by Maria Russo in Recipes, April 20th, 2015
by Maria Russo in Recipes, April 13th, 2015
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.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, April 6th, 2015
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.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, March 30th, 2015
Along with (slightly) warmer weather and longer days, the spring season brings with it an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. From ruby-red rhubarb and a plethora of pea varieties to vibrant stalks of asparagus, there’s no shortage of produce ripe for the picking this time of year, and surely there’s a myriad of ways to put it to work in your favorite dishes. When it comes to asparagus, simply roasting the veggie is a tried-and-true method — and for good reasons; it’s a quick fix and family-friendly — but when you want to dress up these simple stalks, try pairing them with fresh lemon and herbs in a buttery tart.
Food Network Kitchen’s recipe for a Spring Asparagus Tart (pictured above) takes advantage of store-bought puff pastry to turn out this golden-brown, satisfying tart in less than an hour. While the buttery pastry provides a satisfying base with a chewy, crispy bite, the lemony spread of mascarpone mixed with chives and tarragon offers a rich, creamy bed for the asparagus. Follow Food Network Kitchen’s lead and artfully arrange the asparagus stalks in opposite directions for a stunning presentation, then round out the meal with fresh greens for big-bash events and low-key gatherings alike.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, March 23rd, 2015
While winter’s chill may have (almost, finally) left us, that doesn’t mean you can’t still cozy up to a hearty bowl of soup — especially on a Meatless Monday. Since the basis of most soups is simply plenty of fresh vegetables and a stock (likely vegetable), these warming bowls are a go-to option for vegetarians, and leftovers reheat easily for take-to-work lunches and fuss-free dinners. Sure, some soups require the time and TLC that only slow simmering can provide, but many do not, including Food Network Magazine’s Minestrone with Gnocchi (pictured above), which can be on the table in just 40 minutes.
The secret to this quick-fix recipe is starting with a package of prepared gnocchi; these store-bought beauties are welcome timesavers in the kitchen, and when paired with the tomato-studded broth, they provide the welcome heft you crave in a soup. Each bowl is topped with a sprinkle of nutty Parmesan cheese before serving, but if you happen to have a Parmesan rind on hand, add it to the soup along with the fresh rosemary as it cooks — the rind will slowly break down and melt, flavoring the broth with its salty, cheesy taste.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, March 16th, 2015
No matter if you eat lunch at your kitchen table at home or at your desk at work, the key to enjoying your midday meal is embracing variety, especially when you’re cooking meatless meals. From salads and sandwiches to microwaved dinner leftovers, just a few tweaks to your usual standbys can create an all-new meal, like Tyler Florence did in his next-level egg salad sandwich.
Remember the gooey egg salad sandwiches you used to find in your lunchbox, those smushed between two slices of mushy bread? Tyler’s version is nothing like those. He starts his Egg Salad Sandwich with Avocado and Watercress (pictured above) by just roughly mashing hard-boiled eggs, not pulverizing them into a too-soft smash, before adding a few dollops of mayonnaise and Dijon for added richness and subtle tang. By building this sandwich on toasted whole-grain bread, Tyler guarantees a welcome crunch in the sandwich, which he layers with cool avocado and, in place of traditional lettuce, fresh watercress. If you’ve never before cooked with watercress, give it a try the next time you’re at the store; this leafy green is a tad bitter, so it’s a go-to for offsetting the creaminess of the eggs and avocado.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, March 9th, 2015
Macaroni and cheese isn’t exactly begging to be transforming; the classic version, with its sharp cheddar bite and golden-brown topping, is, of course, one of the best comfort foods ever. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be dressed up to become an even more wow-worthy version of itself. Enter: Creamy Jalapeno Popper Macaroni and Cheese.
The gooey richness and subtle spice you love in jalapeno poppers is baked into Food Network Kitchen’s indulgent mac and cheese (pictured above), a big-batch casserole that’s impressive enough to make for guests yet easy to prepare in less than an hour. In addition to tender sauteed fresh jalapenos, pickled jalapenos are mixed into the smooth cheddar-Gruyère cheese sauce for especially bold flavor — but don’t let the fear of too much heat scare you. The chefs in our Food Network Kitchen explain that the result is simply “pleasantly spicy.” Before baking, blanket the dish with buttery panko and fresh jalapeno slices to guarantee a crispy, crunchy topping.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, March 2nd, 2015
While stuffed mushrooms are surely a fan favorite on the appetizer table, there’s no reason these earthy bites can’t transition into a main dish, especially when you swap out the creminis or baby bellas and opt for full-size portobello mushrooms. The beauty of serving mushrooms in a vegetarian dish is that they’re naturally meaty and filling, so you don’t have to worry about feeling hungry right after dinner. Plus, portobellos can stand up to hearty cooking techniques, like high-heat roasting and grilling, which is why they often shine as burger patties.
In Food Network Magazine’s good-for-you recipe for Cheese-and-Chile-Stuffed Mushrooms (pictured above), these tender, satisfying rounds are layered with a mix of textures and flavors, like gooey mozzarella and a bold mixture of garlicky poblano peppers, green onions and fresh parsley. The secret to ensuring this go-to dinner is especially satisfying is adding a bit of protein-packed wheat germ to the sauteed poblanos, promising a welcome subtle crunch to the overall plate. After they finish baking, top each tender stuffed mushroom with cool sour cream for tang and bright red jalapeno peppers.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, February 23rd, 2015
It’s no surprise that salads sometimes get a bad rap for being boring; after all, a plate of lettuce and a drizzle of dressing isn’t exactly a satisfying meal. The key to making a salad, especially a meatless one, hearty is layering flavors and textures. While traditional mixed greens are a go-to pick for lettuce, try swapping in arugula or endive to experiment with new tastes, then pair them with bold mix-ins like fresh vegetables and filling proteins, like eggs or nuts. When it comes to dressing, ditch the bottled stuff in favor of a DIY mixture — most vinaigrettes come together in mere minutes with ingredients you likely already have on hand.
Food Network Magazine’s Grapefruit-Arugula Salad (pictured above) is full of color and crunch, as it’s brimming with peppery greens, plus fresh celery and endive for a mix of crispness. While fresh grapefruit segments promise a refreshing bite, the next-level walnuts, baked with a cumin-brown sugar coating, offer a welcome smoky sweetness and a hefty crunch to round out the meal. Before serving, toss the salad with a creamy yogurt-based vinaigrette laced with lemon juice for even more citrus flavor.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, February 16th, 2015
Meaty tacos without the meat? That’s indeed possible, and it’s exactly what you get when you swap out traditional fillings like ground beef and grilled chicken for vegetarian-friendly options, such as protein-packed tofu or hearty veggies like potatoes or peppers and onions. Best of all, meatless tacos are still full of the authentic taco tastes and textures you crave.
In Food Network Magazine’s recipe for Mexican Egg Tacos with Potatoes (pictured above), these breakfast — or breakfast-for-dinner — beauties get their heft from a filling pairing of roasted Yukon golds and scrambled eggs, both boldly flavored with such spicy picks as chili powder and a poblano pepper. Try adding a few dashes of hot sauce to the egg mixture for even more welcome heat, and serve a rustic, fresh tomato-cilantro salsa on the side of these easy-to-make tacos to round out the meal. Food Network Magazine suggests warming the tortillas before piling on the filling, to make sure they boast a signature toasty taste.
Successful and satisfying dinners don’t have to require many ingredients or take a lot of time to prepare. In fact, some of the most tried-and-true standbys come together in mere minutes with everyday essentials from the pantry, including crowd-pleasing pastas. Just a box of noodles and a fuss-free sauce are all it takes to pull off tonight’s family meal, and when you use Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe for Linguini with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Lemon (pictured above), you don’t even have to cook the sauce.
Ready to eat in only 17 minutes, Giada’s bold pasta stars a raw sauce of rich, chewy sun-dried tomatoes, tangy green olives and plenty of fresh basil. For easy prep, she opts to whirl these go-to fixings in the food processor alongside a squeeze of lemon juice for brightness and a heavy handful of nutty Parmesan cheese. There’s no need to cook the sauce, as the heat of the just-drained pasta will gently warm the tomato mixture as they’re combined.