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Penelope Wall's Blog (Page 6)

September 10, 2010 - 11:30am

I’m not gonna lie to you—I have boxed mac & cheese at home. There are two boxes of shells and cheese sitting in my cupboard just pining to be my next dinner. But here’s the real truth: they’ve been sitting there for months gathering dust, and they will continue to do so. Do you want to know why? Nine times out of ten I just want the real deal. I want real extra-sharp Cheddar (just enough to make it taste great) and I want to be able to pronounce what goes onto my dinner plate. (Sodium Tripolyphosphate, anyone? Mmmmmm, yummy!)

Related: Baked Mac & Cheese and More Healthy Creamy Pasta Recipes

Not only is this ultra-creamy version of mac & cheese nearly as fast as...

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September 2, 2010 - 10:35am

How would you define an “effortless meal”? For me, it’s the embodiment of simplicity in every way—from the food to the taste to the feeling it evokes.

The first time I came to appreciate the truly effortless meal was in my early twenties. I was living with a French family in Paris. Madame B, super-busy mother of three teenagers, raced around the city all day, waltzed into the kitchen around 8 p.m., and yet still whipped up a 4-course dinner out of thin air in minutes, landing effortlessly at the table with a graceful smile on her face. Her meals were a joy to consume—another factor in the effortless meal.

Related Link: Get 20 ideas for truly effortless weeknight meals

One night I was literally knocked off...

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August 12, 2010 - 9:57am

I count myself lucky when it comes to lunch: I happen to work in a place where on most days all I have to do is wander down the hall to the EatingWell Test Kitchen around noon and fill my plate with all of the wonderful healthy food the lovely cooks put out on a daily basis. But most of us don’t have that luxury at work or at school and even I can’t always rely on it for a balanced meal.

Then there are those days when I feel so busy that even stepping away from my desk for a few minutes to grab a quick sandwich from the store will cause more anxiety than it’s worth. Sound familiar?

Related Link: 26 Quick Packable Low-Cal Lunches

The solution finally dawned on me: I’ve gotta have a back-up plan for those...

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August 4, 2010 - 11:31am

I don’t know about you, but I tend to eat a lot more healthfully in the summer. I just can’t resist all that fresh, flavorful produce to be had at a good price. All I have to do is catch a whiff of fragrant basil and it sets off a wave of cravings for more fresh foods: sweet corn and juicy tomatoes, crunchy zucchini, zingy garlic and tender greens…oh my!

Related Link: 30-Minute Summer Dinners Filled With Fresh Veggies

Frankly, I go a little too crazy at the grocery store and the farmers’ market buying up whatever vegetables and fruit look and smell the freshest. When they’re freshly picked and fully ripe they’re more than just delicious—they’re also the most nutritious, brimming...

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July 30, 2010 (All day)

I’m obsessed with smoothies. Maybe it’s the heat. Maybe it’s all the fresh berries my husband, Colin, and I have been picking at the berry farm. We’ve been going crazy with our blender—a handful of berries, some yogurt and a little ice. Cover, blend, and presto! A tasty, satisfying breakfast (or snack) to grab and go.

Smoothies seem so inherently healthy—one refreshing drink can help you get a few servings of fruit, which boasts fiber and antioxidants, and some calcium from yogurt. But many fast-food versions are just vessels for delivering spoonfuls of sugar through a straw. So here are some things to keep in mind when you’re craving your next smoothie:

  • Studies show that beverages are less filling per calorie than solid foods...
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