by Maria Russo in Recipes, January 6th, 2014
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.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, November 18th, 2013
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.
by Maria Russo in Holidays, Recipes, November 11th, 2013
For most, the goal come dinnertime is to serve your family a healthy, satisfying meal, something that offers a main element plus a vegetable side or salad. But between limited time to shop for ingredients and the need to get food on the table quickly, offering a complete, well-rounded meal can be difficult. Enter the all-in-one dinner. Boasting built-in vegetables, it’s easy to serve your kids a hefty portion of nutrition for the night, as it’s already incorporated. Stir-fries are timeless one-pan suppers that can be customized to whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand, as are casseroles, which often come complete with every element of the meal.
Food Network Kitchens offer a family-friendly casserole that’s easy enough to make on a weeknight with their recipe for Italian Eggplant Gnocchi Bake (pictured above). While homemade gnocchi can be tedious to prepare, especially on school nights, store-bought gnocchi promises convenience without sacrificing flavor. Pick up a package to star in this 55-minute dinner, laced with tender sauteed eggplant, prepared roasted garlic tomato sauce and just a pinch of red pepper flakes for subtle heat. Once the ingredients have been combined, cover them with a layer of creamy provolone cheese and bake the casserole for just a few minutes until the cheese becomes deliciously gooey and golden brown.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, November 4th, 2013
Whether you’re planning to prepare an entire vegetarian menu for Thanksgiving or you’ll be cooking for just a few meatless eaters amid demanding carnivores this year, it can be tricky to keep the entire table happy. After all, the centerpiece of most Turkey Day dinners is the juicy, crispy-skinned bird, and if you remove the turkey, you’ll want to replace it with something equally hearty and comforting. The key to pleasing both meat eaters and vegetarians alike on Thanksgiving is offering an array of satisfying side dishes, as they’re a naturally must-have element of the feast that nearly every guest will crave. Most traditional sides, like mashed potatoes, casseroles and stuffings, are naturally vegetarian, and if they’re not, they can be made meatless simply by swapping in vegetable broth or stock for the chicken variety. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving sides below to find easy-to-prepare classic recipes worthy of the fall feast.
Combining the freshness of vegetables with the stick-to-your-ribs comfort of the holiday, green bean casserole is a timeless Thanksgiving pick, and Ellie’s lightened-up version — Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots from Food Network Magazine (pictured above) — proves to be light and meatless without sacrificing flavor. She mixes string beans and garlic-thyme mushrooms into a thick sauce with nutty Parmesan cheese, then bakes the casserole with sweet fried shallots until the top is golden brown.
While some vegetarian lasagnas consist of little more than pasta with everyday tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, there are indeed ways to dress up the family-friendly casserole to take advantage of bold flavors and seasonal ingredients. Instead of traditional marinara sauce, for example, experiment with no-cook pesto or a creamy cheese sauce, and incorporate fresh produce like good-for-you cauliflower, earthy mushrooms or bell peppers for added taste and texture. Food Network Magazine follows suit in its top-rated recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna (pictured above), a hearty pasta bake made with in-season squash and comforting bechamel sauce.
The trick to making this lasagna lies in its assembly. After roasting butternut squash with onions until it’s sweet and tender, begin building the layers of ingredients: first, a sage-laced cream sauce, then noodles, more sauce, a trio of Italian cheeses and finally the prepared veggies. This pattern will continue until the casserole dish is nearly overflowing with fall-fresh flavors and rich cheesiness, at which point you can bake the lasagna until it’s warm, bubbly and browned on top. Once the lasagna is cooked, it’s best to let it rest for about 15 minutes before serving; this will help the sauce thicken and ensures that the pasta keeps its shape instead of oozing out when sliced.