Full Belly Sisters: November 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

Simple Sesame Roasted Broccoli + Cookbook #Giveaway

This Simple Sesame Roasted Broccoli is easy enough for a weeknight dinner and nutritious enough to fuel you throughout your pregnancy. The delicious recipe is from The Natural Pregnancy Cookbook by Dr. Sonali Ruder—The Foodie Physician.

I'm thrilled to be a part of the blog book tour for the latest cookbook from my lovely friend, Dr. Sonali Ruder (aka The Foodie Physician)and I'm so happy to share her recipe for this Simple Sesame Roasted Broccoli. Sonali's newest book, Natural Pregnancy Cookbook, celebrates delicious foods and places them in the context of nutrition to support a healthy pregnancy. This topic, of course, is right up my alley. In fact, a few of my recipes (my "Pump Up Your Milk" Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Cannoli Cream-Filled Strawberries, and Green Grilled Cheese Sandwich) are even featured in the book! So, you'd better believe I'm excited to share this book with you all.

Make sure you enter our giveaway below for your chance to win this wonderful cookbook!

Sonali is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician, mom, culinary school grad, recipe developer and, now, the author of multiple cookbooks. She uses her medical and culinary backgrounds to create healthy and delicious family-friendly recipes. She's also a wonderfully generous food blogger buddy of mine; she has been a true inspiration and support to me. We've even been lucky enough to have her guest post for the Full Belly Sisters blog—check out her gorgeous Moroccan Spiced Salmon.

Today, I'm sharing with you a delicious recipe for a Simple Sesame Roasted Broccoli (page 223 in the book). Broccoli is wonderful for everyone, of course; for you pregnant gals, it's especially fantastic. Packed with folate, fiber, and Vitamin C, it's a great addition to your diet. And this recipe—with its Asian flavors—is both tastier and infinitely healthier than your average Chinese take-out.

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 1 pound broccoli spears
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix the oil and garlic in a large bowl; add the broccoli spears and toss to coat evenly. Transfer the broccoli to a baking sheet (I covered mine in foil for easier clean-up) and spread the broccoli out so it's in a single layer. Roast in the oven for about 12 minutes, turning halfway through. Then sprinkle the sesame seeds over the broccoli and roast for about five more minutes. The broccoli should be tender-crisp and the sesame seeds lightly toasted.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Place the broccoli in a large bowl and then drizzle the soy sauce and vinegar on top. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

So easy! And this is just the kind of dish I recommend to clients: low in calories, but absolutely packed with nutrients. Oh, yeah, and super yummy. It's the perfect nosh for pregnancy cravings—kinda crunchy, a little salty, and very nutritious.

I'm so grateful to Sonali for sharing this wonderful cookbook with me. And I'm especially excited to share my copy with you! One lucky winner will get a copy of Natural Pregnancy Cookbook—just enter via the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

UPDATE: Check out Healthy Aperture's review of Natural Pregnancy Cookbook, which features my "Pump Up Your Milk" Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

22 Healthy Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

Leftovers are greatbut you don't want to keep having the same meal over and over. These 22 Healthy Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers will have you loving every last morsel of that turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and all the fixins.

When you're looking for new, healthy ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers, it doesn't have to be complicated—it just has to be delicious! These recipes celebrate real food in a way that's simple and tasty.

My cardinal rule of leftovers: when in doubt, put an egg on it. I love to use leftover veggies as a hash—here I've got mashed potatoes and sauteed, shaved brussels sprouts. Just top them with a fried or poached egg and some fresh herbs. A whole new meal with very little work!

Or take that egg and pair it with Thanksgiving Stuffing Waffles (yup, that's waffles made out of stuffing and THIS IS LIFE-CHANGING, PEOPLE!) for a post-holiday brunch.

You also can't go wrong with sandwiches made from leftovers. But when you want a turkey, cranberry, and stuffing sandwich, skip the unnecessary, extra sliced bread and use my Stuffing Waffles instead: behold the Ultimate Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich.

The Clever Carrot's Turkey Cranberry Quesadilla with Ham and Brie makes great use of the leftovers from both the holiday meal and the cheese course. 

You all know I'm a sucker for anything avocado. So this Avocado Turkey Panini from The Fountain Avenue Kitchen is right up my alley.

Check out "The Gobbler" BBQ turkey sandwich from Ally's Kitchen:

Desserts are an unexpected but fun way to use holiday leftovers. Don't worry, I'm not proposing turkey milkshakes. But you can certainly spoon warm, leftover cranberry sauce over a bowl of vanilla ice cream or—for a healthier version—swirl some of it into plain Greek yogurt:

Or layer some of your leftovers into a simple parfait, as I did in my high-protein Greek Yogurt Cornbread Cranberry Trifle.

Casseroles are a fantastic way to re-purpose leftover meats and veggies. Here's a yummy Leftover Turkey, Sausage Enchilada Casserole from Noshing with the Nolands.

Salads are wonderful because, after all that holiday work, who wants to do any more cooking? You can take your favorite chicken salad recipe and just swap in some cooked turkey. How about this gorgeous Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad from Life Currents?

Or this sweet and savory Turkey 'n' Fruit Salad from Meal Planning Maven?

If you're kinda burnt out on all the traditional Thanksgiving flavors, try this Turkey Black Bean Fresh Mex Bowl from Sumptuous Spoonfuls.

I bet you never thought of putting your Thanksgiving leftovers on top of a pizza, but This and That blog did: check out her Turkey and Avocado Pizza with Garlic Crust.

And, of course, one of the simplest and most delicious ways to use holiday leftovers is to make a big ol' pot of soup. All that delicious turkey makes for super hearty soups. And save those bones! I love to throw them and a few other ingredients into my slow cooker and make my Easy 24-hour Crockpot Turkey Broth.

This Turkey Soup with Stuffing Croutons from Comfy Cuisine is calling my name.


Seriously, guys, there are so many fantastic soup recipes out there to choose from! Here are a bunch more for you to peruse—they all look wonderful: 
Turkey, Quinoa, Kale Soup from The Kitchen Chopper
Lemon, Turkey, Rice Soup from Feed Your Soul

Homemade Turkey Soup from Homemade Food Junkie
Turkey Noodle Vegetable Soup from Moore or Less Cooking 
Leftover Turkey Soup from Flavor 'N' Spice
Italian-Style Turkey Minestrone Soup from Cooking with Mary and Friends 
Turkey Posole from Canning and Cooking at Home

What's your favorite way to use leftovers from a holiday meal?

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich is the best way to eat holiday leftovers! Thanksgiving Stuffing Waffles take the place of sliced bread in this hot turkey, cranberry, and gravy sandwich.

Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches always make me think of The Moist-Maker from that episode of Friends a million years ago. Remember? Ross' Thanksgiving sandwich included an extra slice of bread soaked in gravy (which is how the sammie got its name); his co-worker stole it and ruined Ross' post-holiday treat. I think most people love to slap leftover turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, and stuffing between a couple slices of bread and call it a day. But I find that bread just gets in the way of the Thanksgiving flavor I craveplus the bread adds lots of calories I don't need. So I say: skip the sliced bread and use my Stuffing Waffles instead. Behold the Ultimate Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich!

I forgot the gravy on this one, oops!
Just take a toasty Thanksgiving Stuffing Waffle (made with the stuffing of your choice), drizzle with hot gravy, pile some warm turkey on top, drizzle with some more gravy, and spoon cranberry sauce over everything. Grab a knife and fork to eat it as an open-faced sandwich...

or close it up with another waffle on top:

This sandwich proves that leftovers are the best part of the holiday meal! For more recipe ideas, check out our 22 Healthy Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers.

What's your favorite way to use holiday leftovers?

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Thanksgiving Stuffing Waffles

These Thanksgiving Stuffing Waffles take everyone's favorite holiday side dish and bring it to a whole new crispy, delicious levelby cooking it in a waffle iron. Perfect for the big holiday, or just for using leftovers!

You know how Facebook has that "On This Day" thing, where your old posts pop up in your notifications? It's fun to see photos of my son through the years, as well as status updates I totally forgot about. Well, apparently, I shared this Serious Eats post about Stuffing Waffles on my timeline over two years ago! Yet somehow, I never made them. Until now.
I made some stuffing waffles for brunch today and served them with fried eggs; it was a wonderful savory meal that would be great way to use leftover stuffing after the holidays!

They're also delicious topped with some of my leftover Crazy Easy Fresh Cranberry Sauce...


Of course, you could make a platter of these Stuffing Waffles to serve at Thanksgiving using your favorite recipe; it would be a great way to free up some oven space. Or just make them for a regular ol' weeknight meal using a good boxed stuffing. 
These Stuffing Waffles are super easy. Just whip up a batch of your usual stuffing and, instead of cooking it inside the turkey or in a casserole dish, spoon it into your waffle iron. Make sure your stuffing is pretty moist and has some fat in it (like a beaten egg, milk, melted butter, and/or oil) so it cooks well and crisps up nicely. If you're using leftover cooked stuffing, try adding some broth and egg to moisten it a bit before waffling.

Crispy and golden, with yummy bits of herbs. Mmm.

I used my 2-Square Belgian Waffle Maker and set it at medium heat. Once it was preheated per manufacturer's instructions, I scooped in my prepared, uncooked stuffing mixture, filling the waffle cavities. Cook a few minutes longer than you would a regular batter waffle; my stuffing waffles were ready in about 7 minutes. Each waffle iron is different, though, so keep an eye on them till you get the timing right. If you're using leftover stuffing, it will probably cook even more quickly.

A little peek while the waffles cook. This was before they got really golden and crispy!

What's nice is that you can use whatever stuffing works best for you and your family. Vegetarian? Gluten-free? Meat-lovers? Go for it!

Serve these Thanksgiving Stuffing Waffles at your holiday table or on your breakfast table the day after. Or use them to make my Ultimate Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich (check back tomorrow for this insane deliciousness). No matter how you eat them, they are sure to rock your world.

Now for the most important question of the season: do you call it stuffing or dressing?

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Greek Yogurt Cornbread Cranberry Trifle

You can make this easy and delicious Greek Yogurt Cornbread Cranberry Trifle from scratch for a special holiday dessert. Or you can make this an easy no-bake treat by using leftover cornbread and cranberry sauce. Whatever you do, just make it!

When Chobani encouraged food bloggers to contribute recipes to a virtual #madewithchobani Thanksgiving Feast, my first thought was to make my family's favorite Greek yogurt cornbread; it's a simple, high-protein, super yummy version. But then I decided to kick it up a notch and make that cornbread into a fabulous dessert for the holiday: Greek Yogurt Cornbread Cranberry Trifle. It combines some of the classic flavors and ingredients of Thanksgiving and makes them into a truly special treat.

You can certainly use your favorite cornbread recipe, but my Greek Yogurt Cornbread is delicious and packed with goodness. The yogurt makes it super moist and adds a great protein boost; almond flour also means more protein and fewer carbs than the average cornbread recipe.

Cornbread Pac-man!
Greek Yogurt Cornbread
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal (I like the texture of medium grind)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup Chobani plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a pie plate or 8" square baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine flours, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg, Greek yogurt, milk, and butter. Gently fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture until just moistened. Pour into your prepared pie plate.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. 

Now that you've got your cornbread ready, let's make this amazing trifle!

Greek Yogurt Cornbread Cranberry Trifle
serves 4
  • 4 pieces of cornbread, cooled and cut into thin slices
  • about 1 1/2 cup Crazy Easy Fresh Cranberry Sauce (or your favorite whole cranberry sauce recipe)
  • 2 cups Chobani vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • zest of 1 lime

Place about 1/3 of the cornbread into the bottoms of the serving glasses. Top with a third of the cranberry and a third of the vanilla yogurt, then a pinch of lime zest. Repeat each of the layers twice more, ending with yogurt and the lime zest. Now, how easy is that?

Easy and so pretty! Served in a large trifle bowl or in martini or wineglasses, this Greek Yogurt Cornbread Cranberry Trifle is an elegant dessert. 

Served in a water glass or jar, this becomes a rustic, fun treat!

And while it's certainly a perfectly sweet indulgence for dessert, it's also nourishing enough for a wholesome breakfast.

However you serve this, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
For more recipe ideas using leftovers form your holiday meal, check out our 22 Healthy Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends! We're so thankful you're here with us.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Crazy Easy Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Looking for a crazy easy fresh cranberry sauce for the holidays? This recipe is all you need! Just a few wonderful ingredients combine to become a showstopping holiday side dish.

I'm a little obsessed with cranberries and totally hoard them when they're in season. I love them in smoothies, I love them sugared, I love them roasted. And sometimes I love them in a classic cranberry sauce. This version is incredibly simple and tastes amazing.

Adapted from Martha Stewart.

  • 1 bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) red currant jam
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring periodically, until the berries have burst and the liquid has thickened to a syrupy texture. It should take about 20 minutes.

Spoon into a serving dish. Cool to room temperature before serving.

This crazy easy fresh cranberry sauce would surely be a hit alongside some turkey and stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner. But how about serving it over a bowl of vanilla ice cream? Or poured atop a log of goat cheese? Or spread on a grilled cheese sandwich? Or spooned onto French toast? Or in our phenomenal Greek Yogurt Cornbread Cranberry Trifle! Cranberries are more versatile that you might think. And they're positively packed with antioxidants, so adding cranberry sauce gives a nice nutritional boost to just about any dish. Don't forget how great they are for you during pregnancy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Easy, Creamy Homemade Ricotta

Creamy, versatile, and incredibly easy, my homemade ricotta is a great refrigerator staple. Plus, making cheese at home makes you feel like some kind of kitchen magician!

You may have noticed I'm obsessed with ricotta. I have about a million posts that feature it—and, frankly, I haven't even shared half the recipes in which I use this creamy, delicious cheese. Yes, it's wonderful on crostini and as a base for ice cream, but I also scramble it into eggs, plop a dollop onto a hot bowl of pasta with tomato sauce, or mix it into dips to add richness. Ricotta is a wonderfully versatile ingredient that works well in both sweet and savory dishes.

And, if you love ricotta, you will really love easy, creamy homemade ricotta! Let me just say that true ricotta is made with whey; this version is a homemade shortcut.

(adapted from The Barefoot Contessa and Smitten Kitchen)

makes a bit more than one cup
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (can substitute white wine vinegar)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons additional heavy cream (optional)
    Set a large mesh colander over a deep bowl that will catch the whey. Dampen two layers of cheesecloth—you can also use a reusable nut milk bag, if you have that—with water and use it to line the colander.

    Pour the milk and cream into a non-reactive pot. Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on the mixture! Boiled-over milk and cream will make a mess of your stovetop (sadly, I know from experience). Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Allow the mixture to stand for one minute until it curdles: it'll separate into curds (thick and cheesy) and whey (watery and milky).

    Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and let it drain into the deep bowl at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes. I like my ricotta quite thick, so I let mine drain a while.  Discard the cheesecloth; save the whey for breadmaking or pancakes, or even to add to smoothies.

    The ricotta is done. However, I love to kick up the creaminess and smoothness a tiny bit more, especially if I'm using the ricotta for crostini. I place the ricotta into a food processor or mixer with a few extra tablespoons of cream and process or whip it all together. Sheer, smooth, creamy, bliss!

    Eat the ricotta right away or put it to an airtight container and refrigerate; it should last at least a few days.

    Here are just some delicious ways to use that homemade ricotta:

    Roasted Fig, Ricotta, Pistachio, & Honey Crostini


    How will YOU use your homemade ricotta?

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    Monday, November 16, 2015

    Roasted Fig, Ricotta, Pistachio & Honey Crostini

    Roasted figs, creamy ricotta, crunchy pistachios, and a dreamy drizzle of honey—all on crispy toast. This is one of those rare, stunning dishes that is actually really simple. Perfect for entertaining!

    A good friend of mine is a wonderful yoga teacher. She and I have partnered a few times to host "yoga brunches" to raise funds for various local charities. Basically, we go to someone's home and my friend leads a private yoga class for a handful of people. When the class is over, everyone gets to sit down to a cozy, healthy brunch of seasonal foods—made by me!  

    My menu for our latest brunch this fall was simple, delicious, and seasonal:

    for the Roasted Fig, Ricotta, Pistachio & Honey Crostini:

    serves 6
    • 1 lb. of figs, cut into quarters or eighth, stems trimmed
    • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 Tablespoon + 1/4 cup honey
    • 6 slices of Tuscan/peasant-style bread, each cut in half and toasted
    • 2/3 cup ricotta (try my easy, creamy homemade ricotta!)
    • a couple of pinches of kosher salt
    • freshly-ground black pepper
    • 2 to 3 Tablespoons chopped, raw pistachios
    • fig jam (optional)

    Check out these gorgeous Tiger figs I used!

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the figs, cut side up, in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, 1 tablespoon of honey, sprinkle with salt, and toss lightly. Roast in the oven until tender, about 10 minutes.

    To assemble crostini, spread a thin layer of fig jam (maybe 1/2 to one teaspoon) on each slice of toast, spread with one to two teaspoons of ricotta, and spoon some roasted figs on top. 

    I used my homemade ricotta. Ooh, so good.

    Drizzle the toasts with honey and grind a generous amount of black pepper over all the crostini. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios over all.

    Wonderful, fresh, sweet, and savory. And so easy! Whether you're making the crostini as part of a rustic brunch for friends or as an elegant appetizer at a holiday party, these are sure to be a hit.

    Can't find fresh figs? Use chopped, dried figs on these crostini instead of the roasted figs; since they're sweeter, just cut down a bit on the amount of honey you use.

    Raise your hand if you want to come to one of our yoga brunches!

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