by Maria Russo in Recipes, September 1st, 2014
by Maria Russo in Recipes, August 25th, 2014
Chicken, burgers, brats and barbecue may be all the rage on Labor Day, but you don’t have to forgo your plans for Meatless Monday on account of the holiday. Celebrate the day with a hearty, satisfying cookout starring tofu instead of traditional meats. If you’ve never before cooked with tofu, know that while its flavor is plain on its own, tofu can easily adopt the bold tastes of marinades, rubs and sauces. Plus, extra-firm tofu is hearty enough to stand up to high heats, so it’s a go-to pick for grilling on this unofficial last day of summer. Try featuring it with barbecue sauce, in tacos or in a next-level take on the classic banh mi sandwich.
Ready to eat in only 35 minutes, Food Network Kitchen’s Grilled Shiitake and Tofu Banh Mi (pictured above) is both easy to make and packed with tastes and texture, boasting layer upon layer of earthy mushrooms, fresh produce and a creamy mayonnaise dressing. The secret to flavor in this sandwich lies in the marinade for the mushrooms and tofu, as this sweet and tangy combination features fresh garlic and hoisin sauce. Once the mushrooms are charred and nearly tender, and the tofu slightly smoky, serve them on a toasted roll and finish with a refreshing salad of cool cucumbers and carrots. Be sure to add a mixture of mayonnaise and Sriracha to the roll for a punch of flavor and subtle heat.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Recipes, August 18th, 2014
Aside from boiling a pot of water for noodles, pasta doesn’t necessarily require the heat of the stove or oven, as sauces can come together with little more than some stirring or blending. And during the dog days of summer like these, that’s indeed welcome news, on account of the scorching temperatures outside. While pesto may be the most-common no-cook sauce, tomato sauces, too, can be served raw, especially at this time of year when tomatoes are at their ripest — and sweetest.
Melissa d’Arabian lets seasonal tomatoes shine in her recipe for light and fresh Mediterranean Summer Pasta with Salsa Cruda (pictured above). The star of this fuss-free supper is a simple yet bold combination of seeded tomatoes, briny olives, salty capers and fragrant mint; after incorporating these go-to ingredients with bright orange zest and olive oil, let their flavors marry for a bit, then top them with just-cooked noodles. The heat of the pasta will gently cook the salsa-like tomato mixture to create a warm, satisfying plate, finished with grated Parmesan for added flavor.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Recipes, August 11th, 2014
Trying to pick a protein source that isn’t tofu for vegetarian meals can be frustrating, which is where quinoa comes in. It has a slightly nutty taste and can easily be topped with a number of seasonings, which adds to its versatility. Packed with flavor, quinoa is the ideal pick when it comes to a weeknight dinner.
In this Quinoa and Vegetable Stuffed Peppers recipe from Rachael Ray, the quinoa is cooked with garlic, chiles, mint leaves and basil to give it a burst of flavor and is topped with feta cheese for a tangy twist. Vegetables like eggplant and zucchini give it an additional nutritional boost, and it is then stuffed in olive oil-roasted peppers for a colorful, tender dish.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Recipes, August 4th, 2014
Pizza can be the ultimate comfort food — rich, gooey mozzarella on soft pizza dough is the perfect treat when you just need a little pick-me-up. But it’s not always the quickest or the healthiest option to make. Try a warm, cheesy flatbread as an alternative — by simply using store-brought pita slices and topping them with any combination of cheese and vegetables that you want, you can re-create a pizza for dinner with hardly any effort at all.
In this Roasted Zucchini Flatbread with Hummus, Arugula, Goat Cheese and Almonds recipe, the zucchini is baked with a drizzle of olive oil to give it a charred, smoky flavor, and is then added to the hummus and crumbled goat cheese to bring out a combination of textures. The pita bread is grilled through to keep it soft and warm, and serves as the perfect base for the ingredients. Easy and flavorful, this is a summer recipe worth raving about.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Recipes, July 28th, 2014
For a bite-size treat that’s perfect for a lazy summer barbecue, try your hand at these meatless mini burgers by Jeff Mauro. Ready-made veggie burger patties tend to be unhealthy due to their use of mock meats, and are full of sodium, which often leads to people skipping them altogether. With a few inventive ideas and a food processor, however, you can create a meatless alternative that is as flavorful as it is healthy.
In this Veggie Mini Burger Pita with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce recipe, the patties are made with a mix of quinoa and cannellini beans to kick up their protein content and are seasoned with breadcrumbs, spices, cilantro and garlic. They are then stuffed into soft pita bread and topped with a creamy, tangy yogurt-based dressing for an added pop of flavor. Try these at your next barbecue for a healthy dish all party guests will enjoy.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Recipes, July 21st, 2014
Quiche is perfect when you’re in the mood to indulge. Made by baking creamy eggs with cheese and preparing them in a buttery pastry crust, this French specialty is a great dish for an extraordinary occasion, and because of its hearty ingredients, it also works as a warming dinner staple. The best part of this dish is its versatility — from smoked meats or vegetable proteins, to different types of cheeses and various vegetables, it can be altered to suit your mood.
In this Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Gruyere Quiche with Oat Crust recipe from Ellie Krieger, the pastry crust is lightened up by the use of oats, low-fat buttermilk and cooking spray. This makes the crust an incredible source of fiber, without losing the buttery feel of a perfect pie crust. The filling involves a selection of mushrooms and onions to pack in some more nutritional punch, and the creamy Gruyere cheese adds a salty, tangy touch. With flavors this good, you’ll get the feel of an indulgent treat without all the extra fat. Breakfast for dinner, anyone?
by Nikhita Mahtani in Recipes, July 14th, 2014
For an inventive twist on a comfort-food classic, look no further than this Smoked Gouda and Roasted Red Pepper Grilled Cheese recipe from Food Network Kitchen. By replacing the type of cheese or bread, grilled cheese can be recreated in a number of different ways, from adding fruits like apples for a sweet crunch to throwing in a couple of chiles for a spicy kick. In this recipe, two cheeses are combined to create a unique flavor profile. Try this exciting pairing as a quick lunch or a relaxing dinner; it’s easy, gooey and delicious.
The secret to this combination is in the texture; while Gouda has a remarkable earthy tang, it can’t be used on its own in the sandwich because it doesn’t have the ability to melt in the way required to create the perfect grilled cheese. As a solution, this recipe combines extra-flavorful smoked Gouda with Muenster, a gooey, less assertive cheese. By adding arugula for a nutritional boost and red peppers for a salty kick, you’ll make this childhood favorite anything but boring.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Recipes, July 7th, 2014
On warm, summer days, a cooling salad seems like the ideal bet. It can be frustrating to always go carbless for lunch, however, especially when you’re craving a more filling meal involving pasta and rice. Luckily, there’s a solution. Asian noodle salads are hearty enough to be considered a main meal, but light enough to not weigh you down on a hot day. And, as a bonus, they cook up unbelievably quick.
In Bobby Flay‘s recipe for Buckwheat Noodle Salad, the dressing is made with pungent spices and condiments like tamari, sesame oil and chili sauce, mixed with ingredients like vinegar, sugar, ginger and honey to tone down the heat. Bobby also combines a slew of vegetables, including carrots, cucumbers and peppers, to pack a nutritional punch. The result is a filling and healthy summer meal staple that can be prepared in less than half an hour.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Recipes, June 30th, 2014
Pasta is most often the easiest party staple. It’s quick to prepare and can be amped up in a number of different ways — from using diverse types of pasta like tortellini or penne to using various sauces like pesto, cream or tomato. There’s a pasta for every mood. Still, having a warm and hearty main may not be the most ideal choice for a summer soiree. Luckily, pasta is also a dish that is wonderful when cold, and can be made into a healthy, light salad.
In this Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad from Rachael Ray, tortellini is used to create a filling meal. The recipe allows the use of all kinds of this stuffed pasta, from chicken to prosciutto, but those going meatless can buy the mushroom-, cheese-, or spinach-filled kinds. Along with the pasta comes the addition of fresh spinach and artichokes to amp up the nutritional factor while the sun-dried tomatoes work perfectly for a salty touch. With a tangy dressing made from garlic, lemon zest, vinegar, ginger, olive oil and thyme, this cold salad is the perfect light summer staple.
Making lunch shouldn’t have to be a long, arduous affair. For extra-busy days, you need something that can be prepared in a flash — and that’s where chickpeas come in. Bursting with protein and fiber, canned chickpeas are already cooked, so all you have to do is rinse and drain them to pack some nutrition into your meal.
In this Grilled Eggplant Chickpea Wraps recipe from the chefs of Food Network Kitchen, the chickpeas are paired with sauteed eggplants for a tangy twist on a Middle Eastern falafel. The mixture is topped with a creamy, garlic-based yogurt sauce and stuffed in a soft tortilla wrap. Top the dish with oregano, tomato, lettuce and cucumber. With this recipe, lunch is ready in 20 minutes flat, and with a side of salad or french fries, you could make it an easy weeknight dinner staple as well.