A vegetarian summer salad recipe inspired by my vacation to Mexico — with cumin toasted corn, roasted poblanos, tomatoes, feta, and a cilantro-pumpkin seed dressing.
Continue Reading: Los Cabos Summer Salad Recipe →
Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without the token Green Bean, Mushroom, and Crispy Onion casserole, but one look and you can tell it isn’t good for you. This recipe is a makeover of that Thanksgiving classic made with sauteed fresh mushrooms, Greek yogurt, and roasted onions instead of condensed soup and canned fried onions. The result is a dish that’s way better for you yet is such a dead-ringer for the real deal, guests won’t know what they’re missing.
Continue Reading: Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole →
Candied yams are a staple at Thanksgiving but they’re traditionally made with loads of sugar, butter, and marshmallows. To make this recipe worthy of The Biggest Loser, a fair amount of reworking was in order. In this renovated version, the yams get simmered instead of mashed with butter then topped with a yogurt and goat cheese combination instead of marshmallows. It may sound strange on paper, but it makes for a seriously satisfying substitute for the traditional dish.
Continue Reading: “Candied” Sweet Potatoes →
More often than not, the alternative eaters get left out of Thanksgiving and are given a paltry plate of sides instead of a real meal. While working with The Biggest Loser, I learned that trainer Bob Harper is vegan, so I focused on making the menu accessible for him as well. The result is this whole grain stuffing that, when served in a roasted squashed half, doubles as a main so the non-meat eaters still feel the holiday love. As is, this recipe is very low in fat and calories, but feel free to add more to it like, some roasted chestnuts, crumbled chorizo, or some crisp bacon if you’re feeling indulgent.
Continue Reading: Whole Grain Stuffing with Apples and Toasted Walnuts →
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 the countdown to the biggest cooking day of the year and, in the whirlwind of inviting, planning, shopping, and prepping, you just might forget to eat before you eat — know what I mean? While some like to starve before they dive into the Thanksgiving meal, I’m of a different camp: the one that eats a healthy, hearty salad. Here’s a kale salad that fits that bill and is pretty easy to make.
Speaking of which, Pretty. Easy. is also the name of a new series on the site where I’ll be sharing recipes that are seriously simple and easy on the eyes. But, back to the salad at hand: it’s quick enough to throw together whenever hunger strikes, yet festive enough to bring out for Thanksgiving, assuming you haven’t already eaten it all beforehand.
Continue Reading: Pretty. Easy. Kale Salad →
If you caught yesterday’s TasteMakers interview with Delilah Snell, then you’re likely as convinced of her awesomeness as I am. She’s a rare breed as she’s one of a handful of Master Food Preservers in the nation and spreads the good word about preserving via her numerous endeavors from her store and blog to her line of preserves. Needless to say, when we met, it was quite clear Delilah and I were equally food obsessed and we have quickly become friends.
A few weeks ago I attended one of her pickling classes, which was a whirlwind of a day in which we made everything from kimchi and sauerkraut to preserved limes and spicy green beans. Of them all, this recipe for Mexican-style pickled carrots was a crowd favorite so Delilah is sharing the recipe here.
Continue Reading: Hot Mexican Pickles →
Among my friends, it’s understood that rain and wind means pizza is on the menu. It’s a habit that formed when I was living in Florence when a group of us would religiously meet up at the local pizzeria whenever it really began pouring out. A blustery rainstorm only happens a few times a year out here in California, but when it does, I immediately start making pizza. There’s something about sitting next to a wood-fired oven with a glass of hearty red wine that really ups the coziness factor of a wintry day, know what I mean? While I may not have a kick-butt Italian pizza oven, I do have a technique that does a good job mimicking the oven, minus the char. And the big glass of hearty red wine? Well, you could skip it though I’d highly recommend you don’t.
Continue Reading: Blue Cheese, Shallot, and Delicata Squash Pizza →
Cocktail parties are my favorite. And, no, it’s not because of the cocktails. Okay, it’s partly because of the cocktails, but it’s mostly because, to me, a good party is made up of a range of small bites with a variey of tastes. With the holidays around the corner we’re heading into high-gear party season, so I thought I’d share one of my go-to cocktail party recipes: Mushroom Agrodolce Bites.
These little numbers have a lot going for them — they’re affordable, a cinch to make, and can be made ahead of time — but what I’m drawn to is the sweet-sour flavor. Agrodolce is a sweet-sour sauce hailing from Sicily and though it’s classically made with just onions, here it’s combined with roasted mushrooms for a recipe packed with a mix of sweet-sour and earthy flavors. If you aren’t entertaining anytime soon, serve the mushrooms (without the endive) as a side-dish as they a natural pairing with a variety of cold-weather fare from roasts to slow-cooked foods.
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Like a moth to a flame, when the weather starts cools off, I start craving comfort food.
Coming from an Italian-American family, the foods I find most cozy takes shape in the form of cheese or pasta. Over the years I’ve gone from eating mozzarella at nearly every meal to exercising a bit more restraint, but when the cold weather hits, the craving is still there. The ultimate is when it’s melty and gooey cheese like in this herbed roasted cheese.
This recipe is a riff on baked Brie (a familiar holiday appetizer) that I turn to when time is short but comfort food is in high demand. It’s such a simple concept but it’s highly versatile and can be used as an indulgent appetizer, a salad centerpiece, or an impromptu take on mac-and-cheese. In my dream world, it would be kosher to throw the melty hunk of cheese inside a whole loaf of bread to make a behemoth version of a grilled cheese, but I haven’t gone there. At least not yet.
Continue Reading: Pretty. Easy. Herbed Roasted Cheese →