Category Archives: Food

How to Make a Memorial Day Cole Slaw to Appease Any Diet

Make a Memorial Day Side Dish to Appease Any Diet

How to Make a Memorial Day Cole Slaw to Appease Any Diet

Lesley Lassiter details the recipe for this delicious vegan four vinegar cole slaw.

What can you serve this Memorial Day that’s appropriate for every diet? Here, vegetarian blogger Lesley Lassiter offers up a never-fail recipe that’s sure to please.

Have you got a big gathering coming up this holiday weekend with a group of people with varying dietary requirements? It’s really not all that difficult to come up with some side dishes that anyone can eat, whether they’re omnivores, vegetarians or vegans.

I usually prefer to prepare vegan food for these types of events, not just because almost anyone can eat vegan, but because vegan food can stand up better to hours sitting out in the heat or on a buffet table without getting dodgy. This cole slaw recipe is perfect because it can be eaten as a side dish or as a sandwich topping (particularly if you’re having barbecue).

It’s also gluten-free and Paleo-friendly (substitute light olive oil and omit the sugar). Regardless of the diet of your friends, this should be a winner. The four different vinegars give it a taste that’s different from your average cole slaw as well. Even better, it’s very easy to make!

Four Vinegar Cole Slaw Ingredients:

-1 16-ounce package of  finely chopped cabbage-based cole slaw mix
-1/3 cup canola oil
-2 tablespoons white vinegar
-1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
-1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
-1 tablespoon (vegan) sugar or agave nectar
-A few shakes of celery seed
-A few drops of lemon juice
-Salt and pepper to taste (at least a pinch of each)

Instructions: 

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and set aside to marinate. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Other side dishes to think about include tomato-couscous salad (make it with quinoa to be gluten-free), tangy tomato salad or a sesame-ginger tofu noodle salad. Any of these dishes will stay good for at least an hour or two at room temperature (or warmer). And they’ll perfectly complement just about anything omnivores are planning to eat!

Whether it’s barbecued tofu or something else you’re having for your Memorial Day feast, have a great holiday weekend and be sure remember those who gave their lives for us to enjoy it!

 

Barbecue Ribs

A Guide to Barbecue Sauces in the South

Barbecue SaucesBarbecue is its own special language in the South, with multiple sauces and bases. How many can you name? In honor of National Barbecue Month, blogger Kara Gause breaks them down.

The South is synonymous with slow-cooked, soulful food. As a Yankee transplanted to Tennessee by marriage, I was excited to learn more about all the dishes that constitute “home cooking” for my husband. And to him, nothing says “home” quite like barbecue.

The first time I went to meet his family in South Carolina, my future father-in-law was slaving away at slow-cooked, Low-Country barbecue–or an old-fashioned pig pickin,’ as they say. Being from Pennsylvania, I expected a tomato-based sauce to accompany my meal. Oh, how wrong I was!

It seems there are no fewer than five methods of saucing the smoky meat in the South–six, if you count the devotees of dry rubs and non-saucing. Those five are: Memphis-style heavy tomato (what I had imagined for the pig pickin’); a white, mayonnaise-based sauce from northern Alabama (the hubs is not a fan); light tomato (think ketchup) in North Carolina and Georgia; mustard-based in South Carolina (tangy and sweet); and the vinegar-based staple for eastern South Carolina and Kentucky.

My husband has implored me to note (out of respect–seriously) that both Texas and Kansas City have variations of the heavy tomato sauce. It should also be said that my father-in-law has developed a well-guarded vinegar-based sauce over several decades. Only my brother-in-law Tim has inherited the recipe. Yes, really.

Had I been introduced to the nuances of barbecue often covered in magazines, such as Garden & Gun, 10 years ago, I could have saved myself from some serious teasing at the hands of my in-laws. Besides breaking down “the sauce question,” there’s also a guide to the best barbecue sandwiches in the South. While tradition is soundly respected here, there are also breakout stars. Take the spicy Korean pork sandwich from the Heirloom Market in Atlanta, described as a “gutsy alliance of Southern pit-smoking techniques and Korean flavors.” Yum.

Even I have begun to develop my own version of barbecue; using pulled chicken makes me feel infinitely less guilty about serving it up more regularly. I’d spill all my recipe secrets, but I’ll probably will them to my daughters. After all, here in the South, barbecue is like currency.

 

Italian Dressing Olive Dip_featured

Italian Dressing-Olive Dip That’s the Perfect—and Popular—Last-Minute Appetizer

Italian Dressing-Olive Dip Recipe

Italian Dressing-Olive Dip

Have you been searching for an easy, no-bake appetizer to pull together at the last minute? This Italian Dressing-Olive Dip may just be what you’ve been searching for!

Need a last-minute appetizer or a go-to dish to take to a party? You better have one, according to Southern Living magazine’s “Southern Charm” tips feature in a recent issue, as you should never show up to a gathering empty-handed.

If you’ve already got a signature party recipe, maybe you’re looking to add to your entertaining repertoire—at home and away. If so, this Italian Dressing-Olive Dip is easy, quick and delicious—so much so that if you make it, you’ll probably get several requests for the recipe!

On every occasion I’ve made it—including wedding shower and outdoor summer party—I’ve always been asked how to prepare it. And the guests have always been surprised at how simple it is.

For full disclosure, this recipe was passed along to me by a friend who I asked to share it after tasting the dip at a party. If I recall correctly, she got it from the Food Network. I searched, but couldn’t find the origin of this tasty dip online.

Even if you’re not a fan of black olives (like me), trust me, you’ll still love this dip. It only requires four ingredients, and it takes more time walking through the grocery store to pick them up than it does to make it—honestly!

A few more notes about the ingredients: Lately, the Ken’s Italian Dressing with Aged Romano I’ve seen is a “light” version that also includes basil. If that’s all you can find, I taste-tested the dip with it, and it’s still good.

If you want to experiment with the other versions of Rotel, feel free. My latest version incorporated the Rotel with the green chilies. It gave it a little extra kick, but nothing too spicy.

I’ve always used the cheese blends for more depth of flavor. Since it’s a very forgiving recipe, go ahead and experiment!

With apologies to the original source, wherever or whomever it is, here’s the recipe:

Italian Dressing-Olive Dip

8 oz Ken’s Italian Dressing with Aged Romano
1 can Rotel Original Tomatoes
1 4 oz can Sliced or Chopped Black Olives
2 cups Fine Shredded Cheese

Mix all four ingredients in a bowl and serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

 

Rogue Chocolate Stout Brownies_featured

Baking the Beer Brownies From Men’s Journal Magazine? Good, but Grab an Apron

Men's Journal Magazine Beer BrowniesRaise a glass and a festive brownie this St. Patrick’s Day with this recipe for Rogue Chocolate Stout Brownies from Men’s Journal magazine. It gets messy—but it’s worth it!

If ever there was a case for wearing an apron while baking, the Rogue Chocolate Stout Brownies from the March issue of Men’s Journal magazine is it. This is honestly the messiest recipe I’ve ever tackled!

I ruined a white T-shirt; made a mess of my kitchen counter, sink and mixer; and I feel the stickiness of beer in the bend of my left elbow. How did that happen?!

As soon as I read the “Cooking With Beer” feature, I knew I had to try one of the recipes. Being a dessert girl, and my husband being a beer man, the brownies were the most logical choice.

The ingredients list was an easy one to tackle, and with a salad on the menu for dinner, last night seemed like the perfect night for homemade brownies. You know, to balance out the healthy salad.

One note about the ingredients: There is kosher salt on the list, but the recipe instructions never mention it again. Should I sprinkle it on top before baking? Should I melt it with the chocolate?

I opted to stir it in with the dry mix of flour and cocoa powder. That made the most sense to me. There was a enough batter that I feared it would slowly bake over the edges of the 8-inch-by-8-inch baking dish, but I kept an eye on it and all was fine inside the oven.

The results after 45 minutes at 350 degrees? The house sure smelled delicious, that’s for sure. The brownies were more cake-y than fudge-y, which was fine with me, and a nice crispness on top protected the moistness inside. (My husband described them as “spongy,” but he prefers a more fudge-like brownie.)

With my first bite, I could smell the stout much more than I could taste it, and overall I’m very pleased. I found myself hoping that someone would show up at our house unexpectedly so that I could show off by offering a plate with a brownie, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder on top of everything. Who doesn’t love a from-scratch brownie, after all?

Oh, and, does anyone know a trick for getting chocolate, beer and egg out of a white T-shirt?

 

I love fruit and vegetables

Simple Tips to Take Away from National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition MonthMarch is National Nutrition Month, so even if you need a ‘do over’ on those New Year’s resolutions, these simple tips can help you get back on track.

If you’ve already fallen off the wagon with your New Year’s resolutions, maybe it’s a good thing that March is designated National Nutrition Month. If nothing else, it serves as a reminder that you can try, try again to eat more healthfully this year.

Attitudes toward healthy cooking and health foods have undergone such a transformation of late that it’s almost rare these days when a magazine throws calories and fat grams to the wind and celebrates our favorite comfort indulgences and sweet temptations.

Many of them still do, yes, but very often the recipes have been made-over so they’re lighter and better for you. It’s obviously a popular topic this time of year, as Vegetarian Times, EatingWell and Clean Eating all touted “healthier” versions of comfort food favorites.

But beyond seeking out low-cal recipes from our favorite food and cooking magazines, we can turn to the Academy of Nutrition and Diatetics, which sponsors National Nutrition Month and is stressing the basics of better eating.

Keeping these six tips in mind will not only help you make better choices for one meal but across your entire eating regimen.

Eat more fruits and vegetables. Beefing up your intake of fruits and veggies (even canned, frozen and dried) is a step in the right direction when it comes to improving your health. Be sure to select healthier options like “no salt added” or “reduced sodium” canned veggies or fruits packed in water or 100 percent juice rather than syrup.

Got milk? Choosing fat-free or low-fat milk doesn’t mean you’re cheating yourself of milk’s valuable nutrients. But opting for the lighter choices does mean you’re cutting out fat and calories found in whole milk. Lactose-free, soy and other suitable replacements are recommended for the lactose intolerant among us.

Cut back on sugar. Sorry sweet tooth-ers, but it’s better for you. Try to drink more water or 100 percent juices instead of sodas and other sugary drinks. And munch on fruits instead of those oh-so-tempting sweet snacks.

Compare sodium content. Pay attention to nutrition labels and opt for lower sodium foods. Get creative when cooking and season foods with natural herbs and spices for a healthier meal that will awaken your taste buds.

Indulge less. While you don’t have to completely eliminate pizza and chocolate cake from your diet, it’s not healthy to make these things a go-to meal or treat every day. It will take some willpower at first, but over time you’ll crave them less.

Control your portions. This one is probably easier to do at home. The recommendation is to eat in so you’ll eat less–that is if you’ve got the willpower, of course. When eating out, go with healthy menu options and don’t be shy when asking for a to-go box if the restaurant portion looks too big.

 

Oscar After Party_featured

A Culinary Sneak Peek Into the Academy’s Official Party

Oscar After PartyWhen does the food prep start? What happens to the unserved food? Food Network Magazine dishes out the details of the Governors Ball, Hollywood’s premier after-Oscar party.

With the Academy Awards tonight, the next big event after the stars walk the red carpet and the golden statues are presented is the all-important after party.

While movie buffs and perpetual party planners were busy working on creative themes and menus of their own, Food Network Magazine went behind the scenes of one of the biggest parties in Hollywood.

Renowned chef Wolfgang Puck is the culinary mastermind behind the popular Governors Ball, the after-Oscar event that hosts 1,500 celebs and other hot shots. Puck has already been at work for several weeks preparing for the star-studded event.

According to the timeline he provided to Food Network Magazine, the menu has long been set, as it’s something he starts thinking about around six weeks before the show. Though Puck is making more than 50 dishes, you can bet mini kobe burgers, smoked salmon and gold-covered chocolate Oscars will be among them—those are served every year.

As you might imagine, when you’re serving 1,500 dinner guests, there are a lot of special requests ranging from vegetarian to gluten-free to raw to vegan. But with a crew of 300 sous chefs from his restaurants, plus culinary students from L.A., the gang’s got it all covered.

The cooks get started early—around 6 a.m.—on the day of the show and continue their preparation while watching a live feed of the ceremony. That’s so they can synchronize having the hot dishes on the table just before the glammed-up guests arrive.

Once the celebs move on to the next venue, the food served at the Governors Ball doesn’t just go to waste. Instead, it’s given to Angel Harvest, a non-profit organization that disperses the unserved leftovers among soup kitchens and shelters to help feed the community.

Not until this last generous duty is complete does Puck afford himself his only luxury of the evening. When he can finally relax, he toasts a job well done with a glass of champagne and calls it a night.