I’ve discovered how to make casual summer entertaining super-easy and infinitely more fun: I simply plug in my slow cooker. I used to spend all day making side dishes and sweating for hours at the grill, not realizing until the end of the party that the only time I interacted with anyone was when they came to get a burger from me.
Now I let my slow cooker do most of the work. If I’m having what feels like the whole neighborhood over, I can free up space on my packed grill by using this handy tool to make one of the main courses. Who doesn’t love fork-tender brisket piled on a sandwich and topped with pickles and garlicky mayo or chicken drumsticks coated in sticky honey-orange sauce? I can also use the slow cooker to prepare great sides like a tangy, warm German potato salad starring fresh fingerling potatoes or Quinoa-Summer Squash Casserole....read full post »
A blender can be your best friend for a quick summer supper. I mean, I'll have to make sure the margarita mix is all gone and give it a quick rinse… But then in goes tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, a clove of garlic, some good white sandwich bread, oil and vinegar—and out comes gazpacho. It's so easy! I can blend up a batch in the morning and let it chill all day, then spend a few minutes in the evening making crispy, herby croutons to garnish bowls (or margarita glasses) of health-packed, song-of-summer, refreshing cool soup for supper.
This chilled soup—made with fleshy chunks of ripe tomatoes, cucumbers crisper than a cold hilltop morning and topped with cubes of crusty bread—can refresh even the hottest August days. That's one reason the Spaniards and Portuguese developed this regional classic. They blend the garden's best with garlic, vinegar...read full post »
It may be because I'm a nutrition nerd, but I'm pretty excited about the FDA announcement today about changes to the nutrition facts panel on food packages. I scour nutrition labels as part of my job. I used to teach people how to shop at the grocery store and it always made me proud to hear them say shopping took twice as long because they were reading all the labels. OK, so grocery shopping doesn't need to take two hours, but it's important to know what you're eating. Some of the changes to the nutrition facts label make it easier to find the information you need to make healthy food choices.
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I’m a sucker for stuffed pasta of any kind. I don’t care what shape it is, ravioli, manicotti, whatever, if it comes out of the oven swimming in red sauce, oozing and bubbling under a thick layer of melted cheese then I want in. Who doesn’t? It’s comfort food at its finest. Not so comforting is the fact that meals like these pack a mean punch in the fat and calories department (some upwards of 800 calories and 20 grams of saturated fat!). So to continue to enjoy stuffed pasta, I’ve committed to making my own at home. One recipe I go back to again and again is EatingWell’s Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells. You get all the ooey-gooey goodness of stuffed pasta right out the oven, with less fat and fewer calories. Here’s how we made them healthier...read full post »
When the EatingWell Test Kitchen started talking about the “flautas” they were making, I admit I needed a translation. But when I tasted Oven-Fried Beef Taquitos, I knew just what they were: deliciously crispy rolled-up little tacos filled with beef—and a healthy surprise.
Taquitos are a standard item on fast-food menus. Typically they’re deep-fried and can be greasy, rolled up in calories and fat. It’s not hard to understand why they’d be popular. We’ve kept that crispy goodness, but our version is baked and so much better for you. We use lean ground beef for the filling and a whole zucchini, shredded and mixed in with the spices so its presence is subtle (some might say sneaky). Top it with some yummy sharp...read full post »