Full Belly Sisters: May 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Finger Foods: Frittata Muffins #incredibleEGG

Last week, I mentioned that pediatrician Dr. Deena Blanchard had suggested that I blog about recipes for children at various ages and stages of development. I kicked off with a Berries & Cream Banana Ice Cream for babies who are eating purees—and for their parents who want to eat healthier. This week, I'm tackling finger foods.

This is finger food for babies and parents alike. As I've previously mentioned, I don't think it's necessary for parents to prepare separate meals for their children: if you can cook for everybody at once, your life will be a lot easier! That being said, babies sometimes have different needs; a few simple changes make these frittatas great for the whole family.

Eggs are a fantastic source of nutrition. They're packed with crucial protein, fat, iron, folate, choline, and vitamins A, D, E, and B12. They are easy to chew and have a mild flavor, making them especially appealing for babies. Eggs are also very affordable.

It is often recommended that babies only eat egg yolks until they reach 12 months of age, as the whites are more likely to cause an allergic reaction. For that reason, this recipe includes some Frittata Muffins made with only the yolks. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics now suggests that delaying the introduction of common allergenic foods may not be helpful, even if you have a history of allergies in your family. Sooo...talk to your pediatrician to decide what's best for you and your child.

This recipe can certainly be used simply using whole eggs, if you choose not to separate the yolks and whites. It's also a completely flexible recipe—use whatever veggies you have on hand, whatever leftovers you need to use up, whatever cheese you prefer. By making the individual-sized portions, each family member can also customize the fillings—vegetables, herbs, meats, cheese—in their "muffins."

yields 2 egg yolk frittatas and 6-7 whole egg frittatas
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup chopped, cooked broccoli
  • 1/3 cup minced orange pepper
  • 1/3 cup seeded, chopped tomato
  • 2 T chopped chives
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 + 2 T cream or whole milk
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease eight or nine cups in a 12-cup muffin tin.

Mix together the chopped vegetables and herbs. Spoon the mixture into the greased muffin cups, so that the veggies are evenly distributed and each cup is about halfway-filled. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the veggies in each cup. 

Take three of the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites; place the three yolks into a small bowl and the three whites into a medium bowl. Add the other three whole eggs into the medium bowl containing the whites.

Nothing like the bright yolks of pastured eggs!

Scramble the yolks with one tablespoon or milk or cream and pour over two of the muffins cups filled with veggies and cheese. Then scramble the whites and yolks in the other bowl with two tablespoons of milk/cream, and add some salt and pepper. Pour over the six or seven other muffin cups containing the vegetables and cheese. If you'd like, you can sprinkle some additional cheese over the tops of each filled cup.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the eggs are set. You'll see that the yolk-only frittatas are much denser and won't rise as high. 

The frittatas made with yolks are much lighter and puffier—almost like little souffles.

You can eat these right away, or keep in the fridge till you need them—just re-heat in the microwave and you're all set! These are also super portable, so  take them with you on the road, or pack 'em in a lunch box!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

3-Ingredient Berries & Cream Banana Ice Cream #Vitamix #cleaneating

I recently met with Dr. Deena Blanchard of Premier Pediatrics here in New York City—when I brought her my Berry Nutty Lactation Granola for an event—and we were brainstorming a bit. She suggested I do a blog series on recipes for kids at each age and stage of development, with the first one being a baby puree. 

But here's the thing: I never did purees with my son, I never made him special "baby food." We did Baby Led Weaning (BLW), so my son always fed himself finger foods; he just ate what we ate. Even when my sister and I were babies, my parents just fed us whatever they were eating—they had a small food mill and ran their meals through it. I think parents are busy enough without having to make two separate meals! So, when I was thinking of a puree, I decided to make one that could do double duty: this is for babies and for their parents!

This "ice cream" is great for babies because it is naturally sweet and has no refined sugars, preservatives, or any junk; provides everything from vitamin B6, C, and K to potassium to fiber; and introduces a food with new texture and temperature to babies who are primarily puree-fed. 

This dessert is great for parents because it has has no junk—hey, we should feed ourselves as well as we feed our babies!—and it is creamy and delicious, and totally satisfies an ice cream craving. For those of you looking to lose baby weight...indulge in this dessert instead of a pint of Haagen-Dazs. You're welcome.

For the record, I am not a big fan of bananas. But this somehow doesn't have a strong banana taste—that touch of cream cuts the banana flavor and makes this taste very much like true ice cream.

yield: about 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 1/2 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 3/4 cup mixed berries, preferably organic—I used strawberries and bluberries
  • 3 Tbls heavy cream (whole milk or coconut cream can be substituted)

Did I mention you don't need an ice cream maker? Just put all the ingredients in a Vitamix (or other high speed blender) or food processor. Process or blend until smooth. You might need to scrape down the sides a few times, to make sure that everything gets blended evenly. It will be the consistency of soft-serve ice cream at this point; you can certainly dig in right away. Or you can transfer to a freezer-safe container and let the ice cream firm up in the freezer.

There aren't any preservatives in this ice cream, so it will freeze solid. Just take it out of the freezer about 10 minutes before you want to serve it; it will soften a bit and be perfectly scoop-able!

This recipe serves about two adults and one baby. Enjoy as a dessert, a snack, or even breakfast! Yes, I'm suggesting ice cream for breakfast. Again: you're welcome.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza w Blue Cheese @SaucyMamaCafe

Saucy Mama is having a recipe contest—they invited twenty-five bloggers to participate and I am one of them. Fun! I've actually never entered a recipe competition, so I was super excited. I was doubly excited when I received a box of yummy sauces to experiment with in the kitchen. 

Ever since the success of my Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, I knew I wanted to play more with the combination of cauliflower and hot sauce. This was my opportunity! Then came my lightbulb moment: Buffalo Cauliflower on top of pizza. With blue cheese. And then some more cheese. And some blue cheese dressing. This was me at that moment of inspiration. 

And, let me tell you, it's even more delicious than I expected. Try it. Seriously.

Looks like Buffalo Chicken pizza, right?

serves 2 to 4 for main course or 6 to 8 for appetizer
  • 1 pizza dough (homemade—I used this one from The Kitchn—or store bought)
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, or about 5 cups of florets
  • 1 Tbls + 2 tsp ghee (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup Saucy Mama Honey Barbecue Wing Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Saucy Mama Hot Wing Sauce
  • about 3 Tbsp very thinly-sliced celery, plus additional for garnish
  • a few thin slices of red onion, halved 
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend but sharp cheddar would also work well)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese 
  • salt and pepper

Yogurt Blue Cheese Dip
(adapted from my Yogurt Gorgonzola Dip)
  • 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbls chopped scallions
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put pizza pan or baking sheet in oven to heat.

Remove any leaves from your cauliflower and trim the stem. Cut into small, olive-sized pieces. 

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of ghee (aka clarified butter); you could use oil instead, but I like the classic pairing of butter with hot sauce for wings, so I went with it. Add a pinch of salt and some freshly-ground pepper.

Add cauliflower and toss until the floret pieces are coated in the butter.  Let the cauliflower sit for a couple of minutes, so it can begin to brown; stir again, letting it sear a bit more. The whole process should take about five minutes—you want some nice caramelization and a nutty smell, but you still want the cauliflower to have some bite, since it will cook more on the pizza. Once the cauliflower is roasted, toss with the Hot Wing Sauce, so that all the cauliflower is well-coated.

Roll the pizza dough out on parchment paper, forming a very thin, large rectangle; brush with the two teaspoons of melted ghee. Prick the dough all over with a fork—this will prevent it from rising too much.

Drizzle the Honey Barbecue Sauce over the dough and spread evenly; if you want a much spicier pizza, use the Hot Wings sauce instead of the Barbecue on the dough. Sprinkle the celery around the pizza, then top with the cauliflower and sliced red onions.

Sprinkle the cheeses over the pizza.

Using the parchment paper, slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza pan. Bake 15 minutes, or until crisp. In the meantime, assemble your blue cheese dressing: in a bowl, combine yogurt, cheese, garlic, lemon juice and scallions. Add salt and pepper to taste, keeping in mind that the cheeses and sauces on the pizza already provide a bunch of salt!

Ooh, so spicy and cheesy and yummy.

You can drizzle some extra sauce over the pizza and sprinkle on some additional chopped celery. And serve that Yogurt Blue Cheese Dip on the side! Trust me, people.

Or, if you're like me and you like messy, gooey, comfort food...dollop some of that blue cheese dip right on top. And then CHOW DOWN.

Thanks, Saucy Mama!

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