Full Belly Sisters: September 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Autumn Apple, Cheddar & Fig Jam Crostini

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #NaturallyCheesy #CollectiveBias


I love entertaining in the fall. It's a busy time of year—back to school, back to team sports, back to PTA volunteering—so it's important to take time out to socialize and enjoy the season's simple pleasures. Crisp, cool weather; evenings around a wood fire; hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick; the changing color of the leaves...and, of course, apples. In my book, if you want to highlight the deliciousness of an apple, you should pair it with a sharp cheddar like Kraft Natural Cheddar Cheese. Autumn is delicious in so many ways!

To celebrate this most wonderful of seasons, I've made a lovely crostini: toasted baguette, fig jam, thinly-sliced apples, and Kraft Natural Finely Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese melted over everything. It's a simple, seasonal, and beautiful snack that gives you plenty of time to be with your guests.


You can make as many or as few of these nutritious crostini as you need. Having a friend over to hang out while the kids are at school? Make just a few crostini. Having a couple of families come back to your house after the kids' soccer game? Make the whole baguette! For each crostini, you should figure: one slice of baguette + 1/2 teaspoon fig jam + 2 thin slices of apple + 1 Tablespoon Kraft Natural Finely Shredded Sharp Cheddar.


Ingredients
  • baguette, cut on the bias into 1/4" slices
  • Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
  • fig jam
  • Kraft Natural Finely Shredded Sharp Cheddar
  • olive oil, for brushing on the bread 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Brush each slice of baguette with some olive oil and put on a baking sheet. Bake for about five to seven minutes, until the bread is golden brown, then flip and bake for about five more minutes, so that both sides are toasted.

Take out of the oven and, on each toasted slice of baguette, spread fig jam. Place apple slices over the jam, then sprinkle the
Kraft Natural Finely Shredded Sharp Cheddar over the top. Place the sheet of crostini back in the oven and bake for about three to five minutes, until the cheese is fully melted.

Remove from the oven and serve right away. I served mine out on our deck, alongside some mugs of hot apple cider. Autumn rules!

Have you ever had a piece of apple pie with cheddar on top? Well, this wholesome crostini tastes just like that—a wonderful mix of sweet and savory, toasty and creamy. 


Such a satisfying and easy approach to fall entertaining, right? I love simple meal solutions that look good but require very little energy. I even use the cutting board (on which I sliced the apple and baguette) as a serving platter. The less time spent in the kitchen, the more time you've got to sit with friends and family and just soak up the season.

To that same end, I like to put out some extra slices of the apple, as well as a block of Kraft Natural Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese on my serving platter. That way, when the crostini runs out, guests can just nibble on the apple and cheese—and I don't feel pressure to run back into the kitchen.
 




And, hey, if "fall entertaining" means "football" to you, head to your local Walmart on September 26 and check out a Game Time demo for fun tailgating and home entertaining recipes. You can find the Kraft Natural Cheese right in the refrigerated cheese section. Then you'll be all set to host your own party!

 

My crostini recipe is super versatile. If you'd prefer it to be more savory, try using honey mustard instead of the fig jam. If you've just gone apple picking and have a different breed of apple on hand, use it instead of the Granny Smith. And, while I really love the bite that sharp cheddar gives to this simple snack, you can use any kind of cheese you prefer—there's a great variety of Kraft Natural Cheeses to choose from. 




When you make this recipe (yup, I'm confident you will), please share a photo on social media and hashtag it #fullbellysisters. We love to see what you create! And be sure to check out more Kraft Natural Cheese recipes for your next tailgating or home entertaining occasion.

How do you celebrate fall at your house? Have you tried any Kraft Natural Cheeses before?

Monday, September 21, 2015

5-Minute Tomato Salad w. Goat Cheese, Red Onions & Balsamic Glaze


I know, I know, autumn is almost upon us—the cool, clear mornings remind me of that. And yet...we've still got pretty hot weather here during the days. I feel like I'm food limbo, vacillating between summer and fall food. I'm okay with that because I love food from every season!

Truth be told, I make this ridiculously easy tomato salad year-round, but it's best in summertime or early fall when delicious tomatoes are plentiful. It's perfect for outdoor parties and barbecues because when the cheese warms up a bit it gets extra creamy—the perfect balance to the juicy tomatoes, crisp onions, and sweet balsamic syrup.


This recipe is easily adapted to make more or less salad. Sometimes I just take a tomato and make up a plate of this for myself as a light, low-calorie lunch. If you're serving it as a side dish, assume about half a tomato per person.


Now, with such a simple dish, it's important to use great quality ingredients. Get ripe tomatoes, good cheese, and a nice bottle of balsamic glaze—or make my homemade version, available in my post for Grilled Zucchini with Goat Cheese and Honey Balsamic Syrup.

Ingredients
serves about 6
  • 3 large, vine-ripened tomatoes 
  • about 1/4 red onion, sliced paper-thin (I use a mandoline)
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • balsamic glaze
  • freshly-ground salt and pepper

Slice the tomatoes and arrange on a large plate or platter. Scatter the paper-thin slices of onion over the tomatoes, then top with the crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the entire salad. Top with a bit of salt and a generous amount of pepper.

I think this nutritious salad is quite elegant (despite the fact that it is so easy to put together) and I usually eat it with a knife and fork. However, when I recently served it at a barbecue, some people were picking up the tomato slices and folding them, taco-style, to eat them! Just goes to show how versatile this salad really is.

Are you still eating summer yummies, or are you ready to chow down on fall foods?


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, September 17, 2015

Beat Bladder Leaks & Get Fit After Pregnancy

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. You must be 21+ years old to try Poise Impressa Bladder Supports. 
#LifeAfterLeaks #CollectiveBias


Many of my health coaching clients come to me because they want to lose the weight they gained during pregnancy and get back into pre-baby shape. I work with them on healthier eating and lifestyle changes—including getting into an exercise routine. One of the reasons my clients tell me they are avoiding exercise: they leak urine when they try to work out. Many of my friends, too, struggle with leaks during activity.

This is quite common in women after childbirth. Normally, our nerves, ligaments, and pelvic floor muscles support our bladders, keeping the urethra closed so that urine doesn't leak out. However, if these areas are overstretched during pregnancy or childbirth, they can stop working properly. It's called Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) and can cause sudden, light bladder leaks when we laugh, cough, exercise, or lift heavy things. 

Having kids is life-changing in so many ways. But leaking urine doesn't have to be one of them. Moms should be able to exercise and stay fit with confidence. That's where Poise Impressa Bladder Supports can help.  

Perfectly discreet for the locker room.

Impressa Bladder Supports are designed to address this problem that so many of us moms face. The bladder supports are a non-absorbent, removable product that helps stop bladder leaks before they happen. Just insert one into your vagina (like a tampon) and it gently supports the urethra to help prevent urine from leaking.

Because they are inserted like a tampon, the bladder supports are totally discreet. You can wear form-fitting exercise clothes and no one will know! The unique design means you don't have to remove the support when you go to the bathroom; you can wear the support for up to eight hours within a 24-hour period.

And when you're not worried about leaks, you'll be confident enough to get active! You can jump and dance in step class...


...lift heavy kettlebells...


...and tackle whatever crazy exercise your boot camp teacher throws at you!


Of course, one of the best ways to get in shape after having kids is to run around and play with them! And with Impressa Bladder Supports, you can relax and just have fun—instead of worrying about leaks.
  

Impressa Bladder Supports are available over the counter. I bought mine at CVS using this $1-off printable coupon (available while supplies last). The supports are also available on the CVS website. 


I started by buying a Poise Impressa Bladder Support sizing kit. The right size for you is not about how much you leak or how much you weigh—it's about your best internal fit. Start by trying a size 1 and, if you still leak, try a size 2; repeat until you find the right internal fit for your body. Then you can grab a 10-count pack of the size that best suits your needs.

Now you're ready to hit the gym! Just as I tell my clients (and my friends): prioritize your self-care. Make the time to get strong, get fit, get sweaty, and have fun. That is what #LifeAfterLeaks is all about.


A great gym buddy!


Do you or your friends suffer from SUI? Share Poise Impressa Bladder Supports with them, tell them about the coupon, and get ready to embrace your #LifeAfterLeaks!



Note: Do not use Poise Impressa supports during menstrual cycles or during pregnancy. Visit the Poise Impressa introduction page for more information.





Thursday, September 10, 2015

Extra Crispy Tortilla Pizza w. Grilled Chicken

UPDATE: The Daily Meal selected my recipe as the winner of the Perdue "Farm to Family Meals" contest! Yippee!

As a health coach, I often work with clients on making sure they've got healthy foods prepared. Because, despite good intentions, if you don't have easy access to good foods, you probably won't eat good foods! Things like cooked brown rice, roasted veggies, washed greens, and grilled chicken breasts are all super versatile (quick salads, sandwiches, soups) so they come in handy in a pinch.

When I was invited through The Daily Meal's Culinary Content Network to  participate in the @PerdueChicken "Farm to Family Meals" contest, I was ready to use one of my simple, tasty, and nutritious meal ideas. I selected the Simply Smart Original Grilled Chicken Strips; they are fully cooked and frozen, plus no antibiotics are ever used. I used this $1.50 off coupon; every time someone redeems it, Perdue donates a meal to the hungry through Feeding America. Bonus!

Whether you've already got grilled chicken made or you're reaching for some frozen grilled chicken strips, you've got to make this super crispy, super simple tortilla pizza!


Ingredients
each pizza serves 1-2 people, recipe can easily be doubled or tripled
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • 4 or 5 grilled chicken strips
  • 3-4 Tablespoons salsa
  • 1 scallion, chopped (whites and greens separated)
  • about 1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 
  • 1/4 avocado, diced
  • a few grape tomatoes, sliced
  • olive oil or ghee

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. 

Set a 12" cast iron skillet with a little bit of oil or ghee over medium high heat on the stove. Brown both sides of your tortilla to your liking. Take it out of the pan and let it rest on a rack, if you have one, or on a plate. You will notice the tortilla gets quite firm and crisp as it cools (like bacon!).
 

Toss the chicken into the skillet for a few minutes—the time will depend on whether your chicken is frozen or not—to warm it through. Once the chicken is warmed, cut it into bite-sized pieces.

Now, to assemble the pizza. Put the tortilla back into the cast iron skillet; this pan will help ensure the tortilla stays crispy! Spread the salsa onto the tortilla; top with the grilled chicken and the whites of the scallion; then sprinkle the cheese across the top.



Put the pan into the oven for 11-13 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown. Remove from oven let the pizza cool in the pan for a couple of minutes. Slide onto a cutting board.
 

Top with chopped scallion greens, tomatoes, and avocado. Then cut into sections and dig in immediately, while the pizza is still super crispy and hot. 

You can see here how that crust is curled up and firm, supporting all those toppings. Soggy crust is not welcome in my house.

A fun way to get veggies into your kids' bellies, am I right? Your kids can even help make this simple dish, spreading the salsa, sprinkling the cheese and other toppinds—talk about a simple weeknight supper!






What are your favorite easy meals to make with grilled chicken?



Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sea Salt Caramel Apple Smoothie Bowl

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
#FueledByGranola #CollectiveBias 


Today is my son's first day of school; it's hard to say goodbye to my boy and to our fun summer adventures. But I'm actually ready to welcome autumn and all the wonderful things that come with it: sitting by the fire, carving pumpkins, picking apples. Oh, the apples! I love them in everything. 

That's why the new Bear Naked Sea Salt Caramel Apple Granola is perfect for the fall season. This sweet and savory granola has an unforgettable flavor, with tart dried apples, a light caramel sweetness, plus a touch of sea salt. And I knew I had to include it in one of my favorite breakfasts: a smoothie bowl.



Have you heard about smoothie bowls? Like a regular smoothie, these bowls are packed with goodness. This Sea Salt Caramel Apple Smoothie Bowl may taste like a dessert but it also a great source of protein, potassium, fiber, and calcium. But instead of sipping it, you eat it with a spoon. Because it's thicker and has wonderful texture from the crunchy Bear Naked granola and bits of chopped apple, this bowl feels more satisfying than a drink. It's a perfect way to fuel my daily adventures.


I got this amazing new flavor of Bear Naked Granola at BJ's Wholesale (so you just know you're getting a great value). It was right in the first aisle when I walked in—how easy is that?


Want an even better value? Grab a BJ's in-club coupon at the front of the store for $2 off. Then get an additional $2 off coupon from Ibotta, a free mobile coupon and cashback shopping app. Yup, that's a total of $4 off this granola. Talk about value!


 
The Ibotta coupon is right on my phone!

Once I picked up the granola, I headed over to BJ's fresh produce section, where I found a five-pound bag of organic Pink Lady apples. As soon as I got home, I was ready to whip up my smoothie bowl! I created it to pair perfectly with the ingredients in the Bear Naked Sea Salt Caramel Apple Granola: hints of sea salt and cinnamon, apples, and dates to highlight that wonderful caramel sweetness.

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup Bear Naked Sea Salt Caramel Apple Granola, plus additional for topping
  • 2/3 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 2 small or 1 large apple, cored (dice and reserve about 1/4 apple)
  • 3 or 4 pitted dates
  • 2 Tablespoons sliced almonds 
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • small handful of ice cubes

Put the granola in a high-powered blender and process until it turns into almost a flour texture. Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Spoon into a bowl. Top with the reserved, diced apple and additional Sea Salt Caramel Apple Granola.


Crunchy, creamy, sweet, wholesome, and satisfying. I can't think of a better way to start my day.

Are you ready to try this new flavor? Head to your local BJ's on September 5 to taste a sample of the Sea Salt Caramel Apple Granola—and don't forget to pick up a $2 off coupon at the demo!


How would you eat this unique, sweet and savory granola? For breakfast, as a snack—or as part of a recipe?


Check out Bear Naked on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.




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