Bacon, fried chicken, chocolate, cheeseburgers — all classics, all exceptional. But here’s something that will surprise no one: They’re also all exceptionally unhealthy.
Sure, it’s a bummer. But there’s a silver lining, and its name is Dish Do-Over. The brand-new cookbook from author Joanne Lusted, host of Cooking Channel’s Compete to Eat, focuses on creating comfort food favorites that are completely guilt-free. Even better news: The book features over 125 creative recipes that promise to keep you on track from breakfast through dinner (there are even a few good-for-you desserts).
What’s Lusted’s secret to cleaning up rich dishes? Savvy ingredient swaps (think Greek yogurt instead of sour cream) and simple cooking techniques that are big on flavor but light on fat (like baking bacon instead of frying it). Basically, these are win-win recipes that are actually completely satisfying.
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Ready or not, we’re careening into the holiday season, with a battery of meaty roasted centerpieces fitting of a Norman Rockwell triptych (or a cholesterol commercial).
Whether you’re meat-averse or preempting the onslaught with some healthy vegetables, Aglaia Kremezi has an idea.
The Greek cooking expert has a new book, Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts, featuring 150 simple, flavor-packed meatless recipes. Like a tastebud vacation to Santorini, the recipes showcase light, bright ingredients like olives, lentils, herbs, yogurt and spices.
Arm guests’ taste buds for hearty winter stews with a light orange-olive salad with baby leeks and a tarragon-lemon dressing. Or swap in a quick 25-minute “Lazy Woman’s” cheese pie for the usual grilled cheese to serve with tomato soup.
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Portland takes food very seriously. There exists such a degree of food austerity that instead of being an award-winning comedy so good it’s starting its fifth season in January, the show Portlandia could have been a procedural drama about unfit artisanal seltzer. In Portland, if you’re going to bottle club soda in hand-etched beakers at a farmers’ market, it better be infused with organic, locally-sourced, cage-free, house-made CO2.
To celebrate the food that defines the city and the show, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein have made The Portlandia Cookbook: Cook Like a Local. With more than 50 recipes from Portland restaurants and from the show’s characters (Mr. Mayor, Kath and Dave, Peter and Nance, and more), the book would be a fine companion at an Allergy Pride Parade for any foodie, freegan, gastroethologist, foodtrucker or adult babysitter.
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The conventional list of basic needs for physical well-being includes food, clothing and shelter. But so much of the innate wisdom and discourse around the first, and arguably most important, resource is saturated with inaccuracy and misnomers. Most people believe they have perfected eating — it being the first vocation they tackled after crying — but they really haven’t improved at it since that first day on Earth.
Do you consume burgers right-side up? You could be eating better. Do you fill a glass with ice cubes (that aren’t actually cube-shaped) and then pour liquid on top of them, or do you dump ice into a glass filled with liquid? Do you even pay attention to this stuff? You could be drinking better.
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So, you’ve got your measuring cups ready and your sugars on standby, but you just can’t figure out what to bake? Cupcakes or pies? Truffles or trifles? Cookies or bars? Stop fretting over your stand mixer — the answer to this sweet dilemma is simple: Make a mash-up.
It was this “what do I make” predicament that led Dorothy Kern, creator of the blog Crazy for Crust, to write her new book Dessert Mash-Ups (on sale September 30). Kern, an avid baker and lover of all things flaky and light, was tired of only baking pies when she decided to test a recipe for an over-sized shortbread cookie in a pie pan. When Kern filled her “Pookie” with chocolate ganache and served it as a pie-cookie hybrid, the idea for her new baking concept was born.
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Cooking Channel host Kelsey Nixon’s first cookbook, Kitchen Confidence: Essential Recipes and Tips That Will Help You Cook Anything (available Feb. 11), is all about teaching techniques and recipes that will have home cooks of all skill levels cooking with more confidence. Like on her Cooking Channel show, Kelsey’s Essentials, Kelsey shares her “essential” pantry items, equipment and techniques, along with the hows and whys of cooking. With this basic knowledge, even beginner cooks can start getting more creative in the kitchen.
Kitchen Confidence covers every course, with recipes easy enough for everyday cooking but just as appropriate for special occasions, from breakfast, starters, salads, soups and sandwiches to mains, sides and desserts. Kelsey updates classic family-favorite recipes, like tuna noodle casserole and lasagna, with fresh new touches. These are building-block recipes you’ll return to again and again — and then easily modify and change to suit your own personal tastes.
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At last, Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis is answering her fans’ most-asked question: How does she stay so slim while cooking and eating delectable Italian food? In Giada’s Feel Good Food, Giada shares her recipes for lighter everyday foods, along with personal tips and secrets to living a healthy lifestyle.
Giada includes recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with chapters on healthful juices and smoothies, smart snacks and guilt-free desserts. All of her recipes include nutritional information, and many are vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free. These are the foods that Giada makes to add balance to her life, to keep her feeling good.
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If you’re trying to squeeze more fruits and veggies into your New Year’s diet, refreshing and healthful homemade juices and smoothies might be just the way to go. In The Juice Generation: 100 Recipes for Fresh Juices and Superfood Smoothies, Eric Helms shares juicing tips and expertise to get you started, along with recipes from his Manhattan juice shop, The Juice Generation.
From years of juice bar experience, Eric knows how to ease the uninitiated into a world where kale, spinach and beets get blended and squeezed into crave-able treats. He organizes this book along a 3-phase “Green Curve,” beginning with simple recipes with sweeter flavor profiles, moving onto more green-heavy advanced recipes and ending with super powerhouse drinks with robust (not sweet) flavors, for the juice pros. Along the way, simple combinations and guidelines let you customize your juices and smoothies to fit your personal taste. No matter where you fall on the “Green Curve” spectrum, you’ll be sure to have fun with your greens and feel good about your food with this book as your guide.
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The best recipes are those that taste delicious, but also happen to be nutritious and somewhat healthful. In Whole-Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons, by writer and recipe developer Megan Gordon of the blog A Sweet Spoonful, this is exactly what you get. This is not a health food cookbook – it includes recipes for plenty of indulgent breakfast foods, along with healthier options. But Megan does explore new and exciting ways to use a wealth of whole grains, which are loaded with fiber, protein and amino acids – a wholesome way to kick start any day.
Whole-Grain Mornings begins with a section of basics, like porridge, homemade granola and a whole-grain pancake mix that is sure to become your new pantry staple. The rest of the cookbook is organized by the seasons, including recipes that feature the freshest ingredients and most-craved flavors for each time of year. Recipes are conveniently categorized by how much time and effort they require, from quick or make-ahead weekday recipes to leisurely brunch dishes. Each chapter also includes recipes for seasonal spreads and toppings, perfect for spooning into plain yogurt or eating with whole-grain pancakes.
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Roy Choi’s Beef Cheek Taco (photo: Bobby Fisher)
Roy Choi skyrocketed to fame as the man who brought us the shamefully addictive short rib taco (via his ultra-popular Kogi food trucks). Now a rapidly rising star, the well-tatted, street-wise chef has penned a memoir, L.A. Son – a gritty, raw journey through his highs and lows up until the launch of Kogi. Choi’s narrative is extraordinary, and includes experiences helping his parents peddle diamonds and later gambling away everything he had, ending each chapter with the recipes he associates with that time. We chatted with Choi about the epic taco, his writing style and which five cooking items he’d bring to a desert island.
Continue Reading Digging into L.A. Son with Roy Choi