You might see this title and say to yourself, “Soup … in July?” But the amazing thing about cooking with seasonal produce is that the temperature doesn’t really matter. Whether you eat this soup hot or at room temperature, it’s simply bursting with the fresh, summery flavors of tender zucchini and fragrant basil. The lime juice lends a bit of interest and zip (not to mention lessens the need for salt), and as I poured myself a second bowl I secretly hoped my kids would turn up their little noses at the green color so I could save it all for my weekday lunches.
A healthy home cook such as you is probably pretty comfortable cooking salmon. Your skills have been honed by practice because the notion of salmon as a superfood has been sufficiently pounded into your head. And though salmon is one of the healthiest ocean edibles, we shouldn’t overlook its fellow swimmers. White fish is high in healthy fat and protein and very low in calories. It’s also milder in flavor, which makes it a great choice for kids.
In the ten to fifteen minutes it takes your fish to cook, make this sauce on the stovetop; it’s amazingly flavorful and really perks up the simple, light fare. I’ve used this on both salmon and white fish and it’s equally delicious on both, though I suspect I’d enjoy just about anything bathed in it. It’s that good.
When I plan meals during the spring and summer months I feel like there is a unspoken but expected subtext: Recipes must take less than 20 minutes, yield less than one dish to be washed, and bonus points for use of the grill. I’ve just waited too long for these warm, sunshiny days and by the time I’m ready to make dinner (which is usually around the time my family is complaining of hunger), time is most certainly of the essence.
Cue these pork kebabs. They’re simultaneously sweet and fiery hot and their tenderness is unparalleled. They can be prepped ahead and held in the fridge for several hours which makes them great for entertaining. (I’ve found that the standard hamburgers and hot dogs ends up being more work than I initially think.) I’d serve these kebobs with a fresh cole slaw and summer sweet corn for a meal that will keep you outside with your guests — and out of the kitchen — for as much time as possible.
The cupcake has been enjoying quite the season in the sun, from game shows to bakeries that sell nothing but the personal-sized treat. But you know who was miles ahead of the trend and will probably be enjoying them long after they’re no longer a “thing”? Kids. Kids love cupcakes, trendy or not.
And for good reason: They’re portion controlled, wrapped in pretty paper and have an excellent cake-to-icing ratio. The downside is what they do to your hip-to-waist ratio. I’ve made and tasted more than my share of “lightened-up” treats, and it’s rare that one will measure up in both flavor and texture, but believe me when I tell you, these fruit-enriched, deep chocolate cupcakes are honestly every bit as good as the real thing. And for way less calories! My three-year-old (who can sniff out hidden health with the best of them) didn’t have a clue.
So whip these up and enjoy — and don’t you dare feel bad about it. They’re sweetened with dates, after all. Read more »
On beautifully warm, breezy and fragrant spring evenings, “What’s for dinner?” is literally the last thing on my mind. But we all know that to eat healthy you need to spend more time in your kitchen and less time dining out so, during this time of year, I’m constantly on the lookout for meals that not only come together quickly, but yield very little cleanup. Interested in an easy one-dish meal that tastes great and keeps on you on track for bathing suit season? That’s what I thought. Read more »
Brunch is one of my favorite meals, but going out for bunch can be a big ol’ pain. Two words: the lines. Because I’m not one to wait an hour or more for a table, I’m happiest having an at-home brunch. Besides, whipping up my own pancakes or French toast means I can control what goes in it and on it — a much safer bet in terms of fat and calories than restaurant food.
This week’s recipe is the perfect example of exactly that. The lemon-poppy seed pancakes are totally something you’d find on a brunch menu, but I’m putting a healthier twist on this brunch staple with whole-wheat flour and a creamy blueberry topping made with Greek yogurt. I’d call that a win-win. Read more »
You can’t beat a fresh, vibrant, fragrant, juicy pink grapefruit. On second thought, you can: A grapefruit gets even more delicious when you pop it under the broiler. Really! With a sprinkle of sugar and a burst of flames, the vitamin C-rich citrus fruit is transformed — like magic — into a caramelized dessert no one can pass up.
And, hey, with my Greek yogurt maple topping, you can totally justify have this for breakfast, too. I won’t tell. Read more »
Last year, I shared tips for how use your freezer to store easy meals in a pinch. Today, I have a few more things to add to my tutorial.
My freezing techniques came up again recently when I was chatting with a mom of two, who told me she exclusively buys organic food for her family. This means meat, produce, dairy, nuts, baking supplies and snacks all carry organic labels — and price tags to match. She explained that the $1,500 a month she spends on food is well worth her peace of mind.
That’s all well and good, of course, but it got me thinking about all those times we realize our milk is juuuuust about to expire, or the greens we bought in bulk over a week ago, thinking we’d devour them in smoothies and salads in no time, are definitely beginning to wilt. When you’ve spent so much cash on food, organic or not, it just feels criminal to let any of it go to waste. Read more »
I talk to people all the time who tell me they can’t bake. This is all well and good (or, well, sad as the case my be), but everyone needs a sweet snack now and then, and if you’re not baking them yourself, you’re buying them. While you can find some pretty amazing store-bought snacks, low in preservatives and whatnot, I have yet to find one without an unpronounceable ingredient or two. For your health’s, the environment’s (helloooo, plastic packaging) and your wallet’s sake, getting in your kitchen and doing the work is always worth it. Read more »
February is sort of a mean month: We’re all pretty sick of winter at this point, but we’re still a far cry from spring. Sigh.
If you’re anything like me, this winter-will-never-end mentality can even seep over into your diet. You’re trying to “be good” by sticking with your healthy-eating goals, but all you really want is to hunker down with a big bowl of warming comfort food.
Good news: I am not here to preach resistance, friends. Instead, I’d like to show you a way to retool your thinking so you can have a big bowl of healthy and light comfort food and eat it, too. This week’s recipe gives you exactly that.