by Maria Russo in Recipes, November 23rd, 2015
by Maria Russo in Recipes, November 16th, 2015
Buttery mashed potatoes and gravy; rich, cheesy casseroles; creamy pumpkin pies … there’s no shortage of indulgences come the holidays, and we haven’t even entered Christmas cookie season yet. While these decadent dishes are called for at this time of year, it’s no surprise that you may be craving a bit of balance in your meals. That’s where this healthy recipe comes in.
Ready to eat in only 25 quick minutes, Food Network Kitchen’s Garden Egg Salad is a better-for-you take on traditionally heavy egg salad. By swapping in low-fat mayonnaise and mixing in fresh celery and crunchy radishes, this mustard-laced salad features all of the textures and flavors you crave, but it’s not simply made lighter. Bonus: Opt for romaine lettuce leaves instead of the traditional bread when serving up this fuss-free lunch.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, November 9th, 2015
While traditional Bolognese sauces are packed with meat — often a three-way mix of ground beef, veal and pork — Giada De Laurentiis proves that veggies can indeed steal the spotlight in her top-rated recipe for Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese (pictured above).
Featuring a flavor-packed base of onion, carrots and bell pepper, Giada’s herb-laced sauce boasts a key ingredient to bulk it up in place of the meat: assorted mushrooms. “They’re very hearty and substantial,” Giada explains of the mushrooms. Just a splash of red wine adds another layer of complexity to the sauce, while a dollop of mascarpone cheese offers creaminess and a subtle tang. Giada recommends you save a bit of the pasta water when draining the noodles, as you may need it later to loosen up the sauce. Just before serving, toss the pasta with nutty Parmesan cheese to round out the flavor.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, November 2nd, 2015
When time is tight on busy weeknights, the key to easy, enjoyable mealtimes is taking advantage of what you already have. While some nights that may mean looking to a refrigerator full of groceries to put simple, ready-to-go ingredients to work, other times it could call for a bit of creativity in dressing up your pantry staples. Then there are the nights that it can be as simple as letting your past prep help. Enter the frozen casserole.
With a crispy breadcrumb blanket on top and a center of tender, garlic-laced veggies, hearty brown rice and a creamy, cheesy sauce, Food Network Kitchen’s Healthy Squash and Kale Casserole is a make-ahead beauty. It can be assembled up to two weeks before you want to eat it, so perhaps dedicate some time over the weekend to putting this big-batch pick together, and then freeze it for later. When you’re ready to eat, preparing it is as simple as covering it with foil and letting it bake.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, October 26th, 2015
While eggs are likely part of your weekend brunch routine, there’s no reason these protein-packed beauties can’t make an appearance at during the week — at any time of day. They cook up in mere minutes and are hearty enough to keep you feeling full, which is why they’re often called upon to beef up meatless meals.
In Food Network Kitchen’s 25-minute recipe for Baked Eggs with Salsa Verde (pictured above), eggs are the centerpiece of the dish, which is a top-rated fan favorite. Think of this fuss-free meal as eggs in purgatory gone green; while the traditional dish features eggs baked in a spicy tomato sauce, this version lets a tomatillo-based salsa verde act as the sauce. Studded with garlic and jalapeno, this simple homemade sauce is blended until smooth, but the chefs in Food Network Kitchen advise, “If pressed for time, use a mild store-bought salsa, either red or green.” Once the eggs have cooked in the salsa, blanket them with Monterey Jack cheese for a gooey finish, and sprinkle with fragrant cilantro before serving.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, October 19th, 2015
It’s late, you’re hungry and you’d eat just about anything put in front of you. Does that scene sound familiar? It does to us, too. On those nights when time is especially tight and you’re nearly ready to phone in dinner, look no farther than your freezer — but not for store-bought meals. Food Network Kitchen’s Make-It-Don’t-Buy-It Frozen Vegetarian Burritos boast all of the speed and convenience of purchased products, but these are healthy, made with good-for-you ingredients.
Since these satisfying burritos are made sans meat, it’s important to bulk them up with plenty of hearty veggies, including butternut squash and vitamin-packed spinach, as well as black beans for a boost of protein. When you find yourself with extra time on the weekend, go ahead and prep a few of these cheese-stuffed beauties, then wrap them up and freeze them for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to eat, it takes just a few minutes to reheat them in the microwave. For a crunchy bite, a quick bake in the oven will turn the tortilla golden and crispy, and the veggie stuffing hot. Don’t forget the fixings — look to cool sour cream, tangy salsa and creamy guacamole to round out the meal.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, October 12th, 2015
No matter what in-season veggie you happen to have on hand, chances are that after just a quick roast in the oven, it will have turned oh-so-sweet — and seasonal squash is no exception. Butternut, acorn, spaghetti and delicata squashes are all overflowing at farmers market stands and in supermarket aisles alike this time of year, and while you can indeed simply roast them and enjoy them as is, in all their tender glory, dressing them up a bit with bold, fresh flavors will transform them even more.
In his recipe for Roasted Acorn Squash with Mushrooms, Peppers and Goat Cheese, Guy Fieri precooks the squash for a few minutes in the oven before filling it with a hearty, savory stuffing that’s easy to make yet endlessly impressive. He opts for a mixture of cremini mushrooms, fresh cabbage and colorful bell peppers for heft and texture, plus a few cloves of garlic for over-the-top taste. Follow Guy’s lead and top the filling mixture with goat cheese and roasted acorn seeds before baking; the tangy crumbles of cheese deliver the richness you crave, while the acorn seeds promise a welcome salty, crunchy bite.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, October 5th, 2015
While some recipes require a bit of (worthwhile) finagling to make them meatless, macaroni and cheese isn’t one of them. Kids and adults, meat eaters and vegetarians, picky eaters and voracious culinarians — seemingly everyone is pleased when a bowl of piping-hot, ooey-gooey mac and cheese is set before them.
When it comes to classic recipes, this one for baked macaroni and cheese and this one for the stovetop variety are go-to places to start. But for a next-level twist on the traditional version, try Sunny Anderson’s 5-star Spicy Macaroni and Cheese (pictured above). It boasts all of the cheesy richness you crave — there are a whopping three kinds of cheeses in this indulgent recipe — but the pinch of cayenne adds a welcome boost of heat. To add to the creamy texture in this big-batch casserole, Sunny adds a bit of tangy sour cream to the cheese mixture, and then she balances out that texture with a crispy-crunchy topping of buttery croutons.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, September 28th, 2015
With the return of crisp fall air, you’re likely craving something especially warm and comforting, and this big-batch soup indeed fits the bill. While soup is surely a go-to meatless option, many times its lack of heft leaves you unsatisfied and ready to eat again in just a little while. That’s not the case with this healthy — and speedy — Tuscan Vegetable Soup (pictured above), thanks to one key ingredient: cannellini beans. These protein-packed beauties, along with the myriad of vegetables, like carrots, celery and zucchini, as well as fresh spinach, pack the hearty punch you need to tide you over.
Not only do the beans deliver heft, but they also lend texture to this top-rated soup; when you mash some of them, the soup will turn creamy without the addition of cream. Bold garlic and a duo of fresh herbs further the bold flavors, while a sprinkle of Parmesan just before serving promises a nutty bite. Since a batch of this soup can be on the table in just 35 minutes, it’s a go-to pick for when you’re in a hurry come lunchtime.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, September 21st, 2015
Kale salads are on menus everywhere these everywhere these days — and for good reason. This hearty green is packed with good-for-you nutrients and plays well with other flavors and textures, making it a go-to salad base, since it will be complemented by the other ingredients you add.
While everyday salads of just kale and dressing are a good place to start, in her recipe for Farro and Kale Salad Giada De Laurentiis dresses up the greens — she opts for the Tuscan variety of kale — with Italian-inspired tastes to create an easy yet elegant salad that’s satisfying enough to enjoy for dinner. Chopped walnuts add a welcome crunchy texture, while farro, an Italian grain like wheat, and dried cherries add a chewy bite. Mix up a citrus-laced vinaigrette to round out the flavors, and just before serving add crumbled goat cheese; you won’t want to pass up that creamy tang.
No longer relegated to layers of red sauce and heaps of meat, lasagna takes a turn for the creamy — and surprisingly healthy — with this big-batch recipe for Squash and Spinach Lasagna (pictured above).
Food Network Kitchen swaps out the traditional marinara or meat sauce in favor of a mixture of onions and fresh spinach in a milk-based sauce made thick with the help of cornstarch. Layer chopped butternut squash for color and an added boost of nutrition, and opt for part-skim mozzarella to keep the casserole light but satisfying. Perhaps the best part about this recipe is that it comes together with no-boil noodles, which means that you can assemble them in the casserole straight from the box; they’ll soak up the liquid of the cream sauce and become tender as they cook in the oven.