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Turn Thanksgiving Leftovers into One-Pot Wonders

Ellie understands the challenge of juggling a busy family schedule and trying to get dinner on the table each night. “We want the food we love and we strive to be healthy, but who has the time to figure it all out?,” shares Ellie. The focus of her new cookbook is to make family meals doable by cooking in one single pot, pan or skillet so you can also cut down on the cleanup time required. Ellie uses easy culinary tricks and favorite whole food convenience items to create true one-pot wonders.

There are 125 recipes included in the cookbook that are simple but not boring. Each recipe is a complete meal on its own – one that’s well balanced, packed with healthy protein, colorful produce, and dietician approved. In these dishes she uses every day ingredients in exciting new ways, explores world flavors, or puts a new twist on more familiar dishes. Many of the recipes are gluten-free, but for the ones that are not she provides gluten-free ingredient alternatives. She makes sure packaged products used are minimally processed and have simple ingredient lists.

Instead of the more traditional layout for a cookbook which starts with meat dishes, followed by poultry, seafood and then vegetable dishes Ellie reversed the order. She highlights the possibilities of eating lower on the food chain for your health and the environment. She is an omnivore but enjoys eating mostly plants so that is why she positioned the plant protein chapter first in the cookbook.
If you know Ellie from her TV shows you know her mission is to hit the “sweet spot” where delicious and healthy meet. Her goal with this cookbook is to make your life easier, healthier, and tastier. Each recipe follows Ellie’s tried and true Usually-Sometimes-Rarely food philosophy. She says, “Notice there is no never category. She says, “That’s became ruling out foods entirely - as many diets have us do - tends to fuel an unhealthy all or nothing mindset that in some cases prevents us from being truly, holistically healthy.” Ellie explains the Usually-Sometimes-Rarely philosophy for her recipes:

  • Usually foods are the backbone of each recipe and the cornerstone of a healthy diet: colorful fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, beans, nuts, low-fat dairy and healthy oils.  
  • Sometimes foods are more refined, like regular pasta, white flour, sugar or some cuts of red meat.  “They are not the healthiest, but boy, can they make a meal more crave-able,” says Ellie.  
  • Rarely foods are off limits to most nutritionists, like butter, full-fat cheese, bacon and cream.  Ellie uses these rarely foods strategically so you get the most flavor punch out of them but the recipe is still healthy.  

Ellie is the host and executive producer of the Public Television cooking series Ellie’s Real Good Food. In each episode Ellie answers a call-for-help to address a real-life food challenge and she offers accessible, flavorful solutions for solving it, both in the kitchen with inspiring, easy recipes and out, in markets, restaurants, guest’s homes and more. The goal is to cut through all the hype and hysteria to tools you can really use for a balanced, joyful approach to cooking and eating. She is also the well-known host of Food Network’s hit show Healthy Appetite and
the leading go-to nutritionist in the media today, providing people with delicious and healthy recipes. She is a two-time James Beard Foundation recipient and an IACP award winning author of five cookbooks. Ellie is a weekly columnist for The Washington Post and has been a columnist for Fine Cooking, Food Network magazine and USA Today. She speaks regularly at events around the country, appears on national television shows, such as Today, Good Morning America and been featured in magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, People, and Self.

Ellie enjoys relaxing with family on Thanksgiving at her sister’s house. She comes with containers to take home some wonderful leftovers each year to create some dishes for her family such as hash (turkey, onions, vegetables, herbs with an egg on top) or freezes cranberry sauce in ice trays to make quick delicious smoothies. Below are some more of her recipes your family and friends will love for their day after Thanksgiving feast:

  • Skillet: One-skillet Grain bowl with Tahini Dressing: top with cooked turkey, leftover squash, leftover green beans (instead of the chicken and spinach)-pg. 113-114
  • Pot: Chicken Vegetable and Quinoa Soup: to use up squash and cooked turkey, and can also toss in other cooked vegetables-pg. 124
  • Roasted Pears: can be dolloped with leftover cranberry sauce as well-pg. 223


Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


New York Times best-selling author, latest, Whole in One, (Lifelong Books/Hachette Books, 2019)

Host, Ellie’s Real Good Food on public television

Former host of the Food Network’s hit show Healthy Appetite

Recipient of James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP)

Registered Dietitian

Bachelor of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Cornell and Master’s in Nutrition Education from Teacher’s College Columbia University


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