Isn’t it great when months of booking hotels, drafting itineraries, hoarding suntan lotion and dusting off beach chairs finally culminates in that magical week of seasonal bliss? Summer vacation is almost here for me, and boy do I need it!
Before skipping town for a week in Cape Cod, I had to do what any upstanding food fan would: clean out the fridge. A little something you might not know about me — I LOVE a good “yeah throw that in” bowl of pasta. Putting an assortment of deliciousness into a bowl with some pasta, sauce and cheese can only, by law of deductive reasoning, end up even more synergistically delicious than at the start. It’s a no-brainer and always a crowd-pleaser.
Speaking of crowd-pleasing, the other beautiful thing about this pasta is how perfect it is for a backyard BBQ. Take advantage of an already active grill by bringing prepped vegetables, cooked pasta and prepared pesto to your next cookout. Throw the vegetables on the grill when you arrive and then toss everything together and serve — instant pasta salad!
Safe travels (and good eats) to everyone traveling on vacation this summer!
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Backyard Pasta with Mint Pea Pesto
I see no reason for hot, muggy summer nights to put a damper on my delicious pizza-consumption time. Sure, turning on the oven to the highest setting it’ll withstand to produce that crispy, crispy crust would be a tasty choice. It would also be an express ticket to sleeping on the couch (the air conditioner is in the bedroom and my husband doesn’t suffer the heat too gladly). Enter old faithful: the trusty grill.
If you’ve made pizza at home before, then you know that heat is your friend. You crank that oven up as high as you possibly can, the idea being that you want a browned crust and melted cheese quickly. When grilling your pizza, it’s important to be a bit more reserved with those gas knobs. Since the heat of a grill is more direct than a traditional oven, hanging out in the “medium” range is your ticket. That is, of course, unless you love a charred pizza. I didn’t think so.
Now that you and pizza have been united in summertime backyard bliss, the only decision left to make is what should go on the pie. Here’s an idea:
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Grilled Garden Vegetable Pizza
Asparagus’ green spears are a sure sign of spring. If you’re wondering about the health benefits of this seasonal must-have, this blog’s for you.
It’s low in calories: Five large spears have just 20 calories and 2 grams of fiber, making this a flavorful guilt-free food.
It’s nutrient-dense: Asparagus packs a lot of nutrition. It’s an excellent source of vitamin K (the vitamin that helps your blood to clot) and a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, iron and some B vitamins.
It acts as a diuretic: Asparagus contains high levels of the aptly named amino acid asparagine, which acts as a diuretic. This can actually help to lower high blood pressure.
Continue Reading 5 Health Benefits of Asparagus
Mother’s Day is the perfect time to celebrate your mother by treating her to a delicious homemade brunch. And while brunch can sometimes feel like a decadent version of breakfast (several courses! dessert!), there’s no reason brunch can’t also be healthy. For brunch this weekend, plan a menu that’s as good for you as it is good. Assemble your own healthy brunch menu by choosing one dish from each of the categories below:
Chocolate And Strawberry Stuffed French Toast
Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes
Olive Oil Muffins
Morning Glory Muffins
Continue Reading A Healthy and Delicious Mother’s Day Brunch
Unlike many fad diets, the Mediterranean Diet just doesn’t seem to go out of style. That’s in part because of a persistent influx of research touting its benefits. To be clear what we’re talking about here, the Mediterranean Diet is a pattern of eating that features a bounty of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts and whole grains; a moderate amount of fish and poultry and wine with meals; and minimal amounts of dairy, sweets and red or processed meats. Find out more about what the Mediterranean Diet is and isn’t with these myths:
Continue Reading Mediterranean Diet Myths Busted
Kelsey Nixon’s Mean Green Smoothie
You may have heard that dark leafy greens are incredibly healthy. They are. Leafy greens — such as spinach, kale, collard greens, lettuce, escarole and Swiss chard — are chock-full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, and have been linked to lower risk of certain cancers and heart disease. You should be eating at least 1 1/2 to 2 cups of dark leafy greens each week (if you’re eating them raw, double that number since leafy greens shrink when cooked). If you’re wondering how to actually meet that goal, this post is for you. Here are some ideas for how I work greens into breakfasts, lunches, dinners and, yes, even snacks! (I draw the line at green desserts, however.)
Continue Reading 9 Ways to Eat More Greens
It’s inevitable — sometime during the day, either between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner, you’re going to get snack-y. And if you’re at the office or out and about, you could be tempted by a not-so-healthy option (caramel macchiato or candy bar, anyone?) With a little planning, you can avoid diet-derailing visits to the vending machine or office candy bowl. These 9 snacks are easy to pack and satisfy your craving for something salty, sweet or crunchy.
Continue Reading Healthy, Satisfying Snacks to Pack
Shooting season two of Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping (premiering Saturday, January 19, at 10:30am ET on Cooking Channel) was a delightful and tasty experience. What could be better than sharing flavorful meals and delicious desserts (that were surprisingly low-cal) with my two friends, Melissa and Aarti, especially considering that the fabulous Melissa d’Arabian handled all of the cooking! While every recipe is a winner in my book, a select few have become staples in my home — and only one (OK, three) can be honored with the title “favorite.”
The flaky Flounder with Corn and Tomatoes (pictured above) takes top honors in the entrée category. It’s a cinch to make (I’m talking weeknights!) and just as easy to clean up thanks to the fact that it’s made in a parchment paper wrap. As for the taste: Even my 9-year-old son was wowed! It’s a great marriage of flavors (sweet corn, tangy sundried tomatoes) and texture (flaky fish, crunchy corn, chewy tomatoes) and the presentation, with the pop of color, is just stunning. It’s hard to believe a dish this flavorful is just 185 calories! I made this with a side of quinoa, a whole grain that brings even more nutrition to the table. You could also try it with bulgur or whole-wheat couscous. All three are a snap to prepare.
Continue Reading My Favorite Healthy Recipe From ‘Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping’
The New York City Marathon may be 26.2 miles, but runners rack up many, many more during training. Carbo-loading, the guilt-free consumption of rice, pasta and bread in the days leading up to it, can seem like a reward for months of dedication and hard work. Done properly, you’ll have enough stored energy to see you through to the finish line. Overindulge, though, and you’ll get to race day feeling like someone’s handed you a sack of potatoes and asked you to run it through the five boroughs.
Continue Reading Fuel Your Marathon (Or Your Day): Amaranth Pancakes
Candice's Whole Go-To Roasted Chicken is "dressed to kill" with garlic and herbs.
Former model Candice Kumai admits that she starved herself back in her runway days — and she was miserable. Candice found her “inner sexy” after making a drastic life change: She got out of the modeling business and went to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu. Now an Iron Chef judge and a regular contributor to Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats, she’s out to prove that eating great and looking great don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Candice’s new cookbook, Cook Yourself Sexy, is full of healthy, satisfying recipes and advice on how to maintain your sexiest self. She’s not about deprivation — there are two full chapters on dessert, and she always favors “FWBs” (Foods With Benefits) over low-cal imitation foods.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: Cook Yourself Sexy