Apple Freekah Salad with Ancho Honey Vinaigrette

This post is sponsored by Now Foods. However, all content, opinions and enthusiasm are my own.

It’s easy to excited about September and the promise of all things autumn – the crisper weather, the golden cast the sun makes, the rah-rah of sports teams, and, of course, comforting food in all the fall flavors . . . especially apple!   Apple Freekah Salad with Ancho Honey Vinaigrette

My Apple Freekah Salad with Ancho Honey Vinaigrette makes a hearty yet still healthy choice for lunch or dinner, packed with filling whole grains, pumpkin seeds, golden raisins and spinach. It’s also a great choice for football tailgating, as it can be served warm or cold. Read on to get the full recipe and learn more about the benefits of apples, freekeh and pumpkin seeds.

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Hatch Chile Breakfast Egg Bake – Meal Prep Friendly

If I could pick the perfect pepper, it would be a Hatch green chile. In season for just a short time in late summer, these long, fleshy peppers are amazingly delicious grown in the soils of Hatch, NM along the Rio Grande. Because I’m a bona find Hatch-horder (one time having over 75 pounds of fire-roasted peppers in my freezer), I have yet another delicious recipe to share – Hatch Chile Breakfast Bake!Hatch Chile Breakfast Bake

It’s real family pleaser and can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Heck, crumble up the leftovers in a tortilla, douse in hot sauce and avocado and get to town! Read on to get the recipe and all the details, better hurry before Hatch season ends.

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Smoky Peach Chipolte Vinaigrette, Dressing & Marinade

The back roads of Central Texas have been alive with the sights and smells of local farm stands selling their most anticipated summer-season specialty – Hill Country Peaches. They are so sweet and delicious straight from the bushel, sometimes it’s hard not to greedily gobble them all up before arriving home.  Grilled Peach Chipolte Vinaigrette Dressing & Marinade

This year I used restraint (by putting them in the car trunk), and we arrived home from Stonewall, Texas with plenty of this popular stone fruit to make peach cobbler, slow-cooker peach sauce, and ice cream – the July rite of passage. I even had a few extra to make an awesome salad featuring this grill fruit and the recipe I’m sharing today – Smoky Peach Chipolte Vinaigrette & Marinade. Read on the get more juicy details and the instructions. Continue reading

Carnitas & Street Corn Stuffed Zucchini with Ole Frijoles Pinto Bean Sauce

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Farmer Direct Co-op, however all opinions, content and enthusiasm are my own.

Spiralizing zucchini is trend that will never grow old, but every now and then I like to turn the tide and unleash deliciously stuffed zucchini boats for dinner. I’m not talking about the old-school stuffed squash my mama used to make with our backyard garden bumper crop, it might have been a bit mushy, bland, and hard to swallow (sorry mom). Instead, my recipe for Carnitas & Street Corn Stuffed Zucchini Boats with “Ole Frijoles” Pinto Bean Sauce is totally crave-worthy and turns supper-time with spicy south-of-the-border fiesta. Carnitas & Sreet Corn Stuff Zucchini With Bean Sauce

With pre-shredded pork roast and pinto beans cooked overnight, this family favorite recipe can be made in just 30 minutes – making it perfect for a busy weeknight meal. It can also be prepped the night before and popped in the oven 20 minutes before dinner. I’ve used pinto beans from Farmer Direct Co-op and, at the end of this post, you can grab the zucchini recipe and also enter to win a giveaway prize pack that includes an assortment of their top-selling organic, non-GMO and fair-trade products packaged in 1lb. bags.

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Tex-Mex Egg Drop Soup | 15-minute Meal

I’ve got so much Texas in me, it’s overflowing into my soup! Seriously though, last week, the hubby and me were feeling a little under the weather but well enough to eat a bit of something (I mean, puh-lease).  I tried my hand at an egg drop soup for the first time and it was fantastically easy and tasty – considering I added some of the flavors we love right here in the Lone Star and topped it with chopped avocado! This Tex-Mex Egg Drop Soup is the cure for WHATEVER ails you — even if it’s just hunger! Tex Mex Egg Drop Soup

I think you’ll love the new zesty attitude of a traditionally mild-mannered soup.  You can spice it up or down with your preferred amount of chipotle chile powder.  It’s the new thing in Texas comfort food (because I say so)! Continue reading

Copy Cat Freebird’s Ancho Salad Dressing Recipe

Grilling 101 - Texas Beef Council & The Fit ForkThis past weekend, I teamed up with the Texas Beef Council to teach a Grilling 101 class – and it was the perfect day for outdoor cooking with members of the Beef Team. Weather was in the mid-80s and it seems nearly every Austinite was down at our venue, Zilker Park, my hometown’s favorite urban spot for relaxing and recreating!  Texas Beef Council - Grilling 101

beef team grill

After learning some grill basics on how to operate gas and charcoal grills and prep beef before it hits the grates, participants put their skills to practical use firing up flat iron steaks to perfection – they were delicious!  A+ to everyone, especially genius, fast-learning student who cooked my steak to a magnificent medium-rare while I was off making the final salad preparations!

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I’ll get back to the beef another day (oh, you know I will), but today wanted to share the dressing I made I made to accompany our steak lunch. Since I’m a huge fan of the Freedom Salad (with beef) at Freebird’s World Burrito that is drizzled with the yummiest ancho dressing ever, I knew I needed to replicate it for our post-class meal. Check out my recipe for Freebird’s Copy-Cat Ancho Dressing :

Freebirds Copy Cat Ancho Salad Dressing

Ancho Salad Dressing Hope you enjoy the Freebird’s Copy-Cat Ancho Dressing as much as I do!

This southwestern-inspired vinaigrette is delicious on everything from salads to corn-on-the-cob and other veggies — or use as a marinade for meats and seafood.

 

Copy Cat Freebirds Ancho Salad Dressing

Did you know that Anchos are smoked poblano chile peppers?!  What would you drizzle this dressing on? What is your favorite steak cut? Do you prefer chacoal or gas grilling? Please share in the comments below – xoxo, Jennifer Fisher

 

Copy Cat Freebirds Ancho Salad Dressing
Print Recipe
This vinaigrette is not too spicy and a tiny, tiny bit sweet -- it's perfect for salads, side dishes and marinades.
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 4 hours
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 4 hours
Copy Cat Freebirds Ancho Salad Dressing
Print Recipe
This vinaigrette is not too spicy and a tiny, tiny bit sweet -- it's perfect for salads, side dishes and marinades.
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 4 hours
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 4 hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add dried ancho chiles to bowl of water, weight down with a plate so they don’t float to the top. Soak 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain water off rehydrated ancho chiles. Discard stems and cut open to remove seeds. Chop.
  3. Add chopped chiles, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, honey, salt, pepper and chile powder to blender.
  4. Pulse blender on and off, blending ingredients until smooth and combined – about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Pour in 16-ounce Mason jar or salad dressing cruet and refrigerate until serving time.
  6. Makes 12 – 14 ounces.
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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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Crunchy Baked Ancho Honey Salmon a Spartan Beast Feast!

So, I ran the Spartan Beast Dallas this past Saturday. It was muddy – really, really muddy thanks to record Texas flooding.  This is only the second obstacle course I’ve raced and the first as an elite —  I knew to expect the unexpected, but damn – it was a crazy from just trying to get into the parking lot . . . . . . . and then trying to get out, let alone the course.

Stuck in mud at Spartan Beast Dallas

The race was delayed while they rerouted the trail due to raging rivers. I got hungry. Then I got muddy – really, really muddy. I was hoping to dominate the running, but the ankle-deep mud made lifting each footstep up out of the muck difficult for me . . .and everyone. On this course, I think my favorite obstacles were the barbed wire crawl (the mud made for good slithering) and the monkey bars (because swinging around like a chimpanzee is just plain fun). Spartan Beast Dallas Barbed Wire Crawl

Spartan Beast Dallas Sand Bag Carry The bucket carry and sand bag carry were both hard obstacles given the incline of the hills and the slippery footing. I made a ton of mistakes but am excited to run another and see improvements in my strategy – and I’m happy to report that I came in as the 14th Elite and 2nd  Master Elite at the Spartan Beast Dallas  . . . and I’m not too badly banged up. The worst of it was a thigh rope burn and a goose egg on my head where I slid right into a tree limb!

 

Get 10% off a Reebok Spartan Race! Use Code: FINISH10. Sign Up Today!

Crunchy Baked Ancho Honey SalmonSo, enough about running and hurdling over stuff – onto the food! This easy dinner recipe for Crunchy Baked Ancho Honey Salmon is deliciously flavorful and surprisingly satiating even served atop a salad thanks to protein and heart-healthy fats. I love southwestern and spicy-sweet flavors and this fish recipe was inspired by a savory-sweet Ancho Honey Granola I made a few months ago – I originally served the granola on top of an heirloom tomato salad, but the leftovers are perfect for making a crunch topping. If you want to make the whole batch of granola (keep it in the freezer for long-lasting yumminess and recipe inspiration), check out the recipe post – otherwise, I have pared down the ingredients for just enough to make a topping for 4 salmon fillets.

So, how do you make your salmon? Saute, bake, special seasonings or sauces? And, have you ever run an obstacle course race — love it or leave it?  Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

 

Crunchy Baked Ancho Honey Salmon
Crunchy Baked Ancho Honey Salmon
Print Recipe
The slightly-spicy, slighlty-sweet crunchy topping on top of succulent salmon is such a contrast in textures -- and a real treat! Clever enough for company, but easy for busy weeknight dinners.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 5 minutes
Crunchy Baked Ancho Honey Salmon
Crunchy Baked Ancho Honey Salmon
Print Recipe
The slightly-spicy, slighlty-sweet crunchy topping on top of succulent salmon is such a contrast in textures -- and a real treat! Clever enough for company, but easy for busy weeknight dinners.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
for topping
  1. Add coconut oil to large skillet and bring to medium-high heat.
  2. Add pepita seeds, slivered almonds and chili powder to skillet and stir for 1 – 2 minutes or until beginning to toast. Add 1 ½ teaspoons of the honey and stir to combine.
  3. Mix oats, chia seeds, dried cilantro and sea salt to skillet, stirring well to coat with honey mixture. Continue to stir over medium heat for approximately 5 – 6 minutes longer, taking care that honey doesn’t start to burn.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes on paper towels.
for fish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
  2. Place salmon filets, skin side down, on foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle tops of salmon filets with evenly with remaining honey; lightly rub in with fingers.
  3. Top each filet evenly with oat mixture, patting down with fingers. Bake in pre-heated oven for 12 to 14 minutes, or until salmon cooked through and flaking.
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