by Alexandra Caspero in Healthy Recipes, August 8, 2016
by Silvana Nardone in Healthy Recipes, August 7, 2016
Celebrate mango season with these fresh spring rolls! I’m a big fan of spring rolls for a light, refreshing meal. Packed with whatever fruit or vegetable I can get my hands on, they are the perfect dish to make when you have a bunch of vegetable scraps lying around. As with most good recipes, once you get the hang of stuffing and wrapping these, you can customize them to whatever you have on hand. As long as the ingredients taste good together, they will taste great wrapped in a spring roll.
For easy assembly, you’ll want to have the filling chopped and ready to go ahead of time. Thin strips of vegetables are easier for stuffing and won’t poke through the delicate rice paper as heartier chunks might. Make sure to use a damp paper towel for lining the prepared rolls so they don’t dry out and crack. While these will keep in the fridge, they taste best when enjoyed right after making. To transition these rolls to a heartier meal, add in precooked shrimp, chicken or baked tofu. Enjoy any leftover filling and sauce like a salad. Read more
by Emily Lee in Healthy Recipes, August 4, 2016
There’s nothing like a ripe tomato to get your summer juices flowing. Whether you grow your own in your garden or get seduced at the market, these recipes are perfect individually or even as a complete menu for a get-together on a hot summer night. Bonus: The recipes are not only satisfyingly refreshing, but also easy on the waistline.
Shrimp Scampi Risotto-Stuffed Tomatoes (pictured above)
Entertaining? Just double this recipe for your next get-together.
1/4 cup finely crushed brown rice cereal
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 large ripe tomatoes (about 3 pounds)
1/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 pound medium shrimp — peeled, deveined and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons dry vermouth, optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the cereal, 2 teaspoons of the parsley and half of the chopped garlic.
Cut tops off tomatoes and reserve. Carefully scoop out the tomato pulp, leaving the tomatoes intact, and place in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the rice, salt, pepper, lemon zest, shrimp, olive oil, remaining chopped garlic, remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and vermouth, if using.
Place the tomato cups in a baking dish and fill evenly with the rice mixture. Top generously with the crumb mixture and drizzle with olive oil; top with the tomato tops. Bake until the rice is cooked through, about 1 hour. Serve warm or chilled. Read more
by Serena Ball in Healthy Recipes, August 3, 2016
It’s that time of year when basil is abundant everywhere we turn, from our own herb gardens to top restaurants’ menus. We’re finding the fragrant green leaves torn and mixed with salad greens, muddled at the bottom of highball glasses, blended into ice cream and pulsed with garlic, Parmesan and pine nuts until a fragrant pesto sauce comes into being. Part of the beauty of this leafy summer herb is its approachability; in other words, you don’t need to be a trained chef in order to dream up some creative takes on it. If you’re like us and keep a fresh bundle in a vase on your countertop all season long, waiting for the perfect excuse to snip off a few leaves, then you just found a reason to celebrate. Here are seven in-season (and healthy!) dishes that just won’t suffice without basil.
In its purest form, this rustic summer appetizer consists of toasted baguette slices topped with an ample scoop of chopped tomatoes, garlic, onions and basil. A snack this simple is only as good as its ingredients, so splurge on the freshest produce you can find — especially the basil, which makes a gorgeous leafy topper for each neatly portioned bite in Giada De Laurentiis’ Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Bruschetta recipe.
by Michelle Dudash in 5-Ingredient Recipes, Healthy Recipes, Uncategorized, August 1, 2016
Okra is a staple in what has become “trendy” — good ol’ Southern cooking. But let’s be blunt: Can you get past the slimy texture?
If the answer is yes, then you will have one of the very best vegan thickeners around. The thick, viscous liquid (slime!) that’s produced when the carbohydrates and proteins in okra pods are cooked is known as mucilage. It thickens Creole stews and gumbos, as well as Indian curries. When classically stewed with tomatoes, all the textures melt together into a pot of Southern “love.”
Or, to preserve its snappy texture, okra is often pickled. It’s also virtually slime-free when grilled, which also adds smoky flavors that pair well with peppers and spicy chiles.
Okra isn’t hard to cook, but there are a few tricks. In this salad, okra is cooked quickly to keep it from becoming mushy, yet long enough to release the natural thickeners that help form a salad dressing and keep the rice moist. In terms of nutrition, okra is high in fiber, with 2 grams per half-cup serving; it is also rich in potassium, folate, magnesium, and vitamins C and K.
If you can find fresh okra — which is season right now at farmers markets — buy a batch. Look for small okra, no longer than about 4 inches. Snack on them raw, and use them as a surprising addition to a crudite platter.Frozen okra is also perfect in this salad. The frozen version makes this salad an easy side come autumn and tailgating parties; it’s also a quick, convenient dinner salad for any time of year. Read more
by Emily Lee in Healthy Recipes, July 28, 2016
There’s something particularly appealing about tossing aluminum-foil pouches on the grill: The simplicity. Memories from camping. No messy pan or counter cleanup! Possibilities exist beyond chicken and potatoes, like halibut. Fresh Alaskan halibut is in peak season late spring through early fall. When cooked properly, halibut is moist and “creamy,” yet light. Halibut is a good source of potassium and contributes roughly an entire day’s requirement (300 to 500 milligrams) of the Omega-3s EPA and DHA, which are recommended by the World Health Organization due to their protective benefits against coronary heart disease and stroke.
Corn adds more staying power to this dish with a light balance of complex carbs to round it out. And let’s not forget that corn counts as a vegetable, too. The juices from the corn, halibut and tomatoes simmer into a flavorful broth that you’ll find yourself sipping with a spoon. Next time you’re thinking about cooking fish for dinner, elevate your senses with these juicy halibut pouches. Read more
by Min Kwon, MS, RD in Healthy Recipes, July 24, 2016
There are few summer pastimes more satisfying than nibbling a cool slice of watermelon right down to the rind. And while we completely support enjoying the juicy, low-calorie pink fruit in its raw, unadulterated form, we can also get behind soups, salads and desserts that highlight its incredible range and versatility. From sweet shaved ice to spicy watermelon gazpacho, here are seven fresh uses for that ripe watermelon chilling in your fridge.
Gingery Watermelon Petit Fours
Looking for a lighter alternative to quench your after-dinner sweet tooth? Try dousing juicy watermelon squares in a ginger syrup, then letting the watermelon soak for a few hours before topping each square with a dollop of honey-laced cream cheese.
by Emily Lee in Healthy Recipes, July 21, 2016
Peach season is in full swing, and oh how I wish it were here to stay forever! The brutally hot months seem a bit more tolerable when biting into the juicy and luscious quintessential summer food. I am blessed to live just a couple of hours away from a town called Fredericksburg, Texas, which is known for its peach orchards, among many other things. Come summer, this quaint German town’s main attraction is peach picking, and there will definitely be lines at the orchards. The “Closed/Sold Out” signs are sure to make an appearance sooner rather than later, so getting an early start on the day is worth a little loss of sleep. Having spent many years in Georgia, I know a thing or two about peaches, but you won’t ever see me in the debate about which state has the best peaches. To each his own!
While peaches are perfect simply as is, when you realize some are ripening at a much faster rate than you can consume them, consider making this peach compote. Using overripe peaches also allows for fewer sweeteners to be added. In this case, all that was needed was a little maple syrup. Simply stir all the ingredients together in a saucepan, and in less than 10 minutes you’ve got yourself a scrumptious topping or sauce to spoon on top of overnight oats, pancakes, waffles, ice cream … you name it! Read more
by Michelle Dudash in 5-Ingredient Recipes, Healthy Recipes, July 20, 2016
Let’s talk about corn. And we don’t mean boxed muffin mixes or the oily hardened batter that separates basic hot dogs from “corn” dogs. We’re talking fresh-off-the-cob kernels of golden summer corn — or “maize,” as it’s known in its native Mexico. After decades of commercialized farming, we’ve come to think of this ubiquitous crop as the bane of our healthy-eating efforts, reduced to greasy convenience foods and high-fructose corn syrup — the insidious sweetening agent hidden in many shelf-stable products. It’s safe to say the crop’s image is in a state of crisis. We’ve forgotten that, in its purest incarnation, this ancient grain was destined for greatness. Take these seven corn salads, for example, each one paired with more peak-season produce, such as juicy tomatoes, sweet bell peppers and fresh basil. This is exactly the kind of corn renaissance we’ve been waiting for.
Fresh Corn Salad
It doesn’t get any fresher than Ina Garten’s crunchy corn salad. Submerging the quick-boiled cobs in an ice bath may seem like a tedious extra step, but we swear by it. Not only does it stop the cooking right away, but it also preserves the beautiful yellow color for your salad.
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Recipes, July 19, 2016
If you’re craving a juicy piece of meat from the grill but still desire a meal with a light finish, give pork tenderloin a try. Ounce for ounce, pork tenderloin is as lean as skinless chicken breast, making it a healthy choice in the meat aisle.
Peaches are in peak season all summer, timed perfectly for grilling. Peaches take on a concentrated, natural sweetness when grilled, as the cooking thickens their juices. To select peaches for grilling, opt for those that yield to gentle pressure when squeezed gently in the palm of the hand, while being free of wrinkled skins. A sweet peachy scent is another giveaway. Avoid using firm peaches, as the pits will be difficult to remove and the flesh will taste tart. Grilled peaches also pair well with chicken or can be enjoyed as a side dish for any barbecue. If you’re looking to spice things up, sprinkle on cinnamon. And for added entertainment, when someone asks you what’s for dinner, in a Southern accent drawl, “Pork ‘n’ peaches.” That’s what I do. Read more
Meat, fish, chicken and vegetables aren’t the only foods you can toss on the grill. Fruits like pineapple, strawberries and even watermelon are becoming more popular to fire up too. Here are three fun combinations you can try the next time you’re barbecuing.
Unless you have a grill basket, berries are easiest to grill when threaded on skewers. Here are the basic steps to follow for killer berry kebabs:
1) Choose your berry: Strawberries are largest and easiest to work with, but you can skewer blueberries and blackberries too.
2) Brush with a sweet flavor: Combine maple or agave syrup with lemon zest and a touch of a neutral oil (like canola or safflower), and brush on the threaded berries.
3) Select an herb: Complement the flavor of berries with mint, basil or lavender. Chop the herb and sprinkle it over your skewers before serving.
4) Grill over a low flame: Berries burn easily, so be sure to grill them over low heat.
Recipe to try: Grilled Strawberry Kebabs with Lemon-Mint Sauce (pictured above) Read more