All Posts By Emily Lee

How Sweet It Is: 7 Sweet Potato Dishes for Every Palate — Fall Fest

by in Healthy Recipes, October 1, 2015

Sweet potatoes, a creamy vitamin A powerhouse, are just as symbolic of autumn as the season’s vivid foliage. They’re also far, far underutilized. If you’re in the habit of passing up sweet potatoes in favor of white potatoes, now’s the time to revisit this versatile root vegetable as we enter its peak season. Sure, we’re all familiar with traditional preparation methods: baked, split down the middle and slathered with butter; the classic marshmallow-topped casserole that makes its once-yearly appearance on Thanksgiving. But there are healthier — and more imaginative — methods of dressing up this superfood for a fall soiree. Explore its savory side, or play up its sweetness with rich fall spices. Definitely experiment with different textures. Whether you prefer them mashed, pureed, cubed or whole, here are seven comforting takes on this in-season spud that will make you forget white potatoes in a heartbeat.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes (pictured at top)
These are not your average baked sweet potatoes. Pat and Gina Neely up the ante on this classic presentation by scooping out the cooked insides and mixing them with a little bit of cream cheese, brown sugar, butter and lots of fall spices. Completing this extra step will be well worth it when you taste the result.

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6 Healthy Treats to Make After Apple Picking — Fall Fest

by in Healthy Recipes, September 24, 2015

Ready your wicker baskets: It’s apple-picking season. If you’re planning a trip to your local orchard, you’re probably already dreaming about the wonderfully sweet, tart and spicy treats you can make once you get your apples home. Maybe they’re destined for a good old-fashioned apple pie — or maybe you’ll bake them whole with a medley of comforting fall spices. Of course, the butter and brown sugar used in most apple dishes are just as desirable as the fruit itself. But even if you’re using the new season as an opportunity to get back into good eating habits, you don’t have to miss out on this fun autumn pastime. With a few simple modifications, you can make your favorite apple dishes a light treat rather than a once-in-a-while indulgence. From sweet Macouns to tart Granny Smiths, here are six healthy ways to use up your freshly picked apples this fall.

Flat Apple Pie with Perfect Pie Crust (pictured at top)
Deep-dish apple pie is certainly delicious, but it can be a bit cumbersome to eat. Ree Drummond makes a flat apple pie with a crisp, firm crust that’s perfect if you’re looking to grab a slice on the go. By simply reducing the amount of crust involved, you’ll also reduce the number of calories.

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6 Healthy Soups for the First Tailgate of the Season — Fall Fest

by in Healthy Recipes, September 17, 2015

Hearty soups are to fall as ice pops are to summer: We can’t get through the season without them. Now, with cooler weather ahead, it’s time to break out the slow cooker (or stockpot) and reacquaint ourselves with the comforting recipes that define fall cooking. Butternut squash, sweet potatoes and the like are once again at the forefront of our minds, and when used in warm soups, these ingredients offer a cozy complement to autumn weather. If you’re planning on tailgating this year, you’ll definitely want to prepare for chilly days spent outdoors. Next time you’re heading to the stadium, fill your thermos with one of these comforting yet healthy soups – from chunky stews to smooth vegetable bisques.

Slow-Cooker Tortilla Soup
Once you try Melissa d’Arabian’s Mexican-inspired soup, it will instantly become your tailgating companion. It’s loaded with juicy chicken, diced tomato and black beans for a filling chili-like consistency, but each bowl contains just 275 calories. Best of all, the dish practically cooks itself. Simply pile the ingredients into your slow cooker a few hours before your tailgate and it will be ready just in time for the game.

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6 Kid-Approved Finger Foods with a Healthy Twist — Fall Fest

by in Healthy Recipes, September 10, 2015

It’s the end of a busy school day and your kids come home with a hankering for one of the usual culprits — pizza, tacos, maybe chicken tenders. These fast-food staples may not hold the title of Healthiest Dinner on the Block, but with a few simple modifications, your kids’ favorite finger foods can become wholesome homemade dishes. Ease back into a busy fall schedule with these quick, kid-friendly dishes you can feel good about eating.

Chickpea Crust Pizza
With a few alterations, family pizza night can be a healthy tradition rather than a once-in-a-blue-moon indulgence. Food Network Kitchen fortifies the classic finger food with a high-fiber chickpea-flour crust. For a classic presentation, top it off with crushed tomatoes, provolone cheese and chicken sausage (which is significantly leaner than pork or beef). Gluten-free households can rely on this as their go-to pizza recipe, but it’s also ideal for families simply looking to trim back calories at dinnertime, as the recipe serves four and contains just 274 calories per serving.

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6 Fall-Forward Recipes for Your Labor Day Celebration — Summer Soiree

by in Healthy Recipes, September 3, 2015

Of all the summer holidays, Labor Day is by far the most bittersweet. It’s the last hurrah for the grill and a final farewell to warm-weather produce. When planning your cookout or picnic menu, choose dishes that accommodate the seasonal shift with hearty spins on standard summer fare. Start by swapping light and zesty glazes for bold and aromatic marinades. Instead of gazpacho, try creamy chowder loaded with seasonal ingredients. For dessert, stick to summer berries — but go beyond a simple fruit cup or parfait in favor of something just as rich as it is refreshing. Sound like a challenge? It’s really quite simple. Bid summer a final adieu with these six still-in-season recipes that anticipate the arrival of cooler weather.

Yogurt-Marinated Grilled Chicken with Harissa (pictured at top)
Get a final grilled meal in before it’s time to close up shop until next year. Alex Guarnaschelli celebrates the fleeting intersection of summer and fall with this recipe for juicy grilled chicken and spicy harissa. The harissa calls for fresh red bell peppers, which are currently at their peak, blended together with rich and aromatic spices that typify comforting fall meals. For the juiciest results possible, give the chicken ample time to marinate in the spicy yogurt mixture.

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7 Healthy Ways to Use Peaches in Their Prime — Summer Soiree

by in Healthy Recipes, August 27, 2015

Few things are better than biting into a ripe and juicy peach. This fragrant stone fruit, with its pink-yellow flesh, has come to embody the carefree spirit of summer. Lucky for us, peaches are at their prime at this very moment, with their peak season beginning in July and lasting through August. If you’re heading to the farmers market, choose peaches with a fresh and floral aroma. The flesh should yield a bit when pressed gently, so avoid any peaches that are rock-hard or mushy. Even if you aren’t working with fresh fruit straight from the tree (frozen peaches and preserves can add great flavor to dishes), it’s still a good time to play up the universally recognized flavor, whether you’re making a cobbler, salad or smoothie. Give summer the last hurrah it deserves with these seven good-for-you meals featuring one of the season’s most-loved fruits.

Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon-Sugar Butter
You’ve probably had grilled vegetables more times than you can count, but how about grilled peaches? Bobby Flay turns to the sweet ripe fruit to make this low-calorie dessert in just 15 minutes. After a quick turn on the grill, each peach half is topped with cinnamon-sugar butter for a juicy, no-fuss treat.

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Top 10 Zucchini Recipes of Summer

by in Healthy Recipes, August 20, 2015

The thing we love most about zucchini is that it refuses to be labeled. In a culinary context, this firm summer squash is treated as a vegetable, often prepared as a savory main or side dish. But botanically, zucchini is classified as a fruit — and more specifically as a type of berry — which perhaps explains why you’ll find this fiber-packed jack-of-all-trades in sweet breads and pastries too. Few other vegetables can boast the same level of versatility. Luckily for us, the prime season is long — it begins in June and peaks in late August, so make sure you squeeze in a trip to the farmers market before the month is over. Whether it’s lightly seasoned and grilled until smoky or grated into fine shreds to be hidden in baked goods, there’s no boundary this hearty summer squash can’t conquer. See for yourself with these 10 in-season zucchini recipes for casserole, zucchini bread and more.

Zucchini “Hash Browns” and Eggs
Diced zucchini stands in for potatoes in this hearty breakfast hash from Food Network Kitchen. When sauteed, the zucchini takes on the same fork-tender quality as pan-fried potatoes, but without the heavy dose of starch.

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Add Flavor, Not Fat: 5 Tips for Better Barbecue — Summer Soiree

by in Healthy Recipes, August 20, 2015

There’s no denying that slow-cooked meats doused in barbecue sauce have a way of tugging at our heartstrings. It’s simply too difficult to resist the beckoning aroma of juicy ribs, pulled pork and smoked brisket wafting through the air. But the love turns sour when suddenly we find said meats tugging at the seams of our clothes. The solution? Don’t resist it. You don’t need to, because with a few simple modifications, you can turn your barbecue favorites into lean and wholesome meals. Besides, these are the final weeks of summer; we should be enjoying as many outdoor feasts as we can. Follow these five simple tips for preparing mouthwatering barbecue with the same bold flavors you’re used to, but with less sugar and fat.

1. Go lean.
When shopping for your barbecue, choosing a cut of meat with less fat doesn’t automatically equal less flavor. Exhibit A: Food Network Kitchen’s Pulled Pork (pictured at top) simmered in a tangy vinegar-molasses sauce. Although the fatty shoulder is the most-common cut used in a classic pulled pork recipe, the lean tenderloin yields a sandwich that’s just as succulent.

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Puddings, Pops and Pies: 7 Desserts Best Served Cold — Summer Soiree

by in Healthy Recipes, Uncategorized, August 13, 2015

When we’re talking about dessert, gooey treats fresh from the oven tend to steal all the thunder. But in August, no one can dispute the fact that dessert is a dish best served cold. Plus, if you’re entertaining a health-conscious crowd, it’s much easier to put a healthy spin on a chilled dessert (like lemon ice) than a double-decker cake smothered in buttercream. Savor the end of summer with these lighter sweets, from pudding and pops to parfaits and pies.

Banana Cream Pie (pictured at top)
Velvety vanilla pudding and sliced bananas in a light graham cracker crust make for a special dessert with only 215 calories per serving. Spoon the prepared pudding into the crust just before serving, then top the pie with some fresh whipped cream for a decorative touch.

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7 Seasonal Uses for Fresh Tomatoes — Summer Soiree

by in Healthy Recipes, Uncategorized, August 6, 2015

Canned tomatoes and jarred sauces are key to surviving winter. But as long as summer’s here, we should make the most of this ruby-red treat in its purest form by consuming our tomatoes fresh, the same day of purchase (or shortly thereafter). Whether you’re converting sweet cherry tomatoes into chunky gazpacho or juicy heirlooms into a hearty salad, this versatile fruit is the winning ingredient in many a summer dish. When choosing tomatoes, look for smooth, bright, blemish-free skin. And remember: A ripe tomato should be fragrant and yield slightly to pressure. Whether you get them from the grocery store, the farmers market or your own garden, these healthy recipes will inspire you to use summer’s essential fruit in everything from soups to salads, and even homemade jam.

Crustless Caprese Quiche (pictured at top)
Food Network Kitchen offers a mealworthy riff on the classic caprese salad in the form of this creamy quiche. Forgoing the crust will not only cut back on preparation time but also save significant calories. Before baking, adorn the top with thinly sliced plum tomatoes for an eye-catching dish.

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