Aside from the fabulous flavor, the best thing about grain salad is its versatility. Prepare this recipe for your holiday meal or make it the next day using Turkey Day leftovers. Make it with farro, quinoa, wild rice or any other favorite whole grain.
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What would Thanksgiving be without stuffing? If you’re looking for an allergen-friendly recipe or just a delicious new take on this holiday staple, you’ve found it here! I’ve created a sweet stuffing that is perfect for kids and adults alike. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan so you can easily serve this to your entire Thanksgiving table without having to worry about food preferences. If nut-allergies are a problem, you can easily substitute in ground flax seeds for a similar crunch and nutty flavor.
These Thanksgiving sides all have fewer than 250 calories per serving and will get the attention and admiration of everyone at your table because they’re so unbelievably delicious. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Yummy slices of winter squash topped with maple syrup and a touch of lemon juice.
Recipe: Lemon Maple Squash (pictured above)
Traditional stuffing recipes can easily have 400-500 calories per servings. Sandra uses fresh mushrooms with herbs and spices to bring out the flavor and not your waistline.
Recipe: Sage and Mushroom Stuffing
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?
Pears are one of the few fruits that don’t ripen on the tree. They’re harvested when mature but not quite ripe to eat. They ripen when left at room temperature, becoming sweeter and more succulent from the inside out.
For most varieties, you can’t judge the ripeness of a pear based on its color. Instead you should “Check the Neck.” The USA pear growers came up with this catchy phrase to remind pear lovers to gently apply pressure around the neck of the pear with your thumb. If your thumb yields to the pressure, then you’ve got yourself a nice, juicy pear. Once a pear is ripe, you can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Other pear tips:
- Like apples, pears also brown once sliced. To prevent browning, dip them in a 50:50 mixture of water and lemon juice.
- Place under-ripe pears in a bowl with fruit like bananas that give off ethylene and speed up ripening.
- Wash pears thoroughly before eating in order to eliminate dirt and bacteria. Be sure to pay special attention to the pear near the stem and bottom by gently scrubbing.
Both fresh and canned pumpkins are packed with nutritional goodness. Oftentimes, recipes will use the canned pumpkin since it takes a little work to use fresh. If you choose canned pumpkin, make sure to purchase 100% pureed pumpkin, not pie filling (check the ingredient list).
One cup of canned pumpkin has 83 calories, 1 gram of fat and 7 grams of fiber. It also has close to 800% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A, 49% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K and 19% of your daily recommended amount of iron. It also has a good amount of vitamins E and C, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese.
This recipe uses a combo of diced and pureed pumpkin. Combined with mascarpone and fresh Parmesan cheese, it’s heavenly.
Recipe: Creamy Baked Pumpkin Risotto (above)
Pureed pumpkin mixed with brown sugar, cinnamon and a splash of rum (for the adults) will help warm you up on a chilly night.
Recipe: Mexican Pumpkin Punch
Confession: I had never used a slow cooker until I developed this recipe. Yes, it feels almost un-American to say, but it’s the truth. If you don’t grow up in a home where a slow cooker sits comfortably on the kitchen counter (my mom, Penny, has never owned one in her life), what are the odds that you’d ever switch on a slow cooker? It took me more than two decades of cooking to finally be curious enough to try one and now I can sincerely say, I get it.
The “set-it-and-forget-it” slogan says it all—almost. I guess I was afraid of the always-possible mush factor and I didn’t exactly want shredded chicken. With a bit of trial and error, I realized that sauteing before adding to the slow cooker and timing exactly when I stir in particular ingredients makes a big difference in the finished meal.
What’s your favorite meal to make in your slow cooker?
Depending on the ingredients, basic buttery and sugary popcorn balls can have anywhere from 200 to 400-plus calories. The numbers only go up from there with the addition of nuts, candy and caramel. Treat trick-or-treaters or Halloween party-goers to this homemade version — with a fraction of the calories — instead.
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?
With the crisp chill of fall in the air and the excitement of Halloween around the corner, pumpkin season is in full swing. When you’re carving those pumpkins or making a fresh pumpkin soup, don’t forget about the hidden treasure inside—the seeds.
Pumpkin Seed Facts
Pumpkin seeds can add a rich flavor and crunchy texture to many dishes. The seeds have a white fibrous hull (outside shell) with medium-dark green seeds inside; the green interiors are also called pepitas and are commonly used in Mexican cooking. If you’re scooping the seeds out of your jack o’ lantern, give them a dip in boiling water or toast them—both the hull and the seed are edible though I prefer my pumpkin seeds without the outer hull. You can also buy them at the store either roasted or raw, with or without the hull, and salted or unsalted.