Breana Lai's Blog
Sweet cherries are here, and because most are grown along the lengthy West Coast the season lasts from mid-May in California to the end of the harvest in Washington in August. Intensely flavorful and juicy, cherries are not a hard sell. But their long list of powerful nutrients seals the deal: they’re rich in anthocyanins (potent antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties) and boast plenty of blood-pressure-reducing potassium. They often grow in pairs, because multiple flowers bloom from a single bud and when they fruit, the cherries stay together. And these heart-shaped treats really are magical culinary partners when you match them with other foods. Try them in a refreshing cherry lemonade or combined with nutty farro in a hearty summer salad. Or wrap sweetened cherries and creamy ricotta in store-bought crêpes for an easy-to-make blintz. Whether...read full post »
The wine aisle can be pretty intimidating. With rows of white, red and rosé wines from all over the world lining the shelves and stacked in boxes, it can be hard to decide where to spend your money. If you don’t have a sommelier (a trained wine professional) hovering nearby to point out the best wines in the store, how do you know what to pick?
From my previous work in restaurants and at a wine store, I’ve observed that people most often choose wines based on the label. Wines with animals, pretty lettering or familiar grape varietals are the most common choices; however, a wine with an attractive label doesn’t necessarily mean good value (or taste!). After testing more than 50 bottles of wine marked at $10 and under with the EatingWell Test Kitchen team (it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it), we’ve come up with some favorites in the $...read full post »
Tofu may not be the first protein you think of when planning dinner, but here are 4 new recipes that will make tofu the star of your next menu. These vegetarian tofu dinner recipes are super-satisfying, bursting with flavor and take less than 45 minutes to make. Even diehard meat lovers will be won over!
Plus, tofu’s nutrition profile is impressive. Low in fat and for vegetarians a good source of protein, one 3-ounce serving of extra-firm tofu has around 80 calories, 0 grams of saturated fat and 8 grams of protein. There’s been some misleading information churning out from the rumor mill claiming that soy’s isoflavones (compounds similar to estrogen) are harmful, but there’s no supporting evidence. In fact, they may actually have a protective effect. Studies show isoflavones may help play a role in reducing the risk of breast and prostate cancers as...read full post »
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...read full post »
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.
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