Start the New Year off on a warm, healthy note by making a bowl of Ellie’s veggie soup. Loaded with colorful carrots, zucchini and celery, vitamin-packed spinach and fresh herbs, this bowl gets its thick and creamy consistency from mashed cannellini beans and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese before serving.
Bake up a batch of Food Network Magazine’s Almost-Famous Breadsticks, topped with a dusting of garlic powder and dried oregano, to dunk into Ellie’s easy soup, ready in just 35 minutes.
Get the recipe: Tuscan Vegetable Soup
Note: Make sure you use vegetable broth instead of chicken.
Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.
Food Network users have spoken: traditional, tried-and-true recipes are best. From classic comfort food and seafood to Italian and Mexican favorites, Food Network’s top 10 main dish recipes of 2011 are as diverse as they are flavorful. Make a New Year’s resolution to bring a few of these family-friendly dishes to your table in 2012.
10. Spaghetti alla Carbonara — A silky, no-cook egg and Parmesan combination coats each noodle and perfectly complements crispy pancetta pieces in this Italian classic.
9. Oven-baked Salmon — Ready in just 20 minutes, this heart-healthy meal features lean salmon filets, simply seasoned and baked until cooked through.
8. Beer Can Chicken — Grill this chicken standing up, balanced atop a half-empty beer can and resting on its legs.
7. Crab Cakes — Paula’s crab cakes boast a golden, crispy exterior and tender crab with fresh vegetables and a Worcestershire-mayonnaise mixture inside.
6. Chicken Enchiladas — Tyler mixes shredded chicken with chipotle chiles and corn and bakes it in tortillas with enchilada sauce and cheese.
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Like so many others, when the new year approaches, I begin to entertain thoughts of healthier eating. I imagine spending all of December 31 sweeping out my refrigerator and pantry, getting rid of the crackers, chocolate (even the baking kind) and oozy cheeses, and replacing them with kale, flax seed meal and dried beans.
Most years I don’t actually tackle such extreme measures. Instead I just take steps to add a few more virtuous items to our regular menu. Come January the number of leafy greens found in my kitchen will outnumber the cheeses (sadly, not the case at the moment) and I’ll start packing more lunches for my husband and me.
One way that I fill our lunch bags is with homemade soup. I cook up a batch at the beginning of each week and portion it out into microwave-safe containers each night before I go to bed. That way it’s easy to grab come morning. These soups are often bean and vegetable based. Some weeks I do a black bean soup from dried beans; other weeks I stick to pantry basics like canned white beans and boxed stock.
Recently I’ve been making a simple Lentil Soup using Alton Brown’s recipe as my guide. It makes a generous amount, is incredibly cheap to make (good if you’re watching your wallet as well as your waistline) and can happily simmer on the back burner on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. All these things make it perfect for The Weekender.
Before you start simmering, read these tips »
On New Year’s Eve in my house, there exists no particular ritual as one year comes to a close and another is ushered in, apart from popping champagne at midnight, that is. However, various countries and cultures practice habits of their own to mark the occasion and to celebrate the year, particularly by eating certain foods in the hope of securing a bit of luck in the months ahead. Epicurious featured an article detailing New Year’s food traditions around the world and explained the origins of them. Check out below various customs of eating Lucky Food for the New Year and find corresponding recipes so you can bring these practices into your home.
For many, pigs represent progress and growth in life, so pork dishes are common on New Year’s menus from Cuba to Austria. Food Network Magazine offers a Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin (pictured above) that is sure to feed a crowd and takes just over an hour to prepare. Sautéed cremini mushrooms, fresh parsley and crispy bacon are wrapped inside a lean, butterflied tenderloin, then grilled until thoroughly cooked.
More lucky New Year’s recipes »
Several thousand years ago, people discovered that exposing fish to intense amounts of salt and smoke was a great of preserving the catch for later.
Today, our smoking techniques are considerably more refined, and we do it more for flavor than as a means of preservation.
Which makes it a shame that more people don’t think to reach for smoked fish as an effortless way to add gobs of flavor to the foods they love.
But first, a primer on smoked fish. There are two ways to smoke: cold and hot. Salmon, trout, haddock and mackerel are the most common choices.
In cold smoking, the fish are brined in a heavy salt solution, then exposed to cool smoke (85 degrees F max) for up to several days, then frozen to kill parasites.
Get the recipe for Smoked Trout Noodle Soup »
This weekend, whether you’re hosting a huge bash, an intimate dinner party or just watching the ball drop in your pajamas, ring in 2012 with dressed up eats and drinks to celebrate the New Year. We’ve gathered Food Network’s top five New Year’s Eve recipes, so your final hours of 2011 will be filled with hearty appetizers, simple snacks, special cocktails and more.
5. Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Shrimp — These bite-sized sweet and savory shrimp are sautéed with bright pineapple chunks and crispy bacon slices.
4. Brie En Croute — As easy to prepare as it is impressive looking, this crowd-pleasing appetizer features smooth brie and cinnamon-scented walnuts baked inside a store-bought puff pastry until the dough is golden brown.
Get the top three recipes »
The season’s usual hues are red, green, silver and deep blue, but this December HGTV’s Color of the Month is glamming it up with grape. It’s a juicy pick to add to our palates and this beautiful berry color is among my favorite shades.
You may be thinking of a particular recipe that bears this color, something with grapes or wine. Sure, I love the sweet and tart orbs, but this grape-toned dish of Sauteed Cabbage and Apples by Melissa d’Arabian is my go-to comfort food. Delightfully, it does include a generous splash of red wine. My mom’s version, which I called “the purple cabbage stuff,” is a staple in my family, requested at Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthday dinners.
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What’s a burger without fries? Fried chicken and no greens? A lonely steak without a baked potato? Side dishes aren’t merely second string players of a meal, they often complete the dish and can be as impressive as the main event. Check out Food Network’s top 10 side dish recipes of the year and cook up a few to balance your favorite mains.
10. Red Beans and Rice — Fresh herbs and a pinch of cayenne add flavor and subtle spice to Emeril’s Creole-inspired dish.
9. Collard Greens — This traditional southern side is the ideal accompaniment to crispy fried chicken.
8. Broccoli Salad — Broccoli, onions, raisins and sweet cherry tomatoes are tossed in a mayonnaise-based dressing to create a veggie-packed salad in just 15 short minutes.
7. Sauteed Kale — Olive oil and sliced garlic bring classic Italian flavor to this leafy green dish.
6. Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes — Alton uses starchy russet potatoes to yield a smooth and creamy mashed mixture, laced with fresh garlic and nutty parmesan cheese.
Get the top five recipes »
Whether it’s a bit chilly outside, you’re feeling a little blue or it’s been just that kind of day, sometimes you simply need a dish of pure, unadulterated comfort food. Find our top 10 comfort food recipes below and cook up a few to salvage any rainy day.
10. Chicken Fried Steak — Beef, not chicken, is breaded, fried and later topped with a creamy thyme gravy.
9. Fettucine Alfredo — Silky heavy cream, nutty parmesan cheese and butter add texture and flavor to this timeless Italian dish.
8. Braised Short Ribs — After simmering in a red wine-tomato sauce, the short rib meat becomes fall-off-the-bone tender.
7. Southern Fried Chicken — Ready in fewer than 25 minutes, this traditional chicken features Paula’s blend of House Seasoning: salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
6. Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip — This gamed-day dip is a go-to appetizer pick, featuring tangy sour cream and spicy red pepper flakes.
Get the top five recipes »
Hope you’ve saved room for dessert. We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 dessert recipes of the year that will finish any meal on a sugary note. Bake up a batch of 2011’s best today and celebrate the sweetest dishes of the year.
10. Pumpkin Cheesecake — Bake a rich pumpkin-cream cheese filling atop a crumbly graham cracker crust to create this family favorite.
9. Pumpkin Pie — Not just a holiday dessert, pumpkin pie can be enjoyed year-round with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or generous dollop of whipped cream.
8. Zucchini Bread — Fragrant cinnamon and nutmeg add warmth and subtle spice to Paula’s 5-star dish, made with grated zucchini and chopped walnuts.
7. Cream Cheese Frosting — Equal parts butter and cream cheese offer a tried-and-true taste to this favorite frosting, often featured with red velvet goods.
6. Southern Red Velvet Cake — This triple-layer beauty is frosted with a smooth cream cheese topping and dusted with crushed pecans.
Get the top five recipes »