Full Belly Sisters: March 2015

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.



Ingredients
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?



Ingredients
  • 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.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Peaches 'n' Creamsicle Smoothie #OrangeInspiration


Hey, guys, I've got another yummy post for our #OrangeInspiration challenge! As you know, this challenge brings together a few of my blogger friends to create recipes featuring orange foods, in honor of Cycle for Survival's official color. It's our way of bringing awareness to the importance of rare cancer research. Once everyone's recipes are published, I'll create a round-up so you can check out the deliciousness.
 
Creamsicles were always my first choice when the ice cream truck would roll around. Creamsicles are so bright and fun and refreshing and orange! A perfect fit for my orange-recipe challenge. Of course, I had to do a healthier take on the classic; there are no artificial colors or flavors here. Just lots of protein, calcium, vitamins A and C, potassium, probiotics, folate, and TOTAL CREAMSICLE GOODNESS. 

Seriously, this smoothie tastes just like the frozen treat-on-a-stick. Although there are peaches in this, they serve more for sweetness than for flavor; the main flavors of this creamy drink are orange and vanilla. As it should be.


My friend Nancy, of The Real Nani, is part of Siggi's ambassador program. She had some great coupons that she shared with me. I knew the Siggi's vanilla yogurt would be perfect for this recipe. It has little flecks of vanilla bean—I love that!


Ingredients
makes approximately 20 oz (two servings)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, preferably fresh
  • 2 clementines, peeled
  • 3/4 cup frozen peach slices
  • 2/3 cup (or 5.3 oz container) vanilla yogurt
  • 2 tsp flaxseed
  • 3/4 cup ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!





Check out the other participating blogs, who are posting their respective Orange Inspiration recipes throughout this week:
*Sumptuous Spoonfuls *Something AboutCupcakes *Ally's Kitchen *Life Currents *An Affair from the Heart *The Fountain Avenue Kitchen *Who Moved my Coconut Oil *What's Cookin' Italian Cuisine *Upside Down Pear

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Orange Blossom Cupcakes for @Cycle4Survival


As I previously posted, some of my food blogger friends and I are participating in an "Orange Inspiration" recipe challenge. We'll all post recipes featuring orange foods, in honor of Cycle for Survival's official color. There will be so much orange yumminess all week! At the end, I'll create a round-up of all the recipes.

Here's a guest post from my friend Beverley Hart Press, of Something About Cupcakes. We've never met in real life (yet!) but she is a true friend. And her creations are somehow as beautiful as they are tasty. 


You'll notice that Beverley is, as they say, "across the pond" so she's provided measurements for both UK and US readers.

Orange Blossom Cupcakes 

Makes 12-16 cupcakes, depending on the size of your cupcake cases/papers.

Adapted from the HummingBird Bake Days Recipe

    


Preheat the oven to 190C (160C fan-assisted oven) (375F) and fill a cupcake/muffin tin with your chosen cases.

Sponge
Ingredients

  • 70g     2.5 oz   unsalted butter
  • 250g   9oz       caster sugar (a.k.a. superfine sugar)
  • 210g   7.5oz     plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 210ml  7.5 fl oz  whole milk
  • 1 tsp orange blossom extract


Method 

1. Beat together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, orange  on a low speed until they have the texture of fine breadcrumbs. 

2. In a separate jug, combine the eggs and milk and whisk a little. 

3. Pour 3/4 of the milk/egg mix into the dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine. Mix on a higher speed and add the remainder of the milk/egg mix. 

4. Fill case 2/3 full with batter and bake in a 190C oven (375F) for about 15-20 minutes. 

5. Cool on wire rack and ice when completely cool. 

Butter Cream
Ingredients 
  • 660g icing sugar, sifted
  • 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 60ml whole milk
  • a couple of drops of orange extract (see note below)
  • orange food colouring

Method

Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.

Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time.

Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed.

Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.

Put 1 cup of butter cream in a medium sized bowl and add a couple drops of orange food colouring.  Mix till well incorporated.  Fit your chosen piping tip into a piping bag.  Fill with orange butter cream and make sure it covers the side of the bag 3/4 the way up.  Take a spoon and open the piping bag to make it hollow in the middle then fill with the white butter cream.  Swirl on your cupcake and watch the magic begin.  




If you would like to donate to my Cycle for Survival ride to raise money for rare cancer research, please click here. Thanks for your support!

Check out the other participating blogs, who will post their respective Orange Inspiration recipes throughout this week:
*Sumptuous Spoonfuls *Something AboutCupcakes *Ally's Kitchen *Life Currents *An Affair from the Heart *The Fountain Avenue Kitchen *Who Moved my Coconut Oil *What's Cookin' Italian Cuisine *Upside Down Pear

Orange you looking forward to seeing all the different recipes?



This post contains affiliate links, so I make a small commission if you purchase through my links—which helps to keep this blog running. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Broiled Oranges w Goat Cheese & Pistachios for @cycle4Survival


As I posted yesterday, some of my food blogger friends and I will participate in an "Orange Inspiration" recipe challenge. We'll all post recipes featuring orange foods, in honor of Cycle for Survival's official color. I can't wait to see all the deliciousness my friends create!

I will share a few of my own recipes; I think this orange dish is a lovely kick-off. You'll notice that my oranges are a little...not-so-orange. That's because I used my favorite navels—Cara Cara—whose orange flesh is tinged pink. These babies are in season now and so incredibly sweet and delicious, I just had to use them. And, hey, they are oranges so I still think they're a fine fit for the challenge!

If you would like to donate to my ride to raise money for rare cancer research, please click here. Thanks for your support!





I'm not giving exact measurements for this recipe; you don't need them. Figure about one orange per person. The rest is up to you—use lots of honey if you want it very sweet, use loads of cheese if you want it more savory. If your kids want to just eat the broiled oranges without the cheese-and-nut paraphernalia, go for it! Use your taste buds to decide and it will end up glorious.

Ingredients 
  • Cara Cara or other navel orange, about one per person
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • honey
  • goat cheese, crumbled
  • pistachios, chopped 
  • sea salt
  • freshly-ground pepper
  • about 1/4 fresh lemon per orange

Move the top rack in your oven up so it is close to the broiler element; preheat the broiler.

Cut the top and bottom off of each orange, so you can stand the fruit up without it wobbling. Using a sharp knife, cut off the outer rind and white pith, following the shape of the orange. 


Slice the oranges to about 1/2" thick. Place on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and honey, then sprinkle with some sea salt.


Broil until the orange slices start to caramelize and turn dark brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool a bit.



Arrange the slices on a plate or platter. Drizzle some more honey (if you choose), squeeze lemon juice, and sprinkle salt and pepper over all the oranges. Top with chopped pistachios and crumbled goat cheese. 






Isn't it gorgeous? Bright, sophisticated, nutritious and—perhaps best of all—so simple. Whether it's breakfast or dessert, this orange dish is sure to brighten your day.



Check out the other participating blogs, who will post their respective Orange Inspiration recipes throughout this week:
*Sumptuous Spoonfuls *Something AboutCupcakes *Ally's Kitchen *Life Currents *An Affair from the Heart *The Fountain Avenue Kitchen *Who Moved my Coconut Oil *What's Cookin' Italian Cuisine *Upside Down Pear

Orange you looking forward to seeing all the different recipes?






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