All Posts In Healthy Recipes

Go Green Shake

by in Healthy Recipes, March 15, 2012
green smoothie
Skip the Shamrock Shake and make an emerald shake instead.

Pass on fast food milkshakes that are infused with artificial colors; in honor of St. Patrick we’re giving a real green drink a try.

It’s Not Easy Being Green
Green foods are bursting with nutrients but they may not top your list of smoothie ingredients. But you’re in luck — the right combo of fruits and vegetables makes a mean, green drink.

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Get Your Plate in Shape: Breakfast

by in Healthy Recipes, March 8, 2012

myplateMarch is National Nutrition Month, and in honor of this official campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, we’re giving you meal options that follow the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines. This week we’re hitting up 5 breakfast options.

The Guidelines
MyPlate is about giving you a visual of which foods should be on your plate at each meal. You want to build a healthy meal from the 5 food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, lean proteins and nonfat or low fat dairy. You don’t need to have all 5 groups on your plate at each meal, but you should focus on getting in as many as possible, especially fruits and veggies.

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Spice of the Month: Fennel Seed

by in Healthy Recipes, March 6, 2012
fennel
Make this spice your new secret ingredient.

Is that jar of fennel seed collecting dust in your cabinet? If so, you’re missing out. Make it your secret weapon in the kitchen.

Fennel Basics
You’ve got to love fresh fennel – you can eat the bulb, leaves and seeds. Dried fennel seeds are tiny, slivered seeds with a peppery-anise taste. A classic flavor in Italian sausages, fennel can be used in both sweet and savory recipes.

Historically, fennel seed has been used for various medicinal purposes including lactation, digestion, respiratory conditions and treating babies with colic. In Mediterranean cultures, it’s common to chew on fennel seeds after a meal – the candy coated ones are especially yummy.

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Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

by in Healthy Recipes, March 2, 2012
chicken cacciatore
Add a new chicken dish to your reperatoire.

Feel like chicken tonight? This classic dinnertime staple is anything but routine with our favorite healthy chicken recipes — try one of these twists on old favorites, or something brand-new this weekend.

Just Like Mom Used to Make: Chicken Cacciatore (above)

Kid Friendly, Parent Approved: Baked Chicken Fingers

Pub Fare Favorite: Buffalo Chicken Salad

Good for the Soul: Curried Chicken Soup

Fit for a Fiesta: Chicken and Bean Burritos

Chinese Take-Out, Made at Home: Sweet and Sour Chicken

An Italian Classic, Lightened Up: Chicken Parmesan

See All 22 of Our Healthiest Chicken Dinners

What’s your favorite chicken dish?

 

Make Your Own Girl Scout Cookies

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Meal Makeovers, March 2, 2012
girl scout cookies
Homemade Girl Scout cookies, inspired by Thank U Berry Munch cookies.

It’s that time a year again! We covered homemade recipes for classics like Samoas, Thin Mints and Tagalongs, now it’s time for one of the newest Girl Scout cookie flavors.

Giving Thanks

Don’t get us wrong – our intention is not to thwart the fundraising efforts of deserving girl scouts. But let’s face it, all packaged cookies need preservatives to stay fresh. We’re offering a recipe with nothing but real ingredients. Besides, you can only get your hands on these cookies once a year so it’s nice to have a recipe on hand when girls scouts are on hiatus.
Thank U Berry Munch” cookies debuted in 2010. Made with sweet-tart cranberries and white chocolate, our version has all the flavor and none of the preservatives. Some online reviews noted that this cookies was overly sweet so we took that into account when creating this tasty version.

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Why We Love Tofu

by in Healthy Recipes, February 28, 2012
bbq tofu
Barbequed Tofu

If you’re looking to reduce your cholesterol or eat more plant foods, tofu is an excellent protein-packed option. Choosing the type of tofu can get a little confusing, but we’ve got you covered along with recipe ideas too.

Tofu 101
Also called soybean curd, tofu is made by curdling soy milk with a coagulant (such as calcium sulfate or nigari, which is found naturally in ocean water). It’s then pressed (similar to cheese) and the firmness depends on the amount of liquid that’s extracted.  Tofu has a bland, slightly nutty flavor that absorbs the flavors you combine it with.

There are 3 types of tofu available at the market: firm, soft, and silken. Firm tofu (also found as “extra firm”) holds up well in dishes where you want it to maintain its shape like on the grill or in a stir-fry. Soft tofu is appropriate for recipes where you blend the tofu like puddings, tofu scrambles or eggless egg salad. Silken tofu is made by a slightly different process where the end result is a custard-like product. It’s great in pureed dishes like smoothies and mousse.

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Gluten-Free Spiced Matcha Crunch Truffles

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, February 19, 2012
gluten-free matcha truffles
Gluten-and-Dairy-Free Matcha Truffles -- Photo by Silvana Nardone

The one thing that matters to me, even after Valentine’s Day is that there is chocolate in the house—really, any kind will do. By nature, chocolate is gluten free. But chocolate treats are often full of dairy—and other added ingredients that aren’t exactly good for you. After a little playing around in the kitchen, I realized that there was no reason to pigeonhole myself in traditional truffle-making technique.

Instead, I relied on the properties of individual ingredients to give me the texture I wanted. In place of heavy cream, which adds silkiness, I used tempered egg yolks to emulsify the chocolate truffle mixture. To hold the truffles together, I swapped coconut oil (I prefer the flavorless kind, but you can use either) for the usual butter.

Then came the fun part: Adding immune-supporting spices and teas, like turmeric root and green tea. In these truffles, which are infinitely adaptable to any flavor combination, there also just happens to be some feel-good, aphrodisiac ingredients, like chocolate and vanilla.

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Meet This Grain: Amaranth

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, February 17, 2012
amaranth
Have you tried amaranth?

This under-appreciated grain is a perfect way to get in your whole grains, plus it’s gluten-free. Get tips on cooking it and creative recipes to try this tiny grain.

What is Amaranth?
Also called pigweed or Chinese spinach, amaranth was a staple crop of the Aztecs who used to make idols from amaranth, honey and human blood. This outraged Cortes who burned the amaranth fields and decreed that anyone growing the crop would be killed.

Amaranth was rediscovered centuries later and about 60 varieties are available today. Although amaranth is categorized as a grain, it’s really a seed (just like quinoa). The tiny seeds are about the size of sesame seeds and have a yellowish color. The seeds can be used whole or ground into flour. They have a sweet and nutty flavor and are a bit crunchy when cooked. The greens of the plant are also edible and have a sweet flavor.

Today China is the biggest producer of the grain, but it’s also cultivated in Mexico, Central America and some areas in the U.S.

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Chocolate 5 Ways

by in 1 Food, 5 Ways, Valentine's Day, February 13, 2012
Celebrate Valentine's Day with chocolate treats morning, noon and night.

Just a touch of chocolate is all you need to remind that special someone how you feel. This Valentine’s Day, enjoy any of these scrumptious chocolate delights morning, noon or night.

Breakfast
Start Valentine’s Day with chocolate-filled French toast. Even your kid will be shocked you served chocolate for breakfast! With only 1 teaspoon of bittersweet chocolate chips per serving, a little goes a long way.

Recipe: Chocolate and Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

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The Veggie Table: Meatless Mexican Lasagna

by in Healthy Recipes, The Veggie Table, February 10, 2012
mexican vegetarian lasagna
Mexican lasagna: Meat-free and flavor-packed.

Lasagna is one of those dishes I reserve for the winter months, when I want something warm and comforting. This Mexican Lasagna, which uses tortillas in place of lasagna noodles, has some added heat from the salsa and jalapenos to really warm things up on a cold winter day. If you can’t stand the heat, use a mild salsa and omit the jalapeno.

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