My current favorite in the weeknight meal rotation is a Latin-inspired soup that I've designated the ultimate essential soup recipe. It's also the ideal fast and easy dinner. This departure from the more conventional chicken tortilla soup is light, low-fat, and gluten-free, yet so imbued with smoky, spicy, bright flavors. Best of all, it comes together in — no joke — 10 minutes! The recipe's designed for one, but can easily be doubled or tripled for a few. Want the technique? Then read on.
Holiday feasts with the family call for large, important roasts — that's something I learned long ago from the late cookbook author Sheila Lukins. Make it something succulent and impressively large, like a beef Wellington or a rack of lamb, which can be shared and passed around the table.
If you're not an expert at roasts, don't dish out valuable dollars on a piece of beef tenderloin that you'll risk overcooking. Instead, stick to a more basic (and affordable) cut like pork loin. This Latin-inflected citrus, cumin, and cilantro recipe serves up to eight and will leave guests reaching for seconds — but it won't set you back more than $25. For the recipe, read more.
If the holiday season's left you stretched too thin, don't rule out making edible gifts; simply look for a recipe that'll take less energy and labor. Drop-and-bake cookies are one answer for the time-strapped. What could be more cheery and Christmassy than double-chocolate cranberry cookies? The large, chewy, baked goods take little time to make, and I've found the dough chills well for future baking, too. Slip them in a tissue-lined tin, and you've got your holiday gifting covered! Want the recipe? Keep reading.
Our 12 Days of Edible Gifts series is here! Over the next dozen days, we'll be sharing our favorite new homemade gifts for the holidays. Make them for loved ones as a budget-friendly heartfelt gift — but be sure to make extra to enjoy for yourself.
First up: the easiest edible gift of all, an all-purpose spice rub that comes together in one single, five-second step. Think of this rub as a magic elixir for everything from roasted vegetables to grilled chicken and pan-fried fish.
You could even sprinkle some on top of ramen, or add a spoonful to oil and vinegar for an intriguing salad dressing. If you've got lots of friends and family, multiply the batch and hand out tins as a thoughtful stocking stuffer. You can't go wrong! Now, for the recipe.
After a hectic start to the week, a late night taqueria run might sound terribly tempting, but avoid the caloric pitfalls of eating out by making your own version of a taqueria special at home: beef and potato burritos.
Build a healthier burrito, starting with last night's 90-percent lean ground beef and aromatics such as onion and jalapeño for heat. Save yourself time and effort by browning the beef, reducing the tomatoes, and heating the tortillas all in the same pan. You'll be surprised by how little effort this Mexican meal takes. Continue reading for the recipe.
Make the most of surplus food by changing up supporting flavors and cooking techniques. Last night's easy seafood paella and tonight's shrimp and scallion stir-fry are both healthy, quick-cooking, gluten-free shellfish stunners, but they couldn't please more different sides of the palate.
Enjoy a traditional Chinese stir-fry combination — shrimp and scallions — tossed in a smoldering wok with garlic, hot peppers, and a squeeze of lemon juice for acid. Serve over a bowl of steaming rice with soy sauce on the side for dipping; from pan to plate, you'll only need 15 minutes. Ready for dinner? Then get the recipe.
Post-Halloween, get back into the swing of things by settling in with a decidedly delicious yet healthy steak salad. Although Asian-inspired steak salads can venture into more sophisticated territory, a pared-down version can be equally delicious.
The secret here lies in multitasking: Create a garlicky lime vinaigrette that'll do double duty as both dressing and marinade. Allow the steak to cook in the broiler while you're chopping and tossing the vegetables. Top still-warm steak with a sprinkling of peanuts, and dinner's ready in under 30. Want the recipe? Then keep reading.
It seems like every year, fewer trick-or-treaters stop by my house. Thus, each October, I end up with a large amount of leftover candy. If this happens to you, turn the leftover chocolate candy bars into a scrumptious topping for shortbread. The brown-sugar-based shortbread crust is simple and effortless to prepare. Similar to chocolate bark, these shortbread bars can be covered with whatever chocolate you have on hand. I used an assortment of peanut butter and caramel treats including Reese's peanut butter cups, Heath bar bits, Reese's Pieces, and caramel-filled dark chocolate. Want the recipe? Get it after the jump.
Not only is oatmeal sexy again, but serve it up savory to make it the hottest bowl in town. Savory oatmeal's been popping up everywhere, whether it's Asian-inflected scallions and soy sauce, sharp gorgonzola and walnuts, or Cameron Diaz's leek, butter, and ponzu version.
Not convinced yet? For your next breakfast, dare to try oatmeal in both sweet and sugar-free applications, taking the time to compare their flavors. Enjoy rolled oats fortified with buckwheat groats and simmered in apples and cinnamon for a subtle sweetness — then match it up against a cheesy creation topped with a creamy coddled egg. See both fast, easy, and healthy recipes when you read more.
If you have plans to party-hop this Saturday night to celebrate Halloween, why not make an entire evening out of it by inviting friends over beforehand for a simple and spirited dinner? Especially if drinking is on the agenda, you'll want to fill up on some hearty carbs. Start with devils on horseback, a crowd-pleasing appetizer that involves bacon-wrapped shrimp and a spicy dipping sauce. For the main course offer bats and cobwebs: bow tie pasta with melted mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and chicken sausages. Throw in a mixed green salad, crusty bread, and you've got a Halloween meal.
Get the easy recipes I recommend, after the jump.