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Vegetarian Sides for Thanksgiving — Meatless Monday

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 11th, 2013

Green Bean Casserole with Crispy ShallotsWhether you’re planning to prepare an entire vegetarian menu for Thanksgiving or you’ll be cooking for just a few meatless eaters amid demanding carnivores this year, it can be tricky to keep the entire table happy. After all, the centerpiece of most Turkey Day dinners is the juicy, crispy-skinned bird, and if you remove the turkey, you’ll want to replace it with something equally hearty and comforting. The key to pleasing both meat eaters and vegetarians alike on Thanksgiving is offering an array of satisfying side dishes, as they’re a naturally must-have element of the feast that nearly every guest will crave. Most traditional sides, like mashed potatoes, casseroles and stuffings, are naturally vegetarian, and if they’re not, they can be made meatless simply by swapping in vegetable broth or stock for the chicken variety. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving sides below to find easy-to-prepare classic recipes worthy of the fall feast.

Combining the freshness of vegetables with the stick-to-your-ribs comfort of the holiday, green bean casserole is a timeless Thanksgiving pick, and Ellie’s lightened-up version — Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots from Food Network Magazine (pictured above) — proves to be light and meatless without sacrificing flavor. She mixes string beans and garlic-thyme mushrooms into a thick sauce with nutty Parmesan cheese, then bakes the casserole with sweet fried shallots until the top is golden brown.

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Best 5 Thanksgiving Stuffings

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 6th, 2013

Sourdough Bread StuffingSecond perhaps only to the centerpiece turkey on Thanksgiving, stuffings and dressings are some of the most-craved and comforting dishes on your Turkey Day table. Whether you stuff your bird or not, these bread-based casseroles are both simple to prepare and versatile enough that you can suit them to your family’s tastes and whatever ingredients you have on hand. If you’re cooking for a few vegetarians this year, a naturally meatless stuffing will surely please them and your meat-eating guests alike. And if you happen to find yourself with a few extra carrots or celery stalks, put them to good use in a stuffing, as vegetables of all kinds work well with nearly all types of bread bakes. Check out Food Network’s top-five stuffings below to find celebration-worthy recipes that you’ll want to add to your Thanksgiving menu.

5. Homemade Three-Meat Stuffing — Packed with chopped hard-boiled eggs, bell peppers and olives, this pork-, beef- and sausage-based stuffing boasts more meat than it does white bread and will feed up to a whopping 14 people.

4. Holiday Cornbread Stuffing — Follow the Neelys’ lead and take advantage of a deliciously simple shortcut: store-bought cornbread stuffing mix. Pat and Gina combine this ready-to-go good with crispy bacon and crunchy pecans for texture, plus fresh vegetables and herbs to round out the dish.

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Spiced Coconut Pot Pies for Cold-Weather Comfort

by in Recipes, Shows, November 6th, 2013

Curried Pot PiesChopped Dinner ChallengeThe Chopped Dinner Challenge is a new series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!

On this week’s Chopped: Redemption, four former competitors returned to the Chopped kitchen to try their luck again with mystery basket ingredients. In the dessert round, two chefs faced off and cooked with bubble tea, papaya, coconut butter and chocolate-covered bananas. But for this Chopped Dinner Challenge, the featured item is coconut butter, which takes a savory turn in this recipe for Curried Pot Pies. Serve these personal-size pies to your family for a comforting dinner on a chilly fall day.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, November 4th, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash LasagnaWhile some vegetarian lasagnas consist of little more than pasta with everyday tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, there are indeed ways to dress up the family-friendly casserole to take advantage of bold flavors and seasonal ingredients. Instead of traditional marinara sauce, for example, experiment with no-cook pesto or a creamy cheese sauce, and incorporate fresh produce like good-for-you cauliflower, earthy mushrooms or bell peppers for added taste and texture. Food Network Magazine follows suit in its top-rated recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna (pictured above), a hearty pasta bake made with in-season squash and comforting bechamel sauce.

The trick to making this lasagna lies in its assembly. After roasting butternut squash with onions until it’s sweet and tender, begin building the layers of ingredients: first, a sage-laced cream sauce, then noodles, more sauce, a trio of Italian cheeses and finally the prepared veggies. This pattern will continue until the casserole dish is nearly overflowing with fall-fresh flavors and rich cheesiness, at which point you can bake the lasagna until it’s warm, bubbly and browned on top. Once the lasagna is cooked, it’s best to let it rest for about 15 minutes before serving; this will help the sauce thicken and ensures that the pasta keeps its shape instead of oozing out when sliced.

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Waffle It: 12 Favorite Foods Totally Transformed with a Waffle Iron

by in Recipes, November 1st, 2013

Waffle obsession is upon us. It started when Leah Brickley, a Food Network Kitchens’ recipe developer, made French toast in a waffle iron. It was so good, with the perfect ratio of crispy and crunchy to creamy and eggy, that FoodNetwork.com’s editors questioned why waffling isn’t the standard method of preparing French toast. Why isn’t this on brunch menus across the country? We wondered. And then: What else can we waffle?

Waffle mania ensued. Sure, there were some misses — which we’ll share with you in a later post — but Leah and team came up with a dozen waffled recipes that just might best the originals (you should have seen the Iron Chef America crew, passing by tastings and doing double-takes at the creations). Check the waffles out in our gallery, then break out the waffle maker to make these awesomely easy (and quick!) breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts. Happy waffling!

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Reasons to Love Quince

by in Recipes, October 31st, 2013

Reasons to Love QuinceIn The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan posits that some plants beguile us into domesticating them. Apples, tulips, potatoes — they appeal, Michael claims, to fundamental human needs, and so we propagated them, ensuring their survival. They are ubiquitous now not by chance, but by design, both ours and theirs.

Quince, it seems, missed this evolutionary mandate. In fact, quince seems to have taken the opposite tack, stubbornly refusing to play nicely with modern cooks. Always pressed for time, if we cook at all, we’re unlikely to choose a fruit that cannot be eaten raw — it tastes like a mealy, sour apple. They can be difficult to peel, harder to cut and noncommittal about cooking times — 20 minutes one day, it seems, an hour another (yet mine, though slightly underripe, cooked pretty quickly).

But we genuinely think quince will indeed make you happy once you give it a try. We made our recipes as easy as possible. (Honestly, look at other recipes online. Once you tackle finding and prepping the quince, it demands very little in the way of special ingredients or fancy technique — stewing, baking, roasting, some sugar, some alcohol, maybe some spices.)

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Halibut with Soppressata and Fennel — The Chopped Dinner Challenge

by in Recipes, Shows, View All Posts, October 30th, 2013

Halibut with SoppressataChopped Dinner ChallengeThe Chopped Dinner Challenge is a new series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!

On this week’s Chopped: Competition Italiano episode, the competitors found limoncello, pasta dough, soppressata and newborn baby fish in their appetizer baskets. Except for that last ingredient, the items sound pretty standard for an Italian kitchen. During the challenge, some of the competitors got into a bit of a sticky situation with the pasta dough, which turned out to be the most difficult to transform. But for this Chopped Dinner Challenge, the featured item is the soppressata, a very flavorful Italian salami that’s much easier to use than pasta dough. It’s great eaten on its own but even better when cooked in a dish like this: Pan-Seared Halibut with Soppressata and Fennel. The recipe is perfect for either an elegant dinner party or a casual family dinner.

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Best 5 Brussels Sprouts Recipes

by in Recipes, October 30th, 2013

Roasted Brussels SproutsBrussels sprouts may be an annual must-have on your Thanksgiving dinner table, but these easy-to-cook vegetables can shine as the side dish to everyday suppers as well. Packed with good-for-you nutrients, these golf ball-size beauties are best when they’re not overcooked, which means that they’re often quick to prepare. Plus, Brussels sprouts pair well with salty flavors, like those of decadent bacon and briny capers, so if you’re cooking for veggie-averse kids — or adults — cook them with complementary ingredients you know your family will enjoy. Check out Food Network’s top-five Brussels sprouts recipes from your favorite stars, like Bobby, Michael Symon, Alton, Guy and Ina, to find simple sides that can be on the table in well under an hour.

5. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta — After sauteing sweet shallots with crispy pancetta, Bobby roasts sprouts and Yukon gold potatoes until they’re tender, then finishes them with a pat of butter and refreshing lemon juice.

4. Fried Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Capers — Michael deep-fries his Brussels sprouts until they’re deliciously crispy, then tosses them with crunchy walnuts and a sweet-and-spicy serrano chile-honey dressing.

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Feel-Good Foods — Simple Scratch Cooking

by in Recipes, October 29th, 2013

Linguine with Avocado and PestoIt’s no secret that cooking is therapy for many people. The kitchen is a place where I’ve always been able to block out the noise of the outside world. Recipes offer a sense of control and order in a world that doesn’t always work the way I wish.

It’s important to keep a healthy perspective though, especially at times when you feel most vulnerable. What we cook, and therefore eat, is as important as the act of cooking itself. When I start to feel a little down, I take a look at a cheat sheet my dear friend Cristie, a holistic health coach, gave me. Here’s a peek at some foods I keep on hand for when I need a quick pick-me-up.

Avocados: I love a nice smear of creamy, ripe avocado on baguette for breakfast, which means a boost of vitamin B and potassium. Both nutrients help lower blood pressure, which is affected by stress.

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Pierogi with Curried Cabbage — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, October 28th, 2013

Pierogi with Curried CabbageIt’s Monday night, and you’re tasked with making a deliciously satisfying family-friendly meal for your family in only 35 minutes. Where do you start, and what do you prepare? This may sound like the setup of the network’s next competition series, but it’s a battle many likely face each week as the hours to dinnertime tick away.

The key to executing a simple and successful supper — meatless or otherwise on any day of the week — is taking a few shortcuts when you can. In its recipe for Pierogi with Curried Cabbage (pictured above), for example, Food Network Magazine guarantees dinner can be on the table in only 35 minutes by opting for a few prepared ingredients that don’t sacrifice flavor. Instead of making and rolling pierogi dough from scratch, then stuffing with homemade filling, the recipe suggests you start with store-bought pierogi — this will save you some time in the kitchen. Just toss the onion-and-cheese-filled dumplings in butter, then bake them until golden, and serve them with tender curry-laced cabbage and a cool lime-yogurt sauce for a homemade meal in a flash.

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