All Posts By Leah Brickley

Leah Brickley is a Recipe Developer and Nutritionist in Food Network Kitchen. “My day typically bookends with researching, cooking, tasting, enjoying, evaluating and talking about food.”

The Secret to Great Gluten-Free Pizza? You’d Be Surprised.

by in Gluten-Free, May 10, 2014

meatball pizza

This Jimmy Kimmel video made the rounds this week when his show stumped a few civilians on the street by asking them to explain what gluten is. But Kimmel’s best line just might have been: “People are very anti-gluten, which bothers me because I’m very pro-pizza — and you can’t be pro-pizza and anti-gluten.”

Well, it turns out you actually can be — once you have a great gluten-free pizza dough. At Food Network Kitchen, we ate A LOT of gluten-free pizzas for research purposes before we developed our own gluten-free dough. From frozen to pizzeria-fresh, we tried everything we could get our hands on. Truth be told, most were disappointingly tough and gummy. Where was that chewy pull from the crust? After lots of conversation (and chewing), we realized that we were unfairly comparing gluten-free pizza dough to regular pizza dough. They are like apples and oranges. So we adjusted our expectations and found a few gluten-free pizzas that were good — and even some that were more than good.

Read more

A Little Bit of Cheese Goes a Long Way

by in Healthy Tips, March 19, 2013

Risotto with Yogurt and Peas

The March issue of Food Network Magazine is the cheese issue. While working on the issue, I found that you don’t need a ton of cheese to add big flavor; stretching out your cheese means fewer calories, and it’s cost effective, too. Use these tips in your everyday cooking:

A little goes a long way. When using strong cheeses like the blue cheese in this month’s Turkey Cobb Salad on page 96, remember that sometimes just a sprinkle is enough. We used only 1/4 cup (about 1 tablespoon per person)—that equals just 30 calories.

Reserve your rind. We added a piece of Parmesan rind to the broth for our light Risotto With Yogurt and Peas on page 150 (pictured above). This old-school cooking trick is something grandmothers have been doing for years—it’s a cost-saving way to add richness and depth.

Put your peeler to use. Try using it to create the shaved cheddar cheese on our Cheddar and Peanut Butter Bites on page 146. Peeling is a great way to ensure thin pieces of cheese; they’re just as satisfying as any hunk.

Breakfast Changes Lives

by in Food News, March 1, 2013

oatmeal
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and a new study shows just how important breakfast is for kids. The study, released by Share Our Strength, an organization Food Network has partnered with to raise money to fight childhood hunger, reveals that of the 21 million U.S. kids that get free or reduced-price school lunch, only a shocking half get breakfast. That means millions of children are starting their day hungry, making it more difficult for them to learn. The study also found that kids who eat school breakfast attend on average 1.5 more days of school, average 17.5% higher on math test scores and are 20% more likely to graduate high school.

Share Our Strength is making breakfast in schools a priority through Breakfast Changes Lives, an initiative in conjunction with the organization’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Read more

Snacks With 100 Calories (or Fewer!)

by in Healthy Recipes, February 20, 2013

grapefruit
Mix up your snack routine with these fancy and fun low-snacks. Enjoy!

1. Roasted Sweet Potato with Salsa (92 calories)- Top half a medium baked skin-on sweet potato (51 calories) with 1/4 cup salsa (21 calories) and 2 teaspoons sour cream (20 calories).

2. Graprefruit Brulee (90 calories)- Sprinkle 1/2 a medium grapefruit (60 calories) with 2 teaspoons of turbinado sugar (30 calories) and broil until golden. (above, from Food Network Magazine)

Read more

A Cookie Classic Gets Thinner

by in Healthy Recipes, November 29, 2012

peanut butter cookies
Who doesn’t love a peanut butter cookie? The next time you’re craving crunchy, sweet and salty, try indulging in our Crunchy Peanut Butter Thins. We’ve trimmed the classic cookie down, making it leaner and crunchier (by adding chia seeds) and gave it just the right balance of salt and sweet. It’s prefect for a quick snack or if you need a little something after dinner. Enjoy!

Get the Recipe: Food Network Kitchens’ Crunchy Peanut Butter Thins

What’s for Breakfast? English Beans and Toast

by in Healthy Recipes, November 10, 2012

eggs and beans on toast
Beans and toast is a breakfast tradition in the UK (it’s both adored and loathed) that has stood the test of time. The story goes that in 1927 an executive at Heinz decided to create a national dish in order to sell more canned beans and an iconic dish was born.

If you’re interested in becoming a convert then try Food Network Magazine’s Baked Eggs and Beans on Toast. We’ve modernized this classic by adding a fresh tomato salad and a baked egg. Make half the recipe to make a more responsible breakfast portion for four. Enjoy!

What other cuisines inspire you for breakfast?

 

 

Do You Have 5 Minutes? Make Garlic-Tomato Toast

by in Healthy Recipes, October 18, 2012

tomato toast
If you have 5 minutes, then you have time to make a healthy snack (one of my personal favorites). Toast 1 slice of whole grain bread, rub with the cut-side of a halved garlic clove  and then with a halved plum tomato. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with kosher or flaky sea salt. (Image courtesy of Food Network Magazine. Use whole-grain bread to amp up the healthfulness of this super-fast snack.)

Maybe you’ll even have enough time to make one for a friend!

What would you make if you only had 5 minutes?

 

 

 

Food Network Kitchens’ Top 15 Ingredients for a Healthy Kitchen

by in Healthy Tips, October 17, 2012

parmesan cheese
Planning ahead is key for healthy cooking. Keep your kitchen stocked with simple, inexpensive ingredients and weeknight cooking will be much easier (and more fun!). Here’s what the experts in Food Network Kitchens have in their kitchens:

1. Eggs: Whip up a quick omelet, poach eggs in tomato sauce or hard-boil a few for quick snacks throughout the week.

2. Parmesan cheese: Invest in a microplane zester and grate Parmesan into salads and soups just to name a couple. Remember a little goes a long way. We also love to throw pieces of the cheese rind into simmering soups for a flavor boost.

3. Low-fat plain Greek yogurt: Perfect on its own as a snack with fresh berries or the base for a healthy creamy dressing.

4. Real maple syrup: Keep stored in the fridge, add a quick drizzle when you’re craving a little sweetness in things like your oatmeal or coffee.

5. Pickles: Think beyond just dill cucumber pickles. We love pickled green beans, beets, cauliflower and okra. These are great to have on hand for a quick, low-calorie snack or on the side for dinner.

Read more

What’s for Breakfast?: Vietnamese Pho

by in Healthy Recipes, October 13, 2012

pho
We’re all familiar with breakfast staples like cereal, scrambled eggs and toast but how does the rest of the world start their day? In Vietnam a rich and aromatic soup made with rice noodles called pho is often eaten at breakfast.

The soup starts with a long simmered broth of roasted beef or chicken bones typically with spices like ginger, cinnamon and star anise (your kitchen will smell amazing!). It’s ladled over noodles into big bowls and lucky eaters get to stir in their favorite flavors and toppings like lime juice, fish sauce, bean sprouts, chilies, onion, mint and basil.

Hungry? Try pho for breakfast sometime. Here’s a delicious simplified version of pho that can be made in advance. Reheat the broth and keep toppings refrigerated in an airtight container. Try using low-sodium soy sauce in place of the fish sauce.

Remember that pho is perfect for dinner too!

What’s your favorite non-traditional breakfast?

New Play on Cottage Cheese

by in Healthy Recipes, October 3, 2012

white bean dip
Everyone’s familiar with the classic diner combo of cottage cheese and pineapple (or peaches).  Whether you’re a fan of cottage cheese on its own (or with fruit) or not, here’s a new way to use this   with this lighter creamy white dip recipe. We pureed reduced-fat cottage cheese with white beans to make a satisfying, low-calorie dip. Enjoy it as a healthy snack or serve it for game day. Enjoy!

Read more