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Breana Lai's Blog (Page 3)

March 2, 2014 - 10:36pm

There are plenty of good reasons why yogurt sales have increased by 40 percent over the past five years. High in protein and calcium, and a probiotic powerhouse (if it’s got the live and active cultures label), yogurt is a magnificent food. Not only is yogurt simply delicious alone as a healthy snack or breakfast, it’s also an extremely versatile cooking ingredient. It works as a lower-calorie and lower-saturated-fat replacement for cream, mayo, oil and sour cream in many recipes.

Related: Easy Recipes with Yogurt

With so many varieties available in the store, I never thought I would make yogurt at home. But after trying it out it in the Test Kitchen, I’m a homemade-yogurt convert! Making yogurt at home is actually really easy. The...

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January 29, 2014 - 12:54am

My first cooking class was with my mom at Lan’s Chinese Cooking School in Durham, North Carolina, when I was 8 years old. My mom and I were excited to learn how to make authentic Chinese food because my Hong Kong-born dad and I preferred it to all other foods. I was the youngest student to ever enroll and I had to stand on a stepstool to be tall enough to mix the ingredients in the wok. It was here I first kindled my passion for cooking. I also learned that Chinese cooking isn’t difficult as long as you have the right ingredients.

Even though I am now a professionally trained cook, to this day my friends and family request I make the Chinese food I learned to make as a kid. With just a few basic pantry staples, you too can make Chinese dishes that are quick, healthy and crowd-pleasing.

Don't Miss:...

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January 28, 2014 - 10:49am

Nancy Roscigno, a 47-year-old interior designer from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, lost over 20 pounds with her girlfriends. Here’s how she did it— and how you can too.

What was your biggest challenge for losing weight?

I had a very hard time making the right food choices. I grew up in a large Italian-American family and though I’ve been cooking since I was a kid, the food—and the portions—weren’t always healthy.

What was the key moment you decided you wanted to lose weight?

I wasn’t happy with the number I saw on the scale, and I felt a huge responsibility to provide good choices and be the healthy role model that I wanted to be for my kids (now aged 21 and 19). When I ate better, my family ate better.

My girlfriends and I had been walking together in the neighborhood almost daily and...

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December 9, 2013 - 2:20pm

When I’m invited to someone’s house for dinner, I never show up empty-handed. Call me Southern (which is a compliment!) but I think bringing a little offering says, “Thank you so much for inviting me over and serving me food.” I used to bring a bottle or wine or flowers, but recently I’ve been whipping up homemade treats. This holiday season I’m making EatingWell’s new homemade chocolate bark recipes. Why? Because bark is a lot healthier and easier to make than chocolate fudge. It’s also delicious—during the testing phase, the EatingWell staff chased me down every afternoon to get their chocolate fix.

Check it out: 8 Healthy Chocolate Bark Recipes

The biggest difference between chocolate bark and chocolate...

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November 20, 2013 - 3:11pm

For the first time in our lifetime, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will be celebrated on the same day, Thursday, November 28, 2013. (This won’t happen again for another 77,000 years!) For my multicultural family (my dad is Chinese and Buddhist, my mom’s a Jewish New Yorker), the convergence of these two holidays is special because both commemorate freedom and gratitude. Another perk of this rare holiday combination means two food-centric meals merge into one delicious menu that honors both celebrations.

The menu I put together represents a mix of traditional favorites from each holiday that complement each other. While this menu isn’t for a kosher meal, you can easily adapt the menu: just swap oil for butter in the Brussels sprouts and take a break between dinner and dessert—something you’ll probably want to do anyway to fully savor this “historical” blend...

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