by Christie Bok in Recipes, August 24th, 2015
by Christie Bok in Recipes, August 17th, 2015
During these sunny and sometimes sticky summer months, a refreshing meal can be just what you crave. And in the season where pasta and potato salad seems to be at every cookout and barbecue, it’s the perfect time to try a new chilled recipe like Food Network Kitchen’s Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing (pictured above).
The secret to this dish is toasting the sesame seeds to deepen their natural nutty flavor. With just 4 to 5 minutes in a saute pan, these tiny seeds toast up quickly and are transformed with robust flavor. Food Network Kitchen purees the seeds in a blender with chile-garlic sauce, lemon and oil for a no-fuss creamy dressing with a subtle tang. Once the dressing is ready, drizzle it over spaghetti-like buckwheat soba noodles, which share a natural nuttiness with the sesame seeds. Lastly, top the noodles with a variety of fresh veggies. You’ll get a slight sweetness and bright color from the corn, plus a heartiness from the creamy avocado. Add in cucumber for that crisp and refreshing crunch that makes this meal a delicious summer go-to.
by Christie Bok in Recipes, August 10th, 2015
If you’re looking for a go-to meatless dish but are unsure how to make it satisfying without the meat, try opting for ingredients that are naturally high in protein, like quinoa. Not only is this superfood quick-cooking — making it much more desirable for weeknight dinners (how can you beat a 15-minute cooking time?) — but it is also the perfect blank canvas for adding fresh veggies, cheeses and herbs.
Play up this grain’s versatility with Ina Garten’s Quinoa Tabbouleh with Feta (pictured above) for Food Network Magazine. Ina makes this Mediterranean-inspired dish by tossing the cooked quinoa with a lemony olive oil mixture and plenty of bright herbs like parsley, mint and scallions. Perhaps the best thing about this dish is that it can be made ahead of time, which allows the citrus flavors to meld with the veggies and herbs. When you’re ready to eat, take it out of the refrigerator and fold in the feta cheese for a creamy tang.
by Christie Bok in Recipes, August 3rd, 2015
Let’s face it: If you’re new to the no-meat-on-Mondays plan, eating a veggie-centric meal can be daunting. But the good news is there are a few tricks to not missing the meat, and perhaps the most important is playing up the vegetables with a variety of textures and flavors, just as Jeff Mauro does with his Fried Green Tomato Parm Sandwiches (pictured above).
The fun part about these Southern sandwiches — which make for a delicious addition to eat-with-your-hands barbecue and cookout food — is that kids can get involved, too. Set up an assembly line for the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs, and take turns battering the tomatoes before frying. Though the crispy texture of the green tomato stars in this classically Southern sandwich, Jeff puts an Italian twist on it by adding creamy Burrata cheese and canned tomatoes that he bakes until caramelized. Layer the cheese and two types of tomatoes on a soft brioche bun and top with giardiniera, a mixture of pickled vegetables, for a tangy bite.
by Christie Bok in Recipes, July 27th, 2015
If breakfast for dinner seems to be on your weeknight menu once or twice a week, try adding a frittata into the mix for a satisfying meatless option. Not only are frittatas easy to make, but they also act as the perfect go-to lunch or quick snack, as they keep well in the refrigerator. All you need to make this easy egg dish is an ovenproof skillet and your favorite veggies and cheeses.
Ree Drummond roasts asparagus and mushrooms for her Frittata (pictured above) and adds plenty of flavor to the base by sauteing onions with butter until tender. She chops up a leftover baked potato for heartiness and adds pantry staples like olives and jarred roasted red peppers for an easy boost of flavor. The Pioneer Woman’s cowboy touch? A dash of hot sauce for a spicy kick, and Monterey Jack and Parmesan cheeses for comforting creaminess. Once the mixture begins to set on the stove, it’s ready to go into the oven.
by Christie Bok in Recipes, July 20th, 2015
Since we’re officially experiencing the dog days of summer, there’s no better time to try no-stove-required recipes. Nix the kitchen heat and you’ll not only feel refreshed, but also be highlighting fresh fruits and veggies that are already popular at summer picnics, potlucks and barbecues. While salads may readily come to mind for a meatless meal, Ina Garten has you thinking outside the lettuce box with her Guacamole Salad (pictured above).
A deconstructed version of one of the most-loved dips, this salad plays up colors, textures and flavors, making for a beautiful dish that’s ready in just 10 minutes. Ina uses the guacamole classics — tomatoes, red onions and garlic — plus yellow bell pepper for crunch and black beans for heartiness. She makes a simple lime juice-and-olive oil vinaigrette that she gives a spicy kick with a pinch of cayenne. Follow Ina’s lead and add the chunky avocados at the end to ensure their bright green color and to avoid browning.
by Christie Bok in Recipes, July 13th, 2015
One of the best things about making veggie-centric meals is that you can plan your dishes around seasonal vegetables. By using what’s in season, you’ll ensure ultimate freshness and bright, beautiful colors every time. Since we’ve reached zucchini season, it’s time to seize squash’s day and use it in recipes that feature its versatility, like Ina Garten’s Zucchini Gratin (pictured above). Ina sticks with the typical ingredients of a classic potato gratin, like milk and cheese, but replaces the starchy potato with zucchini as a seasonal alternative.
Just because it is summer doesn’t mean we have to steer away from enjoying comfort. A creamy sauce comes together by adding a few tablespoons of flour for thickness — just like you would use for a potato gratin — and hot milk, and it coats the veggies. Ina adds breadcrumbs and Gruyère cheese before baking her gratin to create a golden, bubbly crust.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, July 6th, 2015
Curbing your meat intake doesn’t necessarily mean you have to put away the grill. In Bobby Flay’s recipe for Toasted Israeli Couscous Salad with Grilled Summer Vegetables (pictured above), he chars up seasonal veggies that make this salad both colorful and satisfying. Plus, pearly Israeli couscous makes for a delicious and hearty alternative to mixed greens.
Just as he would when grilling a piece of meat, Bobby makes a marinade to flavor and tenderize the vegetables. He whisks together balsamic vinegar, garlic and Dijon mustard, and then tosses half of this vinaigrette with zucchini, asparagus, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. Following his lead, allow the veggies to sit and soak up the flavors for 15 minutes, and then grill until just cooked through. Next, toast the couscous with olive oil to bring out its natural flavor. Cook the couscous until al dente and toss with the bite-sized grilled vegetables. Finally, toss the salad with the remaining vinaigrette, and garnish with fresh basil and flat-leaf parsley.
by Christie Bok in Recipes, June 29th, 2015
Since basil is in season right now, it’s no wonder that it’s often the go-to herb to feature in pesto, but it’s surely not the only something green that can star in this quick-fix sauce. Spinach, parsley, broccoli and even arugula can take its place — arugula, for example, standing in to create the base of the sauce used atop Food Network Magazine’s easy pizza (pictured above).
Thanks to a ready-to-go prebaked pizza crust, this Arugula Pesto Pizza with Zucchini comes together simply and in a hurry. Once you’ve prepped the pesto — the arugula adds a peppery punch, while capers and garlic offer welcome bite — and sliced the mozzarella and zucchini, it all comes down to assembly. Just before baking, sprinkle some nutty Parmesan atop the pie and drizzle on fruity extra virgin olive oil. After only a few minutes in the oven, the cheese will turn gooey and the crust golden.
by Christie Bok in Recipes, June 22nd, 2015
If there’s one activity that epitomizes summer, it’s packing a picnic and enjoying the outdoors. And what better time to plan a beautiful meal outside than on the Fourth of July? For a quick and portable meal this Independence Day, try Giada De Laurentiis’ Caponata Picnic Sandwiches (pictured above). You can dig into these sandwiches — made in under an hour — utensil-free.
Staying true to its classic Sicilian flavor profile, this caponata features eggplant, celery, red pepper and onion. Giada sautes the veggies in olive oil until they’re slightly tender, then combines them with diced tomatoes, oregano and raisins. After the mixture simmers for 20 minutes, add red wine vinegar, sugar and capers for a sweet-and-salty element, known in a caponata. The end result: a flavorful relish that becomes the ultimate condiment for this sandwich. Grill ciabatta bread cut-side down until golden, then rub with fresh garlic. Add a slice of mozzarella cheese for richness, and finally, top with the caponata and another piece of bread. Wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap for a picnic-ready meal.
Grills don’t need to be reserved just for burgers and hot dogs this summer. Give ingredients like fruit and veggies a quick char, and you’ll find that salads and side dishes get a delicious bonus in texture and flavor. In Giada De Laurentiis’ Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella (pictured above), she grills up bread and artichokes — hearty ingredients that will make a meatless salad satisfying — as the stars of her Italian dish.
Perhaps the best part about this salad is that it’s ready to eat in just 16 minutes. Take Giada’s lead and use whole-wheat bread or any day-old variety that you have on hand. The “staleness” will actually give the salad a nice additional crunch. First, drizzle the cubed bread and frozen artichokes with olive oil and grill until golden brown. Giada adds tomatoes, black olives and basil for extra freshness and a beautiful contrast in color. The final layer: a simple vinaigrette. Whisk together extra virgin olive oil with white wine vinegar and then toss with the salad mixture until combined.