To create Food Network Magazine‘s trimmed-down mac and cheese (pictured above), we skipped the usual butter-flour roux and used pureed cooked cauliflower as a thickener. The cauliflower doesn’t alter the flavor — it just adds creaminess without the fat. It’s a great way to sneak in fiber and vitamins too. Try the cheese sauce from this recipe on top of veggies or other sides.
Baked fries can taste as good as the real thing. Here’s the trick: Dip the potato sticks in egg whites whisked with herbs or spices before baking. Spread on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and coat with more cooking spray, then bake at 425 degrees F until golden. The egg whites dry out in the oven and make the fries extra crisp — without excess oil. Try it out in Food Network Magazine‘s under-500-calories Chicken and Cheese Poutine (pictured above).
To add flavor without extra calories, turn to your favorite tea: Steep a bag in water and use that for boiling vegetables, cooking grains or poaching chicken and fish (like in Food Network Magazine‘s Green Tea Salmon). Try all kinds of tea, such as black, mint, chai, chamomile or spice. Just don’t steep the tea bag for too long; the flavor can become bitter.
Each month, thousands of Food Network Magazine readers submit clever names for the back page’s Name This Dish contest. Previous dishes include coconut fried chicken (winning name: “Hawaii Fried-O“), a stacked salad (“Produce Stand“) and a steak sandwich (“Kraut Pleaser“). In the November 2013 issue, we asked readers to dream up names for these savory muffins (pictured above). Some of our favorites were:
Black Friday Breakfast
We love boneless meat for fast weeknight meals, but sometimes bone-in cuts are worth the extra cooking time. The bone prevents overcooking and insulates the meat, which makes it extra juicy and tender. Find a simple method for roasting bone-in chicken breasts in this Chicken and Apple Salad recipe from Food Network Magazine.
Next time you’re searing pork chops, heat a few sprigs of hearty herbs (like sage or rosemary) in the oil and cook the meat right on top of them. The herbs will subtly flavor the meat as it cooks. Check out these Braised Pork Chops with Sage (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine.
Use your holiday cookie cutters to make fun tree-shaped crackers: Just punch out shapes from wonton wrappers (usually found in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle). Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush with pesto and season with salt; bake at 350 degrees F until golden around the edges, about 8 minutes. Let cool, then store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.