The utterance “I’m going to get a salad” often evinces visions of diets and other streaks of healthy eating. But, if you’re asking me, leafy greens and their accompaniments are anything but punishment. On the contrary, our favorite green salads emanate fresh vibrancy with every invigorating bite. Plus, when they’re enjoyed as a main dish, they bring a certain brightness to the main event. Next time you’re on the hunt for a side dish, think of these glorious side salad recipes for all kinds of leafy greens.
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When it comes to naturally clever culinary designs, not much can beat the bell pepper; when cooked, its thin yet sturdy skin becomes sweet and tender without breaking down, and its hollow center provides built-in stuffing possibilities. While most traditional fillings tend to focus on rice, any hearty grain-and-vegetable combo works well as a stuffing, and since peppers are known to walk the flavor line among several different cuisines — think Asian, Italian and Creole — there’s no limit to ingredient pairings. Check out these best-ever stuffed pepper ideas below to get Guy Fieri’s take on a classic, plus Rachael Ray’s and Giada De Laurentiis’ top-rated versions, as well as two more must-try plates.
5. Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers — Guy opts for a two-tiered approach to texture in his easy-to-make peppers: First he adds a handful of toasted pepitas to the kale-laced filling, then he tops the filling with a layer of crispy, cheesy breadcrumbs before baking.
4. Cajun Stuffed Peppers — Precooking the peppers in the microwave ensures that these quick-fix peppers from Food Network Magazine are simple to prepare in a hurry, while the andouille sausage-studded filling promises bold Cajun flavor.
I can still taste the tang of fresh rhubarb as my mom picked long stalks of the stuff from our garden as a kid. (I also remember yelling to my friends who always seemed to be grabbing it for a snack, “No! That’s not celery!”) But what a transformation: How soft rhubarb became in the oven, set in a custard pie filling along with sweet strawberries. Strawberry-rhubarb is the killer combination of spring. So as those first stalks are spotted in markets everywhere, these recipes are on our radar:
The Classic Approach:
1. Rhubarb Custard Pie: This is it! This is exactly the sweet and creamy pie I remember, the one I’ll make for our kids this spring.
The key to a satisfying salad is balance, of flavor and of texture, and with her go-to recipe for Easy Greek Salad (pictured above), The Pioneer Woman hits that mark — and in only 20 speedy minutes.
When it comes to toppings, Ree looks to chopped cucumbers and juicy tomatoes to provide bright, cool tastes alongside fresh romaine, while crumbly feta promises welcome richness and subtle tang, and for a salty bite, she folds in briny Kalamata olives ahead of adding the vinaigrette. Follow her lead and whisk a pinch of sugar into the dressing; this will help mellow the otherwise bold flavors of the red wine vinegar and garlic. Just before serving, reach for a bit more feta, and add a final squeeze of lemon juice to wake up the salad with refreshing brightness.
A classic cornbread recipe is a must-have in any kitchen, but once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to dress up the usual fare and set your sights on next-level interpretations. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, Sunny Anderson and Jeff Mauro introduced two fresh spins on this tried-and-true favorite, both savory and satisfying dishes that go beyond the ordinary comfort food.
Part casserole and part bread, Sunny’s Tex-Mex Spoonbread boasts layer upon layer of flavor: first buttery browned chorizo, then a loose grits-style cornmeal mixture made light and fluffy thanks to a few whipped eggs. To make sure there’s plenty of texture in her spoonbread, Sunny adds a handful of corn kernels to the cornmeal batter, plus a duo of gooey cheeses for over-the-top richness. After baking in the oven, this big-batch dish turns out golden brown along the edges and fully set in the middle.
Amazing grains, how sweet the sound! (That is how the song goes … right?) Either way, there’s no denying the awesome powers of whole grains. Beyond the obvious health benefits of swapping them in for pasta, white rice and more, using grains as a nourishing alternative brings a welcome quirkiness to your go-to side dishes.
1. Take the rice out of your fried rice by using farro instead.
The glory of digging fried rice out of a takeout container could never be fully replaced, but making a good grain swap is a sure way to keep things interesting. Look to farro, an Italian grain of wheat that’s satisfyingly tender and chewy, for Healthy Farro Fried “Rice” (pictured above) that ups the texture of the classic Asian staple.
Leaving a trail of crumbs helps you find your way.
I joked as a kid that I would need to leave a trail of crumbs into the kitchen so my mom could find her way. She would swear she couldn’t find it. After all, she wanted to turn our kitchen into a library. No one in my family baked. We all had a passion for sweets. The only sweet things baked in my house were brownies from my Easy-Bake Oven. I had zero kitchen training.
My first real attempt at baking started with a classic coffee cake. Read more
Everyone from busy moms to college students knows the ease of grabbing a quick slice of pizza or a pie for the family. Most pizzerias have an array of classic options that never seem to get old, and all of that cheesy goodness never disappoints. While your favorite local joint’s pizza is probably hard to replicate, there are plenty of ways you can spice up pizza night from home. Read on for some out-of-the-box ideas like mini pizza muffins and warm pizza dip.
Pepperoni Pizza Pocket (pictured above)
The ultimate hand-held food becomes even more portable when you follow Jeff Mauro’s recipe for pizza pockets. Just load up premade dough rounds with pepperoni and cheese, and pop them in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with Jeff’s slow-simmering sauce for an unforgettable weeknight treat.
If you’re used to saving potatoes for their spots in the side dish line on holidays like Easter (scalloped potatoes, anyone?) and Thanksgiving (mashed, but of course), the time is now to bring them into your weeknight dinner rotation. After all, potatoes are endlessly family friendly, and most can be ready to eat in a hurry, which makes them go-to timesavers when you need just one more item to round out a meal. Check out Food Network’s top-five recipes for starchy spuds to learn tried-and-true takes on all of the classic potato preparations, like roasting, frying, mashing and more.
5. Double-Fried French Fries — Golden brown and crispy on the outside with a tender potato texture inside, Guy Fieri’s wow-worthy fries come together with the help of a two-part frying process: once to parcook the potatoes and a second time to turn them crispy.
4. Roasted New Potatoes with Garlic — Smaller and skinnier than Idaho potatoes, new potatoes boast thin, waxy skins, so they don’t need to be peeled before they’re roasted in this satisfying herb-laced side dish. Follow Food Network Kitchen’s lead and wait until the second part of cooking to add the garlic; this will ensure it doesn’t burn in the oven.
Like a traditional pesto sauce, Giada De Laurentiis’ easy-to-make recipe (pictured above) boasts a basil base and comes together with only a handful of ingredients in a matter of minutes, but there’s one key difference: It’s not tinted green, which is a usually a hallmark of classic pesto preparations. This one features a crimson-colored hue on account of the secret ingredient, sun-dried tomatoes, which Giada incorporates to guarantee over-the-top taste and texture.
To make sure her sauce is packed with flavor, Giada opts for the sun-dried tomatoes that are packed in olive oil, which ensures that they’ve picked up some of the oil’s naturally fruity flavor. She simply whirls the tomatoes with the fragrant fresh herbs and garlic to create a speedy sauce. Perhaps best of all, though, is that like a tried-and-true pesto, this sauce doesn’t need to be cooked; the heat of the just-cooked pasta will be enough to warm the pesto before serving. Follow Giada’s lead and save a bit of the pasta water after cooking the noodles, as you may need it to loosen the sauce.