A portrait of Laura Kanya

Laura Kanya

Laura Kanya is a recipe tester and developer in the EatingWell Test Kitchen. Laura tests many recipes that come through the Test Kitchen door, including for feature articles as well as for all sections of the magazine. She discovered her love of baking growing up alongside two grandmothers and a mom who shared the same love of baking and cooking. They unknowingly established the importance of food and cooking in Laura's life. Growing up outside of Philadelphia, she had access to some great restaurants, and her dad took her to many. After graduating from the University of Vermont in 1998 with a B.S. in dietetics, she pursued her love of baking by graduating with an associate degree in baking and pastry arts from the Culinary Institute of America in 2000.

Prior to joining the EatingWell team, Laura traveled the United States, England, Poland, Australia, New Zealand and Anguilla to check out different cultures and food. She has been active in the food industry for 25 years in a variety of roles such as pastry chef, chef instructor, executive chef and director of operations in restaurants, resorts, catering, retail operations and food production companies. This has included Macrina Bakery in Seattle, Sundance Resort in Utah, and Vermont Mystic Pie Company, The Inn at Essex, New England Culinary School and Sugarsnap Catering, all in Vermont.

Laura and her husband, Mark, live in Vermont with their son, Connor; daughter, Eleanor; and schnauzer, Blue. Outside of work she enjoys staying active and challenged with spin classes, game nights with her kids, coaching her daughter's soccer team, biking around town, walking with friends, canning food from her (very simple and beginner) garden and checking out the latest local restaurants' offerings.
Red pepper jelly is the key ingredient in this piquant yet sweet salad dressing. If you prefer more heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
In these ground chicken lettuce wraps, cashews and celery add crunch and freshness to the spicy-sweet chicken filling.
Turkey Chili Calzones
Rating: Unrated
Here we combine two favorite family dinners—chili and pizza—into calzones packed full of lean turkey, bell peppers and sharp Cheddar. Dish them up with a side salad to complete the meal.
In this healthy salmon recipe, a bright kumquat-pineapple chutney complements the roasted fish for an easy main dish.
Fresh pomegranate arils and grated ginger add tartness and spiciness to help cut the sweetness in this meringue pie.
This artichoke flatbread features whipped feta, roasted red peppers and arugula for a satisfying, quick bite.
A generous amount of melted chocolate gives these cookies a fudgy, brownie-like texture, but it also means a very soft dough. Chilling it helps firm the dough up to a scoopable consistency.
The cheese's richness complements the juicy tang of citrus and tarragon in this salad.
We like the chewy bite and large size of pearl couscous (sometimes labeled Israeli couscous) for the base of these bowls.
Shaping this Buffalo chicken meatloaf mix into mini individual loaves helps them cook quickly, making it perfect for a weeknight dinner.
A savory mushroom mixture sits atop these healthy chicken cutlets before a layer of Gruyère gets added, creating a cheesy, delicious main dish.
The slow cooker yields super-tender, pillowy whole-wheat rolls. If you prefer them crustier, arrange the finished rolls on a baking sheet, brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if desired. Broil, watching carefully, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
Coconut-Rum Pumpkin Pie
Rating: Unrated
This take on the classic Thanksgiving pie has the familiar warming spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg, plus rum and coconut for a tropical twist.
This cranberry-sausage stuffing features both fresh and dried cranberries. The fresh fruit adds juicy, tangy flavor, while the dried cranberries add chewy bits of sweetness.
Pumpkin puree and applesauce provide tenderness and moisture to this pumpkin Bundt cake, eliminating the need for butter or oil.
This easy vegetable side dish utilizes acorn squash, but any winter squash will work. A drizzle of brown butter, sage and maple syrup adds a nutty, sweet flavor to the roasted squash.
These za'atar chicken thighs are roasted alongside broccoli and potatoes for an easy sheet-pan dinner.
Moules Frites
Rating: Unrated
This simple but elegant dish pairs flavorful steamed mussels with crispy oven fries. Uncork an American chardonnay to sip alongside.
This sugar garnish creates a wow factor on any dessert and is a great way to dip your foot into the art of sugar confections.
Currants add a pop of sweetness to the roasted red pepper and arugula topping on this easy chicken cutlet recipe.
This garlic-and-anchovy-based dipping sauce hails from Northern Italy; bagna cauda is Italian for "hot dip." We turn the dipping sauce into a meal by serving it with shrimp and loads of vegetables. Crusty bread is another great dipper.
Popcorn Chicken Salad
Rating: Unrated
Coleslaw mix adds extra crunch to this popcorn chicken salad. They vary, so look for one that has red cabbage and carrots for the most color. Making your own easy ranch dressing brings fresh herb flavor and eliminates the added sugar you'll find in most store-bought versions.
Roasted Brussels sprouts get tossed in an apple-cider vinaigrette for a sweet, sticky coating.
Putting grapes in a hot oven blisters the skin and creates a jammy texture. Turn this radicchio salad into a hearty entree by topping it with some cooked sliced chicken.
Apple Custard Cake
Rating: Unrated
To give this apple custard cake a nutrition boost, use whole-wheat pastry flour in place of all-purpose, adding an extra gram of fiber per serving. A little of the batter gets mixed with an extra egg and spread on the cake before it's baked, yielding an ultra-creamy and custardy top.