I very much grew up in a meat and potatoes household. Our dinner menus were as predictable as the negotiating was to get out of doing dishes. Every night there was a meat entree — ground beef made into burgers, meatloaf, sloppy joes — with some form of potato — be it baked, mashed, or frozen fries. A side of canned green beans or corn would round out our plates. And for dessert we never received more than two small sandwich cookies.
So many of my recipes are fresh takes on old favorites, and that’s exactly what I’m serving up here. There’s nothing new with this recipe, it’s been served out of casserole dishes for decades. What is new is the realization that you can make it a little more wholesome, but just as savory, familiar, and comforting. (more…)
Okay, I lied a bit. None of these recipes won Oscars. But, hey, all hail from right here on DietsInReview and pair perfectly for the award show.
The 86th Academy Awards air on ABC this Sunday, March 2, so you better rush to the grocery store and stockpile for the party you may or may not (but should) be having! And before you think the recipes will all be super-fattening macaroni and cheese casseroles (I mean it is gold), I am offering up some healthier alternatives for your Oscar night. After all, what would the stars do? (Hint: They would not chow down on high-cal comfort foods; at least not before.)
Let us start off right, like any good party should: with a few beverages.
A Blackberry & Basil Martini is the perfect option for the 86th Academy Awards. Fancy cocktails were prevalent in at least two of the most prominently nominated movies this year: The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle. Besides that, what better way to feel like you are schmoozing with the rich and famous than with a drink that looks this fabulous? (And isn’t all that bad for you!) Easy to recreate a non-alcoholic version—simply substitute the vodka with some sparkling soda and use grenadine. Yum!
Another great drink option is our Talenti Frozen Sangria, which tips a hat to the Southern representation among many of the nominated movies this year. Can’t you just imagine Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts sipping on this icy sangria to escape the 90-degree heat? I sure can. (more…)
Most of us have heard of comfort food. Sticky, gooey, chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven, a plate of warm mashed potatoes and rich gravy, or a bowl full of creamy chicken and dumpling soup are just a few items that come to mind when the need for some self-pampering arises. The problem is, the food we reach for when we need comfort is usually far from comforting. Indigestion and bloating, heartburn, or pure guilt are just a few of the nagging side effects that can actually worsen our mood as a result of our epicurean indulgence.
If you’re going to sink in to comfort food and eat feelings of happiness, sadness, or just overall feel good, try these three foods that you wouldn’t think of as typical comfort foods. These actually have the ability to lift your spirits and get rid of the blahs without the bloat.
This cooling fruit not only tastes great and has a pleasurable texture, but it conjures up memories or images of picnics, family gatherings, and summer vacation, too. When you eat a slice of watermelon, listen for the crunch, feel your mouth water, and have some fun spitting the seeds onto the ground. Turn an ordinary eating experience into an adventure, and before you know it, you will feel like a kid again, tickled by a childlike zest for life. (more…)
Julie and Charles Mayfield have united their passions for Southern food and the paleo lifestyle in a new cookbook, Paleo Comfort Foods. The book features recipes like shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, pulled pork and even desserts like strawberry shortcakes and chocolate coconut pudding. The dishes reach beyond the South, and include a range of classic American flavors, all modified to fit a paleo diet. “Originally we were thinking about having Southern food, but more and more the idea of comfort food became something we wanted to focus on,” says Julie.
The paleo diet is largely based upon foods that were available before the agricultural revolution and excludes grain, added sugars and processed foods. Some people on a paleo diet also exclude legumes, honey and most fruits.
The Mayfields aren’t professional chefs, in fact both had full-time jobs while creating the book. They hope it will show people how going paleo can fit into a busy lifestyle. They agree that the biggest challenge of creating the cookbook was not finding paleo substitutes for ingredients like flour and sugar, but “breaking down the recipes and measuring them out,” says Julie.
Fall weather typically means cooler temperatures and heartier meals. However, eating heartier doesn’t have to mean you are eating foods that are unhealthy. You can easily use seasonal vegetables that are available this fall to add flavor and nutrition to your traditional fall recipes.
Vegetables that are available during the fall season include Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, broccoli, potatoes and turnips. For fruits, be on the look out for apples, dates, pears, kiwi and tangerines. Simply putting some of these items on your grocery list can help inspire you to infuse them into your meals. Since these items are at their peak during the fall season, you can get them at a good price and while they are at their freshest.
Below are a few ideas that incorporate seasonal produce with your everyday fall favorites.