1. Goji berries are a tangy-tart source of antioxidants and vitamin C. Combine them with strawberries to create a fruity topping for your favorite cereal.
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I am always grateful when the calendar flips to a new year. It means a less-cluttered schedule, a break from the heavy eating of the holidays, and a chance to initiate a new habit or two.
For most people, the goals they set this time of year have to do with diets, exercise and self-improvement. And while those are all admirable endeavors, my January hopes tend to revolve around activities designed to bring more fun into my life.
That’s why I’m declaring that 2015 will be the year of brunch party. To my mind, it’s a nearly perfect way to entertain. It’s a kid-friendly time of day (an increasingly important element). A homemade brunch is almost more affordable than going out (even when you spring for smoked salmon). And it’s easy enough to adapt to nearly every food allergy and aversion (a reality of our times).
Today kicks off the very first week of the annual Comfort Food Feast series. If you’re bundled in sweaters and scarves like many of us, can you think of a better way to greet January than with the comfort of a hot casserole? This week, serve your family hearty, crowd-pleasing casserole recipes that are just what the dead of winter calls for.
A heaping plate of cheesy spaghetti would be comforting on its own, but Ree Drummond’s Chicken Spaghetti is a baked pasta dish that leaves the oven nice and bubbly. Strewn with tender morsels of chicken and made even creamier with mushroom sauce, Ree’s dish is fixed with broken pieces of spaghetti so it’s extra-easy to eat.
Whether we’re cutting carbs, going gluten-free or scaling back on sodium, fewer loaves of bread are landing in our shopping carts these days. But what does that mean for our favorite hand-held meal, the sandwich? Though you might think that a sandwich, by definition, requires two slabs of bread, these breadless creations prove your sandwich days are far from over. Cutting out the loaves, buns and slices? These ingenious substitutes are the best things since sliced bread:
From salads and sandwiches to casseroles and pasta, the key to bulking up vegetarian dishes and turning them into satisfying meals is adding hearty, protein-rich ingredients other than meat. If you’re new to Meatless Monday or vegetarian cooking in general, consider stocking your refrigerator with eggs and tofu, and your pantry with good-for-you grains and your favorite varieties of beans. Along with fresh vegetables, these go-to picks can transform everyday dishes into rich, comforting plates to look forward to.
Pinto beans play a shining role in Food Network Kitchen’s Baked Nachos with Roasted Sweet Potatoes (pictured above), an eat-with-your-hands meal ideal for weeknights and game days alike. To guarantee layer upon layer of flavor, FN Kitchen tosses spiced baked tortilla chips with bright lime zest, then piles on the bold toppings, including a pinto bean mixture laced with adobo sauce and cumin-scented roasted sweet potatoes. For an added burst of freshness, top the platter with a simple tomato-serrano salsa and finish with cool, creamy avocado slices.
The new year is here, and no matter how staunch your healthy-eating resolutions may be, when time is tight, smart choices can take a backseat to simplicity, especially when it comes to breakfast. By planning ahead and keeping your refrigerator stocked with good-for-you ingredients, you can surely turn out lighter dishes in a hurry for the most-important meal of the day. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five healthy breakfast recipes for sweet and savory ideas from Rachael Ray and more of your favorite chefs, then browse all of Food Network’s Best Healthy Breakfast Recipes.
5. Tropical Breakfast Parfait — With only four ingredients and five minutes, Rachael puts a bright, refreshing spin on the everyday parfait. She layers crisped rice cereal between vanilla yogurt, juicy mandarin oranges and fresh pineapple for texture and extra-special presentation.
4. Breakfast Burrito — Classic burrito fixings like creamy avocado, pepper Jack cheese and fresh tomatoes shine in this easy-to-prepare morning meal. To make the egg yolks go further in this fluffy scramble, opt for a mixture of four whole eggs plus four additional whites.
Now that you’ve knocked back your last glass of celebratory champagne, it’s time to put all that talk of a happy, healthy new year into practice. This year, take advantage of A Year of Smoothies, ready to take you from January back to December. Dynamic, satisfying and healthy, each of these 12 blended beauties gives you every reason to make your blender an always-on-the-counter staple in your kitchen. Plus, if you happen to crave August’s smoothie in February, the frozen aisle at your supermarket makes it easy to blend fruits that aren’t yet in season.
Get a taste of what’s to come. Check out the first three months:
No matter the holidays, change in seasons or special events that have come and gone in 2014, the recipes fans keep coming back to are the ultimate in tradition and ease. Comfort food classics like moist roast chicken and hearty macaroni and cheese reigned supreme this year, while all-purpose frosting took the cake for sweet treats. Read on below to check out the 10 top Food Network recipes featured on FoodNetwork.com in 2014, and get go-to meal ideas from Alton Brown, Ina Garten and more of your favorite chefs.
10. Cream Cheese Frosting — It takes only four ingredients and a few minutes to turn out the smoothest-ever frosting, ideal for topping cakes and cupcakes alike.
9. Oven-Baked Salmon — After a quick roast in the oven, moist, tender salmon fillets are topped with a fresh salad of crunchy toasted almonds, salty capers and vibrant parsley for over-the-top flavor and texture.
8. Basil Pesto — Ready to enjoy in just five quick minutes, this multipurpose pesto is packed with fragrant basil, bold garlic and plenty of nutty pecorino cheese. Perhaps best of all, you can freeze this sauce for up to three months, so plan to make extra during the height of summer’s basil season.
If you’re already looking ahead to the lighter dishes you hope to enjoy in 2015, don’t fear that you’ll have to say goodbye to comfort food once and for all. With the help of a few smart ingredient swaps, you can surely cozy up to cheesy casseroles and better-for-you sweet treats alike with the help of Food Network’s meal makeovers.
Every bit as satisfying as its traditional counterpart, Food Network Kitchen’s Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese (pictured above) is a surprisingly healthy family-friendly favorite you’ll keep coming back to this winter. Think of this pasta bake as next-level spinach-artichoke dip with good-for-you whole-wheat pasta mixed in; it’s made with tender artichoke hearts and fresh spinach, plus a bit of sour cream for tang and mozzarella cheese for gooey richness. The key to maintaining the flavor of this classic dish without added calories is balancing a pat of butter and nutty Parmesan cheese with other low-fat and part-skim dairy ingredients — like the sour cream and mozzarella — because, after all, a little goes a long way when it comes to bold ingredients like these.
I write you from the comfort of my bathrobe, snuggled up under a thick comforter. Next to me is my daughter Valentine, whose throaty cough shakes the bed and my laptop about twice a minute. Yes, it’s cold and flu season. The other girls are off ice-skating with their cousins, but Valentine and I are homebound, sucking on homeopathic little pastilles every 15 minutes, trying to head off the virus that seems to have hit us overnight.
What I’m craving, appropriately, is a broth-y chicken soup, and so is Valentine. I read in a journal somewhere (or was it my grandmother who told me this? Details are fuzzy when I’m under the weather) that there is actual evidence to support broth-based soups as a treatment for the common cold. Good enough for me.