Eating healthy doesn't mean there isn't room for occasional treats like Chinese takeout or a drive-through for our favorite one-of-a-kind cheeseburger. As long as we keep these kinds of meals reserved for true cravings, not convenience, then I can probably keep our healthy eating in check.
Spaghetti and meatballs was the classic dish I ate at Grandma's house growing up: She had her all-day recipe that filled her creaky house with heady aromas that built anticipation as meatballs simmered in sauce on the stove.
Corn bread has always had a bit of an identity crisis in our house: Is it savory or is it sweet? Does it replace dinner rolls or dessert?
The healthy noodle market is booming, thanks to low-carb fans, and so it's no surprise that kelp noodles, which used to be a specialty-store item only, are now readily available at the neighborhood supermarket.
Late summer fruit is perhaps my favorite. Berries are juicy and sweet, in their last flourish before slipping away into elite and expensive status. Peaches and plums are soft and caramel-like in flavor. Even the humble pebbly-skinned cantaloupe boasts rich orange flesh and syrupy-sweet flavor.
Beans are an inexpensive and lean source of protein, fiber and micronutrients. But it's easy to fall into a bean rut. White beans, black beans, garbanzo beans and fresh green beans easily make their way to the table relatively frequently.
Sometimes, it's just too hot to turn on the stove. The key is to stock up your kitchen with "healthy convenience food" that doesn't require any heat, such as fresh produce, canned beans, canned fish and small boxes of precooked legumes found in the prepared produce section.
Check out your grocery store right about now because I'll bet you'll find gorgeous tomatoes everywhere. Roma tomatoes are a bargain this time of year, and they are ideal for cooking in all sorts of recipes. Full of vitamins C and A, as well as lycopene, tomatoes are a healthy buy, too.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts are a convenient go-to for so many cooks. The mild flavor makes them incredibly versatile, so it's easy to slip this cut of chicken into almost any recipe or flavor profile. Chicken breasts are one of the leanest cuts of meat available, with a quarter pound boasting 34 grams of protein …
Vegetable "noodles" are super trendy, and summer is the best time to make them since the king of veggie noodle — zucchini — is ubiquitous, and inexpensive.
Cauliflower is a wonder veggie. No longer relegated to boiling and covering with a bright orange cheese sauce (sorry, Mom), cauliflower is stepping out in the place of starch like rice in stir-fries or instead of wheat flour in pizza dough.
Balmy weather calls for ice-cold sweet treats; fruity drinks are a natural part of the summertime poolside landscape. But those drinks are often loaded with sugar, boasting 40 or more grams in even a reasonably sized drink.
Growing up in the Southwest, a tortilla was a thin flatbread used to wrap around grilled meat and make tacos. I was in my 30s before I visited Barcelona, Spain, and was served a Spanish tortilla — a completely different dish — and I fell in love instantly.
Tis the season of backyard barbecues, picnics and outdoor potlucks. We gather with friends, or simply migrate to the backyard picnic table for family dinner, and that has me craving the classics: grilled meats, veggies and some creamy starchy sides like macaroni salad. Today, I have the perfect solution for scratching …
Sometimes I just crave a big serving of green beans. You too, right?
Mom may have made most meals in our house, but my father is no stranger to the kitchen. I love remembering the Saturdays my Jersey dad spent brewing Grandmom's recipe for marinara sauce. Every pot was used, red splattered on every surface, the entire house fragrant with delicious Italian seasonings. It was a magnificent …
My dad is not what you would call an adventurous eater.
I got cocky.
My other two kitchen challenges went so well. Decadent chocolate truffles. Spicy chipotle chicken. This time, I told myself, I could tackle anything — even a four-layer cake for Father's Day.
The kitchen is my happy place, which is a good thing, because I spend a lot of time in it. It seems I'm always either developing recipes or cooking them for a camera. And then there's the not-so-small matter of cooking for my husband and four daughters every day. Truly, I love it.
Ratatouille is a classic vegetable dish starring eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onion and tomato that is deeply steeped in the culture of Mediterranean France. When I married a man from Provence, one of the first lessons I received from my new mother-in-law Muriel was how to make a proper ratatouille.