by Maria Russo in Recipes, January 27th, 2014
by Maria Russo in Recipes, January 20th, 2014
Rich, hearty and deliciously creamy, macaroni and cheese may be the ultimate comfort food, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress up the everyday casserole with some healthful additions. Whether you round out the meal with juicy tomatoes, mild-tasting cauliflower or bright-green broccoli, there are indeed ways to incorporate fresh flavors without losing the decadence of the traditional recipe.
Food Network Kitchens put its spin on the indulgent classic with Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Kale and Mushrooms (pictured above), a big-batch supper that’s simple enough to make on a weeknight. After making a triple-cheese sauce with cheddar, Gruyere and cream cheese, mix in the pasta and add garlic-laced kale, plus meaty sauteed shiitakes. “Don’t be alarmed by how much kale you start with for this recipe,” the Kitchens chefs write. “It will cook down quite a bit and pairs deliciously with the creamy pasta and shiitake mushrooms.” Finish the casserole with seasoned breadcrumbs and bake it for just a few minutes until the topping is crispy, and the cheese is gooey and bubbly. Just like with any baked mac and cheese, it’s important to not overcook the noodles in the water, since they’ll finish cooking in the oven. It’s best to remove them when they’re al dente, so they don’t turn mushy when they’re baked.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, January 13th, 2014
“It’s like eating a hidden salad,” Food Network Kitchens chefs say of their healthy, fuss-free Brown Rice and Bean Burrito (pictured above). “Burritos are a great way to introduce vegetables and salads to your kids.” The quick-fix recipe, ready to eat in only 15 minutes, is rolled full of better-for-you brown rice and protein-packed black beans, plus cheddar, creamy avocado and fresh carrots, so it’s every bit as hearty as meat-filled burritos, but lighter and fresher than the classic variety. If you’ve struggled with rolling burritos or sandwich wraps before, know that the process goes smoothly here, thanks to the avocado, which is gently mashed with zesty lime juice and will act like glue.
This recipe makes enough for just one burrito, so it’s a go-to option when prepping an after-school snack for your child or packing a lunchbox for yourself, but you can also increase the amount of each ingredient and feed a family. Let your kids have a hand in mealtime by rolling their ultimate burrito. Just set up a fillings bar complete with the prepared ingredients, and allow them to add what they’d like to the tortilla and roll it up.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, January 6th, 2014
Whether it’s because of hectic schedules or simply an undeniable craving, sometimes it’s tempting to pick up the phone and order delivery for dinner. But even on the busiest of weeknights, it’s possible to make some of your favorite takeout picks at home, and the results are often healthier and made with better ingredients. The secret to making supper in a flash is keeping a well-stocked pantry, so on the weekend — or when you find yourself with extra time — head to the supermarket to pick up some essentials like dried pasta and rice, cans of beans and basic condiments. It’s far simpler to recreate classic Asian takeout dishes, for instance, when you already have items like soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar on hand.
Food Network Magazine puts all three of those Asian products to work in Soba Noodles with Shiitakes and Edamame (pictured above), its spin on a traditional Asian noodle dish. Ready to eat in only 35 minutes, this recipe comes together simply thanks to frozen, preshelled edamame and quick-cooking soba noodles, which take only 5-6 minutes to become al dente. This dinner gets it heft from tender, earthy shiitake mushrooms, and boasts a light, fresh finish from a dressing featuring blended cilantro and mint, plus soy sauce and sesame oil. For subtle spice and added flavor, add a bit of Sriracha to the food processor when making the dressing and balance the heat with a sprinkling more of cilantro before serving.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, December 30th, 2013
Whether you’re a lifelong vegetarian, curious about meat-free cooking or even an unabashed meat lover, the Meatless Monday movement can be for you and your family. The idea is to enjoy meatless dishes one day per week — Monday or any other — not only for your own overall health but for that of the Earth as well. Here on FN Dish, we celebrate Meatless Monday each week by sharing vegetarian recipes for every meal that are seasonal, deliciously simple, family-friendly and cost-effective. This year, regardless of whether you’ve made a resolution to eat healthier or not, commit to trying one of these dishes plus other vegetarian favorites from Food Network every week; you’ll be dabbling in new flavors and ingredients while enjoying tried-and-true comfort foods — all in an effort to put out better-for-you meals.
The first Meatless Monday pick of 2014, Food Network Magazine’s Vegetarian Pot Pie (pictured above), is a fuss-free dinner ready to eat in only 40 minutes. Every bit as hearty as the classic chicken-laced variety, this meat-free casserole gets its heft from extra-firm tofu, which becomes full of flavor when simmered in a creamy sauce of carrots, onions and mushrooms. This easy-to-make supper conveniently requires only one pan (be sure it’s ovenproof, as it needs to move from stove to oven) and comes together quickly thanks to a topping of toasted, buttered bread rather than pastry dough from scratch.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, December 23rd, 2013
While some soups and stews require hours of slow simmering to achieve their fullest flavor, long cooking times aren’t always required, and it’s indeed possible to turn out a ready-to-eat bowl in well under an hour. Guy Fieri’s big-batch recipe for Ginger-Carrot Soup (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine is one such fuss-free dish, as it can be simply and quickly prepared on a weeknight.
The flavors of fresh carrots and subtle spicy ginger naturally complement each other, and in Guy’s family-friendly soup, they’re combined with sweet caramelized onions and garlic for added depth of flavor. Thanks to a few russet potatoes, Guy manages to make the texture of this soup creamlike, although there’s no heavy cream used; when the potatoes are cooked and pureed along with the rest of the vegetables, their starch will naturally thicken the broth. Just before serving, top each bowl with a tangy mixture of Greek yogurt and thyme, and finish with a sprinkle of pine nuts for welcome crunch.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, December 16th, 2013
Vegetarian eating during the holidays can be tricky, as so many classic main dishes are meaty picks, like turkey, ham and beef. If you’re hosting the celebration this year, you can plan ahead and make a selection of meatless favorites (in addition to beefier items, if you’d like). But if you’ll be gathering at someone else’s house and can’t guarantee what the host will be serving, it’s a good idea to bring at least one vegetarian dish to pass; this way you’ll know you have at least one dish to eat come dinnertime.
Bobby’s Cauliflower-Goat Cheese Gratin (pictured above) is a go-to pick, as it’s every bit as rich and satisfying as a traditional main dish, but it’s wholly meat-free. The beauty of this casserole is that it’s relatively hands-off to prepare. After arranging cauliflower florets alongside a trio of creamy, nutty cheeses and decadent heavy cream, he simply bakes the dish until the vegetables are soft. Your vegetarian guests will enjoy having a comforting, filling dish available, while meat eaters will appreciate the creamy cheese sauce coating each floret.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, December 9th, 2013
While some dishes — like meatballs and burgers — struggle to keep their identities when you take away the meat, chilis, soups and stews hold up well without it. Chili is naturally beefy and rich. Most chilis, meatless or not, are traditionally made with beans, and in the case of vegetarian cooking, it’s that hefty protein that adds hearty substance to the meat-free dish.
Food Network Kitchens relies on kidney and black beans to be the base of this recipe for Weeknight Two-Bean Chili (pictured above), a fuss-free dinner that’s ready to eat in 30 quick minutes. Laced with jalapeno, onions and crushed tomatoes, this one-pan chili is given an added boost of flavor from bold chili powder and a pinch of Chinese five-spice, which Food Network Kitchens say “is a nice spice surprise.” If you don’t like kidney or black beans, just substitute two of your favorite varieties. Serve the chili atop rice to round out the meal, and sprinkle with cheddar cheese for a decadent finish.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, December 2nd, 2013
Though squash often plays a starring role on Thanksgiving dinner tables — from soups and salads to mashes and mac and cheese — this family-friendly vegetable is a staple all winter long. Just like butternut and spaghetti squash, acorn squash is endlessly versatile: Feature it as a simple side to round out the meal, or let acorn squash take center stage on your dinner table as the main dish. The key to turning acorn squash — or any vegetable — into an entree is beefing it up a bit with hearty protein, like meat, tofu or eggs, plus complementary ingredients to add extra flavor.
In its recipe for Tofu-Stuffed Acorn Squash (pictured above), Food Network Magazine puts a spin on classic stuffed peppers by using squash as the vessel of choice and tofu instead of ground meat as the filling. Since tofu can be plain on its own, it’s important to cook it with bold ingredients so it adopts those tastes and becomes full-flavored. Here Food Network Magazine sautes tofu with olive oil, garlic and onions, then adds juicy cherry tomatoes and baby spinach to create a fresh mixture. Parmesan cheese and lemon juice add balancing richness and a refreshing flavor to the combination, which is served inside a tender roasted acorn squash with a simple pita-spinach salad on the side.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, November 25th, 2013
Now four days post-Thanksgiving, it’s likely that the last leftovers from Turkey Day are gone from your refrigerator and you’ve nearly had your fill of all things mashed, roasted, creamed and gravied. But whether lingering relatives are still staying over or you’re back to cooking for just your immediate family, the question of tonight’s dinner remains, and for this Meatless Monday, something simple and speedy is in order.
Instead of reaching for the nearest takeout menu, try Melissa d’Arabian’s Sesame and Peanut Noodles (pictured above), a top-rated dish that can be on the table in only 20 quick minutes. The secret to this recipe is the sweet and salty balance of flavors in the peanut dressing, featuring a combination of peanut butter, honey and soy sauce, plus a few drops of Sriracha for subtle heat (if you’re cooking for little ones, just scale back on the amount to reduce the level of spiciness). What results is a thick, creamy sauce that coats the pasta and pairs well with the crunchiness of fresh peppers and cabbage. For added texture, finish the dish with chopped peanuts and sesame seeds before serving.
With the Thanksgiving feast just days away, your mind is likely elsewhere at this very moment, consumed with last-minute menu planning, frequent runs to the grocery store and the requisite home organization to prepare for out-of-town guests. But no matter how long your Turkey Day to-do list may be, the question of tonight’s dinner remains, and on nights like these, only one kind of meal will fit the bill: fast.
Thanks to Food Network Magazine’s family-friendly recipe for Lemon-Pepper Fettuccine (pictured above), it’s indeed possible to get supper on the table in only 20 quick minutes. Perhaps the best part about this pasta is that its list of ingredients includes everyday items you likely have on hand already — so there’s no need for an additional trip to the supermarket. As the hearty fettuccine is boiling, get to work on this simple sauce. Start by sauteing sweet shallots in butter, then add a mixture of cream and lemon zest plus nutty pecorino cheese for contrasting rich and refreshing flavors. The secret flavor weapon of this sauce comes at the very end when you add up to three teaspoons of pepper; this seasoning will add a bold punch of flavor and complement the citrus as well. Be sure to save a bit of the pasta water after draining the noodles, as you might need some to thin out the sauce as you’re mixing the dish together.