The magician of winter produce, spaghetti squash knows a few culinary tricks. Upon first examination, the oblong shell contains only seeds and hard flesh. But put it into an oven and, ta-da, the tough interior transforms into mounds of soft, stringy ribbons, which can be used for salads, noodle stand-ins and casseroles, and as a soft resting place for fish, poultry or meat. But there is another trick in spaghetti squash’s repertoire, one that is particularly perfect for the holidays: latkes.
If I asked you to tell me the reasons why you eat what you eat, I already know some of the reasons you’d give: “tastes good,” “grew up with it,” “it’s healthy” and so on. Betcha anything that “convenience” is at the top of your justification list. I know it’s tops on mine. For example, I eat my oatmeal with a spoonful of almond butter, a handful of berries and coffee with a splash of almond milk many a morning because: it’s convenient (the water boils while I’m making Maizy’s lunch), it’s delish (I like me some whole grains in the morning), it’s familiar (have made it a million times and could do it with my eyes closed) and it doesn’t sit heavily in my stomach but gives me energy for my morning workout. Honestly, if it wasn’t super-easy and available, I wouldn’t even consider the deliciousness, familiarity or energy it provides.
Convenience trumps taste when running out the door. It overrules nutrition (yes, even for us nutrition peeps!) sometimes when faced with a cranky and starving kid. Let’s face it: Our lives — in the year 2014 — don’t revolve around solely around our health, and cramming in all the work we need to do in our busy day requires cutting some corners. Convenience is paramount in our super-demanding and crazy multitasking world. Don’t fight it (you’ll lose). Embrace it.
In this week’s news: You now have another reason to scarf down your yogurt; breakfast’s importance is called into question; and heavy drinking may be especially risky for women.
Meatloaf need not be boring. These innovative recipes take an old classic to new heights. The best part: You’ll get all the comfort without all the calories.
Celebrity chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson always has a way of getting our attention. At 23, an executive chef at Aquavit, he received a three-star review from The New York Times. At the time, he was the youngest to earn that accolade. But it’s not just that he was a culinary prodigy or an expert at Scandinavian cookery long before we’d ever heard of “new Nordic” cuisine. It’s that he provides us with a new way to look at food, interpreting it through a lens influenced by his being born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden and trained in the kitchens of Europe. When he’s not introducing us to less familiar cuisines, he’s taking the more familiar ones and feeding them to us better than those before him, just as he does at his restaurant Red Rooster.
In his new cookbook, Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home, Samuelsson steps out of his restaurant and invites us into his Harlem brownstone. It is there in his home kitchen where he blends near and dear cultures and cuisines with the multiethnic neighborhood in which he now lives and works. The 150 colorful and feel-good recipes are ones he hopes create lasting memories for those he shares them with.
As winter approaches us in North America, citrus fruits like mandarins, clementines and oranges of all varieties are just about coming into their full season. And it may be no mistake, as the extra vitamin C these delicious fruits pack in their bright, fresh flavor is just what we need to help get us through the cold season.
It’s the third installment of our No-Resolutions Resolution plan, and this week we’re turning our attention toward the relationship between calories consumed and calories burned. How can you keep the calorie count down so you have a zero-sum game? Start with manageable modifications. A little adjustment here and a little tweak there can really amount to a lot by week’s end. Here are six tips to get you started:
Curious about this ancient — yet newly revitalized — culinary concept? Find out what the hype is over sprouted grains.
There is no shortage of ice cream-, candy- and cookie-loving children. We don’t have to teach our kids how to like cookies. Yet the foods we want them to eat, the foods that actually nourish those little bods, are a different story. Remember that first go at it with green peas? I’m sure it wasn’t pretty. And if you’re not quite there yet, get your cleaning solution and cameras ready; you’re in for a messy treat. Don’t get too worried, though, when the peas go flying or dribble down that onesie. The first “yuck” isn’t just happening in your home — it’s happening all across the nation, and it doesn’t end with first-time peas. Broccoli gets a double “yuck,” and Brussels sprouts, well, they’ve been called some pretty nasty names. It doesn’t mean we’re bad parents or that our kids are terrible eaters when they shun these healthy goodies. It’s actually no one’s fault. No one is truly born a chard and cabbage fanatic.
“The question isn’t whether or not you need to eat fat; it’s ‘What kind of fat are you eating?’” says chef Franklin Becker, owner of The Little Beet and The Little Beet Table in New York City. Becker got a wake-up call in 1993 when, at age 27, he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. It forced him to change both how he ate and how he cooked. Now, he’s set out to change everyone else’s habits too. He started by revolutionizing the way New Yorkers eat on the run. His quick-service spot, The Little Beet, opened in midtown Manhattan in January 2014. With lines out the door at lunchtime, it’s not surprising that another New York location is set to open soon and more units are being planned. He also just opened a full-service fine dining version, called The Little Beet Table. And now he’s out with a new cookbook that captures his eating philosophy. Good Fat Cooking (Rodale, 2014) is filled with recipes that utilize healthy unsaturated fats to produce incredibly flavorful dishes.