If there’s any day of the year to indulge your most-hedonistic dip fantasies, it’s Game Day — a national event so synonymous with chips and dip that there are actually NFL-brand serving trays made to enhance the ubiquitous snack food’s visual appeal and ease of consumption, all in the name of football. But why choose an oil-laden dip when you can dig into creamy, comforting creations for less than 10 grams of fat per serving? If you’re hosting a viewing party this year, you’ll definitely want to skip the sad jarred nacho cheese in favor of these homemade recipes.
No one should be expected to forgo mac and cheese in the dead of winter. This, the creamiest of all comfort foods, is our only solace when an apocalyptic blizzard is headed our way. Without a doubt, box mixes are convenient — but those cheesy orange powders and squeezable pouches of “Cheddar” contain hidden preservatives and not-so-hidden synthetic dyes that our bodies could do without. Steer clear of undesirable (and unpronounceable) ingredients while still getting your coze on with these wholesome homemade macs from Food Network.
We could go on and on about the health benefits of sweet potatoes, but you’ve already heard the spiel. The problem with these fleshy orange tubers is that some people just don’t like them, no matter what — and when we slather on butter and brown sugar to mask the taste, we’ve completely lost sight of the original purpose.
For anyone who’s tried making the switch but just can’t adjust, it may be time to reconsider good old russets and Yukon golds, which actually provide a solid dose of potassium, calcium and vitamin B6 (just to name a few). In truth, the humble potato is vastly underrated in terms of nutritional benefits. Due to the increased interest in foods that are low-carb or have a low glycemic index value, the potato has unjustly earned a bad reputation. But a few simple modifications can turn a classic baked potato or — dare we say it — fries into a reasonable side dish. Here are the recipes to prove it.
Carbohydrates had a rough year in 2015. While kale enjoyed another season of sweet success, bread, rice and pasta faced increased scrutiny from wary shoppers on a quest for svelte figures. But with the new year upon us, food industry experts believe carbs are ready for a big comeback — and we couldn’t be happier. Why?
Well, when you stick to the recommended serving size, pasta can be the foundation for nutritious and satisfying meals. It’s generally paired with nutrient-dense sidekicks, like fiber-filled vegetables and beans, heart-healthy fish, antioxidant-rich tomato sauce, and protein-packed cheeses, poultry and lean meats. Using whole grain pasta will add even more fiber to your diet and help meet the daily goal to make half your grains whole (as per the latest version of the dietary guidelines). Once you delve into the myriad different shapes (spaghetti, shells and orecchiette — just to name a few), that’s when the real fun begins. This month, celebrate pasta’s glorious return with these simple, comforting and budget-friendly recipes. (If needed, you can absolutely substitute a gluten-free pasta in any of the dishes below.)
Ever notice how the end of holiday festivities coincides so spitefully with the onset of cold and flu season? All we can do is brace ourselves, dodge public door handles and stockpile our favorite soups to freeze and reheat as needed. Even if you’re trying to cut back on indulgences in the new year, you can (and should) find reprieve at the bottom of a steaming-hot bowl of chicken soup. Perhaps your recipe of choice involves buttery egg noodles, skin-on chicken and high-sodium stock — but there are plenty of ways to modify your broth and mix-ins without sacrificing the comforting feel of the original. Here are just five of the ways you can give this quintessential winter soup a healthy makeover.
A holiday meal is a true marathon, with one mouthwatering dish after the next — and you won’t want to miss a single one. This year, avoid the mistake of overexerting yourself in the earlier rounds so that you’re out of the running by the time that luscious fruit pie or chocolate cake hits the table. Read more
These festive sweets are ideal for a holiday cookie swap, and they make great hostess gifts, too. If you’re having trouble deciding on just one recipe, go ahead and make them all — it’s totally doable, since each recipe requires just 20 minutes of prep or less. Keep a few for yourself, then bundle the rest in gift bags for your friends and family to enjoy. Holiday “shopping” doesn’t get much easier than that. The fact that they’re all on the lighter side? Consider it a bonus.
It’s that time of year when our opportunities to O.D. on cheese and crackers are heavily abundant. We love a baked Brie just as much as the next person, but if you’re hosting a holiday get-together, the cocktail hour should consist of light, refreshing bites that anticipate the meal ahead without completely spoiling it. If there’s a creamy, bubbling-hot dip on the table, it should come as no surprise when your meticulously arranged crudite platter goes untouched and, worst of all, your guests are too stuffed to enjoy the main event. Small bites that are not only light but also quick and easy to make are best for everyone in attendance — especially the host — so choose recipes that require no more than 20 minutes of prep work (the less time, the better). Here are five finger foods you can count on to hit the mark at your upcoming soiree.
How do you make sure the vegetarian at your Thanksgiving feast goes home feeling pleasantly sated just like everyone else? Well, for starters, you’ll need to pick really fantastic sides — ones that are so good they’ll make the turkey seem secondary. Most of us will agree that the sides are the best part, anyway. But with an abundance of pie in everyone’s future, it’s probably wise to offer the meatless eaters a few options beyond starchy mashed potatoes and carb-loaded stuffing. While roasted or sauteed vegetables are great to fill up on when you’re trying to “save room,” you’ll also want something that feels special, or celebratory, for the holiday. Here are a few vegetarian side dishes that, when served together, make up a perfectly satisfying Thanksgiving menu.
Vegan Wild Rice-Stuffed Butternut Squash (pictured at top)
Serve this impressive fall dish as the main course for vegetarian and vegan guests, and everyone else at the table can enjoy it as a hearty side. The wild rice, walnuts and dried cherry stuffing has incredible texture, and the small amount of curry powder gives the squash a nice warmth and depth.
Is there anything more necessary than a generous scoop of mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving? A slice of hot buttered cornbread is nice, too. Some would even say it’s the green bean casserole that really makes the meal special. Personal preferences aside, we can all agree that the sides are the best part of Thanksgiving — next to the smorgasbord of pie, of course. And since we only get to enjoy this celebratory feast one day each year, why not dig in to the indulgent dishes that are so representative of the holiday?
Then again, if you plan on having a lot of leftovers, you could be enjoying these dishes for a few days (or an entire week) after Thanksgiving has passed. That’s incentive to throw some healthier options into the mix. Here are the classic, comforting sides we all long for, with a few minor alterations to make each one less of a splurge. As it turns out, your healthiest Thanksgiving could be your most-traditional yet. Who knew?