a rolling pin to flatten dough to approximately 1/3” thickness, using fingers to mend any cracks or craggy spots on edges. Add toppings of choice onto uncooked pizza dough (like sauce, cheese, veggies, etc.). Open door of oven and use baking mitt to pull out hot baking sheet. Carefully slide prepped pizza onto hot baking sheet.
  5. Bake in center rack of oven for 12 minutes or until edges golden brown and cheese bubbling on top.
  6. Slice into wedges. Enjoy!
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DIY Garlic Pizza Sauce and Saucesome Food Pairings

Two-Minute Homemade Garlic Pizza Sauce can be made in a flash, saves money and lets you control the spice.Yeah, yeah . . . National Pizza Day was yesterday. I may be a day late, but definitely not a dollar short with this easy-to-make homemade garlic pizza sauce recipe that will take your pie to the next level. Homemade garlic pizza sauce tastes better, saves money and can be made ahead and frozen for a busy weeknight dinner solution. Store-bought sauces can be kind of pricey, especially the better ones – but my creation saves you some dough (see what I did there?) that can be put towards your favorite fresh toppings. Personally, I love Campari tomatoes, spinach and roasted garlic – but the kids are pepperoni addicts all the way. As for the crust, I’m staying out of the crust controversy – pan crust, thin crust or even cauliflower-carrot crust, it’s up to you. Make it your way, I’m just here to share the sauce. DIY Homemade Pizza Sauce is perfect for your pie and to use with nearly everything -- sauce to dunk bread, shrimp, cheese, to toss with pasta or zoodles, or to simmer with eggs!The secret to this pizza sauce recipe is a can of “fire-roasted” tomatoes and Instantly Fresh herbs – I’m a big fan of these freeze-dried herbs and garlic from Litehouse Foods, but you can also use regular dried herbs or fresh if feeling fancy.  Those not in the know would think this hearty sauce had been simmering all day on the stovetop and not whipped up at warp speed in a blender. Make a double batch and freeze for a busy weeknight dinner solution. Other recipes that are insanely good with this pizza sauce: Egg & Zucchini Ragu Eight Minute Egg & Zucchini Ragu   More Eggs . . .Portabello Eggs Inferno:   Portobello Eggs Inferno makes a quick and easy breakfast, lunch or dinner! Dip Roasted Spicy Creole Shrimp into Pizza Sauce (instead of cocktail sauce): Shrimp sauteed with Cajun spices  

So, what is your favorite topping for pizza? Dare I ask, what is your sauce strategy? Do you cut your pizza in wedges or squares? Do you consider pizza something for a “cheat” day or a well-balanced, hand-held meal? Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer

Linking up with Running On Happy and The Fit Foodie Mama

DIY Homemade Pizza Sauce is perfect for your pie and to use with nearly everything -- sauce to dunk bread, shrimp, cheese, to toss with pasta or zoodles, or to simmer with eggs!
DIY Garlic Pizza Sauce and Saucesome Food Pairings
Print Recipe
No pre-packaged pizza sauce here, this easy homemade recipe takes your pie (and pasta) to the next level, saves money and lets you control the spice.
Servings Prep Time
16 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
DIY Homemade Pizza Sauce is perfect for your pie and to use with nearly everything -- sauce to dunk bread, shrimp, cheese, to toss with pasta or zoodles, or to simmer with eggs!
DIY Garlic Pizza Sauce and Saucesome Food Pairings
Print Recipe
No pre-packaged pizza sauce here, this easy homemade recipe takes your pie (and pasta) to the next level, saves money and lets you control the spice.
Servings Prep Time
16 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend for approximately 45 seconds or until ingredients combined and tomatoes broken down but not completely pureed. Spread out sauce thinly on prepared pizza crust. Makes sauce for 3 medium or 2 large pizzas. Store leftover sauce in refrigerator or freeze in air-tight zip-top plastic bag.
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CaliCornia Shrimp & Avocado Pizza for Labor Day

CaliCornia Shrimp Pizza is a quick and easy meal solution made on Naan bread or pre-made crusts.

Even though the calendar has turned to September and I still am getting acclimated to our back-to-school routine, it certainly feels like summer every time I step out the door. Officially, it IS still summer until fall arrives on September 22nd and no one can stop me extracting every last kernel of enjoyment from the season.   On these last warm-weather weekends, my family will eat our dinners al fresco, practice handstands barefoot the grass and usher in the autumnal equinox with our final trips to the lake.

Handstand at Lake

A fantastic outdoor meals for the end of summer or Labor Day weekend is CaliCornia Shrimp Pizza – this quick, easy and amazingly tasty pizza reminds me of the sunshine state with a laid-back vibe and showcase of Mother Nature’s best bounty. Succulent roasted shrimp, sweet corn and creamy avocado slices blend with melted fresh mozzarella and ranch dressing (I used OPA! by Litehouse™ Greek Style Yogurt Ranch Dressing). A crispy yet soft and chewy crust is easily “made’ with Naan bread or pre-baked crusts. Other convenience items like frozen shrimp and a southwestern roasted corn blend with peppers (found in freezer section), means I spend less time making meals and more time with my feet up on the chaise lounge recovering from the long run or workout of the day. And, if I’m lucky I can get one of personal pizza deliver guys (my sons) to deliver me a piece so I don’t have to move another muscle!

CalCornia Shrimp Pizza makes a speedy mead for busy weeknights - grill or make in the oven.

 

What are you eating during this long holiday weekend? Taking any dips in the ocean, lake or pool? Do tell! Share in the comments below! XOXO — Jennifer

 

CalCornia Shrimp Pizza makes a speedy mead for busy weeknights - grill or make in the oven.
CaliCornia Shrimp Pizzas
Print Recipe
Enjoy these quick and easy shrimp pizzas from the grill for a relaxed weekend meal -- naan bread or pre-baked crusts save you time!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
CalCornia Shrimp Pizza makes a speedy mead for busy weeknights - grill or make in the oven.
CaliCornia Shrimp Pizzas
Print Recipe
Enjoy these quick and easy shrimp pizzas from the grill for a relaxed weekend meal -- naan bread or pre-baked crusts save you time!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Instructions
  1. Heat oven or gas grill to 400 F degrees.
  2. In small bowl, toss together thawed shrimp with olive oil, cilantro, salt and pepper.
  3. Place shrimp on rimmed baking sheet and heat up in oven for4 to 5 minutes. Or, skewer and heat up on grill for about the same amount of time, taking care not to overcook. Remove shrimp, but leave oven/grill on.
  4. Spread each crust with approximately 2 tablespoons of OPA Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing, reserve remaining to drizzle on top of finished pizzas.
  5. Place slices of mozzarella on pizza and sprinkle with about ¼ up of thawed corn blend. Top pizzas with roasted/grilled shrimp.
  6. Place pizzas in oven or on grill with lid closed and heat up for another 5 to 7 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and edges are turning golden brown.
  7. Remove pizzas and top with sliced avocado and drizzle with remaining OPA Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing.
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FAST! Beef Tenderloin and Tomato Pizza with Ancho Crema

Use leftover beef steak, fresh tomatoes and naan bread to make a easy weeknight meal.

I’d hard to imagine there would EVER be beef tenderloin left on the platter at my house – but there was this weekend! That’s because I cooked an extra hunk so that we’d have “leftovers on purpose” for a couple easy weeknight recipes that were floating around in my head. I had to threaten all the boys to keep their dirty meat-stealing mitts of this extra steak, and once they saw the More-eo Blondie Bars I made for dessert, they had moved on to new conquests.

This southwestern-inspired naan pizza recipe uses leftover steak dressed up with fresh tomatoes and an creamy ancho pepper drizzle.

So, the great thing about this Beef Tenderloin & Tomato Pizza with Ancho Crema is that you can use thin slices of any leftover steak like top sirloin, ribeye, flat iron — or even fajita meat! I also used naan bread for “let’s make dinner in five minutes” convenience, but feel free to do a homemade traditional crust or even a cauliflower crust if you prefer.

Tomatoes are an abundant source of lycopene, vitamin B6 and other important nutrients.The toppings are fresh and healthy with a southwestern spin – cilantro, queso fresco, hatch green chilies and a trifecta of colorful tomatoes. Red, yellow and orange – they were almost too beautiful to eat!  But gobble them up because I know how great the abundance of lycopene and vitamin B6 found in tomatoes is for athletes — you can learn more on the topic of tomatoes and working out in a post I wrote for CorePower.com.

Beef Tenderloin & Tomato Pizza with Ancho Crema Recipe

  • 4 8-inch diameter pieces of naan bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium yellow tomato, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 1 medium red tomato, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 1 medium orange tomato, seeded and sliced thinly
  • ½ cup chopped fire-roasted hatch green chilies (or can use canned)
  • 1 cup of crumbled queso freco
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 8-ounce pre-cooked beef tenderloin steak (or other steak) sliced thinly across grain.
  •  1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chili powder
  • Avocado for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
  2. Lay naan bread on a baking sheet and brush tops with olive oil. Sprinkle with the garlic salt and pepper flakes.
  3. Layer each crust with tomato slices and green chilies. Sprinkle with queso fresco cheese.
  4. Bake in oven for approximately 10 minutes or until edges of bread turning golden brown and cheese beginning to bubble.
  5. Remove from oven and top with thinly sliced steak that is room temperature or has been lightly warmed — taking care not to over reheat it and make tough.
  6. To make crema, whisk together Greek yogurt, Worcestershire sauce and chili powder in small bowl. Drizzle on top of pizzas. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with avocado, if desired. Serves 4.

Slice of healthy naan bread pizza.What toppings do you like to put on your pizza? Please share in the comments below:

Fast, Fit Family Valentine Dinners – Mix and Match Menu

10 Ideas for Mix and Match Family Valentine Dinner - TheFitFork.comHas your week of work, working out and kids’ activities been more jam-packed and crazy than a floral shop filled with frantic husbands and boyfriends fighting for the last bouquet? Well, don’t fret that you haven’t made a menu for Valentine’s Day, I’ve got you covered!  Check out my ideas for quick-to-make, kid-friendly dinner ideas that provide the quality nutrition you love!  I have three ideas each for salads, entrees and desserts — plus a bonus baked heart fries recipe– feel free to mix and match!

SALADS:

Spinach Strawberry SaladStrawberry Spinach Salad – This beautiful berry salad will get any spinach avoider to start eating greens!

 

 

 

 

Cucumber Heart Salad

 

Simple Green Salad with Cucumber Cutouts – Dress up a simple green salad with cucumbers punched out in the center with a small heart cookie cutter.

 

 

 

 

Grapefrut and Hearts of Palm Salad

Grapefruit and Hearts of Palm Salad – Fall in love with the sweet-tart zing of this salad from Cooking Light. If you think the kids won’t like the slightly nutty, semi-firm texture of palm hearts (but I think they will), simply swap for another veggie.

 

 

 

 

ENTREES:

Give Me Amore Pizza

Give Me Amore Pepperponi Pizza

Give Me Some Amore Pizza with Quick Homemade Sauce – The kids will be begging for one more slice of this super-quick, convenience crust pizza that features homemade sauce made quickly in the blender (no simmering required).

Fish Baked in Parchment Paper

Herbed Cod with Vegetables in Papillote – This recipe I made for Litehouse foods sounds like it should be learned in a French culinary school, but it’s really super easy! Just wrap up ingredients in parchment paper and bake for about 15 minutes!

 

 

 

Spice Crusted Tenderloin Steak - TheFitFork.com

Spice Crusted Tenderloin Steaks – You can’t fail with a filet – and caramelized with spices and grilled to perfection, you will win Valentine’s Day dinner hands down.  Oh, and not only is tenderloin super tender (duh), it’s one of the leaner cuts!

 

 

 

 

DESSERTS:

Chocolate Yogurt Tart with Strawberries - TheFitFork.comStrawberry Greek Yogurt Tart – This better-for-you dessert features a grain free crust, creamy filling made with stevia-sweetened Greek yogurt, and lots of lush berries on top.

 

 

 

Strawberry Yogurt Chocolate Ice Cream TopperChocolate Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Topping  – I love this fun idea from friend Emily at the Litehouse Foods blog, she transformed Green yogurt fruit dip into a frozen “bark” to use as garnish on a favorite flavor of ice cream.

 

 

 

Strawberries and Chocolate Dip - TheFitFork.com

Berries with Chocolate Dip – Simple, sensible and a real sanity saver if you haven’t anything planned for dessert

 

 

 

 

 

Herb Lover's Oven Potato Fries for Valentines - TheFitFork.comThese were a popular recipe from last week — Herb Lover’s Oven Potato Fries

Grilled Fig, Blue Cheese & Prosciutto Pizza – Now That’s Umami!

jennifer fisher grilled fig blue cheese prosciutto pizza - title

My mouth is still salivating over this grilled pizza recipe I created for Litehouse Foods. Gourmet enough to serve guests as a prelude to dinner yet simple enough to make for a quick weeknight meal, theses pizzas are seriously scrumptious. The aged artisan blue cheese crumbles, salty proscuitto and sweet fig jam mingle together for a massive explosion of umami flavor. Head over to the Living Litehouse Blog to find out out how salty, sweet, tart and bitter aren’t the only categories of taste — there is also a fifth taste receptor called umami! Translated from Japanese, umami means “delicious essence” and I couldn’t agree more!

jennfer fisher fig blue cheese prosciutto pizza grill on board

Also, if you’re a fig fan like myself, check out my recipe for Fresh Figs with Balsamic Fig Jam — this is a beautiful and simple dish for dessert. Remember, to view the full recipe for the grilled pizzas along with lots of other drool-worthy ideas for healthy living, visit the Living Litehouse Blog. 

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