America’s meat dependency deserves a break. Sure, meaty meals can taste great and satisfying, but eating less of it is a smart choice, both for your health and the environment. Eating less meat can help lower your risk of heart disease and your carbon footprint. But it can often be a challenge to figure out just how to transform your favorite meaty standards into enticing vegetarian alternatives that deliver on flavor and satisfaction. Here are several classic comfort foods and their vegetarian makeovers.
Instead of: Chicken Pot Pie
Try: Vegetarian Pot Pie
You might be surprised to find that chicken is not essential to a mouthwatering pot pie, as proven here.
Instead of: Shepherd’s Pie
Try: Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
Layers of spaghetti squash, lentils and vegetables and creamy mashed potatoes make this a five-star recipe.
Continue Reading Vegetarian Comfort Foods That Won’t Make You Miss the Meat
Surfing the wave of mash-up mania that brought the world the Cronut™ and Ramen Burger, we decided to beat the winter by partnering with our brilliant culinary team in order to come up with THE most-indulgent comfort food. Together with Food Network, we’ve mashed up some classic comfort foods in unique — and dare we say, mind-blowing — ways.
The funny thing about mash-ups is that inevitably one of the foods is going to be more dominant. For example, if you wanted to mangia bene Italian-American-restaurant style, you might combine your pizza pie with a creamy Caesar salad. But does the salad get sprinkled on top of the pizza, or do you saddle the salad with little pizza-shaped croutons?
Over the next several weeks, we’ll be revealing the ways we mixed and remixed some of our favorite dishes, with one recipe appearing on Cooking Channel and the other on Food Network.
Continue Reading Comfort Food Mash-Ups, Remixed: Caesar Salad + Pizza
Skip traditional treats this Valentine’s Day and make a decadent dessert that will keep you satisfied for days. These bread pudding recipes make enough for a celebratory crowd or can be a sweet treat for the whole weekend for you and your sweetie.
1. Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding (pictured above)
Swap traditional bread for croissants in this chocolate bread pudding. The chocolate custard fills every layer of flaky pastry. Plus croissants are almost all crust, which is the best part of bread pudding. Use stale croissants since they’ll be more firm and absorbent than fresh ones; the finished product will hold together better.
Continue Reading Comfort Fest: 5 Bread Pudding Recipes for Valentine’s Day
More than anything else, people will ask us, “Alie and Georgia — which one is which, and does it matter?”
But the second most-common question we get is, “How did you get your job, and what does it have to do with chicken nuggets?”
It’s a great question, and one we ask ourselves often. See, we started our entire hosting-cocktail-entertaining expert career semi-accidentally. We made a farcical video for a fictitious drink called a McNuggetini and it went viral. When we were offered jobs to create more cocktails, we dove in like harried med students and learned everything we could about actual, palatable drinks, distilled spirits and the history of Prohibition-era beverages. And we got good at it, thank god.
But we dreamed up the McNugg long ago because we were tired and hungry. After long days at soul-draining desk jobs, we wanted a postwork salve that was dinner, dessert and a cocktail all in “one chalice of multitasking.”
So what do you do when you need comfort food? How far is too far? (Don’t think we’ve never made architectural sketches for a papasan chair made of pizza.)
Well, here are our three most-vital comfort food recipes that are just enough of a treat to help you unwind, bond with a friend and maaaaaybe inspire your own Cooking Channel career. No promises.
Continue Reading Alie & Georgia’s Most-Vital Comfort Food
5 Hot Links We’re Loving:
- Another snow day? Perfect excuse to linger in the kitchen a little longer and griddle up a batch of Half Baked Harvest’s rice krispie treat pancakes with browned butter syrup.
- Sally’s Baking Addiction says that it’s ok to start your day with your favorite sweet duo, ideally in her chocolate peanut butter lovers’ granola, so you can get your fix on the go.
- Further proof that everything is better chicken-fried, Spoon Fork Bacon’s chicken fried potatoes are battered in herbs and spices and served with buttermilk-ranch dipping sauce.
- Cold weather is an ideal excuse to break out the ol’ slow cooker. Put it to good use and brew up a cozy pot of The Midnight Baker’s steak and ale cheese soup.
- Meyer lemon season is in full swing during the chilly winter months, so buy a bushel of the sweet citrus and try out My Baking Addiction’s recipe for meyer lemon meltaways.
- Cooking Channel has your comfort food cravings covered with an endless array of piping-hot soups and stews to help warm you up this winter.
- Kick the boxed mac and cheese to the curb and settle in with 35 inspired ways to eat the creamy, childhood classic. Double the cheese, please.
This winter has already seen its fair share of cold, snowy days. It’s the type of weather that makes me crave warm, wholesome food. At the same time, I don’t have hours every day to spend cooking complicated meals. That’s why I love my slow cooker. I can prep the ingredients when I have time, add them to the slow cooker and let the low, steady heat cook it all day long (or all night, in the case of steel-cut oats).
The slow-heat method can also be a boon to healthy foods. It’s the perfect way to tenderize lean cuts of meat, to soften whole grains, and to let the flavors and textures of vegetables mellow and merge.
Here are some healthy slow-cooker recipes that I can’t wait to try. What are your favorite slow-cooker meals?
Continue Reading 10 Healthy, Comforting Slow Cooker Recipes
After a polar vortex you might be tempted to hunker down and order delivery instead of bundling up to shop for groceries. But many of these comforting recipes from Bobby Flay rely on staples you’ll likely have on hand. Even better, they ensure that you can have the most important meal of the day even after 5pm.
1. Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Gruyere Cheese Strata with Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes (pictured above)
A strata is a breakfast casserole featuring bread, eggs and cheese. Bobby’s version is filled with sauteed cherry tomatoes and spinach. This big batch dish serves eight, but you’ll definitely be tempted for seconds.
Continue Reading Comfort Fest: Bobby’s Breakfast for Dinner Recipes
Ground meat may be a prerequisite for meatloaf recipes everywhere, but that doesn’t have to mean ground beef. Keep your meatloaf classic or swap it out for your meat of choice to make this comfort food classic.
1. Good Eats Meatloaf (pictured above)
In just an hour and ten minutes, Alton’s meatloaf can be on your family’s dinner table. He uses both ground chuck and ground sirloin in his mixture that gets just enough kick from cayenne pepper and chili powder. Brush the meatloaf with a catsup, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and honey glaze to keep each piece moist.
Continue Reading Pick Your Meat (Loaf): Beef, Pork or Turkey
Just in time for game day, we’re sharing recipes for a great-for-groups food: chili. While chili tastes delicious served straight from the pot with your favorite fixings, you can also use it to smother some of your other favorite foods including Fritos, hot dogs and tortilla chips. So think outside a bowl of chili and try these creative options.
1. Baggy Nachos (pictured above)
For a party-ready hand-held treat, open a bag of corn chips and stuff with a chorizo and bean chili. Garnish with cheddar, sour cream, jalapenos and scallions.
Continue Reading Comfort Feast: Chili, Outside the Bowl
Paula Deen once had a man on her show who taught her how to make his heart-stopping Fat Darrell sandwich — a roll packed with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks and french fries. It has 1790 calories and 92 grams of fat. On tonight’s episode of Not My Mama’s Meals at 9pm ET on Cooking Channel, Paula’s son Bobby will reinvent that sandwich into his Skinny Darrell Wrap, a version with a much more reasonable 670 calories and 22 grams of fat. To make it happen, he’ll use the same ingredients — only instead of deep frying everything, he’ll swap in oven-baked chips, baked chicken fingers and fresh mozzarella all rolled into a whole wheat wrap. The result is lighter and leaner, but just as delicious.
Tune in to Not My Mama’s Meals at 9pm ET to watch Bobby Deen takes his mom’s best comfort food recipes and transform them into meals that work with his fit lifestyle.
Flip through our gallery of Bobby Deen’s healthy takes of Paula Deen’s recipes.
Get more of Bobby Deen’s tips on lightening up your favorite meals like burgers, cake, pizza and more.