To celebrate National Hot Tea Month we thought we’d highlight some of the more unique things you can do with brewed tea. Steep a pot of green tea and save the leftovers for this amazing smoothie. Perfect for breakfast or post-workout, tea perks up this refreshing smoothie, adding flavor and antioxidants for virtually no additional calories.
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The numbers are in for the top recipes of 2012 and the results reveal that chicken continues to be a winning lean protein choice — with fish not far behind — plus a few comfort food favorites made the list, like macaroni and cheese and breakfast burritos. What will the new year bring? Can we expect to see more kale and chard on our plates alongside the chicken?
10. Apple Muffins: Ellie Krieger replaces butter with applesauce in these muffins which doesn’t just make them more nutritious, it also makes them extra moist.
9. Fish Tacos With Chipotle Cream: Pile marinated fish, cabbage, corn and chipotle-spiked yogurt sauce into corn tortillas for an instant fiesta.
8. Herbed Quinoa: Giada DeLaurentiis dresses this quick-cooking, protein-packed grain with a simple herb-and-lemon vinaigrette for a super simple, pairs-with-anything side dish.
7. Three-Cheese Macaroni: This comfort food classic is made with muenster, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, plus steamed cauliflower for an extra serving of veggies.
6. Chicken Saltimbocca (above): Giada’s stuffed chicken sounds decadent, but the calories in this classic Italian chicken dish are kept low by using small amounts of boldly-flavored ingredients like prosciutto and Parmesan cheese.
The New Year is almost here and we’re all excited about what 2013 will bring. But when it comes to that last string of holiday parties, do you know what food you are going to bring to the table? It has to complement your New Year’s resolution and be tasty enough to enjoy. Here’s your solution: savory red pepper dip made with your skinny jeans and taste buds in mind.
Not only does this power dip contain one of my favorite vegetables, red bell peppers, but it is also soaring with fiber and vitamins. In this recipe, cashews and chickpeas add a subtle crunch and boost of nutrients to your plate.
What some people believe makes a red pepper dip, or any other dip for that matter, taste delicious is added cheese or butter; but there is no need for these empty calories. One of my healthy holiday secrets is to replace butter with healthier oils, and in this case, olive oil. Lean on your friend, the dutiful food processor, to whip these ingredients together and make a smooth dip you can serve as an appetizer with gluten-free crackers or as condiment for your main dish such as fish tacos, burritos or chicken. You’ll quickly see how this simple recipe is one of the easiest health switches you can make. Believe me, you’ll want to whip up a batch of dip each week to store in your fridge and serve with breakfast eggs instead of ketchup, lunchtime sandwiches instead of mayonnaise and afternoon snacks such as crudités.
It’s almost 2013 — make this the year you try new and exciting gluten-free recipes. Why not play on your flavor palate by combining fresh and delicious ingredients? One of my favorites is organic sliced turkey, hummus and pears: it’s not exactly the most common of food combinations but when wrapped together, it can be one of the tastiest!
Pears and hummus are both common go-to gluten-free foods. If you’re gluten-free or have Celiac disease, it’s important to purchase gluten-free turkey, such as Applegate Farms and gluten-free hummus such as Sabra to ensure you are making a safe and healthy gluten-free meal you can enjoy. Also included in this recipe is one of my favorite fruits, pears, which are deliciously sweet and nutritious, not to mention they are a rich source of essential vitamins and dietary fiber. Still not convinced? If you’re worried the subtle flavors of turkey and hummus may make for a bland meal, you are surely in for a treat. The addition of chili powder (one of my favorite gluten-free condiments), ground pepper and orange zest will add the satisfying tang you are looking for.
If you have a big crowd heading over for a New Year’s Eve bash and aren’t sure where to start when it comes to tasty finger foods to serve, here is one simple, healthy answer: artichoke dip. With a little help from your food processor, this dip is guaranteed to be as easy to make as it is crowd-pleasing.
One thing is for sure: artichoke dip is always a hit, whether it’s at a restaurant or a family gathering. But what’s typically served is less than ideal for your waistline: the dip is usually loaded with cheeses, sour cream, cream cheese and mayonnaise. Think it’s impossible to get this tasty appetizer without the added greasy ingredients? Not true. Let this recipe surprise you. By the time you turn off your food processor for a taste, you’ll wish you never wasted so many crackers on old artichoke dip recipes.
This year, take advantage of the nutritional benefits of artichokes – which are already low in calories and fat – and create a healthy, scrumptious dip that won’t compromise your healthy diet. Instead of all the heavy cheeses and mayo, add feel-good ingredients like cashews and lemon juice and let extra-virgin olive oil take the place of butter.
Chestnuts have a dark outer shell that ranges in color from light brown to blackish. The outer skin is pretty thin and easy to cut with a knife. The nut inside is covered with a bitter inner skin called a pellicle, which should be peeled before eaten.
Fresh chestnuts are available from September through February. Most are imported from around the world from countries like Italy, China, Spain and Korea.
Watch how chestnuts go from field to plate in this FoodNetwork.com video.
Gluten-free or not, the holidays are just not the same without a assortment of colorful cookies. So I’ve rounded up recipes from some of my favorite bloggers, who develop recipes I trust. I’ve included my new Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Buttery Cut-Out Cookies with Royal Icing recipe, a feat for me (and my family and friends) considering my royal icing anxiety. (Read my story and get detailed pictures of thick and thin royal icing textures on my blog.)
All of the cookies are gluten-free, and some are also dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free. I hope there’s a cookie in here for just about everyone in your life—especially you.
The traditional Christmas meal varies from family to family. Some gather around the table for variations of spaghetti, while others eat ham, but what is there for those families who want to stray away from the conventional meal? Surprise your family with an unexpected meal and put your own spin on traditional Christmas recipes by whipping up a guilt-free pizza your kids are guaranteed to enjoy. It’s flavorful, healthy, and after you get your hands on it – made with 100% TLC.
Typically, pizza is a big no-no on the “what to eat” list for people with a gluten intolerance because of its flour dough and other gluten-filled ingredients. But when you make your own (and stock up on gluten-free pizza dough), alas Christmas – or any other time you get a craving – becomes the day you can enjoy this merry indulgence.
Food Safety Note
These rum balls have been modified from the version my mom made when I was younger. The original version calls for a raw egg (the batter isn’t cooked). To make these rum balls kid-friendly and adhere to prevent salmonella, I use a pasteurized whole egg and swapped in rum extract for the real stuff. This means the egg was heat treated to kill pathogens, though it looks like any other raw egg. Many markets carry them—look for the word “pasteurized” on the label.
Star Anise Basics
This member of the parsley family dates back to at least 1500 B.C. For centuries, the seed was used to help with digestion. In India it was eaten after a meal to aid not only in digestion but also act as a breath freshener.
Star anise is the fruit of a small oriental tree. Its shape resembles a star with an average of 8 boat-shaped points. The points are actually seed pods which are hard-skinned and brownish-red in color. The anise seed (found inside the pods) has a greenish-brown color. Star anise is picked before it ripens and is then dried. It has a unique, sweet licorice flavor. You can find star anise whole or ground into a reddish-brown powder.