BBQ Beef Bean & Sweet ‘Tater Taquitos #TexMexAndFlex

BBQ Beef, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Taquitos are baked and filled with wholesome ingredients. We are up to our chin guards in football season, so I’ve kicked up my family-friendly, meal-prepping madness into overtime. With just a little “overtime” work on Sunday, I can prepare a couple batches of my BBQ Beef, Black Bean and Sweet ‘Tater Taquitos and have enough for a couple quick-fix, weeknight dinners and leftovers for snacking on the big game day. By the way and sorry for the questionable rhyming (haha), I originally developed these onfleek-o taquitos for BeefLovingTexans.com, so check it out!

BBQ Beef, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Taquitos make a quick and easy dinner solution. Baked, not fried, and filled with wholesome ingredients to fuel an active lifestyle. Meal prep a couple batches for the freezer for busy weeknight meals or football game day snacks.

While my teenage boys and their always-hungry friends are munching what they assume to be merely crispy, crunchy, cheesy, beefy taquitos (rolled small tacos by any other name!), I snicker in silent satisfaction knowing I’ve snuck in some wholesome nutrition to fuel their busy, active bodies. Lean beef for muscle-making protein and iron, beans for even more protein plus fiber, and sweet potato in a whole grain tortillas for a double-whammy of healthy complex carbs for long-lasting giddy-up-and-go.  As Guy Fieri would say in his own punderful way, “You can’t beato these taquitos!”

These tasty taquitos can be devoured right out of the oven, or freeze a batch and then just toss in the oven (or toaster oven!) on those endless days that have gone into double overtime. This is an easy way to pass the proverbial ball over to the kids and let them do some quarterbacking in the kitchen.

mojo-citrus-guacamole-1Just add a simple side salad and your favorite Texas-style condiments like guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo and barbeque sauce.My Mojo Citrus Guacamole makes a tasty team up!

 

 

 

 

 

bbq-beef-black-bean-and-sweet-tater-taquitos-preppingOne the taquito innards are made, assemble by adding a spoonful in the middle of a whole grain tortilla, rolling up and baking (no frying here and they are still super crunchy). While corn tortillas are traditional for taquitos, I’ve found that the corn-flour “mix” tortillas are more pliable and less prone to crack. If needed, insert a toothpick to keep tortillas secure, but don’t forget to remove before serving!

beef-black-bean-sweet-tater-taquito-holding-singleEnjoy!

Favorite football team? Any football players on the family roster this year? Favorite thing to roll in a tortilla? Please share in commets! XOXO , Jennifer 

 

BBQ Beef, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Taquitos are baked and filled with wholesome ingredients.
BBQ Beef, Black Bean & Sweet 'Tater Taquitos
Print Recipe
Roll up healthy dinner plans pronto with fit and fresh BBQ Beef, Bean &Sweet Potato Taquitos - a quick dinner or snack solution. Double batch for freezer!
Servings Prep Time
6 - 8 servings (20 taquitos total) 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 - 8 servings (20 taquitos total) 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
BBQ Beef, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Taquitos are baked and filled with wholesome ingredients.
BBQ Beef, Black Bean & Sweet 'Tater Taquitos
Print Recipe
Roll up healthy dinner plans pronto with fit and fresh BBQ Beef, Bean &Sweet Potato Taquitos - a quick dinner or snack solution. Double batch for freezer!
Servings Prep Time
6 - 8 servings (20 taquitos total) 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 - 8 servings (20 taquitos total) 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In large skillet, brown ground beef over medium-high heeat, add minced garlic in last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain fat and excess water. Mix in packet of taco seasoning and chili powder and 2 tablespoons of water (do not add amount of water taco season packet calls for). Stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer cooked beef mixture to large bowl.
  3. Add olive oil to same skillet (okay if beef residue stays in there). Bring to medium-high heat and saute diced sweet potatoes for 4 to 5 minutes or until softened and browning. Add sweet potatoes to bowl with beef mixture.
  4. Add rinsed and drained beans to beef bow. Make sure beans have drained well to prevent soggy taquitos. Let entire mixture cool down for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Gently stir in BBQ sauces and 1 ½ cups of cheese.
  6. Working one at a time, transfer tortilla to a work surface; place scant 1/3 cup beef mixture into center of tortilla. Bring the bottom edge of the tortilla tightly over the filling, rolling from bottom to top until the top of the tortilla is reached. Secure with toothpick. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
  7. Place taquitos onto rimmed sheet sprayed with baking spray. Spray tops of taquitos with baking spray and bake until crisp and cheese has melted, about 12-15 minutes.
  8. To reheat from frozen, heat oven to 375 F degrees and place taquitos on rimmed sheet sprayed with baking spray. Lightly cover tops of taquitos with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and spray tops of taquitos with baking spray, increase heat to 400 and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until crisp, cheese has melted and tops are brown.
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25 Tasty Ways to Top a Sweet Potato – Quick Ideas!

Wondering “what to do” when it’s meal time and a sweet potato plus a few minutes is all ‘ya got?  Get your finger off the panic button; I sharing 25 ways to top your ‘tater in 10 minutes or less that will squash your hunger in a wholesome, healthy way.

25 Fast and Flavorful Ways to Top a Sweet Potato - easy meal solutions for busy weeknight dinners.

The good news is that a sweet potato is a very nutritious base for your meal, packed with complex carbohydrates for sustaining energy and a mega dose of vitamin A , more than 400% RDA for a medium spud. Sweet potatoes are also an abundant source of other vitamins and minerals like potassium and dietary fiber. Tired of traditional orange sweet potatoes? Add a punch of unexpected color to dinner with a purple sweet potato! According to the USDA, these vibrant veggies have up to 4x the antioxidant powers of a regular white spud.

purple sweet potatoThe downside is that traditional “baking” or “roasting” a purple or orange sweet potato can take up to an hour. But again, don’t fret!  Use the microwave to fix up your sweet potato in a flash. Wash and dry your sweet potato and rub the outside with a dab of oil olive and season with salt. Use the tines of a fork or small paring knife to jab little holes all around to allow air to escape during the cooking process (and prevent a ‘tater explosion)!  Microwave cooking time varies widely depending on the size on the potato and power of your machine. I suggest starting with 4 minutes, setting your microwave to high. Turn the tuber halfway through and if still firm, continue to cook in 1 minute increments until soft and yielding.

All topping suggestions below start with a microwave “baked” sweet potato and are for one serving, but feel free to double, triple, quadruple or otherwise multiply for a crowd.

Plain Jane:  Fluff pulp of sweet potato, drizzle with 1 tablespoon quality olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Sloppy Joe:  Add ¼ pound cooked ground beef to ¼ cup tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon onion powder and dash of chili powder. Heat until warm and add to sweet potato.

French Onion: Sauté ½ sliced sweet onion in teaspoon of olive oil  6 to 8 minutes until caramelized, add splash of beef broth and stir until heated.  Add to sweet potato and top with shredded Gruyere cheese.

Honey Mustart & Scallion Sweet PotatoesHoney Mustard Sweet Potatoes: Whisk together 2 teaspoons each of Dijon mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar and drizzle on baked sweet potato. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

BBQ Brisket & Beans:  Chop up a couple slices of leftover beef brisket and ½ cup cooked pinto beans.  Stir in 3 tablespoons of barbeque sauce. Heat mixture in microwave, pile on potato and top with pickles and sliced onions.

Chicken Verde Enchilada:  Add ½ cup shredded rotisserie chicken to 2-ounces drained diced green chiles (from can), ½ cup green enchilada sauce and ½ teaspoon ground cumin.  Heat mixture in microwave, spoon over sweet potato, and top with light sour cream.

Greens, Eggs & Ham: Add one teaspoon olive oil to skillet and sauté 1 cup fresh spinach and 2 ounces chopped cooked ham until wilted and warm. Transfer mixture to baked sweet potato. Add egg to skillet and poach or “fry” in baking spray sunny side up. Add egg on top of ham and greens mixture, season to taste.

Tuna Nicoise: Top baked sweet potato with 3 ounces canned albacore tuna, chopped olives, green beans, tomatoes and hard-boiled egg slices. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.  

Sweet Bunny: Sauté ½ cup shredded carrots and ½ cup shredded parsnips with 1 tablespoon butter, teaspoon brown sugar and splash of orange juice.  Top with Greek yogurt and pea shoots.

Beef Chuck Wagon: Mix together 3 ounces shredded cooked beef (like chuck roast), ¼ cup thawed frozen corn, ¼ cup cooked beans, ¼ cup salsa and reheat in microwave until hot. Add to potato and top with cheddar cheese and jalapeno slices.

Cowboy Beef Brisket, Bean and Corn "Slop" on Sweet Potato makes a quick and healthy meal solution!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unique Greek:  Stir together ¼ cup cottage cheese with ¼ cup plain Greek Yogurt, adding a dash of garlic salt and splash of lemon juice to taste. Top with a salad of sliced cucumber, red onions, chopped tomatoes and sliced black olives.

Turkey Meatball Marinara: Heat 3 to 4 prepared turkey meatballs as directed on package, place on baked sweet potato.  Douse with heated marinara sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Hella Cauliflower Hummus: Add 1 cup of cauliflower florets to baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 400 F degrees for 10 minutes. Add generous dollop of hummus to baked sweet potato and top with roasted cauliflower.

Pesto Zoodles & Chickpeas: Spiralize a small zucchini (or julienne chop) and microwave with ½ cup cooked chick peas in microwave until heated, about 2 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons prepared pesto and top on potato.

Garden Guacamole:  Mash together ½ avocado and ¼ cup thawed frozen peas, season with garlic salt and splash of lemon juice. Stir in 1 tablespoon chopped red onion.  Dollop on baked potato and top with chopped tomatoes.

Peanut Thai Shrimp:  Thaw 3 ounces pre-cooked, deviend shrimp. Quickly sauté in 1 teaspoon olive oil along with ½ cup shredded carrots and 2 tablespoons chopped red onion until just heated. Stir in 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 tablespoon peanut butter and Sriracha sauce to taste. Add mixture to potato and top with additional peanuts if desired.

24-Hour Diner Breakfast: Top baked sweet potato with one scrambled egg, 2 slices of bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Broccoli Cheese Please:  Add 1 cup steamed broccoli over baked sweet potato and top with ½ cup “light” broccoli cheese soup from deli or jar. Add shredded cheddar and chopped green onions to garnish.

Mojo Black Bean Mango:  Make relish of 1/3  cup chopped mango, 2 tablespoons chopped red onion, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno and juice of ½ lime. Add ½ cup cooked black beans to sweet potato and top with relish.

Blue Cheese Buffalo Chicken: Mix 3 ounces chopped rotisserie chicken with 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce. Add to top of baked sweet potato and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes until cheese melting. Serve with celery sticks.

Feta Orange Crush:  Scoop out pulp of baked sweet potato, mix with 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice and 1 teaspoon orange zest.  Top with 2 tablespoons Feta cheese crumbles and 2 ounces of mandarin orange segments, broil for 1 minute until cheese bubbling.  Top with chopped mint.

Maple Salmon Pecan: Top baked sweet potato with 4 ounces cooked salmon chunks, 2 tablespoons pecan pieces and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Enchilada Sauce Y Mas: Top sweet potato with grated pepper jack cheese and shredded pork. Pour generous amount of warm enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with pico de gallo.

Coconut Curry: Stir together 1/3 cup Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon coconut “butter,” 1 teaspoon honey and ¼ teaspoon each curry powder, cumin, turmeric and red pepper flakes. Top sweet potato with 1 cup of favorite steamed veggies and pour on sauce.

What is your favorite way to top a sweet potato?  Which of these ideas do you like most?! Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Powerful Purple Foods & Sweet Potato String Fries Recipe

Powerful good, those purple foods! No, no, not chemically-colorfied candies and goodies, but natural, wholesome fruits and vegetables from Mother Nature’s edible rainbow. If you’ve been passing up purple foods in the produce section, judging them too weird or trendy, it’s time to circle back! Load your basked from the prolific selection of purple foods available today including healthy-diet darlings like purple sweet potatoes (one of my favorite), purple cauliflower, purple carrots and long-time favorites such as purple grapes, eggplant, plums, berries and more.

Purple Food and Why You Should Eat It -- all the healhty benefits!

Fittingly it’s a “P” word that makes purple foods so healthful – polyphenols!  Purple fruits and vegetables are filled with polyphenols, important plant-based micronutrients which researchers say may help prevent degenerative diseases (like certain cancers) and protect your heart and overall cardiovascular health. One of the most abundant polyphenols in purple foods is a sub-classification named anthocyanins. Also found in foods like cocoa, nuts, olive oil and tea, anthocyanins are health-promoting, natural chemical compounds that aid in cell protection and healing.  Nutritionists recommend include purple fruits and vegetables into your diet at least 4 to 5 days a week alongside dark green, orange and yellow foods for maximum benefits.

Purple Asparagus from Friedas.comI love the Purple Asparagus from Friedas.com, it’s noticeably sweeter than it’s green siblings.Developed in Italy, the the large spears are purple-burgundy toned with a a creamy white interior.

 

Purple Sweet PotatoAnother one of my favorite foods with the good-for-you purple hue is a purple sweet potato. This dark tuber is royally delicious and once reserved only for the feasts of Incan kings in Peru. These days, purple potatoes reign supreme in the supermarket and, according to the USDA, can have in excess four times the antioxidant power of traditional white potatoes. Plus, potatoes of any color are such a great source of nutrition for athletes including complex carbohydrates to provide energy for workouts and potassium, iron, and other nutrients to help keep a hard-working body in balance. Eat them just like you would any other potato!

I also like to spiralize a purple sweet potato (or finely slice) my purple sweet potatoes and make healthy string fries. The easy recipe is featured below along with a few other links in my recipe collection that are popping with the power of PURPLE! Enjoy!

Purple Power Sweet Potato Strings make a healthy side dish to dinner or crowd-pleasing appetizer

Here are two other recipes to try!

Purple Cow Protein Smoothie

Tuscan Grilled Eggplant

What is your favorite purple food? What are you doing this weekend, any races or events?! Please share in the comments below — xoxo, Jennifer

 

Purple Sweet Potato Fries
Print Recipe
Purple sweet potato fries make a healthy side dish to your entree or a crowd-pleasing appetizer. Baked and not fried!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Purple Sweet Potato Fries
Print Recipe
Purple sweet potato fries make a healthy side dish to your entree or a crowd-pleasing appetizer. Baked and not fried!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
  2. Wash and dry purple sweet potato. Use spiralizer or mandoline to create string-sized pieces -- or, alternately, julienne very finely. Place on large rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Toss sweet potato strings with olive oil, bake at 400 F degrees for about 15 minutes, using a spatula to toss around halfway through baking.
  4. Crumble blue cheese on top while sweet potatoes are still warm.
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Lucky Day Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways!

 Kale Pesto Oven Fries an be spiralized or cut into wedges for a quick and easy potato side dish. This Irish inspired recipe is fun for St. Patrick's Day.To celebrate the plucky and persevering Irish culture, I’m sharing a “green” potato recipe I recently created for my friends at Litehouse foods – Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways with Blue Cheese Sauce. You can just thank me later, you lucky leprechauns!   Kale Pesto Oven Fries an be spiralized or cut into wedges for a quick and easy potato side dish. This Irish inspired recipe is fun for St. Patrick's Day.

The inspiration for this super easy recipe is “colcannon,” a traditional Irish dish made from creamy mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. Potatoes and Irish culture or forever linked, as we all learned in history class – at one point leading up to the mid-17th century Great Potato Famin, it was said that the average Irish laborer ate 10 pounds of potatoes a day and for three-fifths of the population it was the primary fuel of life.

Okay, eating such a potato-centric diet causes dietary imbalances, but potatoes ARE a smart choice as a side dish to protein and other fruits and vegetables in your healthy diet. Tubers are packed with wholesome nutrients including complex carbohydrates for quality energy and vitamins and minerals, especially iron, magnesium, vitamin B-6 and vitamin C.Kale Pesto Oven Fries an be spiralized or cut into wedges for a quick and easy potato side dish. This Irish inspired recipe is fun for St. Patrick's Day.

It’s no blarney, you are guaranteed to love my Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways with Blue Cheese Sauce  — just remember not to call them French fries, Irish fries is more fitting! The kale pesto is a snap to make in the food processor, and can easily be done while the potatoes are baking in the oven. Make  another batch or use leftovers on pasta, fish, chicken, pizza and more. BTW, the pesto is nut-free so everyone can enjoy!Spiral Cut Potatoes

As for prepping the potatoes – you can use a spiralizer, a mandolin, finely julienne by hand or cut into fatter wedges, it’s the cook’s choice! I’ve used tried-and-true Russet potatoes in this dish, you could use whatever variety potato you like – on super busy days, I’ve also even hacked the recipe with frozen shoestring potatoes.

Kale Pesto Oven Fries an be spiralized or cut into wedges for a quick and easy potato side dish. This Irish inspired recipe is fun for St. Patrick's Day.

To add a blast of bold to the Irish recipe, I serve Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways with the Big Blue Ultra Premium from Litehouse Foods. This incredibly creamy and rich dressing is made with extra chunks of handcrafted Artisan Blue Cheese for maximum flavor—a bowl filled for dunking is like a pot of gold at the end of a cheese-lover’s rainbow.

jennifer and dean jamaica honeymoonOh and speaking of history, did I mention my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last night! Where does the time go? And I wonder how many potatoes we’ve eaten through the years – haha! I also think you’ll get a laugh out of this honeymoon picture and the 1991-style bangs! By the way, check out these blogs I’m linking up with today Happy Fit Mama, The Fit Foodie Mama, Hello to Fit, Fairy Burger, Chocolate Runner Girl , Jill Conyers,

 

What are you doing to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? What you you slather kale pesto on? Spiral or wedges? Please share in the comment below, I’d love to know! XOXO– Jennifer

This post was sponsored by Litehouse Foods. 

Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways
Print Recipe
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day or any dinner with this quick and easy Irish inspired recipe made with kale pesto, potatoes and blue cheese dressing. A delicious side dish!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 mintues
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 mintues
Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways
Print Recipe
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day or any dinner with this quick and easy Irish inspired recipe made with kale pesto, potatoes and blue cheese dressing. A delicious side dish!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 mintues
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 mintues
Ingredients
For Potatoes
For Kale Pesto
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Scrub, dry and leave peel on potatoes. Use spiralizer, mandolin or sharp knife to cut potatoes into ⅛" to 1/4” thick pieces. If preferred, cut potato into 1/3” wedges. Place the strips (or wedges) in large bowl and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper, tossing to coat well.
  3. Bake thin fries for 35 to 40 minutes, using tongs to toss halfway through cooking time. Wedge fries may need to cook for 5 to 10 additional minutes.
  4. Thin fries are done when at least half are crispy and golden brown. Thicker wedge fries will be turning golden brown on the sides.
  5. While fries are baking, add kale, olive oil, salt, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and almonds to food processor and pulse until very finely chopped and ingredients incorporated.
  6. Remove fries from oven and toss with pesto while still hot. Serve with blue cheese dressing drizzled on top or served to the side as a dip.
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BBQ Brisket and Bean Skillet Nachos – Yee Haw, Y’all!

Barbeque Brisket Skillet Nachos will satisfy a crowd!Today is National Tortilla Chip Day! My appetite just couldn’t wait for National Nacho Day to roll around on November 6th before sharing my recipe for hot, hearty and “yippee-yee-haw” yummy Cowboy BBQ Brisket & Bean Skillet Nachos.  Thousands have actually devoured this recipe, I developed it on behalf of Litehouse Foods to feed thousands of hungry expo carousers at the Produce Marketing Association’s “Fresh Summit” in Atlanta back in October. The line to get my grub was huge!

Cowboy Brisket Nachos with Tortilla Chips

Most “skillet” nachos I’ve tasted have been limp, lame and ready to be put out to pasture, the result of wet and dry ingredients loitering too long. However, this isn’t my first nacho rodeo and I revealed a nacho hack I’d been hiding – to keep the saddle off the horse until it’s time to ride! What I mean by this is to cook up toppings in cast-iron cookware and then slop atop tortilla chips right before serving, the result passes muster with this Sheriff of Sogginess.  Just imagine a platter with crisp, crunchy chips on the bottom and a hella ooey, gooey heaven on top! Don’t just imagine, try it!

Ingredients for BBQ Beef Brisket Skillet NAchosGrab you some barbeque brisket, roasted corn, pinto beans and seasonings – you’ll be wrangled those ingredients up stove top in a skillet at then smothering with a heaping helping of cheddar cheese and jalapenos. I love using the center cut portion of brisket for this recipe because it is actually considered a lean cut of beef (that surprises a lot of folks) and just tastes so down home delicious. When ready to feed your hungry hombres, pile chips on a plate, cover with a generous pile of brisket and bean topping, and dollop with sour cream, guacamole, salsa or whatever scoots your boot!

Cowboy BBQ Brisket Nachos

Cowboy Beef Brisket, Bean and Corn "Slop"  on Sweet Potato makes a quick and healthy meal solution!These skillet nachos are perfect for a party, patio snack or last-minute meal solution with leftovers Any remaining topping from my Cowboy BBQ Brisket & Bean Skillet Nacho can be served over baked potatoes, wrapped taco style in tortillas or scrambled with eggs. And, feel free to swap out the chopped up brisket for equal proportions of lightly seasoned ground beef or shredded chuck roast — you can’t go wrong!

Skinny Garden Guacamole makes a light and nourishing lunch served on whole grain toast.If this inspired by Texas recipe isn’t your style, how about some English pea and asparagus packed Skinny Garden Guacamole?

So, how are your dipping, dunking or topping your tortilla chips today? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

 

Barbeque Brisket Skillet Nachos will satisfy a crowd!
BBQ Brisket and Bean Skillet Nachos
Print Recipe
Believe in the legend of leftovers! My BBQ Brisket & Bean nachos are a right easy way to feed a hungry crowd and use up extra beef from last night's dinner!
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Barbeque Brisket Skillet Nachos will satisfy a crowd!
BBQ Brisket and Bean Skillet Nachos
Print Recipe
Believe in the legend of leftovers! My BBQ Brisket & Bean nachos are a right easy way to feed a hungry crowd and use up extra beef from last night's dinner!
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add olive oil to 12-inch cast iron skillet and bring to medium high heat. Add onion, garlic and thawed corn and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until kernels start lightly browning.
  2. Coarsely chop brisket add to hot skillet along with beans, tomatoes and barbeque sauce. Stir until combined and heated through.
  3. Top mixture with cheddar cheese and jalapeno rings. Place lid on skillet and simmer a few minutes until cheese melts.
  4. To serve, pile tortilla chips on a plate (individual or family-style), spoon on brisket and bean topping, sprinkle with cilantro and add additional garnishes of your choice.
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10 Reasons to Give Thanks for Sweet Potatoes and 9 Recipes

10 Reasons to be Thankful for Sweet PotatoesPerhaps the official vegetable of the holiday season, sweet potatoes are a delicious addition to a healthy diet any day of the year.   It’s easy to eat well with sweet potatoes — they are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients that are naturally designed to help your body attain peak performance.  If you don’t like sweet potatoes, keep an open mind (and mouth) and look beyond your grandmother’s icky-sticky, marshmallow sweet potato casserole — there are so many delicious ways to enhance the taste of this sweet, mildly earthy tuber. In a list I originally compiled for Core Power, here are my top 10 reasons to be thankful for the humble sweet potato — my favorite reason may be #5 – a healthy source of complex carbohydrates. Unless logistically impossible, I always include sweet potato with my night-before-a-big-race meal. Also, don’t forget to read down to discover my collection of Family Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes:

  1. Inexpensive Eats: The cheap price tag on sweet potatoes (less than $1/lb.) chops the “it costs too much to eat healthy” argument to the core.
  2. Year-Round Availability: While peak season for sweet potatoes is in the fall, this produce department staple is easy to load-up on year round thanks to a long shelf life and global economy.
  3. Stockpile Friendly: Don’t rush out and buy a lifetime supply, but do fill your cart when you see a sale — sweet potatoes stay good in the pantry for a season or two. Freshness can be maintained for up to six months when stored in a pantry, cabinet, unheated garage or other dark, cool space ideally in the 50 F degree range.
  4. Versatile Veggie: Sweet potatoes are awesome baked and eaten plain or can be cooked with much for creativity. Try them mashed, grilled in planks, oven-roasted in wedges, or add chunks to salads, stews and sandwich wraps. Sweet potato puree also adds lots of interest to smoothies, soups and baked goods. See my round-up of personal sweet potato recipes below!
  5. Healthy Complex Carbohydrates: Natural sugars in sweet potatoes are the “good” kind of carbs that are slowly released into the blood stream, providing sustained and balanced energy to fuel your body and brain. No blood sugar spikes and subsequent sugar crashes with this tasty tuber!
  6. Amazing Antioxidants: Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are a super source of beta-carotene (from vitamin A) that can help protect eyes and damage from the sun, among other things. Purple-fleshed sweet potatoes feature powerful anthocyanins which have important antioxidant anti-inflammatory properties.
  7. Vitamin Rich: Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins, high in vitamin A, vitamin B5, B6, thiamin, niacin and riboflavin. In fact, this veggie offers 100 percent of the daily value for Vitamin A, a powerhouse shown to be beneficial for anti-aging, eyesight and cancer prevention.
  8. Quercetin Factor: Quercetin, a dietary flavonoid, is abundant in sweet potatoes. Studies have shown that quercetin can help lower LDL cholesterol, reduce inflammation and serves as a natural antihistamine to fight seasonal allergies. Additionally, studies on athletes have shown that this phytochemical bolsters health during the 3 to 72 hour window of impaired immunity following heavy training and also may help increase endurance.
  9. Potassium: Potassium is a mineral that helps your body balance fluids and minerals, maintain a health blood pressure, and keep your neuro-muscular system function normally. A medium, baked sweet potato offers about 450 mg of potassium (about12 percent of your daily value) — even more than the famous banana!
  10. Iron: Grown under the soil, sweet potatoes are a great source for iron, a mineral needed for oxygen delivery throughout the blood system. A surprising number of athletes are low in this important mineral (foot strike can actually be a contributor to deficiency) and an iron boost can help restore energy, resistance to stress and optimal immune functioning.

Family Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes for Thanksgiving, Holidays and everyday weeknight dinners.

Cinnamon Chicken Cashew Sweet PotatoI also love this no-recipe “recipe” from the CookingLight.com blog, Simmer & Boil — Cinnamon Chicken and Cashews on Baked Sweet Potato. Just toss a half-teaspoon or of ground cinnamon with warmed shredded chicken, pile on top of a baked and fluffed sweet potato, sprinkle with cashews and dig in!  What an quick and easy solution for busy weeknight dinners during the holiday season!

 

What is the one Thanksgiving dish you can’t live without? Do you have any big plans for the holiday?  Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

 

Fall Veggie Chick’n Curry in a Hurry! #OMGardein

We are getting a cold front this weekend – the temps will only be reaching 89 F degrees with lows dipping into the 60s! That’s hardly sweater season, but I’ll take – especially after enduring a summer of running in an inferno. I can also tell that fall is on its way, the days are getting shorter and there’s that beautiful amber glint in the sky starting mid-afternoons. This gets me in the mood for a warm and nourishing plate of goodness (using Gardein products), something other than the no-cook entrée salads I’ve been eating for months.

Fall Veggie Curry with Gardein Chick'n Strips

Fresh fall produce, like sweet potatoes and cauliflower, come together beautifully in my Fall Vegetable Chick’n Curry. It’s a pot of soul-satisfying, exotically spiced food that will fuel any active lifestyle – just enough healthy carbs for quick energy and plenty of plant-based protein for muscle management thanks to Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n Strips. Whole grains, legumes and well-seasoned veggies round out the easy meal to add fiber and other essential nutrients, not to mention add tons of flavor and texture.

Ingredients for Fall Veggie curry

If you’re not familiar with the Gardein (garden + protein, get it?!) you need to be! It’s no secret I’m a meat-eater — I’m a grilling instructor, certified BBQ judge and elite running team member sponsored by BEEF. That being said, I’m all for variety in a healthy diet (I eat it all) and the products from Gardein are versatile, convenient and tasty way to get adequate protein when I’m preparing a vegetarian or Meatless Monday meal – which I eat at least once a week.

Fall Veggie Curry with Gardein Chick'n

Gardein makes over 20 plant-based protein products including these favorites — Gardein BBQ porkless pocket meal, Gardein The Ultimate Beefless Ground, Gardein Golden Fishless Filets, Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders and Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n Strips (used in my recipe today). Found in the frozen foods  aisle of your market,  Gardein products cook from frozen making them an ideal meal starter for those crazy, busy nights when you can’t get something going all the way from scratch or are too worn out to figure out if your vegetarian or vegan meal is packing enough protein. Gardein’s award winning products are made from non-GMO soy and wheat, ancient grains and veggies and offer a similar taste and texture to traditional meat with a bit fewer calories, cholesterol and fat.

Fall Veggie Chick’n Curry Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 package Teryaki Chick’n Strips from Gardein
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/3″ cubes
  • 1/2 yellow onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup halved Brussels sprouts
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Serve with prepared rice.
  1. Heat oil 1 tablespoon of oil and cook Chick’n Strips according to package instructions, but don’t add sauce packet yet.  Remove cooked strips from skillet.
  2. Add remaining olive oil to same skilled and brown sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onions and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add broth, sauce packet (that came with  Chick’n Strips), chickpeas, tomatoes and spices to skillet and let simmer for approximately 10 minutes, until everything warmed and juices reduced a bit.
  4. Add cooked Chick’n back to mixture, stir. Serve over warm rice and sprinkle with cashews and cilantro.
  5. Serves 4.

For additional information, easy dinner solutions, and chef inspired recipes, visit Gardien – you can also get a $1 off coupon until October 9th, 2015.

If you’re NOT a vegan or vegetarian, how many times a week do you go meatless? What is your favorite dish? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer 

Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Mash + More Healthy Recipes

Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Mash - TheFitFork.com

Call me a clairvoyant, but I know you’re making sweet potatoes sometime in the next week. Everyone eats sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving Day, it’s the law. Even though my Kale & Caramelized Onion Sweet Potato  recipe was a huge hit at home, I really don’t like to make the same recipe for dinner twice in the same month!  So, tonight, I decided to cauliflower-ify my favorite tuber – and yum, yum, yum! Gosh, now what am I going to come up with for Thanksgiving dinner?

 Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Mash Recipe

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 pound cauliflower florets
  • 3 tablespoons milk of choice
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish (or Instantly Fresh Parsley)
  1. Peel and cut sweet potato into 1 ½ -inch chunks.
  2. In large pot with steam basked, steam sweet potato and cauliflower with 1 inch of water in bottom of pot. Vegetables will be ready in about 10 – 12 minutes, or when fork tender.
  3. Place in large bowl and mash the potato and cauliflower with the milk. Stir in the Greek yogurt, garlic powder, salt and pepper. If too thick, add milk 1 tablespoons at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
  4. Serves  4 – 6

Bowl of Mashed Sweet PotatoesHere’s the Kale & Caramalized Onion Sweet Potatoes I was mentioning.

jennifer fisher thefitfork sweet potato ruffle

Last year, I made this recipe for Sweet Potato Skillet Stack with Srirracha Orange Glaze – delish!

 

Of course, you know Cooking Light knows how to do up a sweet potato right, check out this gallery for additional inspiration.

Cooking Light Sweet Potato Recipes

So, how do you like to eat sweet potatoes best?