Busy Day Fuel – Southwestern Tuna Quinoa Salad Two Ways!

5:15 am –  alarm clock, grab breakfast, run, shower, see three kids off to school, check emails, make work phone calls, start laundry, research and writing for client, leave for errands, hit the gym, eat lunch, grocery store, pick up kids from school, check mail, return emails, make more phone calls, go over kids homework, pick up clutter, make recipes, style photos, take blog photographs, chauffeur to sports practice and boy scouts, make dinner, pick up from band practice, finish laundry, pack next day’s lunches, go over family’s schedule, check emails, social media, talk to husband, play with dog, make a snack, sleep  – 11 pm (hopefully).  

alternative fish tacosOkay, so you can see I don’t usually have a lot of time for long, leisurely meals.  Normally, I am scarfing down breakfast, lunch and dinner quickly while standing up at the kitchen island or on the go. While my kids always get a nutritious, sit-down dinner before their nightly activities, my plate of food often gets pushed down the priority list while I wash the dishes, talk to them about their days and tackle the remainder of my  frenzied, gotta-get-out-the-door checklist.  Oh, if I had a dollar for every artistically-plated meal I’ve dumped into a Tupperware container to eat it in the car  . . . I’d have enough money to get the deluxe car detailing package that would remove crumbs from the nooks and crannies!

Maybe the whirlwind of life is why I love salads so much – by design, everything is meant to be jumbled up together – it’s not always pretty, but it’s productive!  Salads can be made ahead of time without worry of reheating and will wait patiently in the fridge until called into service. A big hearty salad with all the fixings is also the standard fare for my late-working, non-cooking husband.  To keep the love alive with my salads, I mix up the combination of dressings, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and extras like cheeses, nuts, grains and more – there a gazillion variations and I never get bored (this seems like an analogy for my life).

quinoa tuna saladAn easy and tasty protein that often tops my salads is tuna. I always keep a stockpile of  Bumble Bee® Tuna in the pantry and it has saved me from the “hangries” on many occasions with no-cook, no clean-up, super nutritious convenience.  I’m a fan of the single-serve, 2.5 ounce pouches of the Bumble Bee® Premium Albacore Tuna and Light Tuna because they don’t require a can opener or messy draining, making them oh-so workable in a lunch box.  But, if you’re used to the traditional cans, don’t worry, Bumble Bee® still makes those!

If you need a quick and easy dinner idea, check out my Fiesta Tuna Quinoa Salad Recipe  —  it can be served two ways! First way is to serve in a bowl as pictured above and get your protein fix with a spoon – did you know that 2.5 ounces of the Bumble Bee® Premium Albacore Tuna has 17 grams of protein and the quinoa adds even more to the mix! Red quinoa and tuna make a snappy pair and all the healthy veggies and southwestern citrus dressing will make you want to jump up, stomp your boots and shout “Ole!”  Don’t be scared that there are a lot of ingredients, it’s super easy to put together — chop, chop!

The second way to serve this healthy salad is to fill romaine lettuce leaves with this tasty tuna quinoa salad and eat them wrap-style. If you’re looking for more lunch box ideas, easy dinner recipes or other healthy meal inspiration, check out the Bumble Bee® collection of custom tuna recipessouthwestern fish lettuce tacos

Fiesta Tuna Quinoa Salad Recipe

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground chile pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup olive oil (divided)
  • 1 ½ cups red quinoa, rinsed
  •  15 ½ -oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup quartered grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon diced fresh jalapeno
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions (bulb and tops)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 large avocado, cubed
  • 2 (5-oz) pouches Bumble Bee Albacore Tuna or Light Tuna (or four 2.5-oz pouches)
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (depending on heat preference)
  • Extras (optional): lime wedges, cilantro sprigs and romaine lettuce leaves
  1. Combine 1 tsp. salt, the cumin, coriander, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  2. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat 1 Tbs. of the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the salt, cumin, chile powder and cinnamon; stir well and saute for 30 seconds to make flavors bloom.
  3. Add quinoa to spices, stir again for about 30 seconds. Add 2 cups water and bring mixture to a boil; reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook until the quinoa for about 20 to 22 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  4. Remove pot from heat and place clean dish cloth between lit and pot; let sit for about 4 to 5 minutes. This will help absorb remaining moisture and keep quinoa from getting sticky. Let quinoa cool to room temperature.
  5. While quinoa is cooling, combine the black beans, tomatoes, corn, peppers, jalapeno, green onions, and chopped cilantro in medium bowl. Add citrus juices, remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, honey and Sriracha sauce. Stir until coated. Mix in cooled quinoa, tuna and avocado; stir gently until combined.
  6. To serve, place in bowls or lettuce leaves and garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs and lime wedges. Note: this dish is excellent made the day before as flavors have more time to mingle together.
  7. Serves 4.

Do you have any favorite tuna recipes?  Please share a description or link in the comments!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Creamy Jalapeno Beef Fajita Omelet for Father’s Day Breakfast

beef team superhero run

Me with my dad — he’s always there to support and cheer me on at a race!

Father’s Day is almost here and I’m plan to let my pops know he’s tops with a hearty, healthy breakfast. Although the gesture can’t compare with the endless years of love and support,  I’ve received from my father, it does speak to one of our favorite shared hobbies – eating Mexican food!

Father's Day Beef Omelet

I like to keep my recipes as heart-healthy as possible —  we have a family history issue going on. My recipe for Creamy Jalapeno Beef Fajita Omelet is pumped up with protein from lean beef, eggs and black beans and lower in fat – no cheese was needed thanks to a flavorful assortment of nourishing veggies. I know what you’re thinking though – beef for breakfast?! Actually, lean beef is a much healthier option than bacon, pork sausage and many other breakfast meats. For example, 2 ounces of beef skirt steak has about 124 calories and 6.5 grams of fat compared to 306 calories and 23.5 grams of fat for an equal portion of bacon!  I made this recipe on behalf of Litehouse Foods, and used their delicious Creamy Ranch Dressing – just a little dab will do you on this Father’s Day breakfast or brunch recipe.

Creamy Jalapeno Beef Fajita Omelet Recipe

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup canned black beans that are rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 4 grape tomatoes halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 red bell pepper seeded and cut into ¼” thick rings
  • 1/4 small sweet onion cut into ¼” thick slices and rings separated
  • ½ fresh jalapeno pepper cut into ¼” rings
  • 2 ounces precooked and seasoned beef fajita strips
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg whites (or ½ cup of egg whites from carton)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh red onion
  • 1/4 cup Litehouse Food Jalapeno Ranch dressing

1. Spray medium skillet with cooking spray and add black beans, corn, grape tomatoes, red bell pepper, sweet onion, jalapeno pepper, and beef fajita strips. Sauté over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until ingredients are heated through and vegetables have soft-crisp texture. Remove from heat for use later.

2. Combine salt, egg whites and egg in medium bowl, breaking yolk and combining with a whisk.

3. Coat omelet-sized nonstick skillet with cooking spray and bring to medium heat. Pour egg mixture into skilled let egg mixture set slightly.

4. Tilt pan and carefully lift edges of omelet with a spatula, permitting uncooked egg to flow underneath. Sprinkle cilantro and red onion on top.

5. Cook approximately 3 minutes; carefully flip omelet and cook for another minute. Spoon vegetable, beef and bean mixture onto one side of omelet, reserving a red pepper ring and jalapeno for garnish. Carefully loosen omelet with a spatula; fold in half over filling. Slide omelet onto a plate with reserved veggies.

If you’re feeding a crowd (or a really hungry father) my Healthy Beef & Egg ‘Barn Raiser’ Bake will fuel up dad for whatever adventures the morning brings.

healthy egg and beef casserole

 

By the way, if you are in Austin, come to one of my “Live Well, Grill Well” classes that will be held at Whole Foods on June 22 & June 28. I will be teaching everyone, including Alex, Booker & Sara from MIX 94.7, how to make their summer meals sizzle . . . not fizzle!

live well grill well

 

What do you plan to do with your dad on Father’s day? Does he have a favorite breakfast?

Beef Pumpkin Tostada with Chipotle Crema Recipe {#LivingWell}

LogoMobileI recently got back from a fun experience in Chicago with the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner people. A group of us food bloggers with an affinity for healthy living (and eating meat) were invited to learn more about the role lean beef plays in #LivingWell.  Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis know that I am not shy when it comes to singing the praises of beef.  I often work with beef in cooking demonstrations and it’s a mainstay on many of the menus I prepare for my husband and three teen boys. Plus, I’m on the Texas Beef Team and fueled by the 29 cuts of this lean protein source. It’s high in protein and a super-efficient source of nutrients like iron, zinc, selenium and B vitamins that are important for athletic performance and recovery.

Enjoying the company of fit-minded foodies and a delicious beef dinner.

Enjoying the company of fit-minded foodies and a delicious beef dinner.

I have more to say about this awesome #LivingWell event next week when my team puts the finishing touches on writing out our fabulously creative beef recipe we came up with during an Iron Chef-like competition. But, the whole experience reminded me just how easy it is to make a quick, healthy and creative meal with any leftover beef that may be sitting in the fridge. For dinner tonight, I whipped up these seasonally scrumptious Beef Pumpkin Tostadas with Chipotle Crema.  For the beef, I used the remnants of lean, center-cut brisket from a meal earlier in the week – but other beef leftovers could easily be substituted – try shredded roast, ground beef or thinly sliced top sirloin steak.

Jennifer Fisher - thefitfork.com -Beef Pumpkin Tostadas

Beef Pumpkin Tostadas with Chipotle Crema Recipe

  • 8 whole grain tortillas
  •  1/2 cup pumpkin puree from can (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 4 oz pepper jack, shredded
  • 3/4 lb. leftover beef of choice
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (chipotle flavor, if available)
  • 2 Tbsp. roasted, salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • Garnish: spring mix

Create hard tostada shells out of the tortillas by microwaving them in groups of three for one minute at a time, flipping after each minute and repeating until crunchy.

In blender or food processor, blend together pumpkin, black beans and salsa. Spread equal portion of pumpkin mixture on tortilla. Set on rimmed baking sheet.

Sprinkle with approximately ½ ounce of cheese and top with approximately 1.5 ounces of beef.

Broil on high until cheese is bubbling. Remove from oven and set aside.

Mix together sour cream with chipotle powder and Tabasco.

Sprinkle with spring mix lettuce and roasted pepitas. Drizzle with chipotle crema.  Serve warm

Makes 8 tostadas, about 4 servings.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - beef pumpkin tostadas

 

More to come on the Chicago trip, but I did take my signature “run the city” one-hour speed tour — here I am at the famous big silver bean!

2013_10 jennifer thefitfork chicago bean

And, other good news for the week — got hooked up with some new Karhu shoes and found my lucky lady bug earrings.

2013_10 karhu jennifer

 

 

Hot Mess Hatch Green Chile Burgers with Calabaza Squash “Buns” Recipe

jennifer fisher thefitfork hatch green chile burger squash bun

I mentioned it in a recent post, but it’s worth repeating – Hurray, it’s Hatch green chile season! This precious pepper, which hails from the magical soils of New Mexico, has a cult-like following of foodie fans devoted to adding the pepper’s distinctive flavor to nearly every dish imaginable. If you didn’t see it earlier, check out my unique recipe for Hatch Green Chile and Chicken Cheesecake, a savory entrée for brunch or a light summer dinner. Here is an FYI fact for you, the word “Hatch” only refers to the small town that these peppers are grown in, not the actual variety. Hatch peppers range from mild to hot depending on what type you buy. For example, the Sandia chile is fairly mild while the Big Jim packs more heat.

jennifer fisher squash hatch burger

I whipped up this healthy bun-less burger recipe for the love of Hatch (and to enter into a healthy burger recipe contest). I’m calling it Hot Mess Hatch Green Chile Burgers with Calabaza Squash “Buns.” By the way, if you’re not familiar with Calabaza squash, it’s a wider-girthed gourd that tastes pretty much like zucchini. You could use zucchini, but the “buns” won’t really be big enough to contain the patty. Hope you enjoy this “hot mess” covered in Hatch green chile sauce; you’re going to have to eat it with a fork and knife!

Hot Mess Hatch Green Chile Burgers with Calabaza Squash “Buns” Recipe*

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  • 1 (1lb) calbaza squash, sliced into 8 discs
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 lb 90% ground beef
  • ¼ cup roasted hatch green chilies, seeded, skinned and diced
  • 1/4 cup prepared pico de gallo (drained of any liquid)
  • 2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (or omit if Paleo)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Garnish: 4 grape tomatoes

jennifer fisher thefitfork hatch green chile sauce

Hatch Green Chile Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup roasted hatch green chiles, peeled seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (substitute Coconut Flour if Paleo)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup water

Lay squash rounds out on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, add hatch green chiles, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, cumin and salt. Knead this mixture together until incorporated. Divide mixture into 4 sections and shape each into a patty with a small indention in the center (this helps them from balling up on the grill).

Heat gas or charcoal grill to approximate 400 F degrees. Grill squash and burgers, flipping burgers once until desired level of doneness achieved. Squash is done when it has softened (but not soggy) and has turned lightly golden with grate marks.

Meanwhile, make Hatch green chile sauce. In sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft. While this is cooking, stir together the flour and the spices. Sprinkle this mixture over the onions and stir to coat.

Add water to the mixture in the pan and stir to make sure the flour has dissolved. Add green chiles, mixing well. Remove ½ ingredients and process in food processer until lumpy-smooth. Add back to remaining ingredients in saucepan.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer for 15 minutes.

To serve, place one burger patty between two squash rounds. Skewer with a grape tomato to keep burger and buns in place. Use the green chile sauce to drizzle over burgers or to create a “bed” of sauce for burgers to sit it.

Serves 4 (or 2 hungry people)

* Get a more print-friendly version in the “recipe” link under the header

All Hail to the Hatch | Hatch Green Chile & Chicken Cheesecake with Avocado Drizzle Recipe

Holy hot peppers, the mother of all Hatch green chile festivals is about to hit town right here in the ATX (that’s Austin for you non-locals). Delivered straight from the fertile farms of New Mexico to greedy grocery shoppers like myself, Hatch season is a much anticipated event that only comes around once a year. The best way to prepare the peppers is by fire-roasting; it lends a yummy smoky flavor. Central Market and some other stores take care of this step for you, roasting them in a huge tumbler and then packaging them up read to go. While it’s not as convenient, it’s definitely well worth the time and trouble to roast them on the grill at home.  This precious pepper is a versatile addition to nearly every food imaginable, from classic quesadillas and rellenos to unexpected sweet dishes like ice creams and quick breads – seriously!

hatch-poster-3

How would I know such a thing? Well, I’ve seen all sorts of eye-popping, taste bud-blasting Hatch creations as I battled it off time and time again at the Central Market Hatch Green Chile Festival Cook-Off. In the last four years, I’ve taken 3rd place, 2nd place and 1st place – and then last year my recipe made the finals but I had to bow out due to the Hood to Coast Relay with Nuun Hydration.  Right now, my creative juices are flowing, trying to figure out just exactly how I’m going to use the signature punch of Hatch peppers in my next recipe creation. Good thing I still have a good portion of a past prize, about 75 pounds of fire-roasted peppers, processed and packaged up in the freezer.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - hatch cheesecakeI’m sharing one of my past winning recipes and hopefully the rest of the recipes if time permits this month. Hatch Green Chile & Chicken Cheesecake with Avocado Drizzle isn’t exactly the most low-calorie recipe in town, but I did make some low-fat substitutions to bring it down a notch. Also, if you’re in a time crunch, I’ve found a great fresh product by Litehouse Foods (Avocado Dip) that can be substituted for the Avocado Drizzle portion of the recipe.

jennifer fisher hatch green chile cheesecake thefitfork

Hatch Green Chile & Chicken Cheesecake with Avocado Drizzle

For Cheesecake:

  • 1 1/3 cup crushed Central Market Hatch Green Chile tortilla chips (or plain)
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons minced green onions
  • 1 ½ cup finely shredded cooked chicken (white meat)
  • ½ pound fire-roasted Hatch green peppers, skinned, seeded and chopped*
  • 1 ½ cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 8 ounces light sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • Garnish: hatch green chile tortilla chips

Avocado Drizzle:

  •  2 large Hass avocados (approx 8 ounce each), seeded, peeled and diced ½”
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup fire-roasted Hatch green peppers, skinned, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of jalapeño pepper; seeded and diced (more to taste if you like hot-hot)
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In medium bowl, combine the tortilla chips and melted butter. Press mixture onto the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside

In large work bowl of electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. By hand, stir in the chili powder, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, salt and minced green onions.

Pour half of the cream cheese mixture into the prepared pan. Layer with chicken, Hatch peppers and pepper jack cheese.  Pour remaining cream cheese mixture on top.

Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes; then reduce the heat to 300 F and bake for an additional 1 hour or until set in the center. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

Combine the sour cream and seasoned salt and spread evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours.

While chilling prepare sauce by adding avocado, chicken broth, roasted hatch peppers, jalapeño, garlic and lime juice until pureed. Add salt and pepper to taste. If coulis seems too thick, blend in a tiny bit of water a time until desired consistency.

To serve, remove sides of springform pan; slice into 8 servings. Place each slice on a serving plate and pour a share of the hatch-avocado coulis on top. Garnish each slice with a tortilla chip wedge artfully sticking out of the top.

*If you can’t get your hands on fresh peppers, you can substitute the canned variety. The recipe will still be great, but it just won’t have the same unexplainable effect of a true Hatch pepper.

Summer Loving | Green Chile & Pork Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - green chile pork stuffed zucchiniBlogging about healthy food has its perks; pretty tasty perks. I’m talking about the opportunity to eat at an endless buffet only limited by my imagination. But it also has a downside; really just little nuisances like cleaning up a mountain of dirty pots and pans and getting critiqued by my kids who can’t fathom wanting to substitute sugar or certain fats in a recipe for something more nutritious. But, today my blogging bothers were multiplied 100x due thanks to my basically skipping a decent lunch.

Although I had pre-prepared most of the night’s meal in the morning before I tackled a day filled with gym-going (training for my Under Armour #WhatsBeautiful Campaign Goal), errands and (gasp) other writing work, I could scarcely contain myself until it was my turn to eat. So, while everyone else was digging into this delicious recipe for Green Chile & Pork Stuffed Zucchini, I was out in the backyard beating the sunset so I could take all the requisite food shots. At one point, I really thought about ditching this post so I could just go ahead and eat.

Glad I didn’t though; the recipe turned out fantastic and offers a practical way to take advantage of a zucchini squash surplus this time of year. I’m also thinking it would be damn good with Calabacita squash, zucchini’s south-of-the-border cousin.  If you are craving enchiladas and want to go a little healthier, this recipe ditches the tortillas and most of the cheese.  It’s hard to believe, but one medium-sized squash only has 33 calories. I think you’d probably go into a calorie deficit just eating and digesting it. All you like-minded vitamin and mineral nerds will be glad to know that zucchini is also a great source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6 and magnesium.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - stuffed zucchini final

Green Chile & Pork Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

  • 4 to 5 zucchini squash (about 1.25 lbs)
  • 1 cup chopped fire roasted green chiles – peeled,seeded and divided in half*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ pound shredded pork roast, pre-cooked
  • 1 15-ounce can green chile enchilada sauce
  • 4 ounces Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
  • 16 grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - scoop out zucchni

Chop stem end off of each zucchini, discard. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and pulp with a grapefruit knife; reserve for use later.

Bring large pot of water to a boil. Par-boil zucchini for 2 minutes or slightly tender. Drain and place, scooped side up, in a 13” x 9” glass baking dish.

Add olive oil to skillet; bring heat up to medium-high. Add cumin and garlic and sauté for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add chopped red onion and sauté for 2 minutes, add reserved zucchini pulp, and ½ cup of green chilies and continue to sauté for 2 -3 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Stir shredded pork into vegetable mixture. Top zucchinis with even portion of mixture, leftover may be place around the sides of dish.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - blend sauce chiles

Add enchilada sauce and remaining ½ cup green chilies to blender; pulse on and off a few times to coarsely break up green chills. Pour over top of stuffed zucchinis. Top with shredded cheese and rows of grape tomatoes to indicate where each stuffed zucchini is buried.

Serves 4 – 5.

2011 HAtch green chili tv segment crop

*By the way, I broke into my stash of fire-roasted Hatch green chiles for the making of this recipe! I have 75 pounds in the freezer, seriously! The recipe is best with fresh, fire-roasted (Hatch season is still a couple months away) — but substituting an 8-ounce can of green chiles will do in a pinch!

“Jar” Going to Love Lunch! Ancho-Chile Chopped Chicken Salad Recipe

Genius, pure genius in a jar! I’ve been seeing these healthy-eating, eco-friendly salads splashed across the pages of my favorite food magazines, so it was only a matter of time before I had to create my own version – Ancho-Chile Chopped Chicken Salad in a Jar. The concept is simple, layer ingredients in a 2 cup capacity glass canning jar from the bottom up, starting with the most “sturdy” ingredients that won’t turn limp spitting in a bit of salad dressing and finishing with the most delicate items up top.

Perfect for lunch on the go; and that’s whether you’re stuck behind a desk or lucky enough to be picnicking after a run. While you do your thing in the morning, the salad waits patiently in the fridge or a lunch cooler. The various flavors are deliciously mingling, waiting for that final “shake up” of salad dressing just before you are ready to dig in. Eat this salad right out of the jar or spoon over a plate of baby greens if you’re feeling fancy. Not only will you be saving money by not eating out, you’ll be saving the world from the number of wasteful throwaway containers that end up in landfills.  After you’re done, just take your jar home, wash it out and start over again!

Ancho-Chile Chopped Chicken Salad in a Jar Recipe

  •  2 ounces fresh lime juice (about 1 large lime)
  • 1 ounce olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed
  • ½ cup shredded chicken
  • 1/3 cup corn kernels, roasted
  • 1/3 cup quartered grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon shredded fresh cilantro

In a small lidded bottle (or with a bowl and whisk), make the dressing by adding the lime juice, olive oil, ancho chili powder, cumin and honey. Put lid on bottle and shake vigorously for about 1 minute to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.

In 16-ounce canning jar, add the black beans. Pour 2 tablespoons of dressing over the beans. Next layer the remaining ingredients (leave about ½ to 1-inch of headroom at the top of jar. Reserve additional dressing for use on another day. Put lid on jar and refrigerate salad until ready to eat, even overnight. To serve, gently shake jar until ingredients are coated with dressing and somewhat “mixed” up.  Eat straight from jar or any other way you see fit!

Serves 1

Nutrition Information