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Breana Lai's Blog

September 24, 2014 - 10:17am

As the leaves on the trees change from green to yellow and red, the cooling weather means one thing for me: it’s pumpkin time.

Starbucks rolls out the Pumpkin Spice Latte, Halloween pumpkins start bringing their glow to the farmers’ markets and gardening stores, and my Pinterest board lights up with pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin and all types of winter squash have always been a favorite food of mine. So it’s a good thing they’re loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber, because I’m planning to eat my fair share as fall in Vermont is already settling in.

To keep things easy, all these recipes use canned pumpkin. But if you would like to use fresh pumpkin or squash, cut a small, 4-to-6-pound pie pumpkin or winter squash in half and remove the seeds. Lightly coat the inside with oil and roast at 350°F until very tender, 50 minutes to 1...

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September 17, 2014 - 3:58pm

Have you enjoyed having all your dinners planned for the past 3 weeks? Have you cooked anything you wouldn’t usually have made? I certainly have! I love how easy these recipes—like the Broccoli-Cheddar-Chicken Chowder—are to assemble. And I’ve been enjoying so many leftovers, my lunches inspire envy!

Get the full 1-month Healthy Dinner Plan!

You’ll be making steak, pasta, pizza, stir-fry, fish and stew for the last week of the 28-day plan—all delicious, healthy and praiseworthy. All your friends will be jealous (if they aren’t already).

So keep on cooking along with me. I promise you’ll love this last week of meals.

Here’s what I’ll make from the...

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September 17, 2014 - 3:11pm

On evenings when I come home from cooking all day in the Test Kitchen, I rarely want to think about what to make for dinner.

Some people looking for easy, healthy meals start with the protein (maybe chicken or fish or, for vegetarians, eggs or tofu). Others, the starch—such as pasta or rice. Not me.

I always open the veggie drawer. I’m not vegetarian, but it is my favorite base when it comes to easy dinners that are also super-healthy. In fact, my new favorite go-to meal, the veggie hash, works pretty well for anybody—vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. At the most basic level, a hash is shredded potatoes cooked in a skillet with fat—oil, butter or lard—until crispy. But my hashes are a little different.


Quick Meal Staples: There are two things I’ve learned to always have in my house: eggs and...

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September 12, 2014 - 9:18am

Instead of wandering aimlessly through the grocery store aisles on Sunday, I’m sticking to the 28-day meal plan. By week 3, I’m getting used to having all of my dinners and sides already chosen. All I have to do is come home and cook—one of my favorite things to do already!

This week we’re having an Asian stir-fry, a flavorful chicken sandwich, the super-cute potato-kale hash with eggs, an easy pasta, a hearty chowder, steak and more. With all the variety, we get so excited to sit down for dinner every night.

Get the full 1-month Healthy Dinner Plan!

So hang in there and keep cooking with me! Maybe you’ll see why I love cooking and feeding people so much. I’d also love to hear which recipes...

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September 4, 2014 - 10:59am

For the second week in a row, I can answer the question “What’s for dinner?” without having to consult my Pinterest board, food blogs or giant binder of recipes. I’m using the 28-day meal planner instead, where the healthy meal planning, including sides, has already been done for me!

Get the full 1-month Healthy Dinner Plan!

Brisket sandwiches, African-spiced chicken stew, 20-minute Thai noodles, olive-spiked fish stew, vegetarian enchiladas and more are all on the menu with the convenient meal plan.

Here’s what I’ll make from the...

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