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
In the wintertime, no food satisfies quite like a bowl of steaming, creamy soup. But the problem with a lot of soup recipes is that they have so much cream! Is there a way to get the creaminess of a bisque with the healthfulness/nutrition and calorie count of your favorite vegetable soup? You betcha! The secret lies with an immersion blender — the hand-held tool that saves you from hot soup exploding out of the blender and the massive cleanup that ensues. Follow this easy formula and you can whip up a creamy but creamless soup in less than 30 minutes.
1: Soften the aromatics. In a Dutch oven, heat a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil or butter over medium heat. Add 1 chopped onion (or a similar quantity of shallots), maybe a little minced garlic and some diced celery if you have it on hand.
Continue Reading How to Make Creamy, Creamless Vegetable Soup Without a Recipe
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
For most of the year, I like to eat fruits and vegetables that have been grown locally. But if I can say one thing about January, it’s that it’s a hard time of year to be a locavore in the northeast. Root vegetables and cabbage are pretty much the only things I can get that were grown in Vermont right now, which is why I love that it’s also citrus season. In Spain, California and Florida, citrus fruits are at their peak. The juicy yellow-, orange- and pink-fleshed lemons, oranges and grapefruit, respectively, are like a ray of sunshine in the middle of a dreary winter. While my favorite way to enjoy citrus has to be popping the easy-to-peel, ever-so-sweet clementines and satsumas like they’re candy, I also like to use citrus in recipes. Here are some of my favorites right now:
Continue Reading Best Ways to Use Citrus Right Now
There sure are some wacky diets out there. After all, there was once a popular diet that suggested you drink liquor with each and every meal, breakfast not excluded. However, in this case, fiction may be even stranger than fact. Here are a bunch of the weirdest diets ever featured on TV and in the movies.
Good to Know‘s Dan Pashman has two children and hosts the James Beard Award-nominated food podcast The Sporkful. Those are pretty good credentials for understanding what kids want to eat (hint: usually something fried and other than vegetables.)
For those parents who’ve set far-out goals like getting their kids to intake a bit of nutrition this year, Dan has some fail-safe tips on creating less-fatty, baked versions of kids’ favorite meals that they’re sure to devour (hint #2: replicated texture.)
Watch how to make kids’ favorites healthier after the jump:
Continue Reading How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy
Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?
This Meatless Monday, go global and take your taste buds on a trip to Thailand. Skip the takeout and try Bobby Deen’s Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Ginger Soup at home. It’s easier than you would think.
With a lot of contrasting flavors, this soup has a lot going on — but in a very good way. The sweet potatoes and brown sugar balance the heat from the red curry paste and ginger, while the lime and scallions brighten the creaminess from coconut milk. Each bite is spicy, sweet, comforting and nutritious all at once.
Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Ginger Soup
Continue Reading Meatless Monday: Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Soup
Most people’s resolutions include eating healthy and staying fit. Here’s how our chefs and hosts actually make it happen.
Find out Cooking Channel Talents’ New Year’s Get-Healthy Tips
Frosted gingerbread cookies. Thick eggnog spiked with booze. Meaty drumsticks. Gravy. Butter. Carbs. More butter. Ah, the holidays.
We love winter feasting, but we also love not passing out face-first into a dish of cheese. What is life without balance? It’s tired and bloated and none of its clothes fit. Hanukkah Harry brought me an extra chin? No bueno. So, to make it through the new year — without having to buy larger pants or get a vitamin B injection — allow us to make a one-word suggestion: kale.
You heard us. Kale. Because in the dead of winter, it seems like the only vegetables we see are starchy tubers buried at the bottom of a casserole dish under a sticky mound of marshmallows. Oy vey. But even though the trees outside are bare, it’s easy to get some greenery in the produce section if you make a beeline for Kaleville. Hear us out.
A member of the cabbage family, kale is hearty as hell, which is why it’s the last one standing when relegated to a garnish on platters. (For shame!) But kale grows late into the winter and was even encouraged as a wartime crop because it was so damn healthy and easy to grow. It’s high in calcium and potassium, plus vitamins K, A and C — and unless you want to sneeze your way through the season, these are all great vitamins to ward off the winter bugs. Also, kale has anticancer properties and can lower cholesterol — something another serving of canned ham probably cannot do. Low in calories and high in fiber, it’ll detox your system. Translation: Your pants won’t feel as tight.
Continue Reading Kale Recipes So You Don’t Die
We all know the drill: January 1 rolls around and we feel compelled to make resolutions. We go gung-ho for a week or two before we bring back our old ways. Resolve that this year, 2014, you will make New Year’s resolutions that work.
How do you do that, you ask? What works best is when you think about where you actually are and where you want to go, and then make goals (or resolutions, if you will) that bridge that gap. If you reach too far, it’s easy to miss the mark and then get discouraged. By being realistic about your current lifestyle and what typically prevents you from making the changes you’d like to make, you’ll set yourself up for success. It’s also helpful to break down a larger goal into smaller steps. Instead of creating an overwhelming goal like “lose weight,” take a close look at the behaviors that are keeping the weight on and select one or more to change. For example, maybe you notice you do a lot of late-night noshing. Try and think about why that is. Maybe you tend to eat when you’re tired or stressed? Come up with some replacement behaviors that address the real problem (like getting ready for bed earlier, or writing down your worries).
Here are some examples of those intermediate goals and how to make them achievable:
Continue Reading How to Make Smarter New Year’s Resolutions (plus 3 to Make Your Own)