We wrote about how amazing broccoli leaves are earlier this year, and the love affair continues. These dark leafy greens grow on the outside of the plant stalk and can be prepared just like kale or Swiss chard. They are loaded with vitamin C and calcium, and since they’re really a two-in-one food — the leaves and stalks can be cooked separately — we in Food Network Kitchen jumped for joy when a delivery of the crunchy cruciferous leaves came from Sycamore Farms, located north of New York City in Middletown, N.Y. Read more
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For most of us, raw cauliflower isn’t the thing that gets our hearts racing. But never mind crudites — it’s that time of year when we need ready-to-bake lasagnas on hand in the fridge, or simple, satisfying pasta recipes to whip up on a busy weeknight. As it turns out, there are plenty of clever ways to incorporate the tender, winter-white florets into the season’s most-time-honored comfort foods. You can even replace traditional mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower, or try tossing the roasted florets in hot sauce for a lighter alternative to Buffalo chicken wings. Whether you’re preparing a hearty sit-down meal or a casual snack to enjoy at the next big tailgate, here are six ways to revamp classic comfort foods by giving them a healthy cauliflower twist.
Roasted Cauliflower Lasagna (pictured at top)
When we’re talking comfort food, lasagna is one of the first dishes to come to mind. Beef, although classic, doesn’t need to be a part of the equation — especially if you’re looking to cut fat from your diet. In Food Network Kitchen’s healthy take, cauliflower is the star. The tender florets are not only blended into the ricotta cheese filling for texture, but also roasted and used in place of the traditional meatballs or sausage.
Though canned pumpkin puree stars in many of our favorite baked goods, fresh-picked pumpkin isn’t as widely used, even when it’s in season. As it turns out, fresh pumpkins have uses beyond jack-o’-lantern carving: Cooking with this tender-when-roasted squash variety brings a hearty, mildly sweet element to many of our favorite fall dishes. This season, use a little elbow grease to break down fresh, in-season pumpkin so you can use it in some of fall’s finest good-for-you recipes.
1. Next time you crave innately creamy risotto, bring morsels of diced, semisweet pumpkin into the mix. This Creamy Baked Pumpkin Risotto, made extra-creamy and luxurious with the addition of mascarpone cheese, is cooked in the oven so you won’t have to stand over the stove for endless stirring.
2. Amplify the sweetness of standard pumpkin soup by bringing in juicy (and also in-season) apples. The Honeycrisp variety, as well as chopped sage, adds multiple layers of flavor to this healthy Pumpkin-Apple Soup, which gets a garnish of chopped peanuts on top.
3. If you haven’t considered fresh pumpkin as a contender for your side dishes, meet Anne Burrell’s Curried Pumpkin with Caramelized Onions. Cooked low and slow for over an hour, this mild, slightly sweet squash variety becomes dynamic with a seasoning of garam masala, red pepper flakes and toasted green pumpkin seeds.
4. Scoop out a pumpkin’s flesh to make way for a festive fall presentation of Food Network Magazine’s Squash Soup in Pumpkin Bowls. Use the hollow pumpkin as a vehicle for this healthy, creamy, slightly sweet soup, and bits of roasted and tender pumpkin will work their way into your spoonfuls.
5. Bring another side of fresh pumpkin into your comfort food dishes. Turkey and Pumpkin Seed Chili may not call for the flesh of the fall favorite, but the pumpkin’s seeds bring a satisfying crunchy element to warming, good-for-you and cocoa-spiked chili.
On the list of classic lunches, peanut butter and jelly ranks at the top. It’s a simple combo of rich, nutty peanut butter with berry-flavored jam, all snuggled together between two fluffy pieces of bread. And whether you cut the crusts, go chunky versus smooth or toss in some sliced bananas, the balance of sweet and savory makes it a favorite of kids and adults alike. Read more
Head to your local market and you’ll find delicious pears piled high right next to all those apples. Many recipes are substituting crunchy pears in place of apples. It appears that pears are everywhere — but are they the new apples?
Fall is officially here, and what better way to kick off the season than with a rich and creamy, no-added-sugar Chai Apple Pie Smoothie Bowl. Laced with heart-healthy spices, and naturally sweetened with fruit, this protein- and fiber-rich fall-inspired smoothie bowl is sure to warm your heart — and power your day. Read more
Are your kids big fans of fast food? Try these healthy, homemade and kid-friendly alternatives. Read more
If you’re daunted by the idea of baking with fresh pumpkin, well, we can’t really blame you. Splitting, gutting and skinning a whole pumpkin with nothing more than a carving knife and a large spoon to scoop out the seeds is a time-consuming process — and completely unnecessary when you have pure pumpkin puree on hand. Luckily, one-half cup of unsweetened canned pumpkin contains roughly 50 calories per serving, which means it’s a great way to add moisture and creaminess to your favorite baked goods for very little additional fat or sugar. Better yet, it’s a quick and convenient method for imbuing each bite of cookie, muffin or pie with comforting fall flavor. Here are five easy ways to work rich pumpkin puree into your favorite baked goods, from classic pumpkin pie to cheesy pumpkin biscuits.
Instead of relying on fat for flavor, Ellie Krieger’s better-for-you muffins get their distinctively warm spiciness from molasses, dark brown sugar and a total of four ground spices: cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Low-fat buttermilk, canned pumpkin and just a touch of canola oil instill a moist tenderness in each of these wholesome pumpkin-seed-flecked muffins.
Mmmm, chicken and dumplings. It’s a big bowl of comfort food: fluffy, soft dumplings that float atop a stick-to-the-ribs chicken stew bubbling underneath. Read more
We’re now officially a couple of weeks into fall, and pumpkins are everywhere — stacked up outside grocery stores and in pumpkin-spice everything. But there’s a lot more fall produce you should be excited about. Here are some of the season’s best assets, plus ideas for incorporating them into healthy fall meals. Read more