A simple, dairy-free recipe for spicy, sweet curry coconut ice cream topped with salty-sweet toasted cashews.
Continue Reading: Coconut-Curry Ice Cream with Honey-Salted Cashews →
French toast is one of those dishes everyone should master for, say, a brunch when you want to cook for a crowd or a decadent breakfast-in-bed for Valentine’s Day. Either way, this recipe is the perfect place to start. It’s a departure from tradition because it’s baked rather than pan-fried, so you can put the focus on your guests or significant other rather than tending to a hot pan.
Continue Reading: Pretty. Easy. Almond-Vanilla Baked French Toast →
Some scoff at the idea of adding a salad to the Thanksgiving spread, but it’s an elegant way to start things off, and, if you’re watching your waistline, it’s an easy way to fill up on healthy calories before you dig into the rest of the meal. This seasonal salad works during the fall or winter, and brings a lot of festive color to the holiday spread with sliced pears, red onion, and tart pomegranate.
Continue Reading: Spinach Salad With Pears and Pomegranate →
My healthy-eating mantra is if you begin your meal off with a fiber-rich appetizer, you’ll fill up on healthy calories and eat better over the course of the night. So, I put that rule into effect when developing The Biggest Loser Thanksgiving menu and started things off with this Roasted Sweet Potato Dip and Toasted Sage Dip. It’s just a few ingredients yet packs tons of flavor and can accommodate almost any diet as it’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, lowfat, and low calorie.
When it comes to a big meal — like, say, Thanksgiving — balance is key to success is balance. I’m talking balance of flavors, timing, and healthiness, but, most of all, balance of the menu’s difficulty so there’s a mix of showy and simple recipes. This cranberry-sauce is the ultimate simplicity and flexibility because it can be made ahead or day of as needed, can be halved or doubled at will, and served hot, room temperature, or cold. So, go ahead and go big on the rest of the meal — the cran sauce will be waiting patiently for its humble cameo moment.
Continue Reading: Citrus-Cranberry Sauce →
From the moment I started working on this Thanksgiving menu, I kept thinking about the turkey. All the other recipes fell into place but the turkey was a bit of a puzzle. I wanted a recipe that would measure up to The Biggest Loser nutritional standards, but also be worthy of the Thanksgiving supper spotlight. And then, it came to me: craft a simple yet elegant turkey that used flavors from the rest of the menu to tie everything together.
While it’s no secret that the white meat on the bird is a lot better for you, it tends also dries out really easily so roasting it for the holiday can be a crapshoot. In this recipe, there are three major precautionary measures to ward off dry turkey. First, the turkey should be bone-on because that will help the bird cook more evenly and infuse it with more turkey flavor. Secondly, the turkey gets roasted in broth for the first half, which ensures it stays super moist despite the 90 minute cooking time. Third, the honey-orange baste brings another layer of flavor and moisture to the finished dish. Then, to further boost the flavor, the pears and onions in the roasting pan get blended up and used as the base of the gravy for a take on turkey that’s a fraction of the fat and calories.
Continue Reading: Herb-Orange Turkey with Pear Gravy →
As part of the menu I developed for this year’s The Biggest Loser Thanksgiving menu, I made this lower fat, lower calorie take on pumpkin pie. Yes, removing the crust immediately helped, but I also tweaked it in a few other ways: using lite coconut milk instead of cream, fewer eggs, and a whipped tofu topping so it’s also vegetarian and dairy-free. It may sound like a lot of substitutions, but the result is a spiced, subtly coconut crustless pie that’s every bit as decadent (in flavor) as the original.
Continue Reading: Pumpkin Pie Custard with Spiced Streusel →
It’s been a crazy month, to say the least. While I’d hoped for crisp fall evenings that I’d spend making the first slow-cooked recipes of the season, it has instead been very busy with my “To Do” list seeming like it’ll never stop growing. It’s times like these that I go simple and quick in the kitchen, but never at the expense of flavor. Just because things are speedy doesn’t mean they should lack flavor, and I turn to high-heat cooking methods like stir frying, sautéing, broiling, and roasting to ensure that doesn’t happen. These sweet-savory quick-roasted grapes fit the bill perfectly.
Continue Reading: Sweet-Tart Quick-Roasted Grapes →
Some ingredients turn people off with mere mention; for many, one such ingredient is tofu. It’s really a shame because tofu is a chameleon ingredient that takes on any flavor it’s mixed with. I blame it on the fact there’s tons of crappy tofu in the grocery stores. That and because not enough people have had this recipe. The flavor of this rich, intensely chocolatey pudding is such a dead ringer for traditional chocolate pudding that’s it’s unbelievable that it’s made with tofu and dairy-free, hence the reason I named this “Unbelievable Chocolate Pudding.”
I came up with this recipe for a pudding-loving friend who’s dairy free and hoped it would be a decent replacement. What I didn’t anticipate is that it’d turn out so well that my omnivorous friends would request it on a regular basis. Not that I mind because this recipe requires a fraction of the effort and kitchen time of regular pudding, not to mention it’s lower in fat and calories, so it’s less of a guilty pleasure. Of course, none of that would matter if it didn’t taste so unbelievably good.
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Urban legend has it that the smooshed sandwich came about when a mother put her toddler on the kitchen counter while making a sandwich. The mother turned away for a second and when she looked back her baby had sat on (and thus squashed) the bread.
I love that imagery but it’s more likely this sandwich came about when someone made a no-cook panini by putting a sandwich at the bottom of a picnic basket and letting it get smooshed by the other contents. Whatever the origin, it’s a fun sandwich that kids adore making. There’s something about manipulating and squashing food that gets kids jazzed and this sandwich takes full advantage of that. The fillings are a riff on the BLT, known as the PALT (prosciutto, lettuce, avocado, and tomato) around my house, but feel free to use whatever sandwich fixings your kids like. No matter how you fill it, just make sure you leave yourself adequate smoosh time because it a flattened sandwich is all that more fun to eat.
Continue Reading: Urban Legend Of The Smooshed Sandwich →