Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Un-Deviled Eggs w Fresh Herbs

Easter is approaching and that means that many of us will be overloaded with hard-boiled eggs. The fact of the matter is: I'm okay with that. I usually have a bowl of them in my fridge, anyway. Hard-boiled eggs are a satisfying post-workout snack, or protein-rich breakfast, or delicious addition to salads and sandwiches. They're so versatile and tasty—and incredibly nutritious. You should all have them at the ready in your fridges, too!

Of course, I love deviled eggs. Don't most people? But I don't always want something as rich, caloric, or time-consuming as traditional deviled eggs. So, I often make what I call un-deviled eggs. Whether you're pregnant, breastfeeding, or working out a lot, these eggs are for you.

Just peel and halve your hard-boiled eggs.

Eggs, in various states of undress.

Swipe the flat top of the halves with a thin layer of mayonnaise, plain Greek yogurt, or crème fraîche (try my easy homemade version). 

Top with a generous sprinkling of sea salt (I used a seasoned salt that includes parsley) and freshly-ground pepper.

Dip the flat tops into a plate of chopped fresh herbs. I used chives and parsley for some, and chives and dill for the others. But any herbs you have on hand will work. Truly, eggs and herbs are a match made in heaven. You'll need about a tablespoon of chopped herbs per each two egg halves.

Chives and parsley, together again.

Easy, right? Nothing devilish about this high-protein, low-calorie, low-carb snack. We're adding very few calories to the egg because we are limiting the amount of mayonnaise; we are boosting the flavor and nutrition through the fresh herbs, which provide everything from vitamins C and K to calcium to folate. 

Plus, the herbs are just so pretty. After this rough winter—full of snow and ice storms and bitter cold—I am ready for a verdant season. These eggs remind me that spring is coming!

This post contains affiliate links, so I make a small commission if you purchase through these links—which helps to keep this blog running. Don't fret, I only recommend products I personally use and approve.

For instance, I adore my Egg Genie. Makes peeling my eggs exponentially easier!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Almond Joy Smoothie Bowl

One sweet perk of being a food blogger is that companies send you samples of their products. You get to taste them and experiment with them in recipes. Sometimes you get really lucky and discover a product you totally dig.

I recently got a box of samples from Kura and, to be honest, I didn't have high hopes. I'm just not usually a fan of protein powders; they're often full of junk or taste nasty or both. But I read the information about these GMO-free "smoothie starters" and I was intrigued: each serving has 14 grams of protein from grass-fed dairy, contains 26 vitamins and minerals, and four billion probiotics. And they have no added sugar. So, Kura passed the first test: not full of junk. 

I was pretty sure these smoothie starters couldn't possibly taste good. Wrong again: they're delicious! Not only is Kura tasty, there's no weird texture or grittiness. Seriously, I'm hooked. I think I've finally found a protein powder I can get down with! If you'd like to try a free sample of Kura, you'll get one (and so will a friend) through their "get a sample, give a sample" promotion.

I decided to feature Kura in a smoothie bowl. Have you heard about these things? Like a regular smoothie, the bowls are nutrition-packed; this Almond Joy smoothie bowl has loads of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and protein. But instead of chugging it, you eat this with a spoon; because of the texture and the chewing, smoothie bowls can feel more satisfying than a drink.

makes two servings
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/3 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 2 scoops chocolate Kura protein powder
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons almond butter*
  • toasted coconut, sliced almonds, and chocolate chips for topping
Place all ingredients except the toppings into a high-speed blender (I used my Vitamix) and puree. It should become the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Spoon into bowls and top with the coconut, almonds, and chocolate. 

If you eat it right away, it'll be frozen and creamy and will be like eating an ice cream sundae. If you let it sit for a while, it'll be more like pudding. Either way: it's like dessert for breakfast and it is DELICIOUS.

NOTE: you can use plain almond butter, but I used one of my favorite varieties:  Cocoa and Coconut Barney Butter. It's really good (and was not provided to me from the company, I just love it!)


If you're like me and love the combo of coconut, chocolate, and almonds, try these other Almond Joy-inspired recipes!

This post contains affiliate links, so I make a small commission if you purchase through these links—which helps to keep this blog running. Don't fret, I only recommend products I personally use and approve.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

11 Inspirational Orange Recipes

As readers of this blog know, I recently participated in my third Cycle for Survival, which raises funds for rare cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. My teammates and I rode in honor and in memory of many people—and wore those loved ones' names on our arms. 

That's me, on the left!

No one rides alone in the fight against cancer.

In addition, we raised over $41,000 for rare cancer research! I'm so proud of this contribution to the cause. We're still accepting tax-deductible donations till April 1, 2015, if you would like to help.

In honor of this event, I asked some food blogger friends to create recipes featuring orange ingredients—since orange is Cycle's official color.

My foodie buddies came back with an amazing array of #OrangeInspiration recipes, helping me to spread awareness of Cycle for Survival's important mission. Please check them all out!

Toast with Sweet Potatoes and Chimichurri from Life Currents

Candied Ginger Orange Salad from Sumptuous Spoonfuls

Sweet Potato and Brown Rice Salad from Sumptuous Spoonfuls

Mango Pineapple Salsa from The Fountain Avenue Kitchen

Roasted Dumpling & Baby Squash from Ally's Kitchen

Sweet Potato Rice Pudding from What's Cookin' Italian Cuisine

Easy Fruit Salad from An Affair from the Heart

Roasted Butternut Squash with Parmesan from Upside Down Pear 

Orange Blossom Cupcakes from Something About Cupcakes

And my contributions:

Peaches 'n' Creamsicle Smoothie

Broiled Oranges with Goat Cheese and Pistachios

Thanks to my donors and to my blogger friends for all of the support!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Simple Herbed Fried Eggs for St. Pat's Brunch

My friend Lana is a cocktail aficionado and she's just started a gorgeous blog about booze. She asked me if I'd like to create a meal for St. Patrick's Day and she'd develop a cocktail to pair with it—of course I said yes!

I decided to write up one of my favorite brunch recipes. This simple dish of fried eggs with fresh herbs is one of those meals that's somehow rustic and elegant at the same time; it is incredibly easy, verdant, and nutritious. It ain't corned beef and cabbage but—paired with this fabulous Pear and Mint Mojito—it is a celebration of green!

I love how this dish and accompanying drink highlight fresh herbs. The green is wonderful for St. Paddy's Day but the herbs aren't just a garnish, they're an integral part of the flavor and brightness of the meal.  

Herbs are also a wonderful way to pack extra nutrition into a meal, with minimal added calories. For example, a tablespoon of parsley is only one calorie but provides eight percent RDA of Vitamin C, six percent of Vitamin A, and 77% of Vitamin K. A tablespoon of chives is one calorie and provides three percent of vitamins A and C, as well as eight percent of Vitamin K. A lot of nutritional bang for your caloric buck!

You can use any fresh herbs you enjoy or happen to have growing on your windowsill. I used parsley, chives, and scallion greens—I pretty much always have these  on hand, as they're personal favorites. I also love basil or dill with this dish. Eggs are so versatile and work well with really any herbs.

I love eggs cooked in olive oil, so I used some EVOO that Pompeian was kind enough to send me. Jealous much?

  • olive oil
  • pat of butter or ghee
  • eggs
  • chopped fresh herbs
  • salt and pepper

I use a well-seasoned cast iron pan, but any heavy pan works great for egg frying. Over medium heat, warm the pan for a couple of minutes. Add a thin layer of olive oil and a pat of butter or ghee. Crack your eggs into the pan and lower the heat. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Cook until the eggs are set on the bottom. then cover the pan until the whites are set and the yolks are as you like them (cook less for soft and runny, cook a bit longer for more firm yolks). 

Turn off the heat and top with a generous amount of the fresh herbs. Let the heat of the eggs wilt the herbs. Serve right away.

I accidentally broke the yolk on this one. I'm including it to show you that food bloggers make mistakes in the kitchen, too. I'm not about pretending to do everything just right; I don't. I just threw some extra herbs on it and called it a day. By the way, it still tasted amazing. Perfectly imperfect.

Enjoy your St. Patrick's Day and celebrate the green on your plate. Sláinte!

Wondering if you can drink while you're breastfeeding? Check out our post on it!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

7 Simple Smoothies for Nat'l Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, this month's theme for 2015 is "Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle," which encourages everyone to focus on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices, and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and promote overall health.

Smoothies can be a great way for both adults and children to increase their consumption of fruits and veggies. The fact is, almost everyone needs to eat more to get the amount that's recommended, say the Centers for Disease Control.

Packed with nutrition—protein, fiber, antioxidants—smoothies are a great breakfast (or even dessert!).

I've been documenting some of my daily smoothies on Instagram (I just joined a few days ago, you should follow me!) and thought I'd share the recipes for them here. With each of these combinations, just put all the ingredients in a high-powered blender and puree until smooth and frothy.

Here are my Instagram pictures of the smoothies—those filters are just really fun, what can I say?

Mango Cucumber Green Smoothie
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 Persian cucumber
  • 2/3 cup yogurt
  • 3 or 4 leaves of Boston/Bibb lettuce 

 Blueberry Grape Smoothie
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup red grapes
  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds

Peach Apple Smoothie
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup frozen peach slices
  • 1/2 large apple (I used a Honeycrisp)
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt (plain, peach, or mango)
    2 Tablespoons hemp hearts
  • 1/2 cup ice


And here are some other smoothies I love; just click the links to see the full recipes:

Peaches 'n' Creamsicle

Chocolate Almond Butter Smoothie

Red, White & Blue Slushie

Watermelon, Cucumber, Lemon Slushie

This post contains affiliate links, so I make a small commission if you purchase through my links—which helps to keep this blog running. Don't fret, I only recommend products I personally use and approve.
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