I grew up in a city in Connecticut famous for its Italian food—New Haven’s pizza places are some of the best in the world—so being able to enjoy fettuccine alla carbonara, osso buco, tiramisu and the like feels more like a birthright than a privilege. But whenever I want to enjoy a deliciously cheesy Italian dish, there always seems to be someone ready to make a disparaging comment about how unhealthy it is. Because Italian equals pasta and pasta equals carbs and carbs equal unhealthy, right? Wrong.
In actuality, authentic Italian cooking can be some of the healthiest on earth. The cuisine is packed with healthy staples that made the Mediterranean diet famous: heart-healthy olive oil, omega-3-packed seafood, fiber-rich whole grains and many more. It’s no wonder that Italians boast some of the longest life expectancies on the...read full post »
When I was in culinary school we learned a lot about how to develop flavors. These methods usually involved high-end ingredients, a lot of prep time and sometimes following complicated procedures to get good results. Little did I know a much easier path to culinary greatness was sitting in my pantry the whole time I was sweating in a restaurant kitchen. That would be my slow cooker.
The humble slow cooker can turn out some pretty mean food if you know a few tricks. Not to mention it’s convenient, relatively inexpensive and very easy to use. (Dinner practically cooks itself!) Take EatingWell’s recipe for Flemish Beef Stew (see full recipe below), for example. In culinary school I would have been...read full post »
Ever read a food label on a product and wonder why certain ingredients are called out as “Allergens” (e.g., “May contain soy, peanuts, etc.”)? Although one could develop food allergies to many foods (I know people who are allergic to fava beans and strawberries), there are eight foods and food groups that represent the most common food allergies—what are known as the “Big Eight.” In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires food manufacturers to list these eight common allergens on food labels. If you are allergic to one of these foods or if you are cooking for someone who is, you’ll find this information below very helpful, since these ingredients can sneak into many unexpected food products.
Here are the “Big Eight,” plus what foods these potential allergens lurk...read full post »
During my morning scramble I’m rushing to cook breakfast and pack a healthy lunch for my kids. In that hectic time slot my multitasking-parent skills are on overdrive. Once the kids are eating breakfast, I start working on lunch. I don’t necessarily pack the plain old PB & J. Instead I mix and match whatever I have on hand to send my kids off with a balanced array of foods. I think of lunch items as fitting into one of three categories: protein, fruit and vegetables, and whole grains. I just choose at least one item from each category and the lunchboxes are packed in a jiffy. Here’s how my approach works:
Quick Breakfast Ideas: Healthy Breakfasts to Get You Out the Door
Step 1: Pick a protein.
For years, one of my favorite go-to quick-dinner tricks has been to grab a bag of pizza dough from the freezer aisle of my supermarket, a jar of marinara sauce, some cheese and a few veggies and whip up a delicious, homemade pizza.
But for all my years of using this easy freezer item (some supermarkets carry thawed dough with their specialty items instead), I was really surprised by all the other things you could make with whole-wheat pizza dough when the EatingWell Test Kitchen decided to devote a story to it in our September/October issue. It turns out that this item is surprisingly versatile—usable for everything from pies to sandwiches to “Hot Pocket”-style meals. It’s truly the secret weapon of your freezer aisle. Check out these tasty meals you can make with it:
...read full post »