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.
This is my comfort food. This is what I fall back to when I’m homesick, too exhausted to think through a meal plan, or just want to keep things really simple.
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…)
Taco Bell launches its long-anticipated (or dreaded) breakfast menu tomorrow, and it’s about as healthy as you’d expect. Though receiving good reviews on taste, Taco Bell is not going to do your health or waistline any favors with their breakfast options.
Though I personally wouldn’t recommend eating Taco Bell any time of day, breakfast there is definitely something to avoid. The breakfast options fit right in with the rest of Taco Bell’s menu when it comes to calorie counts and sodium content.
Instead of rushing out to try breakfast at the nearest Taco Bell, why not make something better for you? Here are some of the Taco Bell breakfast items, and our suggestions of what you could eat instead.
Earlier this summer, I decided to challenge our very own recipe maven, DIR editor Brandi Koskie. It seemed she could take any decadent food of the moment or classic dish and make it healthy without sacrificing its original deliciousness. Anyone who can produce a healthy tailgate menu void of gut-busters is special, so I asked her to do the same thing with state fair food, and she delivered. First with an ooey-gooey bacon, egg, and cheese stuffed donut under 200 calories, and now this:
Meet the Blue Cornbread Donut Stuffed with Andouille Sausage and Peppers. All the novelty and tastiness of the trending donut sandwich, but with a mere 186 calories per serving. Ours is five times healthier. The Dunkin’ Donuts ham, egg, and donut-for-buns sandwich has nearly twice the calories with 360. Starbucks offers a sausage sandwich too—albeit with traditional buns—but it still clocks in at 500 calories.
And then there’s the “Luther Burger,” more coloquially known as the Krispy Kreme Burger, that you’ve seen peddled at state fairs and on Paula Deen’s discontinued show. It’s a cheeseburger with two glazed donuts for buns and normally contains anywhere from 800 to 1,500 calories thanks to the burger and fried eggs. Our donut sammie has no glaze, but its got the sweetness. Let’s talk about the blue cornbread. (more…)
Warm up the grill and your taste buds because this new recipe is going to light a fire under your next cookout! Some are lucky enough to spend a summer along the Gulf Coast soaking up the sun, and waves, and the dynamic culture that defines the region. Some of us have to phone in a good ‘ole Cajun cookout from our backyards. Whether you’re summering in the South or in the North, these Bayou Kabobs need to be on the menu.
The big flavor on these simple-to-assemble kabobs are the Andouille sausages from Applegate. Known as the makers of the “cleaner weiner,” this company is committed to organic, hormone-free, humanely-raised animals to craft quality meats you can feel good about eating and serving.
These Andouille sausages are made with only a few ingredients – all of which you’ll recognize, all of which are organic. Because Applegate uses turkey and chicken, the meat is leaner, meaning less fat and calories. But they don’t skimp on flavor. The package says spicy and they mean it. It’s not overwhelming, might not make you sweat, but it’s got a tasty bite. (more…)
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we are getting very excited about the upcoming holiday. Thanksgiving has always held a special place in my heart as I’ve always loved getting together with family and sharing a delicious meal, especially considering all the women in my family are amazing cooks. Think pies, turkey, stuffing and everything in between. Let’s just say I don’t leave hungry.
It seems everyone has their own special traditions when it comes to holiday gatherings and recipes are no exception. While passing down recipes such as your grandma’s signature “green marshmallow fluff” does hold sentimental value, more and more people are becoming conscious of their diets and desire real, whole foods instead of fake, processed ones. This is where recipe makeovers comes in. (more…)
Now that the weather is turning cooler, I can’t stop thinking about big hearty dinners. You know, the kind that feel like they stick to your bones and make you feel satisfied from head to toe. I’m talking big pots of stew and chili – my favorite winter foods.
This year, I decided to kick off fall with something just as bold, but a little more fun. Why shouldn’t red beans and rice be part of this list of robust meals? It’s as big and bad as they are, and maybe even more delicious.
I, as usual, make a few adjustments to a traditional recipe to boost the nutrition, save the calories, and let myself enjoy a piping-hot bowl guilt free.
Cooking from scratch is a thrill for me; I don’t mind the extra steps. So I start with dry kidney beans and soak them overnight. I’m old school like that. (more…)
Hot dogs might not measure up to most gourmet fare, but they are a big part of some of America’s favorite pastimes. National Hot Dog Day falls on July 23, which is conveniently right in the middle of baseball and summer grilling season.
While you often hear that hot dogs are nutritionally unsavory, there are a lot of lighter options out there for anyone who wants keep things on the healthier side.
Whether you’re buying beef, pork, turkey, chicken or veggie hot dogs, you should always pay attention to whether or not the hot dog has added nitrites or nitrates. Once digested, nitrites and nitrates can form compounds that have been known to cause cancer. To make your hot dog meal healthier, you can serve it topped with fiber-rich sauerkraut, in a whole-wheat bun or alongside a full plate of brightly-colored fruits and vegetables.
However, if you want to avoid the nutritional trap of hot dogs entirely, you can look to five of our favorite healthier hot dogs to satisfy your cravings without an added helping of guilt.
Summer is in full swing and many of us have the sunburn and mosquito bites to prove it. If you’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors then odds are, you’ve attended a picnic, backyard party or cook out under the sun and are beginning to tire of hamburgers, hot dogs and grilled chicken.
Next time you’re planning the menu, look for inventive new dishes that will kick off your party on the right note. Whether you’re in the mood for light lunch fare like salads or sandwiches, something hot off the grill or a stick-t0-your ribs meal that will stand up to the heat, you don’t need to ditch your diet to have fun this summer.
Salads & Sandwiches:
Arroz con Pollo Salad: Chicken and rice sounds like a heavy meal but not when you put it into a refreshing salad form. If you’re entertaining in your back yard this is a great option for anyone who wants to indulge without the guilt.
New Orleans might be the hub for Mardi Gras parades and celebrations on Tuesday, March 8, but you can easily get into the spirit of this holiday no matter where you are. Mardi Gras, also called Carnival in some countries, is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday in the Christian faith.
The kickoff of Mardi Gras is known as “Fat Tuesday,” which for some, might imply that it’s hard to celebrate without loosening your belt or spending some extra hours at the gym. Instead of overindulging, recreate some of your favorite Cajun and Louisiana recipes for Mardi Gras this year — but with a healthier twist. (more…)