Top Healthy Recipe Pins from 2015

First of all — HAPPY NEW YEAR! Before I move forward into 2016 with all the healthy recipe ideas that are bouncing around in my head, I wanted to share my most loved recipe pins from the last 12 months. If we’re not already following each other on Pinterest, let’s connect today!  So, here you go — a collection of pins that are my most popular. Top Healthy Recipe Pins from TheFitFork.com

Sweet Potato Cauliflower Mash – This simple-to-make sweet potato dish is paired up with cauliflower for a creamy, dreamy side dish for Thanksgiving or any other time of the year. This side dish recipe has been pinged on Good Housekeeping, Canadian Running Magazine, Glamour and a zillion food, health and wellness blogs.

(Slow Cooker) Salted Chocolate Caramel Crunch –  Crunchy cereal, pretzels and an assortment of nuts get a sweet upgrade with a coating of caramel and chocolate. The secret surprise is that this easy snack mix recipe is made in the slow cooker!

Black Bean, Zucchini and Corn Tacos – This summer-inspired vegetarian meal is quick and easy dinner solution for the patio – when the season passes, just swap out the zucchini for a winter squash like butternut!

Balsamic Slow Roasted Tomatoes – Scrumptious beyond imagination, this easy veggie recipe turns what I consider to be a typically bland tomato (if purchased from a consumer grocery store) into a magical topping for salads, eggs, steaks, pasta and more.   Also, freezeable!

Mom’s Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Salad – This versatile veggie salad can be served as a side dish, atop a bed of lettuce or as a relish for tacos.  Inspired by my mom’s family favorite recipe and kicked up with a little of my chipotle chili powder addiction. A winner in the California All-American Avocado Recipe Contest.

Brain-Boosting Cinnamon Peach Smoothie – One of the things I love most being a healthy food bloggers is explaining how the ingredients in my recipes help optimize well-being. For example,  the cinnamon and natural sugars in this smoothie recipe help improve alertness and brain function – the perfect snack for study sessions or work day pick-me-ups.

Spicy Watermelon BBQ Sauce – I made this quirky barbeque sauce to accompany my Brisket Tacos with Watermelon Rind Relish for the SXSW Taco Takedown in Austin this year.  Basically, in Austin, the weirder and wackier the better and this crazy condiment stole the show!

Southwestern Steak Chili – This delicious chili recipe fills the kitchen with the scent of smoky, spicy goodness and just might cause a stampede to the table. A bowl full (or two) makes a hearty, happy and healthy meal for even the hungriest hombres in your home.

Strawberry Greek Yogurt Tart – Not only is this strawberry tart gorgeous, it’s better for you made with protein-packed Greek yogurt and a gluten-free chocolate crust. A stunning finale to any celebration or Sunday dinner.

Yoga and Fitness Bloopers from TheFitFork.comAlso, don’t miss my Running and Fitness Recap (with Bloopers) from last week.

 

 

 

 

 

And, because everyone else is doing it (haha), my #BestNine2015 on Instagram. These are the nine most “liked” posts, but not necessarily my favorite – it’s a bunch of abs, inversions and the peculiarly popular yellow shorts.

Best Nine 2015 on Instagram - @TheFitForkl

What is YOUR favorite recipe of 2015? Please share the link or just give me the down and dirty description in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Chocolate Maca Mint Chip Protein Smoothie – Hoping #FTW

Chocolate Maca Mint Chip Protein SmoothieIt is still smoothie time in the great ATX — it’s been in the high 90s this week! It’s so hot you can’t leave a bag of chocolate chips in the car for an hour — lesson learned. That being said, I’ll drink a smoothie (and eat deformed chocolate) pretty much anytime of the year . . . it’s such a quick and easy way to make a nourishing meal to take on the go.Chocolate Maca Mint Chip Protein Smoothie

Today, I’ve blended up a Chocolate Maca Mint Chip Smoothie for a slurpable, sweet and super healthy start to the day. Who doesn’t love a chocolate protein smoothie, it’s like drinking a milkshake for breakfast. I’ve added maca powder, ’cause that’s how I mix! Maca, a root vegetable indigenous to Peru, is a natural ingredient prized for thousands of years for its ability to boost stamina, endurance and hormonal balance. It includes vital nutrients such fatty acids, fiber, proteins, carbohydrates and minerals. Sign me up for all of this. Thank you maca powder!
maca, mint and chocolateTo add a flavor lift of mint, there are two options. You can use sprigs of fresh mint, which grows so abundantly for me in the summer. But, my fresh mint is looking pretty sad, so my tried-and-true swap in is Instantly Fresh Mint from Litehouse Foods — it’s dehydrated mint that is recipe ready any time of the year. One jar has the equivalent of three bunches of mint inside. Look for it in the produce section of your grocery store in little herb-sized jars — ask the produce manager.

Chocolate Maca Mint Smoothie

Chocolate Maca Mint Chip Smoothie

  • 8 ounce unsweetened almondmilk
  • 1/3 frozen large banana
  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maca powder
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Instantly Fresh Mint (or fresh leaves)
  • 2 teaspoons mini chocolate chips

Add all ingredients to blender, adding ice as needed. Blend until smooth. Makes 1 serving!

 

So yeah, I’m going to me needed all the energy, endurance and stamina I can get — I have a bunch of races and competitions coming up. I signed up last minute to run the Hill Country Half Marathon in Marble Falls, Texas thus weekend — it’s hill out there y’all. When they keep focusing on the words “scenic,” “beautiful” and “stunning views,” you know that those hills are going to be tough. Also, I’ve got the Spartan Beast in Dallas, it’s an approximate 14 mile run with 30-ish obstacles. I’ve been having so much fun training for obstacle course races, it’s a nice shake up from the traditional marathons and road races I do. Then, of course, San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon in early December.

Celebrating with friends at the end of Spartan Race.It’s not too late to join me! Dallas Beast, October 31 and November 1, 2015, Sign Up Now for this Reebok Spartan Race! Save 10% and use discount code FINISH at checkout!

What are YOU drinking this week? What are YOU racing this month? Please share in the comments below – XOXO Jennifer

 

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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Lime Pie Smoothie + Blender Giveaway

Healthy Surprise Lime Pie Smoothie features hemp seeds and spinach for extra nutrition!Lime pie, don’t you just love this sweet, tart and tasty treats?! A big slice of Key Lime pie or the fabulous lime sherbet pie my mom used to make always reminds me of warm-weather memories and how sweet the slower pace of summer can be. Wouldn’t it be grand if summers were endless and we could all kick back on the lawn or hang out at the lake with the biggest worry in life being a bit of sunburn or not being able to get out of the hammock to fish before dinner?!

Enjoying some relaxing family time at the lake.

Enjoying some relaxing family time at the lake.

But, eventually, we all have to get back to the daily grind! But, my recipe for {Healthy Surprise} Lime Pie Smoothies is a delicious and nutritious way to fuel up for the day while serving as a reminder to slow down and smell the saltwater, chase the fireflies or just sit back on the patio and wait for the rainbow to appear over the sprinklers. The recipe for this protein smoothie features protein powder (use your favorite brand) and a tablespoon of hemp hearts for added protein and heart-healthy fats.  I like to have about 25g protein in my smoothies, but you can also just skip the protein powder scoop and cut back the milk an ounce or two.

Relax, Hamilton Beach's Wave Action Blender is ready to whip you up a smoothie, shake or icy drink this summer!

hamilton beach wave blender If you love to make smoothies, shakes and icy drinks (the most important refreshments of summer), the powerful and durable Hamilton Beach® Wave~Action® Blender will keep you whirling without any annoying chunks!  Ordinary blenders spin contents around the walls of the jar, which can leave whole chunks untouched by the blades. But, the unique Wave~Action® System is designed to continually force the mixture down into the blades for consistently smooth results.

 

blender lid spout

Other features I appreciated about this blender(and you’re sure to love, too) are an easy-pour spout,  700 watt motor, stir spoon for thick foods and dishwasher-safe 48-ounce glass jar.

So, YAY, I get to give one of these blenders away to a lucky reader – just enter via the Rafflecopter instructions below the recipe!

This Lime Pie Smoothie has a surprise -- spinach and hemp seeds for a boost of nutrition.

Healthy Surprise Lime Pie Smoothie Recipe

  • 12 ounces unsweetened coconut, soy or almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder of choice
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts (hulled hemp seeds)
  • ½ medium frozen banana
  • One large lime, zested and juiced
  • ½ cup packed spinach leaves
  • Stevia or honey to taste
  • Garnish – yogurt, lime slices

Add hemp seeds to blender and pulse for a few seconds to grind up. Add milk, frozen banana, lime juice and zest, and spinach. Blend until smooth and add stevia or honey to desired level of sweetness. If needed, add a few ice cubes and blend to create a thicker consistency. Garnish with a dollop of Greek yogurt and lime slices.  Serves 1.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 Unexpected Ways to Enjoy Grapefruit

5 Unexpected Ways to Enjoy Grapefruit - TheFitFork.com

Grapefruit are known for their intense aroma and sharp flavor. It’s hard for me to believe that these jumbo-sized treasures of winter and early spring are not loved by all – because they are definitely one of my favorite seasonal fruits! It’s my guess that these people who say grapefruit are “bitter” or “messy” just don’t know the right tricks of picking out and dealing with grapefruit.

How To Segment Grapefruit - numbered- TheFitFork.comSo, let’s start with the picking — to select the most gloriously ripe grapefruit, the skin will range in color from yellow to rosy pink depending on the variety and all types will feel heavy for their perceived size.  Grapefruit do not further ripen after being plucked from the tree, so there’s no leaving a grapefruit on the counter to “get ready” – just dig in!  If you feel like grapefruits are messy or hard to extract the segments without breaking them up, check out the photo tutorial I put together on how easy it is peel and cut up grapefruit.

I’m also sharing below five of my favorite (and unexpected) ways to enjoy grapefruit that will hopefully convert everyone into fans of the nutritious and delicious fruit!

 

Creamy Grapefruit Green Tea Smoothie: Get your morning off to a great start with this creamy grapefruit smoothie – the green tea and protein powder will keep your motor running until lunch! Recipe at bottom of post.Creamy Grapefruit Green Tea Protein Smoothie - TheFitFork.com

Grapefruit Water: Another way to enjoy the pleasant “bite” of grapefruit flavor without actually taking a bite is to add a few slices to your water – the bonus is that it will encourage you drink more water and meet (or exceed) your daily hydration needs! You can also infuse with herbs as desired – I used mint! Grapefruit Mint Infused Water - TheFitFork.com

Broiled Grapefruit: End your meal with the zing of citrus, broiled grapefruit makes a light dessert option that won’t undo a clean eating diet. Sprinkle a little sugar on top (plus whatever herbs or spices you like) and caramelize under the broiler for about 3 – 4 minutes.This Salted Honey and Ginger Broiled Grapefruit is made by drizzling about 2 teaspoons honey on 1/2 grapefruit and then sprinkling with 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon dried mint — I always use the Instantly Fresh herbs from Litehouse Foods for convenience.Honey and Lemongrass Broiled Grapefruit - TheFitFork.com

Grapefruit, Avocado and Feta Salad: Another dish so easy-breezy that you don’t really even need a recipe. Simply segment grapefruit (use my directions here) and toss with diced avocado and crumbled feta cheese, herbs or jalapeno peppers if you dare! One of the perk of this dish is that the citric acid in the grapefruit helps to keep the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown – just make sure you “dress” the salad with any remaining juice squeezed from the skin; toss salad gently.

Grapefruit, Avocado, Feta Salad - TheFitFork.com

Pink Grapefruit SorbetPink Grapefruit Sorbet – Doesn’t this frozen confection from CookingLight.com look refreshing?! Use as fancy-schmancy palate cleanser between courses or scoop up in frosty bowls. You can even pack this recipe in to pop molds and freeze for pure citrus sunshine on a stick.

 

 

 

What is your favorite way to eat grapefruit?

 

Creamy Grapefruit Green Tea Protein Smoothie - TheFitFork.com
Creamy Grapefruit Green Tea Smoothie
Print Recipe
Get your morning off to a great start with this creamy grapefruit smoothie – the green tea and protein powder will keep your motor running until lunch! Recipe at bottom of post.
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Creamy Grapefruit Green Tea Protein Smoothie - TheFitFork.com
Creamy Grapefruit Green Tea Smoothie
Print Recipe
Get your morning off to a great start with this creamy grapefruit smoothie – the green tea and protein powder will keep your motor running until lunch! Recipe at bottom of post.
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: serving
Instructions
  1. Use serrated spoon to remove flesh from ½ of grapefruit, add to blender. Squeeze any remaining juice from grapefruit shell into blender. Add green tea, milk banana, and protein powder to blender; blend until smooth. Add ice, as needed, until desired consistency achieved. Garnish with hulled hemp seeds.
Recipe Notes


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Muscle-Making Mudslide Smoothie & Saturday #ShoutOuts

Oh yeah, it rained in Austin yesterday and goodness knows we can use it. For the last couple years, our beloved lake has been in jeopardy of drying completely up and blowing away. In honor of this precipitous precipitation, I’m sharing one of my favorite chocolate smoothies – a Muscle-Making Mudslide Smoothie. healthy protein mudslide smoothie Muscle-Making Mudslide Smoothie Recipe

  • 10 ounces of almond milk*
  • 1 scoop (1/3 cup) favorite protein powder*
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 4 ounces strong coffee, chilled
  • 1 large frozen banana, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cacao nibs
  • Ices, as needed
  • Chocolate syrup (optional)

Blend first 7 ingredients together until smooth. If desired, drizzle sides of glass with chocolate syrup before pouring in smoothie.  *An 11.5 ounce bottle of Chocolate Core Power may be substituted for the almond milk and protein powder.

I also have lots of favorite new products to share that have been sent to me complimentary for my opinion.  I tell it like it is, so don’t worry about getting some polished sales pitch. If you have any questions, please ask me in the comments.

procakes packageProCakes High Protein Pancake Mix:  I’m back in town and finally had a chance to whip up a batch of these yummy pancakes. The founder of ProCakes is a fellow FitFluential ambassador and came up with the idea for this protein pancake mix while training for her first fitness competition – she wanted to show people how easy and tasty it can be to eat in a way that does the body good. This product has lots of protein, no added sugar, no gluten — meaning no guilty conscience about enjoying a stack of these light and tender hotcakes in the morning. That is, no guilt unless you soak ‘em up in a sugar bomb of syrup – how about some fresh fruit and dollop of Greek yogurt instead?

ProCakes wit greek yogurt and blueberriesProCakes Protein Pancakes with Greek Yogurt & Blueberries Recipe

  • 1 packet (45g) ProCakes pancake mix
  • 1 large egg or egg white equivalent
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
  • 10 drops liquid vanilla Stevia
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries

Mix pancake mix, egg and milk together in bowl. Heat lightly oiled skillet to medium-low heat. Pour batter onto heated skilled into three pancakes. Cook until pancake bubbling on top, then flip over until golden brown. Mix yogurt and stevia together in small bowl. Top pancakes with dollop of sweetened yogurt and blueberries. Makes 1 serving (3 pancakes)

 

love grown granola

Love Grown Foods – I’m still on the breakfast bandwagon here and am a new-ish fan of Love Grown Foods, an awesome company that offers all sorts of nutritious products to start the day including Power O’s (great for kids), Oat Clusters (this granola-lover’s favorite), and Hot Oats which I haven’t tried yet. With no genetically modified ingredients, high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils, I feel confident feeding my family Love Grown Foods. I love how the Power O’s are made with a bean blend to add protein, fiber, and additional health benefits. Yes, that’s right BEANS FOR BREAKFAST. Although, you’d never know they were in there! How lucky am I that when I stopped in the gym yesterday, I bumped into one of my favorite bloggers, Ms. Cotter Crunch and the company founder, Maddy – they loaded me up with a big haul of LOOT and LOVE.

Lindsay from CotterCrunch.com and Maddy of Love Grown Foods

Lindsay from CotterCrunch.com and Maddy of Love Grown Foods

altra zero drop The Ones SquaredAltra’s The One2  I am totally digging my new running shoes from Altra Zero Drop – in fact, they may be my favorite yet. Lighter and less clunky that some of the past models, these streamlined babies weigh in at only 5.4 ounces yet have loads of wiggle room for toes (yay, no black nails) and some real, honest-to-goodness cushioning that you don’t get in a lot of other zero-drop shoes.  Goodness knows I love me a minimal shoe, but sometimes my feet have had enough impact– Altra calls the cushioning “light” and I call it great compromise for my road weary feet. The One2 running shoe is perfect for speed work and shorter road racing. I’d even be comfortable wearing them through a marathon, but I know many of you like a running shoe with more cushioning – Altra has those, too!

the fit fork altra running shoes

Altra’s The Ones Squared are light & speedy, plus lots of wiggle room for toes. #EmbraceTheSpace

body fat scaleSurpahs Body Fat Scale BFS-835 Okay, I have always avoided body fat scales because I felt like I didn’t need one more thing to obsess over. But, when Surpahs offered to send me one, my curiosity got the better of me – and now that I’m used to it, I think it’s a great way to check in every week or two for a benchmark. Some people say, “oh these body fat scales have a huge margin of error” – who knows, because I know I’m fit, I am not so concerned with my body fat being 100 percent correct – I am just looking for discernable changes in my weight and body fat from week to week.  Not only does this body fat scale measure body fat, water, muscle mass and bone mass, it can be pre-programmed for up to eight people making it convenient for large families or fitness / nutritional coaches. The scale is super sleek and looks great with my bathroom décor. Get a good deal at Amazon.com:

  • So, what products are you loving right now?
  • Have you ever used a body fat scale?
  • What are you eating for breakfast?
  • Have you ever tried Altra Zero-Drop running shoes?

Hula-la-la! Pineapple Smoothie & Sweet Hawaiian Beef Burgers

If you’re tired and stressed out, a good drink might put you in a better state of body and mind. One sip of this Pineapple Express Smoothie and you’ll be whisked away via taste buds to a tropical island resort — can’t you just see yourself relaxing in a hammock with nothing to do all day except listen to the sound of the waves roll across the beach?

pineapple banana tea smoothie

The recipe is simple, just blend 6 ounce chilled green tea and 4 ounces pineapple juice with 1/2 frozen banana and 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks. Add liquid Stevia drops and ice, as desired. The paper umbrella is mandatory!

So, if all that loafing around on your imaginary vacation has worked up your appetite, may I interest you in a burger? It is National Hamburger Month, after all! Sure, you could do a “burger” made with chicken, turkey, salmon or even beans – but nothing compares to the meaty satisfaction and siren song sizzle of a real beef burger.

Not that I don’t love all the lean proteins just mentioned (because I do), but when I’m ready to fire up the grill and haul out the buns, this girl wants her hamburger a cut above! Pick your jaw off the ground (you’ll need it for drooling over the recipe later), I’m here to share the news that a beef hamburger now, then and again is actually good for you – lean ground beef is an excellent source of protein, iron, b vitamins, zinc with only about 150 calories and less than 10g fat (depending on cut and cooking method) per 3-ounce serving. You could opt for super lean 95% ground beef for your burger, but I think that grind makes ‘em a bit dry. I often use an 80 – 85% ground chuck for burgers and ensure that I’m allowing the extra fat to melt and drain off.  Sources say that after the fat is cooked off, the beef actually becomes about 10 – 15% leaner (so now the 80% is at least 90% lean, make sense?) and the burger is much more tender.

Beef Buger on Jalapeno Bun

Now, I’m pretty famous in my family for taking my burger bunless, naked in all its God-given glory. Or, sometimes I’ll dress up my burger with everything BUT a bun– check out my recipe for Hot Mess Hatch Green Chile Burgers on Calabaza Squash “Buns.” That being said, I never turn down one of my Dad’s homemade Jalapeno Cheddar Buns or burgers served on a “sweet” bun – like the King’s Sweet Hawaiian Rolls used in the recipe for Mini Hawaiian Burgers from my friends at Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.

beef burger pineapple slidersWith summer on my mind and grilling season firing up, I knew this yummy, kid-friendly, island-inspired recipe for Sweet Hawaiian Mini Burgers would be perfect for a cooking demonstration I put on last night for a group of families and their elementary-aged children. This particular slider-sized burger was a huge hit, and I wasn’t at all surprised that all but one of my audience members embraced their burger with the lettuce, pineapple, sauce and all! Of course, I had just talked up “trying new things” and “eating an abundance of fruits and veggies”!

 

Sweet Hawaiian Mini Burgers Recipe

Patties:

  • 1 pound lean Ground Beef
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 canned pineapple slices, drained
  • 12 Hawaiian sweet or small whole wheat dinner rolls, split
  • Lettuce

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup pineapple preserves
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  1. Combine ground beef and Worcestershire sauce in medium bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into twelve 1/2-inch thick mini patties. Set aside.
  2. Combine sauce ingredients in small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
  3. Place patties on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 9 to 11 minutes) until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160°F, turning occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile brush pineapple slices with sauce and place on grid around patties. Grill pineapple 4 minutes, turning once and brushing with additional sauce. Remove pineapple, keep warm. Brush burgers with remaining sauce after turning.
  5. Cut each pineapple slice into thirds. Line bottom of each roll with lettuce, top with burger, then with pineapple piece. Close sandwiches. Serves 4. Nutrition Information here.
(Recipe and photo courtesy of The Beef Checkoff www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com)

Sweet Treats For Easter – Layered Smoothie and Lightened Strawberry Cake

 

litehouse jennifer fisher  strawberry cake overhead

You better hop to it if you are still looking for sweet treats to share with family and friends this Easter weekend. If the bunny that visits your house is anything like the one who hides eggs at mine, I’m pretty sure you’ll have enough chocolate goodies and jelly beans to last until the Fourth of July!  But if you are hosting an Easter brunch, luncheon or dinner, you probably need a delicious dessert that is showy enough for a Sunday celebration of this magnitude.

But don’t fret, I have an easy and “healthier” option that I whipped up for Lighthouse Foods — a Lightened Strawberry Bundt Cake and it is just perfect for the season! Several decadent ingredients found in traditional pound cake recipes have been swapped with sugar-free and reduced-fat products to keep this cake a little from exploding with excess. Plus, fresh strawberries for garnish are always a good thing! Check out the Living Lighthouse Blog for the full directions.

litehouse jennifer fisher cut strawberry cake lemonade

You may want to spend some extra time (especially if you have today off) enjoying the perks of great outdoors in spring – warmer weather, longer days and verdant vistas with beautiful wildflowers. Fuel up with long-lasting healthy energy with the Layered Spring Smoothie I created for CorePower.com. Sweet layers of fruits and vegetables blended with a Core Power High Protein Shake not only looks pretty, but will have you feeling pretty good too – it’s packed with 26 grams of quality protein!

easter-inspiredsmoothie

Layered Easter Smoothie Recipe

  • 1 bottle Vanilla Core Power (or milk of your choice)
  • 1 large banana, sliced and frozen
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh spinach (a handful)
  • ½ cup sliced frozen strawberries
  • Whipped cream and pastel sprinkles, if desired

Pour entire bottle of cold Core Power into blender. Add frozen banana slices and blend until smooth; blend in ice if mixture seems too thin. Divide banana mixture evenly into three parts, leaving one part in blender and pouring the other two parts into two small bowls or cups.

Add handful of spinach to portion remaining in blender and process until smooth. Pour this into bottom of tall glass. Over this “green” layer, pour the “yellow” portion that is just banana and Core Power.

Quickly rinse out blender and pour in the remaining bowl. Add strawberries and blend until smooth. Pour this “pink” layer on top. Garnish smoothie with whipped cream and pastel sprinkles, if desired.

strawberry banana spinach layered smoothei

 

layered easter smoothe 250

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: For “no bleed” stripes, freeze serving glass between each layer. For a more casual “dip-dyed” look (as in photo), this step is not necessary – the colors will seep together a bit by design!

 

 

 

 

If you are still looking for a sweet and stunning end to your meal, check out the gallery of Best Easter Desserts from CookingLight.com. The Black and White Angel Food Cake has definitely grabbed my attention!

easter desserts cooking light

Are you planning a special dessert for Easter? Let me know in the comments below!

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