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.”

What Is Maguey Sweet Sap?

by in Healthy Tips, October 6, 2015

There’s another sticky-sweet option for your pancakes, and this one even has a little fiber. But are the reported health benefits and flavor of maguey (mah-gay) sweet sap enough to convert maple syrup lovers? Here are the facts and what we thought in Food Network Kitchen. Read more

What Is Cacao Butter?

by in Healthy Recipes, September 16, 2015

At first glance a hunk of cacao butter looks just like white chocolate, but it’s actually the cream that comes from cold-pressing raw cacao beans. The other byproduct from cold-pressing is the fiber from the beans, which is ground into raw cacao powder (not to be confused with cocoa powder, which is ground roasted cacao beans). Read more

Can You Eat to Sleep?

by in Healthy Recipes, September 7, 2015

We’re not great sleepers in this country. According to Healthy People 2020, a science-based government organization, about 25 percent of us suffer from insufficient sleep (that’s less than six hours per night) about half of every month. That’s a lot of lost z’s! Some experts believe that tossing and turning at night can lead to an increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure and even heart disease. That means that a good night’s sleep may be just as important as a well-balanced diet and regular exercise! Read more

Now Trending: Say Hello to the Hawaiian Poke Bowl

by in Healthy Recipes, August 7, 2015

Imagine your favorite sushi roll. Now imagine it deconstructed and served in a bowl: sticky rice topped with marinated raw fish, avocado, scallion, sesame seeds and toasted seaweed. Well, that’s one combination! Poke (POH-key) is a healthy Hawaiian staple of marinated, cut-up raw fish, often made with tuna. Build-your-own poke bowl spots are popping up all over the country, where you can pair your choice of delicate fish with rice and as many toppings as a burrito bar. We’re smitten with the hot-meets-cold and cooked-meets-raw delicious dichotomy of the poke bowl, so we made our own version in Food Network Kitchen, opting for Omega-3-rich salmon as the star. It’s low in calories, high in protein and super easy to prep and top. Read more

Make Over Your Fruit: Roasting Changes Everything!

by in Healthy Recipes, July 27, 2015

Stone fruits, blueberries and grapes have always wanted to be roasted. We know this is true because they taste so good! Roasting amplifies the flavors of the fruit: As they soften and caramelize, they release their juices and their flavor is intensified. Plus, there’s no need to add extra sugar or fat; all you need is ripe and beautiful fruit.  Read more

Spiralize It! And Win a Paderno Spiralizer from Williams-Sonoma

by in Giveaway, July 14, 2015


Sometimes you just need to take your produce for a spin — or, in this case, a spiral. Easy to use and with a small countertop footprint, the Paderno Spiralizer can turn most firm fruits and vegetables into neat piles of curlicues of all sizes, destined for dishes like salads, stir-fries and pasta. This fun shape may even entice picky eaters to bulk up on their veggies. Read more

Father’s Day Beer-and-Butter Shrimp Foil Pack

by in Healthy Recipes, June 19, 2015

Yes, beer and butter can be healthy! And a little goes a long way in this simple low calorie shrimp dish, which is perfect for Dad’s special day. All of the ingredients are sealed up in a foil packet so the flavor can’t sneak out. It cooks up in just minutes, so there’s more time to spend with Dad! Read more

Meet the Dragon Fruit (and Make Dragon Fruit Recipes!)

by in Healthy Recipes, June 15, 2015

Aptly named, this native South American fruit (also called the pitaya) looks like a mythical fire-breathing artichoke with its pink-to-reddish, or sometimes yellow, scale-like leaves. Dragon fruit is actually the flower from a plant that grows in tropical regions, which blooms at night just once! Cut it open and you’ll find the fairy tale continues: The inside of the fruit resembles and tastes like a cross between a pear and a kiwi. It’s slightly sweet, creamy and refreshing. Read more

Kids Can Help Make These Mother’s Day Toasts

by in Healthy Holidays, May 7, 2015

Just in time for Mother’s Day, we’re making a special toast (no, not the bubbly kind) that both moms and kids can enjoy. This crunchy, whole-grain breakfast option doesn’t even require a stovetop. Whether Mom has a sweet tooth or likes a savory breakfast (or both!), she’ll love these toasts. Plus, they’re perfectly portable, so you don’t even need a tray to serve her breakfast in bed. Kids can help with the prep and the spreads as well as the decorating. Read more

Food Network Test Kitchen Taste Test: Plant-Based Waters

by in Taste Test, March 17, 2015

The hydration bar has been raised. With a whole host of new plant-based drinks (even ones from trees!) flooding the marketplace, it’s never been more exciting to quench your thirst. We taste-tested a few of the new beverages in our test kitchen so you can pick your favorites.

Harmless Harvest: 100% Raw Coconut Water
What they say: This coconut drink is organically grown in Thailand, where the brand employs locals to do the harvesting and processing. Pressure-treated and never heated, each bottle has its own unique flavor.
Stats: 56 calories and a hefty 514 milligrams of potassium per single 8-ounce serving
What we thought: This water is what we’ve always wanted in a fruit-spiked product. With both floral and pleasant vegetal notes (someone mentioned toasted pumpkin seeds), the super-refreshing drink was a hit with staffers. Read more