by Maria Russo in Recipes, July 1st, 2013
by Maria Russo in Recipes, June 24th, 2013
When it’s scorching-hot outside and the temperature in your kitchen is at an equally unbearable temperature, what dishes do you reach for? Fresh greens salads are an easy option, but they can become tired and predictable. For something dressed up yet still simple enough to pull off in a hurry, try chilled pasta salads. Beyond boiling water for the noodles, most recipes require no cooking and can be made with whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand.
Food Network Magazine‘s Cold Peanut-Sesame Noodles is an Asian-inspired take on traditional pasta salad that delivers what is for many the trifecta of sought-after components in a dish: flavor, texture and ease. Featuring kitchen staples like peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar and brown sugar, the sauce on these noodles is both savory and slightly sweet, and the addition of toasted sesame seeds and peanuts offers a hearty crunch. Don’t let the time on this recipe intimidate you; the dish takes just 25 minutes to prepare but needs to chill for an hour, which means that that time is wholly hands-off.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, June 17th, 2013
When it comes to classic Parmesan casseroles — those cheesy beauties piled high with mozzarella and tomato sauce — chicken and its vegetarian cousin, eggplant, tend to steal the spotlight. That is, until now. Instead of relying on those familiar favorites, try making earthy portobello mushrooms the centerpiece of the dish. They’re every bit as easy to prepare as chicken and eggplant, and they pair well with marinara-style sauce; plus, they’re hefty and satisfying, so you won’t be hungry soon after eating.
Meaty and substantial, the Portobello Parmesan (pictured above) for Food Network Magazine is a top-rated recipe that puts portobello caps to work. After slicing them into thin rounds, coat them in a three-part dredging process: flour first, egg wash next and cheesy breadcrumbs last to offer crunchy texture. Deep-fry the mushrooms until they’re golden brown, then layer them with a garlic-basil tomato sauce and a duo of creamy mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and bake for just a few minutes. Whether you serve this family-friendly casserole with pasta or feature it on its own, this easy dinner is a go-to favorite.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, June 10th, 2013
If you’re new to vegetarian eating, the key to embracing meat-free recipes is knowing how to prepare a meatless dish that’s every bit as satisfying as one with meat. When you remove something like beef, pork or chicken from a recipe, it’s important to replace it with not just equally hearty ingredients so that you feel full after eating, but also with intense flavors and a mix of textures to keep the dish appealing. This will prevent you from getting bored with the same vegetarian standbys and allow you to experiment with new takes on classically meaty favorites.
In her 30-minute recipe for a Southwest Quesadilla With Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream (pictured above), Sunny Anderson replaces beefy proteins with hefty black beans, flavorful vegetables and bold spices. After sauteing onions and bell peppers until they’re sweet and tender, she adds fresh seasonal corn and pinches of red pepper flakes and cumin for subtle heat and smoky taste. Tossed with fragrant cilantro, this simple mixture becomes the base of the quesadilla filling, which is rounded out with spreads of refried black beans on the insides of the tortillas, plus a generous sprinkle of pepper Jack cheese. The secret to pulling off Sunny’s quesadilla is using 10-inch flour tortillas — those often reserved for burritos — so you can be sure the stuffing won’t escape when the quesadilla is flipped during cooking. Slice the quesadilla into eat-with-your-hands wedges, and serve each slice with creamy, cool sour cream laced with zesty lime juice and chopped cilantro.
Click the play button the video below to watch Sunny make her top-rated quesadilla.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, June 3rd, 2013
Think back to the mozzarella sticks you ate as a child (or last weekend at the sports bar): the frozen-then-baked sticks whose skin was soggy and cheese tough, or the grease-laden logs overpowered by the taste of dried herbs. Now forget them entirely, because these mozzarella sticks are nothing like those. Light and fresh, once-indulgent cheese sticks have been made over and are now not only healthy but deliciously satisfying, too.
The secret to making Food Network Kitchens’ Crisp Mozzarella Sticks (pictured above) is using wholesome ingredients in each component of the dish. To make the coating, stick with ground whole-grain Melba toasts for texture and add whole-wheat breadcrumbs, plus fresh oregano and a dash of cayenne for flavor. After a double-dredge process in an egg-garlic batter and this dry mixture, the part-skim string cheese will be generously coated in a thick, crunchy crust. It’s important to let the sticks chill in the freezer before baking them to golden brown so that the cheese doesn’t melt as soon as it meets the heat. Served alongside a bowl of marinara sauce for easy dunking, these eat-with-your-hands beauties are a timeless, kid-approved favorite.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, May 27th, 2013
Hot dogs, sticky ribs and juicy cheeseburgers take center stage during grilling season, and if you don’t eat meat, it can feel like your only options at a cookout are the side salads and veggie toppings for the dogs and burgers. Instead of tucking into another plate of macaroni salad and shredded lettuce, try hearty, seasonal main dishes that go beyond grilled vegetables. Summertime favorites like veggie burgers, cheesy pizza and gazpacho are classic picks that are deliciously meat-free but still seasonal and ideal for outdoor entertaining.
In this recipe for Barbecued Tofu, medium-firm tofu is the meaty protein of the dish, a big-batch pick that can feed a crowd. Tofu often gets a bad rap because of its tendency for blandness, but that’s often only the case when it’s prepared and served on its own, with no additional flavors or ingredients. Here, the diced tofu is cooked in a pan on the grill alongside fresh garlic, peppers and onions, so there’s no opportunity for lack of taste; the smoky, charred flavor of the grill, the bold garlic and the sweet vegetables work together to turn the tofu into a full-flavored bite. Plus, because the tofu is further sauteed with barbecue sauce before serving, it absorbs the sweet, tangy taste of the condiment and becomes transformed inside and out. Save time in the kitchen by relying on store-bought barbecue sauce to make this meal in a flash — just be sure to pick up a bottle you know your family enjoys, as it will be predominant on the plate.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, May 20th, 2013
Whether you choose to avoid meat just on Mondays or you follow a strict vegetarian diet every day, the key to enjoying any meatless meal is eating something that offers as much flavor, substance and simplicity as a meaty main dish. Vegetables are go-to picks, of course, since many are naturally quick cooking, and they are full of sweet and savory tastes, plus they feature a range of textures. But for most, a plate of veggies alone hardly constitutes a complete dinner, no matter how fresh and well-seasoned the produce may be. To bulk up vegetables, try serving them with rice and tofu in a stir-fry, with noodles and olive oil in a pasta dish, or with eggs and cheese in an omelet; not only will you’ve stretch the value of the veggies, but you’ll have made the meal more deliciously satisfying, as well.
Food Network Magazine follows a similar notion in its 30-minute recipe for Grilled Vegetables With Couscous and Yogurt Sauce (pictured above) by treating earthy shiitake mushrooms, seasonal squash and mild bell peppers as the meaty entree of the plate and complementing them with a side of couscous, much like you would chicken or steak. Although these vegetables are indeed grilled, you don’t need an outdoor barbecue to prepare them, as they develop a similar char and smoky flavor from an indoor grill pan after just a few minutes of cooking. Finish the dish with a sprinkle of sliced almonds for a textured crunch, and serve it with a creamy, tangy sauce of Greek yogurt, grilled pepper and fresh garlic.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, May 13th, 2013
For a quick weeknight dinner, few meals are more efficient or economical than pasta with tomato sauce. But regardless of whether you commit to making your own sauce from scratch or you rely on store-bought jars when in a pinch, everyday marinara can get tired quickly. This week, instead of calling the dish complete with just noodles and tomatoes, dress up the sauce with vegetables, olives, fresh herbs or cheeses — any or all that you happen to have on hand — to turn an ordinary meal into something special. Even if you’re pressed for time, know that it doesn’t take long to simmer the sauce with a few additional ingredients, as, in fact, most mixtures come together in the time it takes to boil and cook the pasta.
Food Network Magazine‘s can-do Bucatini With Olive-Caper Sauce (pictured above) is the ultimate in easy-yet-elegant pasta in that it boasts a bold, flavorful no-cook sauce. After making a salty paste of smashed garlic, capers and red pepper flakes, add Mediterranean ingredients like kalamata olives, fresh tomatoes, creamy mozzarella cheese and fragrant basil, then let the heat of just-cooked pasta gently warm the mixture and soften the tomatoes slightly. Ready to eat in only 25 minutes, this go-to supper elevates the mainstays of marinara — tomatoes and garlic — into a wholly new dish, one that’s simple enough for weeknight cooking but interesting enough to offer guests. When making no-cook pasta, it’s best to reserve a few cups of cooking water before draining the noodles, just in case you need to loosen the sauce with liquid.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, May 6th, 2013
If you’ve ever been to New York City, then you know there is no shortage of delis and markets in the city, at least some version of them studding seemingly every street corner in Manhattan. Along with ready-to-go products like bags of chips, boxes of cereal and bottles of soda, a now-signature sight at many of these stores is a bountiful salad bar, one that’s a far cry from the spreads of tepid romaine and vegetables from the past.
While visiting New York, the Pioneer Woman and her daughter grabbed lunch from one of these salad bars, known for a wide array of crisp greens, fresh produce, quality cheeses, nuts and dressings. After picking out their favorite mix-ins, they watched as the ingredients were quickly tossed, then hand-chopped into a wholesome meal. Ree’s daughter Alex was so inspired by the salad she ordered there that when Ree returned to their Oklahoma ranch, she re-created the experience for her daughter at home.
Video: Watch Ree make the salad
by Maria Russo in Recipes, April 29th, 2013
Not merely a starchy side dish playing second string to the meaty entree, the everyday baked potato can be the star of your dinner simply by topping it with a few hearty ingredients. When it comes to stuffing baked potatoes, think of the spuds as blank canvases through which you can showcase your favorite flavors, textures and ingredient combinations inspired by some tried-and-true dishes. They’re plenty filling on their own, but when finished with fresh or roasted vegetables, creamy cheeses, eggs and more, baked potatoes are transformed into all-in-one suppers that are budget-friendly and quick to prepare.
When cooking for your family, particularly if you’re trying to cater to little ones’ picky palates while feeding your own adventurous appetite, it’s best to bake the potatoes first, then let everyone add their preferred toppings. Set up a baked potato bar complete with salsa, sour cream, roasted peppers, herbs, sauces and just about anything else you can imagine, so each person can assemble his or her own meal and get exactly what they like.
Whether you pack your lunch every day of the week or are looking to form the habit in an effort to salvage your paycheck, it’s best to have on hand a selection of lunch recipes that aren’t just crave-worthy but also filling and easy to pack, to avoid getting stuck in a PB&J rut. So often the star of the brown-bag lunch is a sandwich built with salt-laden deli meats and cheeses on slices of soggy bread, but with these highest-rated recipes for dressed-up sandwiches and salads from some of your favorite Food Network chefs, you can pack a midday meal that’s anything but ordinary. Check out recipes from Ellie, the Sandwich King and the Neelys below, then tell FN Dish in the comments: What’s your favorite dish to pack for lunch?
A five-star recipe that can be made in minutes, Ellie’s Hummus and Grilled Vegetable Wrap (pictured above) combines good-for-you ingredients in an easy-to-eat sandwich that’s light but satisfying. The key to executing this dish quickly is having all of the ingredients ready and simply waiting for assembly. After quickly cooking the zucchini and slicing bell peppers and red onions, start building the wraps by spreading the bread with store-bought hummus and layering the vegetables inside. Add a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts to guarantee a welcome crunchy texture in each wholesome bite.
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