All Posts By Emily Lee

Ovenless Entertaining — Summer Soiree

by in Healthy Recipes, July 30, 2015

When it’s too hot to fathom cooking, it’s easy to fall back on unhealthy packaged foods or takeout. But with the right recipes in your warm-weather arsenal, you can still enjoy homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and sweets. As we enter the hottest days of summer, now’s a good time to take stock of what you’ll need at the store to get you through some no-cook meals. Pull off your next summer gathering without ever turning on your oven with these top no-cook recipes from Food Network chefs.

Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho
If you’re considering preparing soup any time soon, a no-cook option like gazpacho is the way to go. Here, the mild, slightly sweet flavor of watermelon makes a surprisingly wonderful addition to this cool dish.

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Pretty in Pink: 6 Dishes Made Better with Watermelon — Summer Soiree

by in Healthy Recipes, July 23, 2015

We can all agree that watermelon deserves a place in the fruit salad bowl. But have you ever considered it a possible ingredient in salsa, soup or sangria? If not, now’s the time to start experimenting, as the sweet, crisp fruit is at its peak of seasonal freshness. Make your next summer menu pretty in pink with these good-for-you recipes featuring summer’s quintessential melon.

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Green Is the New Black: 5 Must-Try Pestos — Summer Soiree

by in Healthy Recipes, July 16, 2015

There’s nothing like a fresh batch of pesto to imbue pasta, meats and steamed vegetables with bright, herbaceous flavor. Most people are familiar with the classic pesto, a pureed mix of basil, pine nuts, crushed garlic and cheese (usually Parmesan) moistened with a splash of olive oil. But these ingredients, though delicious, can be pricey and difficult to find. The good news is, there are other ways to prepare this zesty sauce from scratch, in less time and with less money spent at the store. If it’s green and a vegetable, chances are you can turn it into pesto. So if your potted basil didn’t fare as well as you’d hoped this summer, never fear: Broccoli, arugula and other greens make great substitutes. Here are five easy takes on the classic pesto to invigorate your favorite summer dishes.

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5 Classic Cocktails, Slimmed Down — Summer Soiree

by in Healthy Recipes, July 9, 2015

Think twice before you reach for that tiki drink. When you consider that one standard shot (1 1/2 fluid ounces) of 80-proof vodka, rum or gin contains roughly 100 calories, you’re likely throwing back more calories than you bargained for on a typical night out, especially if you’re combining a few of these with sugary mixers. One way to take control of your caloric intake is to skip the bar all together and mix your drinks at home. For a lighter version of your favorite cocktail, start by measuring out the hard stuff. Choose 100 percent juice or use fresh fruits and herbs to flavor your drink in place of overly sweetened bottled mixers. And remember: Size matters. Keep the calorie count under control by pouring your cocktails into 8-ounce glasses, or smaller. Whether you prefer clear vodka or dark rum, here are a few classic cocktail recipes, slimmed down for your next summer party.

Mint Julep
As far as cocktails go, mint juleps are far from the worst. Bobby Flay sticks to the classic combination of bourbon whiskey, mint, sugar and shaved ice when preparing his old-fashioned  Mint Julep (pictured at top).

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5 Frozen Treats for a Sweet Fourth — Summer Soiree

by in Healthy Holidays, July 2, 2015

This Independence Day, in the spirit of our nation’s founders, Americans everywhere will be making choices — choices between burgers and hot dogs, iced tea and lemonade, or potato salad and pasta salad. Whether or not you strongly prefer one dish to the other, one item is ubiquitous come dessert time, when Americans everywhere will be savoring ice-cold treats. These five tips will help you prepare healthier ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and more, whether served in a cup, on a stick, atop cake or pie, or in an old-fashioned cone. You definitely won’t want to miss any of these classic recipes and flavors when celebrating the nation’s birthday.

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7 Kebabs for a Healthier Cookout

by in Healthy Recipes, June 28, 2015

While hand-held dogs and soft potato bun-encased burgers stand out in our minds as the all-American cookout foods, there are equally satisfying no-bread-necessary options for your grill. Middle Eastern in origin, kebabs consist of pieces of meat, fish or vegetables grilled on a skewer for easy, one-handed snacking. As far as healthy cookouts go, you can’t go wrong when pairing lean protein and fresh, seasonal vegetables with an array of your favorite spices. This summer, embrace outdoor cooking with these seven good-for-you kebabs that won’t slow down your backyard game of horseshoes.

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Spruced-Up Spuds: 5 Better-for-You Potato Salads — Summer Soiree

by in Healthy Recipes, June 25, 2015

We’re all familiar with old-fashioned potato salad, an equation involving peeled white potatoes, cut into wedges and boiled, then tossed in a creamy-tangy dressing of full-fat mayonnaise and white vinegar. Perhaps you’ve encountered some diced celery, chopped onion and hard-boiled eggs tossed in for varied flavor and texture. No one can contest the comforting appeal of the classic recipe, but there are infinite other ways to prepare this cookout staple without tossing your nutritional goals out the window. Here are five alternatives to get you started. These reimagined potato salads come with some pretty appealing nutritional benefits — without sacrificing any of the flavor.

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Beef and Beyond: 6 Reasons to Cook More Burgers — Summer Soiree

by in Healthy Recipes, June 18, 2015

Now that grilling season is in full swing, you won’t want to miss an opportunity to cook up a juicy burger. While classic beef is undoubtedly the reigning patty of choice, let’s not forget there are burger options that are equally worthy of our attention and just as good (if not better) for us. If you’re hosting a summer party for a health-conscious crowd, whether it’s a casual cookout or a formal sit-down dinner, surprise your guests with a juicy burger that satisfies their hunger and staves off their guilt. From savory beef and poultry to hearty fish and vegetables, here are six powerhouse burgers that cater to various tastes, dietary restrictions and nutritional goals.

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7 Healthy Slaws for Every Palate — Summer Soiree

by in Healthy Recipes, June 11, 2015

Whether you prefer creamy or bright slaw, we can all agree that the best takes on this cookout classic are crunchy, light and refreshing. Here are seven recipes that fit the bill, making good use of cabbage, fennel, snow peas and more.

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6 Reasons Not to Write Off Chicken – Summer Soiree

by in Healthy Recipes, June 4, 2015

For me, chicken can feel like an uninspired fallback at a summer party, depending on the seasonings (or lack thereof) and the method of preparation. Perhaps I’ve been put off by one too many cookouts where the main event consisted of dried-out white meat and the only logical choice was to double up on pasta salad and dessert. But truth be told, chicken — when done right — is a remarkably juicy canvas for conveying endless flavor combinations. With a little imagination (and a tasty rub or glaze), you can capture the attention of everyone at your summer party, starting with these healthy takes on the common bird. I, for one, am ready to give chicken a second look.

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