by Maria Russo in Recipes, July 29th, 2013
by Maria Russo in Recipes, July 22nd, 2013
No matter if you’re preparing a lean vegetarian dinner or a hearty beefy entree, cooking on Monday nights needs to be easy and fast. With summer camp schedules, after-work commitments and various errands, the first day of the week isn’t the time to experiment with complicated meals. Instead, reach for tried-and-true recipes — those that require hardly any prep time.
Giada’s Penne with Spinach Sauce (pictured above) is one such dinner, ready to eat in less than 30 minutes. The secret to her fuss-free dinner is relying on a no-cook sauce to dress the noodles. After whirling garlic, goat cheese and cream cheese in a food processor, she adds nutrient-rich spinach to create a tangy, smooth puree, which she mixes with whole baby spinach leaves and uses to top just-cooked penne. Be sure to save some of the pasta water when draining the noodles; you can use the starchy liquid to loosen the sauce. Before serving, season the pasta and finish with a sprinkle of nutty Parmesan cheese. Click the play button on the video below to watch Giada made this go-to dinner.
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by Maria Russo in Recipes, July 15th, 2013
Tomato season is officially upon us, and while recipes for marinara sauce, salsa and BLTs offer easy ways to put these fresh beauties to work, there’s one tomato-focused dish that’s perhaps as quintessentially reminiscent of summertime as is a juicy, ripe tomato itself: gazpacho. Traditionally served cold, gazpacho celebrates the best tomatoes’ natural sweetness, and when rounded out with peppers, garlic and spices, delivers a simple but satisfying soup.
In its recipe for Charred Tomato Gazpacho, Food Network Magazine puts a smoky twist on the classic dish by starting with grilled tomatoes and finishing the dish with toasted cumin- and coriander-scented olive oil. Once the tomatoes are blistered, blend them in two parts with garlic, vinegar and a pinch of sugar to create a smooth puree, and chill the mixture for at least a few hours. The secret to this bowl’s creamy-looking texture is the addition of water-soaked bread; by adding these cubes to the blender, the gazpacho takes on a thick texture and becomes instantly heftier. Top each bowl with chopped cucumbers and bell peppers for a crunchy bite, then drizzle with the olive oil for an extra-special finish.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, July 8th, 2013
It’s no secret that quiche is a brunch staple; after all, most recipes are simple to cook in a hurry, will impress kids and grownups alike, and require little planning or preparation. For these same reasons, however, this typically morning meal is a go-to weeknight supper — especially when you want to enjoy a meatless dinner, as quiche is inherently full of protein-rich eggs. Whether you’ve never before made quiche or you’re just looking to experiment with new recipes, Food Network Magazine’s Crustless Caprese Quiche (pictured above) is an ideal place to start, thanks to its seasonal ingredients and mix of classic elements and creative twists.
Many traditional quiche recipes call for a pastry-crust base featuring either from-scratch or store-bought dough, but Food Network Magazine forgoes this completely, opting instead for a foundation of eggs, dusted only slightly with breadcrumbs. After blending whole eggs and egg whites with creamy ricotta cheese and a splash of milk, add fragrant basil and sweet sauteed onions and tomatoes to create the centerpiece of the quiche, and pour it into a breadcrumb-lined pie dish. A final sprinkle of mozzarella cheese and a topping of ripe tomatoes will add flavor and texture to the dish, inspired by the familiar Italian appetizer of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. After you bake the quiche, it’s important to let it rest for about 10 minutes, as it’s continuing to cook even out of the oven.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, July 1st, 2013
Dry, crumbly and chewy — three ways you might describe store-bought frozen veggie patties. But Guy’s recipe for Morgan’s Veggie Patties (pictured above), first created by his sister, Morgan, turns out what Guy deems “a non-burger burger.” Moist, tender and full of bold tastes, this hearty between-the-bun creation combines fresh vegetables and an array of spices, plus beans and breadcrumbs, to offer a hearty, juicy patty.
To start making this top-rated recipe, Guy sautes bell peppers, onions, jalapenos and artichokes so that they become soft and subtly sweet, then combines them with white and black beans, chickpeas and rolled oats. Smoky, spicy and fragrant spices and herbs like cumin, cayenne, oregano and paprika offer a punch of flavor, while a single egg helps marry the mixture and allows the ingredients to stick together. Since you’re working with a raw egg, it’s important to let the sauteed vegetables completely cool before adding it; this will prevent any lingering heat from scrambling the egg. Guy likes to form the mixture into patties and then briefly chill them in the refrigerator so that they keep their shape. After a quick sear in olive oil, these picnic-ready patties will have formed a slight crust on the outside and become meatlike on the inside. Finish each with your favorite burger toppings and serve alongside cookout sides and salads for the ultimate summertime meal.
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.
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.