Dragon Fruit Coulis Fish with Pink Rice Vermecilli

Dragon Fruit Coulis Atlantic Cod with Pinkened Rice VermicelliMake dinner “Pretty in Pink” with this lovely and light recipe for Dragon Fruit Coulis Atlantic Cod with Pink Rice Vermicelli. Dragon Fruit is just so fabulous and exotic, I get woozy with excitement when I find some beautiful ones at the market just waiting for loving attention.   This easy-to-make fish dinner is as delicious and nutritious as it is lovely to look at —  how fun would it be for a spa party, girl’s night in, special celebration or even just an impressive (and simple) weeknight dinner.  I don’t like my food to look or taste boring, do you?!

Dragon Fruit Coulis Atlantic Cod

I get my Atlantic Cod and other fish and seafood from SizzleFish.com. Their flaky, white cod is caught on Georges Bank off New England and Nova Scotia – they chose only premium fish for customers and they never try to pass of Pacific Cod (a completely different, cheaper variety of fish) as some other vendors do.  I love this company that makes it quick and easy to make a healthy meal with their flash-frozen seafood collections. These assortments of high-quality fish, shrimp and other seafood are mindfully sourced from the best the world has to offer and shipped straight to my front door in perfectly –portioned, individually vacuum-sealed pouches. SizzleFish.com is the perfect way to make sure there is always quality protein around for muscle-making.

****Note: While I used Cod, you can use any type of firm, white-fleshed fish for this recipe. Also, mung cellophane noodles can be swapped for the rice vermicelli

Dragon Fruit Coulis Atlantic Cod with Pinkend Rice Vermecelli -- as pretty as it is healthy to eat!

Do you know much about the Dragon Fruit? It’s also referred to as a Pitaya, Strawberry Pear or Mood Flower and is the unusually striking fruit of a cactus – don’t worry, there are no thorns or stickers on it!  There are different types of Drago Fruit – pink or yellow exterior and white or magenta interiors speckled with tiny edible seeds. Despite their showy appearance, the taste is quite mild, similar to a kiwi –the purple-pink fleshed ones will actually stain your hands  — and I took advantage of that dye-like property for the creation of my Pink Dragon Fruit Rice Noodles.

Pink Dragon Fruit Rice Vermacelli are gluten-free noodles soaked in water with this exotic fruit to create the vibrant color!

 

Have you ever tasted a dragon fruit? What is your favorite color? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

Dragon Fruit Coulis Atlantic Cod with Pinkened Rice Vermicelli
Dragon Fruit Coulis Cod with Pinkened Rice Vermecilli
Print Recipe
In 15 minutes, you can make a "Pretty in Pink" fish dinner that is almost to beautiful to eat -- but please do, this recipe is tasty and healthy!
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Dragon Fruit Coulis Atlantic Cod with Pinkened Rice Vermicelli
Dragon Fruit Coulis Cod with Pinkened Rice Vermecilli
Print Recipe
In 15 minutes, you can make a "Pretty in Pink" fish dinner that is almost to beautiful to eat -- but please do, this recipe is tasty and healthy!
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Rub fish with salt on all sides.
  2. Heat coconut oil to medium high in small skillet. Add fish and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until flaky and no longer transparent.
  3. Meanwhile, add dragon fruit and noodles to large bowl and top with very hot, almost boiling water. Let this soak for 3 to 5 minutes or until noodles softened.
  4. Carefully remove "nests" of noodles. Pour liquid through small-mesh strainer to reserve dragon fruit. Set noodles aside.
  5. Remove fish from skillet. Add reserved dragon fruit, white wine, vinegar, and sriracha and cook for several minutes over medium high until fruit breaking down and liquid reduced.
  6. To serve, place fish on noodle nest and top with dragon fruit coulis. Add additional vegetables if desired.
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Brazilian Beef and Plantain Breakfast Bowl

Brazilian Beef and Plantain Breakfast Bowl

One bite of my Brazilian Beef & Plantain Bowl (with egg, honey and toasted coconut) and you’ll happily say “Tchau” to a tower of pancakes, waffles or buttered toast in the morning!  Loaded with protein, quality complex carbohydrates, iron, potassium and other essential nutrients, this easy breakfast made with leftover steak will fuel you for a full morning of demanding activities! The flavor combination may sound weird, but trust me, it’s so delicious! Pra caramba!

Brazilian Beef & Plantain Breakfast Bowl is a healthy way to start the day, packed with 28g protein and quality complex carbs for energy.

The protein in the recipes is a combination of 3-oz. left over lean steak (like top sirloin, strip, tenderloin, flat iron, etc.) and a single, sunny-side up egg. Along with a little bit from the plantain, you’re getting about 28 grams of protein with this meal – the ideal amount to consume in a single sitting.

Each Day is a New Start! It’s the perfect morning meal for a Protein Challenge!  Each day is a new start, so beat yourself up if your diet wan’t exactly “on point” yesterday — you get a new chance to eat well today!

I always feel best when I’m eating 25g – 30g protein evenly spaced at each meal. Plus, it helps prevent snacking!

 

 

If you’re not familiar with plantains, you can typically find them in most grocery stores in the “exotic produce” area. This “vegetable-banana” is a less sweet and a little more starchy tasting than a regular banana – but so yummy when baked, microwaved or sautéed! They are a common ingredient in the cuisine of Mexico and Central / South America and in Brazil go by their Portuguese name of “banana-da-terra.”

Oh, and now for something crazy beef & bananas that isn’t actually food! It’s me planking until failure the other day before teaching a Grilling 101 class at the Texas Beef Council. 

pinners conference pic 1I’ll teaching a class on “Empowered Meal Prep – Protein for Fitness”  at the Pinner’s Conference in Dallas on Sept 9 & 10th. I’ll be sharing this Brazilian Beef & Plantain Breakfast Bowl along with a delicious Molasses & Pepper Flat Iron Steak recipe and Super Iron-Boosting Steak Spinach Salad. 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 FREESHOPPING. RESISTER HERE

Have you ever used plantains in a recipe? Do you have a planking hashtag for me?  Are you watching the Summer Olympics? What has your favorite moment been so far? Please share in comments, XOXO – Jennifer

 

Brazilian Beef and Plantain Breakfast Bowl
Brazilian Beef and Plantain Breakfast Bowl
Print Recipe
Power up your day in savory-sweet South American style with this hearty, protein-rich steak breakfast bowl featuring plantains, coconut, honey and an egg!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Brazilian Beef and Plantain Breakfast Bowl
Brazilian Beef and Plantain Breakfast Bowl
Print Recipe
Power up your day in savory-sweet South American style with this hearty, protein-rich steak breakfast bowl featuring plantains, coconut, honey and an egg!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add coconut oil to medium skillet and bring to medium-high heat. Sauté chopped plantains and yellow peppers for approximately 6 to 7 minutes, or until plantains turning golden brown and peppers softening.
  2. In the last 90 seconds or so of cooking, stir in steak chunks to gently reheat without overcooking. Slide the steak mixture into 4 cereal-sized bowl and set aside.
  3. Immediately poach or fry eggs to your preferred level of yolk “doneness.” Slide a cooked egg on top of each bowl of beef mixture and season with salt, pepper, sprinkle of coconut and a drizzle of honey!
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Maple Pecan Raisin Butternut Squash Quinoa + Pinner’s Conference

Maple Pecan Raisin Butternut Squash Quinoa - thefitfork.comIt’s happened more than once, I’ve tasted a quinoa salad and gone “meh” even though I know good for me. We are at the crescendo of the quinoa craze, so you too probably are aware that this ancient grain (which is actually a seed) boosts your diet with  nutrients like B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E, and fiber. Additionally, quinoa is also one of only a few plant foods considered a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids — oh how I love me some protein! 

Maple Pecan Raisin Malasses Crusted Steak and Butternut Squash Quinoa

To add some flavor excitement to a quinoa recipe, I decided to mix up a dish that magnifies some of my favorite flavors that some consider “fall season” but I embrace year ’round – maple syrup and butternut squash! And hey, even though it was 105 degrees yesterday . . . we are getting closer to Autumn one day at a time! I’ve used two of my favorite products from NOW Foods, Organic Tri-color Quinoa and Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Maple Pecan Raisin Butternut Squash Quinoa can be served warm, room temperature or cold -- it's a healthy vegetarian side dish or salad packed with protein and wholesome energy.Anyway,my recipe for Maple Pecan Raisin Butternut Squash Quinoa is just bursting with flavor and wholesome goodness. Not only is this recipe pretty to look at, it’s a beautiful addition to a meal-prepping lineup — especially important now that it’s Back-To-School season. You can make a big batch and eat it warm or cold — it also holds up well to being packed in a lunchbox.   Of course, I like to pair mine with a big, juicy steak!

Maple Pecan Raisin Malasses Crusted Steak and Butternut Squash Quinoa

By the way, I am demonstrating this Maple Pecan Raisin Butternut Squash Quinoa coming up on Friday, September 9th at the Texas Pinner’s Conference  in the Dallas area (Arlington Convention Center). My class is called “Empowered Meal Prep – Protein for Fitness.” 

pinners conference class description

pinners conference pic 1Learn how to prepare enough protein (I’m grilling Molasses & Pepper Crusted Steaks) to make dinner with leftovers for breakfast and lunch — the other recipes are Iron-Boosting Beef & Date Spinach Salad and Steak & Plantain Breakfast Bowl. 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 FREESHOPPING. RESISTER HERE

Are you a make-ahead meal prepper? What is your favorite dish to stock in the fridge or freezer? Have the kids gone back to school yet? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

 

Maple Pecan Raisin Butternut Squash Quinoa - thefitfork.com
Maple Pecan Raisin Butternut Squash Quinoa
Print Recipe
Beautiful and health-boosting, this easy quinoa recipe works well as a warm side dish or cold salad -- it packs and keeps for several days making it ideal for potlucks, lunchboxes, and make-ahead dinner planning.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Maple Pecan Raisin Butternut Squash Quinoa - thefitfork.com
Maple Pecan Raisin Butternut Squash Quinoa
Print Recipe
Beautiful and health-boosting, this easy quinoa recipe works well as a warm side dish or cold salad -- it packs and keeps for several days making it ideal for potlucks, lunchboxes, and make-ahead dinner planning.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Toss butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place in single layer on rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Bake squash, stirring once halfway through, for approximately 15 minutes or until tender and turning golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool down.
  3. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package directions -- it should also take around 15 minutes, so you can do the squash and quinoa simultaneously to save time.
  4. When quinoa done, transfer to large bowl, fluff with fork and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. While quinoa and squash cooling down, prepare dressing by adding maple syrup, remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme and salt to small bowl and whisk until combined.
  6. Add cooked quinoa, cooked squash, green onions, raisins, and pecans to large bowl, mix gently to combine.
  7. Pour dressing over top and stir to evenly distribute. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.
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Clean Apple Pie with Protein Bar Crust to #KeepOnTrack

This blog post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Pure Protein. All opinions are mine alone. #KeepOnTrack #CollectiveBias

Summer has been busier than a gym in January but I’m not letting my hectic schedule sabotage my good intentions. I’m keeping on track with my higher-protein diet by keeping my pantry, purse, gym bag, and mobile snack station (haha, the car) stocked with the new Pure Protein Plus Bars. Considering I’m out of the house most of the day working, running errands, shuttling my teen boys to their sports practices, and finding time for my own fitness routine, having a few of these insanely delicious protein bars at the ready has kept me from getting so hangry that I have the mother of all mother meltdowns.  In addition, the bars can be used to make quick nutritious desserts, like my recipe for Clean Apple Pie on Protein Bar Crust that I’m sharing in this post.   

Clean Apple Pie with Protein Bar Crust

To make this nearly sugar-free pie, I used one of the NEW Pure Protein Plus Bars that I purchased at Walmart. When you shop Walmart for Pure Protein Plus Bars, be sure to use Ibotta to earn $1.50 back.

Pure Protein Plus #KeepOnTrack

For more Pure Protein Plus Bars inspiration, visit this website. Make sure to enter the sweepstakes below too for a chance to win prizes to help #KeepOnTrack!

Pure Protein Plus Bars #KeepOnTrack Sweepstakes

These bars are available in four flavors (Cookies and Cream, Mocha Brownie, Apple Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough) that all sound ultra-decadent, but after checking the nutrition label, I found they actually make a quite balanced and sensible snack solution. I’ve been grabbing one for a quick breakfast, bedtime snack or for post workout recovery.

You can find these bars at Walmart on the nutrition aisle near the Pharmacy!

The preferred amount of protein I look for in a nutrition bar is around 20 grams with low sugar content and, ching-ching-ching, this new product delivers. Additionally, the NEW Pure Protein Plus Bars have that soft and pleasantly chewy texture I crave plus they are GMO-free, gluten free, have no artificial sweeteners and are high fiber (15 – 16g).

Oh, and the super delicious flavors are worth shouting out again (and again!) Hello, Cookies and Cream, Mocha Brownie, Apple Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough — welcome to my life.  But, unlike the real deal desserts, these bars are mindful of my mission to #KeepOnTrack with a higher protein, lower carb diet.    Making "crust" out of Pure Protein Plus Bars

So, ready for that apple pie I mentioned earlier?! My recipe for Clean Apple Pie on Protein Bar Crust takes all of five minutes and is made with an Apple Pie Pure Protein Plus Bar.  It’s a super speedy, protein-packed and no-sugar-added version of my favorite, all-American summer dessert. It’s almost magical how, after the bar is soften for a few seconds in the microwave, it becomes malleable enough to roll out or break in bits and press into the bottom of a pan.

While “making” the crust, slicing and softening your favorite variety of apple tossed with a sprinkling of cinnamon in the microwave takes just mere minutes. No added sugar required – apples are a great source of naturally sweet, complex carbohydrates that can be quickly accessed by the body as fuel for running, workouts or the relentless demands of a hectic life.  

Cinnamon Apples for Clean Protein Pie
Go ahead and pin or print out this protein dessert recipe to #KeepOnTrack and satisfy your sweet tooth at a moment’s notice.

Clean Apple Pie on Protein Bar Crust is a healthy option for dessert or a post workout snack.

 

Pure Protein Apple Pie
Clean Apple Pie with Protein Bar Crust
Print Recipe
All-American and all good for you, this cleaned up apple pie is packed with protein and real fruit -- the perfect healthy dessert or post workout snack.
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Pure Protein Apple Pie
Clean Apple Pie with Protein Bar Crust
Print Recipe
All-American and all good for you, this cleaned up apple pie is packed with protein and real fruit -- the perfect healthy dessert or post workout snack.
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: serving
Instructions
  1. Unwrap one Apple Pie Pure Protein Plus Bar and set on microwave-safe plate. Microwave on “defrost” setting for 20 seconds, or until warm and malleable but not too hot to handle.
  2. Break up warm bar into bits and place in the bottom of an approximate 6” diameter tart pan, skillet or ceramic dish. Using fingers or back of spoon, press down until formed into a crust that covers bottom of pan. Lightly coat fingers or spoon in coconut oil if beginning to stick.
  3. Cut medium apple into thin slices and place in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave apple slices on high for three minutes, stirring halfway through. Drain off any excess liquid.
  4. Drizzle with coconut oil, sprinkle with cinnamon and stir until coated.
  5. Place apples on top of protein bar “crust.” Sprinkle with pecans and top with yogurt.
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Habanero BBQ Almonds + Giveaway for #YogaLovers

buddhi box yogaI recently hinted at a delicious spicy-sweet almond snack I made with local products in my Active in Austin post. My recipe for 5-minute Habanero BBQ Almonds is a great hunger-squashing snack that you absolutely must make for all your on-the-go summer activities. And, if one of your summer activities is YOGA — then check out the bottom of my post for a Buddhi Box giveaway!

5 minute Habanero BBQ Almonds make a healthy snack  -- protein, fiber and other important nutrients.

Not only is this snack super easy to make in the skillet in about 5 minutes, it’s packed with flavor and the satiating nutrition from almonds. Almonds are such a great snack for athletes and everyone — the are definitely the superfood they are cracked up to be!  This nutrient-dense nut is packed with good monounsaturated fatty acids, dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins such as riboflaven and trace minerals such as magnesium.

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Get recipes and wellness tips to help you boost daily intake of protein!Almonds are also a great snack choice if you are on the #ProteinChallenge. If you’re not participating in this free challenge, sign up today here. It’s a great way to learn how to slightly readjust your eating patterns to include adequate protein spaced throughout the day. In turn, you should have more energy, a desire to snack less on unheathy carbed-out, processed foods and be better able to achieve or maintain a lean body mass.

Also, you’re going to laugh, but I think that this Habanero BBQ Almond recipe helps you stay hydrated. Say what? That’s because the spicy habanero pepper is one of the hottest peppers in town and it will encourage you to drink more water

buddi box logo

I also want to tell you about a new box I am loving right now — the Buddhi Box. It’s “The Monthly Subscription Box that will Kick Your Asana into Gear”. This ultimate yogi care package is filled with deluxe samples and full-sized products that will appeal and delight those just starting a yoga practice or that have been on the journey for some time. You can learn more about the products and the services HERE.

Buddi Box is a specially curated monthly subscription box for the yoga enthusiast.

My recent Buddhi Box included a full-sized book packed with every imaginable yoga pose (I’m still trying them all out), daring ballet sock with gripper feet (feet stay covered in class, but no slipping and sliding), a scented soy candle and sample of hemp seeds (ooh, love those).

One of you lucky readers will win your own Buddhi Box by entering the giveaway below. What’s in the winner’s yoga subscription box? I don’t know! That’s the fun element of surprise that comes with these specially-curated collections of products — even though I don’t know whats coming, I always LOVE everything!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5-minute Habanero BBQ Almonds
Print Recipe
This slightly smoky-sweet and definitely spicy almonds make a great protein-rich snack to fuel your active lifestyle. They are made in less than 5 minutes in a skillet -- low mess, low fuss!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 1 minute
Cook Time
4 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 1 minute
Cook Time
4 minutes
5-minute Habanero BBQ Almonds
Print Recipe
This slightly smoky-sweet and definitely spicy almonds make a great protein-rich snack to fuel your active lifestyle. They are made in less than 5 minutes in a skillet -- low mess, low fuss!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 1 minute
Cook Time
4 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 1 minute
Cook Time
4 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. To make, heat skillet to medium- high over stovetop.
  2. Stir in 1/4 cup BBQ sauce, 2 teaspoons habanero sauce, 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt. Cook over medium-low for 4 minutes to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until sauce is carmalizing and sticking to almonds.
  3. Remove from skillet and let cool a few minutes. Eat warm or at room temperature. May be stored in an air-tight container.
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Beaches, Bikinis & Coconut Bacon Burgers w/ Grilled Pineapple

In my perfect world, I’m living on a remote tropical island with every creature comfort including Wi-Fi, a fully-loaded gym and well-stocked market to easily procure ingredients for all my recipe creations — like this wave-making Coconut Bacon Burger with Grilled Pineapple.

Coconut Bacon Burger with Grilled Pineapple Let me just hit the highlights here so I can get back to my dream — gorgeous prime ground chuck, the signature flavor and scent of coconut, pineapple carmalized  to maximize deliciousness, soft sweet onion buns  — oh and bacon,  from a slab of thick hardwood smoked pig.  Coconut Bacon Burgers with Grilled Pineapple

 

jennifer fisher yoga beachSo, do I have your attention?! I know what you’re thinking, I can’t inhale a burger and then hit the beach in bathing suit. Oh, yes you can! First of all, let me tell you one thing, eating burgers in bikini — it’s so freeing, soon you’ll loose all your inhibitions. Second, it can get hot grilling on the beach, so you’d be wearing a bathing suit anyway! And third, really-actually-trust-me, a burger is NOT a bad food choice — indeed, it’s quite balanced. Here’s why:

 

hamburger patty hack

Quick Tip: Use a peanut butter jar lid to shape your patties!

If you start with a quarter-pound of ground beef, you’ll end up with a 3-ounce cooked patty which offers about 25g protein for just 213 calories for an 80/20 grind (of course your bun and topping selections add more). But this 25g is the optimal amount of protein to eat at one meal to keep you satisfied and binge snacking on carby snacks later. ** Note, I realize my recipe is for a larger burger than just described, but hey, i’m still on this mental vacation where anything goes. Feel free to scale your patty down.

protein challenge badgeInterested in learning more about what protein can do to help you on your health and fitness journey? Why not join me on a free 30 Day Protein Challenge with lots of tips, motivation and recipes.

So on to the Coconut Bacon Burger with Grilled Pineapple I originally created for BeefLovingTexans.com! Mahalo, my friends!

 

coconut burger feet

Coconut Bacon Burger with Grilled Pineapple Recipe

  • ½ pound thick-sliced hardwood smoked bacon
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (preferably 80/20 grind)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (divided)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 slices cored pineapple, preferably fresh
  • 4 sweet Hawaiian or onion rolls, split
  • ¼ cup store-bought Coconut Butter (sometimes called “Coconut Manna”)
  • 1 teaspoon minced basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • Lettuce
  1. Cook bacon to desired level of crispness in large skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer to paper towels to drain excess grease.

  2. Form beef into 4 equal-sized 6-oz. patties. Use finger to make slight indention in the center of each patty to prevent puffing up on the grill. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Spread all but 1 tablespoon of the unsweetened coconut in shallow dish. Roll sides of burger patty through coconut, patting on if necessary.

  4. Head grill to 400F degrees and grill burgers and pineapple rings for approximately 4 minutes before flipping and cooking an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Burgers will be ready to take off grill when internal temperature measures 155 F degrees. Transfer burgers and pineapple to platter to rest for 5 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile use a spatula to mix together coconut butter, remaining 1 tablespoon shredded coconut, red pepper flakes and basil together in small bowl. Set aside.

  6. Toast split buns, cut side down, on grill for 2 to 3 minutes.

  7. To serve, spread toasted bun with coconut spread and add lettuce, patty, pineapple and bacon.

What is your favorite tropical flavor? Going to the beach this summer? What is your favorite island? Have you ever run a marathon on a tropical island — which one, I’m thinking of signing up for one. Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Chocolate Speckled and Seeded Protein Cookie (Single Serve) + Toaster Oven Giveaway

This post and giveaway sponsored by Hamilton Beach, but all opinions and enthusiasm are my own!

I never thought I needed a toaster oven and, boy, was I soooo wrong. I changed my mind when recently developed a recipe for Hamilton Beach that would work in their fancy 4 Slice Easy Reach™ Toaster Oven with Roll-Top Door. Honestly, it was my first time using a countertop toaster since back in my childhood days when this is how I made my buttery, cinnamon toast for breakfast! I love the convenience and quick clean up so much, I’m giving away one of these amazing appliances to one of you (enter at bottom of post).

Single Serve Chocolate Speckled and Seeded Breakfast Cookie for Toaster Oven can be made in a conventional or toaster oven! It's also gluten-free and nut-free, plus sugar-free and dairy free without the chocolate chips.  268 calories and 16g protein for this jumbo, giant cookie!

Chocolate Speckled and Seeded Breakfast CookieThe recipe I made for Hamilton Beach was a single serve breakfast cookie Chocolate Speckled and Seeded Breakfast Cookie, a much healthier option than the sugar and butter on white bread treat I would cook up as a kid. Fresh baked from the toaster oven, this cookie is packed with flavor and nutrition thanks to whole grains, seeds, and just a smattering of chocolate to soothe a sweet tooth. The entire huge cookie has just 268 calories and 16g protein – plus it’s gluten-free and nut-free plus sugar free and dairy-free (if you don’t use the chocolate chips). Get the full recipe on Hamilton Beach Every Day Good Thinking blog

Chocolate Speckled and Seeded Breakfast Cookie - TheFitFork.com

So, what’s so awesome about a toaster oven?  Well, for one thing, it doesn’t heat the whole house up, and that’s a major concern here in Texas! But you still get that fresh-baked, crispy texture on foods that the microwave just can’t deliver – the little slide out tray will accommodate so many healthy food options – broil salmon, roast asparagus, bake eggs, make muffins and, yes, even make toast! It fits four slices of toast or even a 9” pizza! A smaller appliance is also so convenient when just preparing a meal for one or two people and works well in a dorm room, RV, cabin, office kitchen or other places where space is tight. Plus, the 4 Slice Easy Reach™ Toaster Oven with Roll-Top Door has several unique features including a removable roll-top door than makes it super easy to clean up!

Hamilton Beach 4 Slice Easy Reach™ Toaster Oven with Roll-Top DoorEnter my giveaway to win a handy-dandy 4 Slice Easy Reach™ Toaster Oven with Roll-Top Door , just follow the Rafflecopter instructions below:

 

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 Ways to Eat a Black Bean Burger #OMGardein + Giveaway


Chipotle Black Bean Burger with Southwestern Zoodles
Black bean burgers are the bomb! Especially the Chipotle Black Bean Burgers from Gardein, with their spicy, smoky southwest flavor. I could think of a million ways to serve these plant-based patties and today I’m sharing 4 Ways to Eat a Black Bean Burger. Since these alternative burgers come four to a pouch,  you can enjoy something different with each one! And, the patties cook straight from frozen in minutes, so even on the busiest nights, you’ll can eat a healthy dinner at home instead of heading to the drive-through. Keep reading to get the recipes and to enter my giveaway for a $25 Visa Gift Card so that you can buy and try Gardein for yourself — plus there’s a $1 off coupon for everyone!

4 Ways to Eat a Black Bean Burger - make your next meal easy and healthy thanks to these plant-based patties from Gardein. #spon

I’ve always found meatless products from Gardein to be a quick and convenient way to create a plant-based meal, especially as a busy home cook who doesn’t have tons time to fuss with finding quality and adequate sources of plant-based protein – I can count on Gardein to help me out with this.

Chipotle Black Bean BurgerJust so you know, I am an eater of chicken, beef, seafood in addition to lots of plant-based proteins – I crave variety in my diet! Variety in colors, flavors and types of foods – I think it’s one of the best ways to ensure that I’m treating myself to a wholesome abundance of nutrients. Covering all the bases for my body, so to speak!

Making a meal featuring plant-based proteins is something that happens a couple times a week at my house – but when we have vegetarian and vegan relatives visiting, it’s more frequent.

Gardein products are good for your body, made with non-GMO soy and wheat, ancient grains and veggies. You get the taste, texture and protein content of meat for typically less fat, less calories and no cholesterol. And, Gardein products are all vegan and kosher.

Chipotle Black Bean & Spicy Zoodles Burger (pictured above)

Prepare black bean burger according to preferred method on package. Use spiralizer to cut ½ zucchini. Season with salt, chili pepper and cumin; steam in microwave-safe dish for approximately 1 minute or until tender but not mushy. Add prepared zoodles and patty to bun and add condiments of choice. Serves 1.

Chipotle Black Bean Burger with Southwestern Mushroom-Squash TossChipotle Bean Burger & Southwestern Mushroom-Squash Toss

  • 2 Chipotle Black Bean Burger Patties
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium summer squash or zucchini, spiralized or julienned
  • ½ pint button mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ teaspoon each: salt, cumin, chili powder

Prepare black bean burgers according to preferred method on package. In medium skillet, add olive oil and bring to medium heat. Sauté squash, mushrooms and tomatoes for approximately 2 minutes, or until softened, but not mushy. Season with salt, cumin and chili powder. Divide veggies among two bowls and top each with a patty. Serves 2.

 Black Bean Burger, Hummus and Spinach Stack - GardeinChipotle Black Bean Burger, White Hummus & Spinach Stack

  • 1 Chipotle Black Bean Burger Patty
  • ¼ cup packaged white bean hummus
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup packed fresh baby spinach
  • Garnish: pine nut relish from top of hummus or chopped nuts of choice

Prepare black bean burger according to preferred method on package. In small skillet, heat olive oil and sauté garlic and spinach for 1 to 2 minutes or until wilted. Top patty with hummus and spinach. Add garnish. Serves 1.

Gardein Black Bean Taco Bake for One Chipotle Black Bean Taco Bake for One

  • 1 Chipotle Black Bean Burger Patty
  • 2 tablespoons frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tomato
  • ¼ cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 ounce cheddar cheese
  • Garnish with sour cream or Greek yogurt, if desired

Prepare black bean burger according to preferred method on package. Break cooked patty into small pieces. In small baking dish or large ramekin, toss together cooked burger pieces, corn, salsa and tomato until combined. Stir in crushed tortilla chips. Top with cheddar cheese and broil for 2 to 3 minute or until warmed through and cheese bubbling on top. Serves 1.

Gardein Meatless Pepperoni Pizza Pocket

I also love the Gardein Meatless Pepperoni Pizza Pocket (a new product) that is perfect for my lunch-on-the-go or those busy weeknights when kids have overlapping sports practices and I am literally feeding them in the car.  I really appreciate how easy they are to make (kids can do them in the toaster oven) and they have 42% less fat than traditional pizza pockets.

You need to try these products for yourself  — help keep life quick, easy and healthy! Head over to Gardein and get a $1 coupon now until May 31, 2016!! #OMGardein

Win a $25 Visa Gift Card at TheFitFork.comEnter my giveaway for a $25 Visa Gift Card so that you can buy Gardein and some fresh produce to make a healthy, plant-based dinner on me! Follow the Rafflecopter instuctions below:

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