Like many, I gobbled up Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's cookbooks Plenty and Jerusalem. Plenty's spicy mango and cabbage slaw is a particular favorite of mine . . . So as soon as I heard that the duo would be releasing a US edition of Ottolenghi (their first cookbook), I preordered a copy. Fast-forward to over a year later when a mysterious package arrived on my desk. Inside was the best sort of surprise: the long-awaited, much-pined-over volume. I tabbed page after page (think sumac- and za'atar-crusted roast chicken and a salad of peaches paired with speck and orange water), but I kept flipping back to this tahini-drizzled eggplant recipe.
The next time you plan on preparing vegetables, don't dip them — sip them! Although the thought of gulping a bright veggie drink may seem a bit scary, take our word for it: it is surprisingly tasty. But, if the taste alone doesn't convince you, then know that a single serving offers far more greens and fiber than you would normally eat — fighting off the midmorning hunger and that dreaded sugar crash. Replace your morning bagel with one of these 12 recipes for an extra pep in your step. Unlike with the bagel, you won't regret it.
Recently, my boyfriend and I sat down for a hearty meal at Suppenküche — our neighborhood German joint — and did the usual dance around what to order. Bratwurst, thick-cut pork chops, and sautéed trout tempted, but ultimately I settled on a dish of braised beef — though it was the braised red cabbage accompaniment that sold me on my selection.
Thankfully it lived up to my expectations and then some, and despite its enticing plate companions (the aforementioned braised beef, and a heaping pile of tender spaetzle) it was the tart and heavily spiced cabbage that I devoured with relish.
If you're a carb queen, you don't discriminate. You'll gladly bite into a warm and chewy roll or a forkful of pasta, grab a handful of pretzels, or devour a just-out-of-the-oven blueberry muffin. While I'm all for enjoying carbs, loading up on bread products isn't the best tactic if you're trying to drop pounds. See how many calories you'll save by making these easy bread swaps with fruit and veggies.
Despite our best intentions to serve healthy meals, more than one parent will admit that it can be difficult to cultivate a child's taste for vegetables. So what should you do when you have a picky eater on your hands? Experienced moms say to go stealth. Here are nine recipes that hide vegetables and taste so yummy that your kids might find it difficult to digest the fact that the food's good for them too.
I may be a whiz in the kitchen, but a green thumb I am not: a few weeks ago, I managed to kill a succulent over the course of a weekend (I thought those things were bulletproof!). This Summer, I bought a few houseplants; the twiggy remains now lay sadly outside my window. And remember the great wall of mushroom? So when it came to fermentation, I thought there was no chance I could successfully and safely ferment food — until now.
For years, I've eyeballed Kimberly Snyder's recipe for a "probiotic and enzyme salad," aka homemade sauerkraut. I figured that if I attempted it, I would just end up fermenting myself to death à la botulism. The written recipe seemed easy — almost suspiciously easy. Were there left out details that would aid in my demise? But my complete and utter craving for fermented kraut and resistance to spending $10 a jar for the stuff in grocery stores inspired me to roll up my sleeves, sterilize my jars, and do this thing anyway.
Before you begin, read, reread, and triple read the recipe and follow each step, including the jars used. The first time I made this, I didn't follow the directions and filled the sauerkraut in whatever glass jars were lying around my house. The repurposed honey jars that I used leaked, and the end product tasted funk-mented, not sauerkraut-y.
But the cabbage that fermented in Mason jars (with proper lids) turned out fine. After fermentation, I seasoned the kraut with a hefty pinch of salt to bring out its awesome cruciferous flavor. Simply sprinkle a generous amount on top of the sauerkraut, screw on the cap, shake to let the salt dissolve, and then unscrew and keep seasoning and tasting until it's right.
Once the sauerkraut is finished fermenting, it's a vibrant pink. Try sauerkraut with eggs in the morning, on sandwiches or salads for lunch, and as a side condiment in any Asian fare. Once you've finished the jar, don't toss the liquid! Drink it plain (if you're into pickle juice) or use it as the vinegar in salad dressings. Keep reading for the recipe.
For a simple way to increase the amount of veggies in your diet, skip the pasta and use spaghetti squash instead. A one-cup serving of this unique squash has only 42 calories and 10 grams of carbs. For comparison, whole-wheat spaghetti has 176 calories and 37.7 grams of carbs — that's a huge difference! Not sure how to prepare it? Check out these delicious recipe ideas.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and bake it, flesh side down, at 350°F for 30 minutes or until you can pierce it with a knife with little resistance. While it's baking, sauté diced onions, tomatoes, one minced clove of garlic, and a handful of chopped fresh basil. Scoop out the flesh with a fork (it should be stringy), place it on a plate, and top with your tomato mixture. Instant low-carb spaghetti. Or make this cheesy veggie "pasta" bake. Not into red sauce? For another light pasta alternative, toss cooked spaghetti squash with roasted shrimp.
- Bake the same way as above, but this time scoop out the flesh, place it in a bowl, and allow it to cool in the fridge. After 20 minutes, pour the squash flesh onto a cutting board and chop it up a little. Place it in a bowl, and mix in diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, lemon juice, olive oil, spices, feta, and olives to make a fun variation on Greek salad.
- Bake, allow to cool, and then marinate spaghetti squash with lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, and rosemary. Put it on top of your garden salad for a little extra flavor and texture.
- Chop up baked stringy flesh, and season it with cayenne pepper to be used in place of rice in tacos and burritos.
- For a dessert idea, before placing it in the oven to bake cut-side up, sprinkle cinnamon, a little nutmeg, and a drizzle of honey. Top with chopped walnuts, and serve warm.
Sweet, tender, and packed full of earthy flavor, roasted beets are a stellar inclusion to a variety of salads, soups, and even pizza (more on that later). But before we get carried away praising this oft-maligned root vegetable, let's first tackle how to roast them up with a minimum of stress and effort.
A word to the wise: to make roasted beets a weeknight-friendly meal addition, roast up a big batch over the weekend when time is (relatively) plentiful and add them to dishes all week long.
Whether the star of a salad bowl, thrown in a smoothie, or stacked in a sandwich, greens are a must to have on hand. Buying in bulk saves money, but how frustrating is it when a funky aroma and wilted greens greet you from the crisper drawer? Want your spinach, mesclun, and arugula to last longer? Try this little trick:
Divide your big container of greens into two to four smaller plastic bags. Close the top of each bag lightly with your fist, blow into the bag, and fill it with air (carbon dioxide). Then seal the bag by twisting the top a few times before closing it firmly with a twist tie. Place it in the fridge, and your greens are good to go.
These puffy bags might take up a little bit more room in your fridge, but the loss of space is worth it; your greens will stay bright, crisp, and flavorful, so you can enjoy healthy salads, smoothies, and sandwiches all week long. This tip works for all leafy greens, including herbs; just be sure produce is completely dry before placing them in the plastic bag. Don't worry about wasting plastic bags since these can be washed, air-dried, and reused for next time.
Of course, the easiest way to tackle your kids' daily school lunch routine is with the requisite sandwich-apple-cookie combo. But that's bound to get old. We've come up with nine crafty and clever ways to sneak fruits and veggies into your kiddos' lunches, ensuring that even the pickiest eaters get a well-balanced midday meal. Bon appetit!