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Not All Feta Is Created Equal—Here's What You Need to Know

Not All Feta Is Created Equal—Here's What You Need to Know


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When a recipe calls for feta cheese, you may need to shop more carefully than you think to get the perfect cheese for your dish.

When a recipe calls for feta cheese, we have your guide to buying the perfect kind to finish off your meal.

Everyone knows feta cheese is the star of a Greek salad or the perfect topper to a Mediterranean inspired dish. But why does the cheese counter make buying the perfect feta so complicated? It turns out that feta comes in tons of varieties based on the type of milk, length of aging, and even country of origin.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Traditionally, feta has been produced in some capacity since the twelfth century, and was eventually named after the Italian word fetta meaning “slice”. The white, salty cheese comes packed in a milky brine, which is essential to keeping it fresh and delicious. The European Union only recognizes Greek feta as the real deal, but many other countries have tried their hand at making the crumbly goodness.

Feta Fast Facts:

  • 1 ounce of feta has about 76 calories and is higher in fat than cow’s milk cheese at about 6.5 grams and saturated fat makes up roughly 4 grams.
  • There are 5 grams of protein in 1 ounce of this beloved cheese and 258 milligrams of sodium.

Healthy Tip:

You can soak feta in water a few minutes prior to serving to decrease salt content.

Greek Feta

Feta is a staple to the Greek diet, so it’s no surprise that Greeks eat more cheese per capita than any other European country. In the northern part of Greece, feta is simply called “cheese”, because most of the country’s feta is produced in that region. This cheese has a strong personality and bite, with a richer taste that develops over time. The flavor is salty, tangy, and lemony. Most Greek feta varieties have at least 70 percent sheep’s milk, and the remainder tends to be goat milk. The more goat milk in the cheese, the more crumbly the feta becomes.

A Greek feta that has been aged for two to three months can be milky and creamy, six months makes it a little more complex and aromatic, which is great for salads, and up to twelve months produces a more intense and peppery flavor essential for baking.

French Feta

This particular variety is also made from sheep’s milk; specifically the milk left over from the production of Roquefort. This breed can sometimes lack the bite of a Greek feta, providing a milky and creamier texture.

Bulgarian Feta

If you find yourself shopping for this type of feta, it tends to be listed as a Bulgarian white cheese. The flavor profile tends to be tangier than a French feta because of the use of yogurt cultures, with a sometimes fermented or tart finish. Also made from sheep’s milk, this variety has varying saltiness, but is generally creamy. It’s typically stuffed into peppers, used on breakfast cereals, or simply snacked on with some red pepper and olive oil.

Israeli Feta

Although a newer producer of feta cheese, Israeli feta can be made from either sheep or goat’s milk, producing a firmer texture. There has been a positive reaction from feta lovers on this new type, with a fuller flavor that’s less salty and still creamy.

Cow’s Milk Feta

This less popular form of feta is arguably not feta at all. Produced in predominantly Denmark and Wisconsin, this feta cheese can be fairly dry, making it easier to crumble. It can also become slightly sour, but tends to have a milder flavor than other feta varieties.

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

The one-pan chicken recipe truly is a one-dish meal, though you can include a side salad if you like.

This colorful salad brings our the best flavor in ripe summer produce. Prepare it a day in advance to allow the flavors to meld.


21 Lighter Meals That Help You Get Back on Track After a *Big* Weekend

Weekends are a great time to let loose with friends and good food, but between midnight munchies and boozy brunches, it&rsquos dangerously easy to let &ldquoeverything in moderation&rdquo fly out the window. By the time Sunday evening rolls around, all the desserts, greasy bar food, and alcohol can add up to a feeling we can only describe as &ldquoblah.&rdquo

The good news is with a bit of commitment and planning, you can easily return to your regularly scheduled healthy eating habits&mdashno drastic juice cleanse necessary. Check out our 21 suggestions for light (we&rsquore interpreting &ldquolight&rdquo as going easy on the heavy starches while packing in produce and lean protein) breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to get you back on track.

1. Grapefruit Breakfast Smoothie Bowl

Grapefruit was once the poster child for weight loss. While its waist-shrinking abilities are questionable, what we know for sure is that it keeps this fruity smoothie from being too sweet. Chug this the morning after a crazy night out, and you&rsquore sure to get some of your energy back.

2. Green Chia Pudding

Take a regular spinach smoothie to the next level by combining it with chia seeds. It&rsquoll go from smoothie to pudding overnight, and the seeds will provide some essential fatty acids and protein to make the meal more well-rounded.

3. Tropical Yogurt Parfait

Layers of fresh pineapple and plain yogurt (slightly sweetened) form the base of this chilled recipe, while macadamia nuts add even more tropical flair. The lemon zest on top is an extra bit of refreshing zing. It&rsquos light and tastes like an island vacation.

4. Zucchini Oatless Oatmeal

Oatmeal is incredibly healthy, but it can sit like a rock in your stomach&mdashnot exactly ideal when you&rsquore looking to lighten things up. This recipe somehow yields a bowl that tastes just like oats, despite being made with egg whites and applesauce. Grated zucchini adds volume, but since 95 percent of the veggie is water, it won&rsquot leave you feeling weighed down.

5. Healthy 2-Ingredient Pancakes

Keeping breakfast light doesn&rsquot have to mean skipping out on pancakes. With just two ingredients (none of which are flour or dairy), a stack of these with a drizzle of real maple syrup will hit the spot without setting you up for a carb-induced crash.

6. Arugula, Asparagus, and Avocado Breakfast Salad

Getting in more veggies is a great way to keep things light without even realizing it, and first thing in the morning is a good time to start. This salad features just bit of egg and avocado to keep you full, but it&rsquos all served on a large bed of greens and asparagus so you can still feel like you&rsquore eating a big breakfast.

7. Spinach and Mushroom Egg White Frittata

While we don&rsquot think egg yolk is bad for you, the standard frittata packs in at least two or three per serving. If you&rsquore trying to eat a bit lighter, go with this whites-only version. A sprinkle of Parmesan and tons of veggies mean you won&rsquot even notice it&rsquos yolk free.


Our Favorite Farmers Markets

Bring your reusable canvas totes to these markets, our current crop of favorites.

Urban Harvest East Side Farmers Market

Open: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon, rain or shine

By far the city’s largest and busiest, this popular weekend morning market located across Richmond from Levy Park offers a sprawling selection of vendors.

Look for: Hattermann Poultry Farm’s eggs, Moravia Winery’s vino rosso, Kight’s corn and melons, Brazos Valley Cheese’s smoked gouda and white Cheddar, Bee Wilde’s honey

City Hall Farmers Market

Open: Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

This work-friendly market centered around the City Hall reflecting pool offers a wide array of prepared meals to enjoy al fresco at lunch, food trucks, and fun items to take home for dinner.

Look for: Relished Africa’s beignets, Sturdivant Farm’s citrus fruits, Katerra Exotic’s ground bison

Memorial Villages Farmers Market

Open: Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine

This picturesque market on the grounds of the First Congregational Church in Hunters Creek Village is as pretty as a postcard, replete with fresh produce, live music, fresh-brewed coffee, and barbecue breakfast tacos under the trees.

Look for: Swede Farm Dairy’s goat cheese and chocolate truffles, Mad Hectic Foods’ oatmeal, Grateful Bread’s bacon, Richardson Farms’ milk and eggs, Plant It Forward’s vegetables

Rice University Farmers Market

Open: Tuesdays, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., rain or shine

Chef demonstrations and beer tastings are just a few of the regular activities you’ll find at this bustling, 10-year-old market in the parking lot adjacent to Rice University’s football stadium.

Look for: Animal Farm’s produce, Blue Heron Farms’ chevre and feta cheese, Jolly Farms’ chicken, Maison Burdisso’s macarons, Shiner’s pork (from English Large Black heritage hogs)

Eleanora’s Market

Open: Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon, rain or shine

Shaded seating on the patio of Cavatore’s and live music invite you to sit and eat before you shop at this compact and well-curated Shady Acres market.

Look for: Nando’s Honey Bee Farm honey, La Petite Patisserie croissants and cookies, Gundermann Acres’ produce, Fabio’s fresh pasta, Hibiscus Hill Farms’ grass-fed beef

Westchase District Farmers Market

Open: Thursdays, 3 to 6 p.m.

The parking lot at St. Cyril of Alexandria Catholic Church hosts this busy weekday market just off Beltway 8 and Westheimer, making it an ideal pit stop for neighboring worker bees.

Look for: New Harvester Farm’s herbs, PEAS Farm’s tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, Circle H Angus Ranch’s grass-fed beef, Angela’s Oven’s baguettes

Tomball Farmers Market

Open: Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine

This farmers-first market of the super-charming, small-town variety gives local ranches and produce-purveyors top billing. (Pro-tip: Stroll downtown Tomball when you’re done.)

Look for: Edmonds Farms’ produce, Spring Hill Farms’ pasture-raised chicken and pork, Lil Emma’s fresh Gulf shrimp, Three Sisters Farm’s vegetables, Bull Nettle Ridge Farm’s honey

The Woodlands Farmers Market at Grogan’s Mill

7 Switchbud Place, The Woodlands

Open: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon

Sign up for the weekly newsletter that arrives every Friday morning so you’ll know exactly what to find at this market, which offers a rotating line-up of local vendors.

Look for: H20 Produce’s vegetables, Marchese Sausage Company’s Italian sausage, Texas Hill Country Olive Company’s olive oil, Tejas Heritage Farm’s free-range poultry, rabbit and wild boar


Slow Cooker Thai Beef and Linguine

I wish Smell-O’vision existed… because if you walked into my house right now and smelled this Thai Beef cooking you’d probably pay me for this recipe! I love my slow cooker. I enjoy it so much I’ve considered buying 1 more! I needed an extra one today because I also made Black Bean Soup at the same time as this recipe. I will post that recipe next’ish.

Anyways, when someone talks about using their slow cooker or crock pot we usually think of pot roast, variations of chili or stews. But this Thai Beef is to die for and its SO EASY!

Thai Beef and Linguine

1 large white onion
1-2lbs flank steak, fat trimmed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Stevia, (Truvia brand cooking/baking sugar alternative)
1/4 cup + 4 tsp low sodium soy sauce
the juice of 3 limes
2 TBL fresh ginger, finely chopped (reserving 1 tsp of juice)
1 TBL toasted sesame oil
1 pkg shitake mushroom linguine
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
4 tsp thai sweet chili sauce
Optional — 1/4 cup cilantro
Optional — 1 head of butter lettucce (Romaine lettuce will work as well)
Optional — chopped peanuts

If your slow cooker is not non-stick, spray with cooking spray. Slice onion into rings and lay flat in the cooker. Pat meat dry and cut shallow horizontal slits against grain on the top. Place meat on top of onions.

In a med size bowl, combine garlic, stevia, 1/4 cup of the soy sauce, 3 TBL of the lime juice, ginger and oil. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Pour sauce over steak to coat.

Cover. Cook on low for 4 1/2 to 6 hours. While meat is cooking, mix reserved ginger juice, vinegar, chili sauce and remaining soy sauce and lime juice in medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

Toss pasta into bowl of ginger dressing. Remove meat from cooker, cover in foil and let stand for 10 minutes. Cut steak into 1/2″ thick slices. Serve pasta over optional lettuce and then place meat on top. Garnish with cilantro and peanuts, if so desired.

Please try it and let me know what you and your family think. I bet it will be asked for often once they taste it!


Sugar: How Much Should We Eat?

Probably less than you're currently eating. That's because it's hidden everywhere and adds up very quickly. Here's the scoop:

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than 8 teaspoons per day of added sugar based on a 2,000 calories/day diet. That's 32 grams if you're reading labels, and about 6% of your total calories for the day. Sounds like a lot, but believe me. it's not.

32 total grams sugar/ 4 grams per teaspoon = < 8 teaspoons added sugar/day

Not all sugar is created equal. Here's the whole story on the good and the bad.

GOOD Sugars

These are the sugars that you don't need to worry about. They occur naturally in foods and also supply key nutrients. It's all good!

Low-fat milk (skim milk, soymilk, 1% low-fat milk)

Fresh and frozen fruits (apple, blueberries, orange, pineapple, strawberries, banana, cantaloupe, etc.)

Most Vegetables (carrots, tomato, zucchini, broccoli, spinach, cucumber, etc.)

BAD Sugars

These are the sugars that you'll need to limit!

The following foods are typically loaded with sugar - I've only provided a small sampling, but you'll get the picture.

teaspoons of sugar

(1 teaspoon = 4 grams sugar)

Everyday Products

Fruit Loops, 1 cup
Low fat, fruit-flavored yogurt, 6 oz.
Ketchup, 2 TB
Pancake syrup, 1⁄4 cup

3.75 teaspoons
7 teaspoons
2 teaspoons
8 teaspoons

Foods that sound healthy, but are loaded with sugar!

Granola, 2/3 cup
Dried Fruit, 1 cup

Beverages

Orange Juice/Apple Juice, 8 oz.
Soda (Coke, Sprite, etc.), 20 oz.
Snapple, Lemon Iced Tea, 16 oz.

5.5 teaspoons
16 teaspoons
11.5 teaspoons

Snacks/Desserts
Balance/Power Bar
Frozen Yogurt, 1 cup
Restaurant Chocolate Cake, 1 slice
McDonald's Vanilla Shake, 21 oz.

4.75 teaspoons
8.5 teaspoons
13 teaspoons
24 teaspoons

Movie Theatre Combo

Twizzlers (movie size) 6 oz.
Soda movie Large, 44 oz.

17 teaspoons +
37 teaspoons

TOTAL = 54 teaspoons

How It's Done.

I realize it's overwhelming to hear what you have to avoid. But please take at look at this sample day, it's reasonable and incorporates an appropriate amount of sugar (less than 8 unnecessary teaspoons for the day).

Egg white omelet with chopped tomatoes

Coffee with 1 teaspoon sugar

Vegetable or lentil soup with mixed salad topped with grilled chicken strips and feta cheese (oil and vinegar dressing)

Turkey Burger on wheat bun

2 TBs ketchup (2 teaspoons sugar)

Sautéd Broccoli in olive oil and garlic

Sweet Snacks (choose only one):

4 Hershey Kisses (3 teaspoons sugar)

½ cup frozen yogurt = (4 teaspoons sugar)

2 standard cookies (Oreos or Chips Ahoy) + glass of skim milk = (2 teaspoons sugar)


What Is That Stringy White Stuff in Eggs? Here’s Your Answer

Shakshuka is a dish of poached eggs with tomatoes, onion and cumin. I learned about it while traveling through Southeast Asia, and it’s been my favorite way to eat eggs since. —Ezra Weeks, Calgary, Alberta

A little puff pastry turns Canadian bacon and eggs into a tasty update on eggs Benedict. We use a packaged hollandaise or cheese sauce for the finish. —Sally Jackson, Fort Worth, Texas

My famous bread pudding is a sweet way to make use of the day-old dinner rolls that didn’t get gobbled up at Thanksgiving. The combination of the soft pudding with the sweet, velvety smooth sauce is a match made in heaven. —Anita Geoghagan, Woodstock, Georgia

I have always liked Italian ricotta cheesecakes, but they have too much sugar for me. I made a light version, and my family couldn’t even tell the difference! I serve mine with sugar-free strawberry ice cream topping and fresh strawberries. —Diane Shipley, Mentor, Ohio

This rich ham and broccoli quiche is featured in a family cookbook I put together. My husband is proof that quiche can satisfy even a very healthy appetite. —Marilyn Day, North Fort Myers, Florida

Most folks are surprised to see this combination of ingredients. But I usually make a big batch because it always disappears in a hurry.

The great thing about frittatas is that I can make them with whatever I have available in my garden and in the pantry. This version uses spring produce to its advantage. Roasting really intensifies the natural sweetness of the asparagus and onion, and the earthiness of the potatoes. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

It’s a challenge to be creative with breakfast every morning, and I like to come up with fun foods the kids will love. This is a great recipe for the kids to join in and help make for breakfast. You can also make and freeze it before you add the eggs, then finish baking another day. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia

This is a really simple, tasty breakfast. It has been a mainstay for our mornings together as a family.—Jo Ferguson, Arnold, Missouri

We always have avocados on hand, so it’s easy to make this quick breakfast toast for my husband and me. It’s really tasty! —Kallee Krong-McCreery, Escondido, California

I use these shiny beautiful loaves as the centerpiece of my spread. I love the taste of honey, but you can also add chocolate chips, cinnamon, orange zest or almonds. Leftover slices of this sweet challah recipe work well in bread pudding or for French toast. —Jennifer Newfield, Los Angeles, California

I think my most memorable summertime dessert for get-togethers has always been homemade ice cream. This recipe is so rich and creamy and the perfect indulgence on a hot summer afternoon. —Martha Self, Montgomery, Texas

Growing up, I bonded with my dad over chorizo and eggs. My fresh approach combines them with grits and black beans for this chorizo breakfast bowl. Add a spoonful of pico de gallo for extra pop. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California

These burgers were a huge hit with our friends during football season. Regular mayo can easily be substituted for the garlic aioli if desired. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia

I had company coming and needed a new breakfast casserole, so I made up this nutty idea using waffles. My neighbors and husband were happy taste testers. —Joan Hallford, Fort Worth, Texas

These easy corn cakes are super tender thanks to the creamed corn in the batter. Top them with poached eggs and fresh salsa, and you get one of my favorite breakfasts. —Jamie Jones, Madison, Georgia

This pound cake is the best! Oven temps will vary, so if the cake is not done after 1 hour and 20 minutes, continue baking in 5-minute intervals. Use fresh, not bottled, lime juice for the glaze. —Jo McFarland, Sterling, Virginia

This is one of my favorite comfort foods for breakfast or even a quick dinner. I like to make it with lime salsa. But if you’re looking for something with more kick, use hot salsa or add some chipotle pepper. —Aysha Schurman, Ammon, Idaho

We have a bed and breakfast in Gettysburg where I serve creative dishes like these poached eggs with polenta, our twist on eggs Benedict.—Paulette Lee, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Inspired by a favorite ice cream flavor, I created this make-ahead recipe to free up some time in the kitchen. You can also serve this as a custard if you choose to not caramelize the top. —Eleanor Froehlich, Rochester, Michigan

I try to incorporate nutritious sweet potatoes in my meals as often as possible, especially with breakfast. This recipe originated with the purpose of feeding my family a healthy, hearty breakfast…and it worked! —Jeanne Larson, Mission Viejo, California

My parents love this bread pudding loaded with cranberries and pecans – and it uses up leftover dinner rolls. For eggnog lovers, it makes a divine dessert. —Emily Hobbs, Springfield, Missouri

With herbs from the garden to use, I created a quiche with basil, parsley and dill along with feta, Swiss, Gruyere and mozzarella. Goat cheese is also yummy. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California

No other dessert has wowed family and friends the way this stunning crepe cake did the first time I made it. A showstopper in every sense of the word, it features layers of tender chocolate crepes and rich white chocolate buttercream frosting draped in a semisweet chocolate ganache. —Tina Sawchuk, Ardmore, Alberta

For a festive Mexican breakfast, we do chorizo and huevos rancheros. Add refried beans and cheddar, and serve everything in bowls made of tortillas. —Paul Williams, Fort Mohave, Arizona

When my kids were growing up, I was cooking for eight. I couldn’t conveniently fry eggs for that many people, so I devised this recipe that became a family favorite. Mild and salty feta cheese is my favorite for the dish, but shredded cheddar or Parmesan work, too. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia

My Sicilian Aunt Paulina inspired this fluffy frittata. I remember visiting her garden, picking fresh veggies and watching her cook. Her wild asparagus frittata was my favorite. —Cindy Esposito, Bloomfield, New Jersey

Legend has it that poached eggs on an English muffin started at Delmonico’s in New York. Here’s my take on this brunch classic, and don’t spare the hollandaise. —Barbara Pletzke, Herndon, Virginia

My kids ask for this hearty slow-cook casserole for breakfast and dinner. I’ve served it with white country gravy or salsa. It’s delightful either way. —Cindy Pruitt, Grove, Oklahoma

This is a great dish for a Sunday brunch, or you can cut it into six pieces and freeze it to have as a quick and easy breakfast any day of the week. I also like to make it with broccoli, carrots, green onions, Canadian bacon and sharp cheddar cheese the variations are nearly endless! —Lauri Knox, Pine, Colorado

Because I’m our town’s postmaster, I can bake only in my spare time. When I do, I especially like this sour cream pound cake recipe. This one tastes great as is, or tucked under ice cream and chocolate syrup like a hot fudge sundae! —Karen Conrad, East Troy, Wisconsin

A line forms quickly behind this quichelike torte at family gatherings. The wedges are easy to eat as finger food, and it’s delicious hot or cold. — Barbara Estabrook, Rhinelander, Wisconsin

More and more people in my workplace are becoming vegetarians. When we cook or eat together, the focus is on fresh produce. This salad combines some of our favorite ingredients in one dish…and with the hard-boiled eggs and kidney beans, it delivers enough protein to satisfy those who are skeptical of vegetarian fare. —Elizabeth Kelley, Chicago, Illinois

Recipes that don’t tie me to the kitchen—that’s what I’m all about. I make this luscious dish the night before breakfast or brunch with guests. —Patricia Harmon, Baden, Pennsylvania

Running a bed-and-breakfast keeps us busy. Once in a while I get creative and try to improve on an already good dish. That’s how I came up with this one. It’s a favorite among our guests.—Ellen Berdan, Salkum, Washington

French toast is a crowd-pleaser, but it’s hard to make for a big group. This overnight casserole with strawberries and a sweet pecan topping fixes everything. —David Stelzl Jr., Waxhaw, North Carolina

Take summer-ripe strawberries plus a creamy filling and tuck them into these delicate crepes for an elegant brunch entree. —Kathy Kochiss, Huntington, Connecticut

You’ll find that this cake goes well with ice cream, but it’s also delicate enough to serve in small pieces with tea. —Ann Perry, Sierra Vista, Arizona

I made this tasty breakfast casserole with crescent rolls for a baby shower. It saved me preparing it ahead gave me more time to finish decorating for the party. —Melody Craft, Conroe, Texas

We had a family reunion for 50 relatives from the U.S. and Canada, and it took four pans of this hearty, five-ingredient omelet to feed the crowd. Fresh fruit and an assortment of muffins helped round out our brunch menu.—Betty Abrey, Imperial, Saskatchewan

I love the versatility of egg salad, especially with this recipe. You can serve it on a nest of mixed greens, tucked into a sandwich or with your favorite crisp crackers. —Cynthia Kohlberg, Syracuse, Indiana

The minute I can get my hands on zucchini, I start making this light and luscious cake. For years it was an often-ordered dessert at my sister’s deli. —Peggy Linton, Cobourg, Ontario

“Ooey, gooey, great!” is how friends and family describe this chocolate-peanut butter dessert. I appreciate the make-ahead convenience. —Marilee Evenson, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

We always serve this impressive layered breakfast bake with a salad of mixed greens and tomato wedges. It is one of our most requested dishes and can be served warm or cold. —Danny Diamond, Farmington Hills, Michigan

After enjoying scrambled egg muffins at a local restaurant, I came up with this version that my husband likes even better. They’re pretty, hearty and fun to serve, too. —Cathy Larkins, Marshfield, Missouri

I served this crustless quiche at a church lunch, and I had to laugh when one guy told me how much he disliked vegetables. Many people were surprised by how much they loved this veggie-filled quiche recipe—and he was one of them! —Melinda Calverley, Janesville, Wisconsin

Mmm…bananas Foster for breakfast! This yummy baked French toast serves up all the taste of the spectacular dessert in fine fashion. —Laurence Nasson, Hingham Massachusetts

This zippy egg bake is a favorite of one of my daughters. She comes for brunch every week before church, so I serve it often.—Phyllis Carlson, Gardner, Kansas

A curry kick gives this egg salad big appeal. We love it when the weather gets warm. —Joyce McDowell, West Union, Ohio

Hash browns make a fabulous crust for these individual egg quiches. They look fancy yet they’re easy to make. They’ve been a hit at holiday brunches and other special occasions.—Kate Meyer, Brentwood, Tennessee

This savory dish is the perfect excuse to have bread pudding as the main meal, not merely afterward as dessert. — Holly Jones, Kennesaw, Georgia

Asparagus and feta cheese come together to make this frittata extra special. Perfect for a lazy Sunday or to serve with a tossed salad for a light lunch. —Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas

A friend invited me to go to a cooking demo at her church years ago, and one of the recipes prepared was this luscious souffle. It was so easy—and absolutely delicious. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

A savory update to baked French toast, this is an easy make-ahead dish that is excellent for brunches and showers. The combination of maple syrup, bacon and nuts makes it impressive and satisfying. —John Whitehead, Greenville, South Carolina

A friend called and asked me for a special recipe that he could serve at his daughter’s wedding brunch. I created this recipe for the special day. —Kristin Arnett, Elkhorn, Wisconsin

My Italian mother-in-law taught me to make this omelet years ago—she would make it for breakfast, lunch or dinner and eat it on Italian bread. This is one of my favorite ways to use up leftover broccoli. —Mary Licata, Pembroke Pines, Florida

This hearty combination of sausage, hash browns and eggs will warm you up on a cold winter morning. —Bonnie Roberts, Newaygo, Michigan

Pair a slice of this moist lemon-blueberry cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s a staple at our family barbecues. —Rebecca Little, Park Ridge, Illinois

I like omelets but don’t always have time to stand by the stove. That’s why I favor this oven-baked variety that I can quickly pop into the oven at a moment’s notice. My family frequently requests this for Sunday brunch. They always empty the dish. —Ellen Bower, Taneytown, Maryland

American Toad in a hole is one of the first recipes I had my children prepare when they were learning to cook. Much easier than the European version, this fun egg-in-a-hole is sure to please. My “little ones” are now grown (and have advanced to more difficult recipes!), but this continues to be a traditional standby in my home and theirs. —Ruth Lechleiter, Breckenridge, Minnesota


Jared Koch

It seems like everyone has gone loco for coconut oil (including us). But what if you need a flaky homemade pie crust? Or you crave the richness of butter? Or maybe you just can’t stand that coconut flavor? Then you need to get cozy with two traditional fats: lard and ghee.

This Surprising Ingredient Will Make Your Smoothies Thick & Creamy

Hint: It’s something you’re probably throwing out, but definitely shouldn’t!

The New Guide to Shopping at the Farmers Market

Here are some tips to make navigating farmers’ markets simple and fun!

Is Erythritol the Best Keto-Friendly Sweetener?

For anyone following a keto diet or just trying to cut back on sugar, sugar substitutes like erythritol offer a pretty sweet deal. But is erythritol the best alternative sweetener for you? Here’s what you need to know.

Is Stevia Better for You Than Sugar?

This zero-calorie sweetener is 200-400 times sweeter than sugar, so it only takes a pinch to get the same sweetness as a teaspoon of table sugar — without impacting your blood sugar levels. What’s more, if you choose the right brand, this sugar alternative actually comes with some surprising health benefits.

Are Plant Based Omega-3s as Good as Fish Oil?

What’s the deal with plant-based omega-3s? Are they as beneficial as fish oil? We take a look and determine that not all omega-3s are created equal. Here’s what to know.

Dandelion Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs

Dandelions, a bitter green, surprisingly make a great salad. Pair them with hard-boiled eggs and vinegar, and you’ve got yourself a healthy, hearty salad.

Carrot-Ginger Miso Dressing

Recipe by Connie Weissmuller

This recipe is from The Clean Plates Cookbook ($17 Running Press) by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough.

Ranch Dressing with Greek Yogurt and Chia

Recipe by Connie Weissmuller

Well-Crafted Macaroni and Cheese Mix

Apple Cider-Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

Recipe by Connie Weissmuller

This recipe is from The Clean Plates Cookbook ($17 Running Press) by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough.

5 New Healthy Products We Love: Volume 14

From quick veggie noodles to a super nutritious power bar, we found healthy on-the-go snacks for this week’s new products column.

4 Common Yoga Mistakes & How To Fix Them

Whether you’re new to yoga or have been hitting the mat for years, see if you’re making one of these common mistakes.

Thai Mustard Greens with Coconut Milk

Phoebe Lapine’s Thai-inspired mustard green casserole with coconut milk, lime juice, crispy shallots and almonds makes a perfect quick dinner.

10 Tips to a Healthier Holiday Celebration

Instead of giving—or getting—another food and drink hangover, follow these simple tips for a healthy, happy party

You’ve woken with more holiday hangovers than you can count. How can you start the new year off right? You’re in luck—we’ve got the answers.

Marcel Vigneron Embraces Eating His Veggies

The Top Chef veteran goes plant-based in his new Los Angeles restaurant

The Top Chef veteran talks about his plant-based L.A. restaurant, Beefsteak, and why eating your veggies is becoming so popular.

Healthy Holiday Dishes That Will Please Everyone

Hanging for the holidays with vegan, gluten-free, low-sugar and Paleo eaters? What do you feed them? We have the answers

These sweet and savory recipes will bring eaters with every kind of diet-restriction—vegan, Paleo, gluten-free or sugar-free—holiday joy.

Pomegranate Party Cocktail

Sufganiyot

This Hanukkah season try this sufganiyot (jelly doughnut) recipe with healthier, unprocessed ingredients. Your taste buds will still be wowed.

Coconut Whipped Cream

Coconut can mimic the heavy cream used in making whipped cream, without the cholesterol or the dairy.

Spicy Hot Chocolate

This decadent and luxurious spicy hot chocolate is good for colon and heart health and improving your mood any day.

Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots

Against All Grain blogger Danielle Walker has become the poster girl for making gluten-free food great. Her new cookbook, Against All Grain Celebrations, applies that principle to entertaining. This recipe totally transforms a traditionally unhealthy dish.

New, Healthy Ways to Boost Your Energy

Feel better and reduce stress with new delicious, good-for-you products

If you’re eating and sleeping right and you still need a pick-me-up, help is on the way. New products relieve stress or deliver a more natural boost of caffeine.

Sweet and Earthy Roasted Squash Dip

The chic British Hemsley sisters’ newest cookbook is called Good+Simple for a few reasons, and this easy, vegan crowd-pleaser—which will add brightness and cheer to the table with its color—is obviously one of them.

Chocolate-Beet Allspice Truffles

The I Quit Sugar Cookbook from anti-sugar chef Sarah Wilson is filled with sugar-free recipes that don’t sacrifice sweetness. A perfect example? These chocolate goodies that come with a dose of vitamin-packed veggies you won’t even notice.

Pork-Stuffed Mushrooms with Avocado Mayo

This is no meal for meatheads. Cassy Joy Garcia makes Paleo eating easy with her popular blog and new cookbook, Fed & Fit. Bonus: You can serve this one as an appetizer or a main dish.

Sound Bites: Which Foods Increase Your Lifespan, Preventing Holiday Weight Gain and More

The latest nutrition and healthy eating news

In this week’s healthy news column, we learn which foods help increase lifespan how hearing loss might be tied to what you eat and how holiday weight gain is a problem globally.

Raw Cacao Hot Chocolate

Ever want to jazz up your nightly cup of hot cocoa? Try our recipe for Raw Cacao Hot Chocolate today. It’s easy and healthy.

7 Yummy Ways to Wake Up Sweet Potato Toast

Got leftover sweet spuds? Here are decadently delicious ways to use them

Got leftover sweet potatoes from Thanksgiving? Whip up these seven healthy sweet-potato toast ideas from popular healthy food bloggers.

Once you’ve made this delicious, so-simple sauce, you may never consider a can again.

A Pumpkin Pie That Loves You Back

A healthier version of the beloved traditional dessert

To most of us, it’s as essential to Thanksgiving as the turkey. But an average slice can top way over 300 calories. Try our decadent healthier version.

Thick Cashew Cream

This recipe is from The Conscious Cook ($20 William Morrow Cookbooks) by Chef Tal Ronnen of LYFE Kitchen and Crossroads.

Daphne Oz’s Secrets To Being A Happy Cook

Transform your kitchen into your Happiness HQ with these simple tips from The Chew co-host

In The Happy Cook, the Chew’s Daphne Oz empowers lovers of healthy eating with easy and delicious recipes.

What’s In Your Food? 9 Red-Flag Ingredients to Watch Out For

From “natural flavors” to “caramel color,” look for these ten unsafe ingredients on food labels—found even in healthy foods—when you grocery shop.

Orange is the New Green

The health benefits of fall's bright and beautiful orange fruits and veggies

Fall’s orange foods deliver on flavor, beauty and nutrition. Find out which are true super foods and how cooking affects them.

Golden Garlic Hummus

You’ll go crazy for our golden garlic hummus. Check out the recipe video and see how easy it is to make!

Can This Green Give You Super Powers?

Shishito peppers’ sweet heat provides 170% of your daily Vitamin C, 80% of your daily Vitamin A, and 100% of your daily deliciousness quota.

Munch on These Healthier Halloween Candies

Better-for-you candies that are scary good

Trick your tastebuds on Halloween by treating them to delicious, better-for-you treats not filled with high fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients.

Grace Bonney's new book focuses on women who make magic happen daily

Daily wellness rituals, gratitude exercises, and more creative healthy habits from In the Company of Women, new from Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney.

The Clean Plates Interview: Gunnar Lovelace

Thrive Market co-founder and co-CEO talks about why doing good and feeling good is good

Thrive Market co-founder and co-CEO Gunnar Lovelace on his business, the natural products industry and the new product line that’s blowing up on the site.

Like That? Love This! Week 3

4 classic breakfasts get a healthy makeover

Breakfast seems to be the hardest meal for many to crack. We’re usually pressed for time, eating on the go, and relying on something out of a box or microwave.

Sunflower Caesar Salad

This sunflower caesar salad recipe is from chef Marcel Vigneron of Beefsteak in Los Angeles.

5 New Healthy Products We Love: Volume 11

Our weekly picks of the best new healthy items out there

Delicious vegan cookie dough, non-dairy cheese snacks, coffee blends with superfood ingredients, and more tasty, healthy food products.

Jessica Koslow's new Sqirl cookbook is the essence of California culinary chic

Jessica Koslow’s cookbook showcases the veggie-forward dishes her Los Angeles cafe Sqirl is famous for.

Hulled Barley Recipe

Mulholland Falls Cocktail

Butternut Squash Soup with Turmeric

Butternut squash soup with turmeric—yum!

Ginger Kombucha Vinaigrette With Mesclun, Carrots and Radishes

This ginger kombucha vinaigrette is sure to reenergize your salad game.

The Clean Plates Interview: Drew Ramsey

Foods that boost your brain, the best anti-inflammatory nutrients you're not already eating, and why kale is still king

How to eat for a healthy brain, the best anti-inflammatory foods you’re not already eating, and why kale is still the best food you can eat.

Like That? Love This! Week 1

4 classic comfort food dinners get a healthy makeover

Instead of cutting out these comfort food favorites, simply make them with better-for-you ingredients. In the first of this series, we make over burgers, pizza. and mac and cheese.

Cinnamon Raisin Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread

We upped the nutrition factor in your typical bagel and cream cheese with our pumpkin cream cheese spread.

Healthy Chicken Taquitos

These are sure to impress even the pickiest of eaters! They also make great leftovers to take to work the next day.

Creamy Turkey Sandwich

This turkey avocado sandwich is a satisfying, simple lunch for any day of the week.

Quinoa Spaghetti

This quinoa spaghetti will satisfy your pasta craving.

Baked Carrot Cake Donuts

These carrot cake donuts are too good to be true.

Pecan Honey Amaranth Cookies

For when you need a cookie break.

Onion Jalapeno Oat Stuffing

Wow your guests with our onion jalapeño oat stuffing.

Cauliflower Rice with Parsley

Cauliflower rice is one of our favorite hot trends.

Black Bean Chili with Avocado

Black bean chili is a warm, comforting dish.

Shiitake Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich

Brussels Sprouts Two Ways: Shaved Raw and Pan-Roasted with Roasted Pears

These brussels sprouts recipes are everything we need.

Chocolatey Superfood Smoothie

Get ready for antioxidant-rich berries and cacao, vitamin-packed greens, and heart-healthy coconut oil and seeds—the seemingly varied ingredients come together deliciously.

“Creamy” Cauliflower Soup with Spicy Croutons

This few-ingredient, dairy-free soup gets its creaminess from cauliflower alone. You can spice up the croutons with dark chili powder or use curry powder.

Chewy Coconut-Chocolate Chip Cookies

For this ultra-chewy and tender coconut chocolate chip cookie, you take out some sugar and half the butter, swap the flours and add oats & shredded coconut.

A Chef’s 8 Favorite Healthy Living Hacks

Simple changes and swaps to make your life healthier and more delicious

Eight smart uses for clean ingredients you may already have, including healthier desserts, more nourishing breakfasts, and even an all-natural burn remedy.

Very Chocolatey Chocolate Brownies

These very chocolatey chocolate brownies are a delicious healthy treat for the whole family!

Before Whole Foods, There Was Rainbow Grocery

San Francisco's first major organic and natural food store helped pioneer how we eat today

Since 1975, when the natural foods collective was started, Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco has embraced—and grown—the organic food movement.

Apple and Pumpkin Purée Bran Muffins

Our original Clean Plates Cookbook recipe uses applesauce. But for the season, we’ve subbed in antioxidant-rich pumpkin purée!

7 All-Natural Makeup Products You’ll Love

Forget putting unpronounceable ingredients on your face—try these natural beauty products instead

Applying makeup doesn’t have to mean applying layers of unpronounceable chemicals and preservatives—here are seven of our favorite all-natural beauty products.

Crispy Avocado Fries

Avocado fries are an easy, healthy way to satisfy your french fry craving.

Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes & Brussels Sprout Leaves

You’ll be surprised how tasty Brussels Sprouts leaves are on their own when separated from their heads. Try this awesome winter salad soon!

Barbabietole (Beet Salad) from Chef Mette Williams of Culina

Spice up your salad routine with a beet salad from Chef Mette Williams of Culina.

Asparagus Soup and Cashew Cream by Chef Tal Ronnen of LYFE Kitchen and Crossroads

This recipe is from The Conscious Cook ($20 William Morrow Cookbooks) by Chef Tal Ronnen of LYFE Kitchen and Crossroads.

Creamy Iced Chai

This recipe is from Drink Your Way to Gut Health by Molly Morgan.

Romanesco with Golden Raisins, Tahini and Sumac

This recipe is from Gjelina by Travis Lett.

5 New Healthy Products We Love: Volume 9

Our weekly picks of the best new healthy items out there

From low-sugar protein bars to healthy chips (yes, really!), this week we found a kitchen-cabinet’s-worth of new healthy snacks for munching, crunching and savoring.

How to Glow Every Day

Real-fast recipes for real life

Bestselling cookbook author of The Oh She Glows Cookbook and super-blogger, Angela Liddon, is a rare kind of chef. Find out why in her new cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day.

Seriously Delicious Apple Tart

Fruity Brown Rice

Dried apricots and cranberries mixed here with raisins add bright color and tangy sweetness to the rice, and roasted walnuts lend a toasty crunch.

Sautéed Pork with Mushrooms and Rosemary

For this recipe, thin cuts of pork are sautéed and served with vitamin B-rich creminis and iron and manganese packed fresh rosemary.

The Vegan Cheese Sauce We're Slathering On Everything

This recipe is from Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon.

5 New Healthy Products We Love: Volume 8

Our weekly picks of the best new healthy items out there

Since we discovered kale popcorn, we’re never going to eat salads again. Just kidding! Read on to find out about our favorite new healthy products.

The Clean Plates Interview: Brendan Brazier

The Ironman champ, co-founder of Vega, and Thrive author on plant-based eating for performance

The Ironman champ, co-founder of Vega and author of the Thrive series gives us an inside look at what’s coming up in plant-based eating for performance.

The Pumpkin Flip Cocktail

This pumpkin-flavored cocktail recipe is from Greenbar Collective , an organic, artisanal spirit producer.

Petite Savory Stuffed Pumpkins

Farm-to-table meal delivery service Paleta offers fresh meals for busy people. Chef Kelly Boyer especially loves pumpkin—the highlight of this recipe!

Pumpkin Hummus

Charles Chen, a Los Angeles-based chef and wellness coach, transformed his health through food. This quick recipe can even be made raw.

Pumpkin Spice Pudding

New Jersey-based nutritional advisor and recipe developer Diane Piazza created this no-cook pumpkin pudding that’s also gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free.

Sage and Pear Martini

Kick back tonight with this delicious sage and pear martini.

Cranberry Pear Parfait

This cranberry pear parfait from The Clean Plates Cookbook makes for a delicious breakfast or snack.

The Modern Way to Cook

150+ real-life, vegetarian recipes from British cook Anna Jones

Organized by time, the recipes in A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones eat up 15 to 40 minutes, tops. But no dish feels slapdash.

Peak Performance: Secrets of the U.S. Open Tennis Players

Four top women tennis players reveal their secrets to staying fit on and off the court

We asked four top female professional tennis players their secrets to getting and remaining energetic and fit during the U.S. Open Championship.

This recipe is from The Clean Plates Cookbook ($17 Running Press) by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough.

5 New Coconut Products We Love

Can't get enough of the coconut? Here are new food products that you'll be nuts over

Just when you thought you’d run out of ways to enjoy the tropical taste and nourishing health benefits of coconuts, we’ve found five new yummy products.

The Coconut Shell Game

Meredith Baird's cookbook focuses on all things coconut

Meredith Baird’s Coconut Kitchen Cookbook gives all the health benefits for not just coconut milk and coconut water but also a Coconut Milk Recipe.

Raw Bar: 7 Healthier Snack Bars

Our favorite energy bars may be free of GMOs and gluten, but they are filled with flavor

What’s organic, raw, non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, trans fat-free, and contains little to no added sugars? Click to find out.

5 Radish Recipes to Make Right Now

Radishes — the small but mighty, peppery members of the mustard family — have been eaten across the globe since prehistoric times. Packed with vitamin C, “radishes are detoxifying,” says Clean Plates founder, Jared Koch.

The CleanPlates Interview: Nutrition Mythbuster Jonny Bowden

The best-selling author on fat talks simple ways to fuel yourself for good health

Eat “good” fats like olive oil, but avoid meat. Butter is back—wait, no it isn’t. Avoid fat, but eat plenty of it. Getting whiplash from all the conflicting information?

Cauliflower Soup with Roasted Garlic Oil

Here’s an excellent example of how quick and easy it is to make a warming homemade soup. This cauliflower soup is lusciously creamy even though it’s dairy- free- and it’s finished with a drizzle of always-welcome roasted garlic oil. This recipe is from The Clean Plates Cookbook ($17 Running Press) by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough.

Recipes that involve bread crumbs—from meatballs to casseroles—always pose a sodium challenge because they contain bread remember the CDC top-culprit list?

Fresh Tomato Sauce

This tomato sauce is for making when plum tomatoes are at their peak, when the flavor of the fruit shines through, and all that is needed is quality olive oil, fresh garlic, salt, pepper and a bit of time. Sweet basil, freshly sliced at the last minute, is more than welcome but not necessary.

10 Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Versatile, budget-friendly apple cider vinegar is the ultimate multi-tasker. It has over a dozen uses around the house, in your health and beauty routine.

Kale, Tomato, and Lemon Magic One-Pot Spaghetti

This pasta is a complete revelation. The sauce is magically made from the pasta water and tomatoes as the pasta cooks—all in one pan. No fuss, one pan, and a killer bowl of pasta.

Grilled Eggplant Rollatini

Instead of coating eggplant in flour, egg and bread crumbs and then pan-frying it, grill it instead.

Swiss Chard Frittata with Turmeric

This dish is packed with vitamin-rich greens, protein, and anti-inflammatory turmeric.

Purple Potato Salad with Avocado Oil and Fresh Herbs

Look for potatoes that are uniform in size for even cooking, and simmer them until they are barely tender for the best results.

A Delicious Anti-Inflammatory Drink

It's easy being green with all of the exceptional benefits this drink provides

Green tea not only keeps you sated but is a great anti-inflammatory beverage that also helps keep your brain sharp.

Hard Cider Rules

Learn the basics to making this delicious old-school alcoholic apple drink

Cider making is a throwback to colonial times, when hard cider was the everyday drink of choice (safer than water) and the breakfast of champions…

Chunky Corn Chowder

A wonderful way to enjoy summer corn, this is a relatively traditional chowder recipe with one key difference- it uses vitamin-packed sweet potatoes instead of starchy white potatoes. The change is so barely noticeable that I’m hoping it inspires you to make healthy switches in other dishes. This recipe is from The Clean Plates Cookbook ($17 Running Press) by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough.

How To Feel Low-So Good

Jessica Goldman Foung's new book on how to live a low-sodium, high-flavor life

When Jessica Goldman Foung was attending Stanford University, lupus attacked her kidneys and brain. The great news is that she recovered and flourished.

Lamb Tikka Masala

This recipe is from The Clean Plates Cookbook ($17 Running Press) by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough.

Decolonizing Your Diet

Supercharge your guacamole and eat like a MesoAmerican with this plant-based Mexican cookbook

Chilled ceviche, cool guacamole, refreshing agua fresca—doesn’t some light, fresh Mexican food sound like manna from heaven in this summer heat?

Cranberry Caipirinha

A refreshing take on the classic Brazilian drink. The recipe for the cranberry simple syrup can be used in multiple drinks, alcoholic and otherwise.

Grilled Veggie Soft Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Spiced Crema

This recipe is from The Clean Plates Cookbook ($17 Running Press) by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough.

Baked Brazilian Coconut Crab Dip

Also called Casquinha de Siri in Brazil, this healthy version of one of Brazil’s national dishes will become a popular dish in your rotation.

6 Moovelous Non-Dairy Milks

Lactose-free or not a fan of cow's milk? Here are some good substitutes to try

Lactose-intolerant? Trying to reduce dairy in your diet? Try our go-to non-dairy milks.

Swiss Chard and Rosemary Pesto Pasta

This pasta recipe is from The Clean Plates Cookbook ($17 Running Press) by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough.

Coconut, Peanut & Cashew Chicken Stew

Also known as Xim Xim de Galinha, this chicken, cashew, coconut stew is a very popular dish in Brazil.

Crostini with Garlic and Olive Oil

Crostini and Bruschetta are the same except for the size of the bread. Crostini are generally 3 bites from a long loaf, while bruschetta is heartier.

Gut Check

Go with your gut—hydrate with 3 thirst-quenching probiotic drinks

If you have a phone, television, computer or walked by a book, you’ve probably heard and read a little about probiotics.

Watermelon-Cucumber Agua Fresca

This recipe is from Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing ($18 Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015) by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel.

Quinoa Salad with Arugula and Grapes

I love whole-grain salads because they combine the comforting quality of grains with the refreshing quality of a salad. This one has both sweet and savory notes, and can be served as a side dish or a light entree. This quinoa recipe is from The Clean Plates Cookbook ($17 Running Press) by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough.

Black Bean “Burgers”

This recipe is from The Clean Plates Cookbook ($17 Running Press) by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough.

Raw Cauliflower Tabbouleh

This recipe is from The Clean Plates Cookbook ($17 Running Press) by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough.

5 New Healthy Products We Love: Volume 4

Our weekly pick of the best new healthy items out there

This week we are all about unusual flavor and ingredient combinations. Who knew pizza and almonds were the ultimate snack partners?

1 Fish, 2 Fish: Choose Sustainably with the Blue Ocean Institute

How to choose ocean-friendly fish both in your kitchen and while eating out

How can you ensure the fish you buy or dine on is sustainable and safe? The Blue Ocean Institute is here to help.

12 Desserts We Love From Instagram

Yes, you can have your carrot cake and eat it, too

Yeah, we know what you’re thinking…Clean Plates is supposed to be all about healthy eating, so why are you doing a story on desserts?

5 New Healthy Products We Love: Volume 3

Our weekly picks of the best new healthy items out there

This week we’re finding tasty ways to up your protein intake with these healthy new food products. You’ll go nuts (and beans!) for these new protein-rich, plant-based goodies.

Go Fish—Eat ‘Em to Beat ‘Em

Never has eating a fish been so wonderfully sublime

Lionfish are the drama queens of the sea: Eye-catchingly gorgeous and prone to wreak havoc on everything they come in contact with.

Classic Daiquiri

3 ingredients never tasted so good. Just do these 4 steps: Combine, shake, chill, drink.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Two of our favorite foods—avocado and dark chocolate—create a surprisingly creamy dessert treat that you will be addicted to.

Kitchen Sink Almond Butter Snack Bars

Chockfull of fiber-rich almonds and brown rice cereal as well as heart-healthy coconut (nectar and shredded) and cacao, these energy bars are perfectly portable and eminently delicious. This recipe is from The Clean Plates Cookbook ($17 Running Press) by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough.

Smashed Avocado Toasts

Casual enough for an afternoon snacks, dressy enough for company, this avocado toast recipe features toasted sprouted bread topped by a delightfully unusual, Asian-inspired twist on guacamole. This recipe is from The Clean Plates Cookbook ($17 Running Press) by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough.

6 Fatty Foods You Should Eat

Can't get enough avocados or nuts? Fear not—these ingredients will not make you fat

Afraid of fatty foods? Read this. We found six fatty foods that you could be eating without guilt.

The New Milks

Moo-ve over cow’s milk, the new milks are in town

“Gone are the days when milk always meant cow’s milk,” Dina Cheney writes in the The New Milks. “Today, the term could just as well…

Leek Rings

4 Tricks For Keeping Greens Fresh

Simple tricks to make lettuce, kale, and other greens last longer

You went to the farmer’s market and bought bunches and bunches of fresh greens. Then you tossed them in the fridge and…

Cherry On Top

Sleep better when you sip on this sour nectar

Cherries are one of summer’s sweetest gifts, but it’s the sour version of this stone fruit that you really want to add to your diet.

Supercharged Popcorn

So corny: Homemade popcorn can be a super healthy snack.

Oil Up

Striking oil from your diet? No need—just use one of these 3 healthy varieties

If you’re confused by all the oils in the supermarket aisle, you’re not alone. Get the facts on oils, from canola to coconut and everything in between…

Almond Milk

A homemade recipe for almond milk

The Forbidden Rice

Whether you call it black rice or forbidden rice, we call it delicious—and a superfood

Researchers have discovered that black rice is full of antioxidants known as anthocyanins, the same ones…

This recipe is from The New Milks ($17 Atria Books) by Dina Cheney.

6 Gluten-Free Pasta Alternatives

No-wheat noodles packed with flavor

We’ve all heard about the drawbacks of traditional wheat pasta. It’s gluten- and carb-intensive, spikes your blood sugar and packs…

Oh, the Benefits of Oatmeal

An oatmeal hack to smooth out your morning routine

Oats are the perfect breakfast food. They’re full of fiber and B vitamins and studies have long shown they keep you full throughout the morning and help you eat less at lunch.

Cuke For The Cure

Fight anxiety by. eating more pickles?

A new study found that fermented foods like pickles can reduce social anxiety: Here’s how to get more pickled foods into your diet.

Try a vegetarian take on traditional Korean bibimbap for a hearty breakfast

Try a vegetarian take on traditional Korean bibimbap for a hearty breakfast

Make your own energy drinks for a healthier and more affordable option

After a sweaty workout session, you’ve got many options for rehydration. Get plenty of electrolytes and flavor in this recipe for homemade switchel.

Amaranth Gains Ground

Ancient grains like amaranth are super super foods

Amaranth, an ancient grain that’s again gaining popularity, especially in gluten-free diets, is a great source of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.

Drinking wine to lose weight—it's a dream come true

Could a nightly glass of your favorite Pinot actually help maintain your waistline? Science says it’s possible…

Make your salad much more egg-citing

When it comes to salads, a little extra on top can go a long way to turn a pile of raw greens and vegetables…

Comforting Quinoa Cereal

Although it’s served warm, this easy quinoa dish is meant to be enjoyed as you’d eat a cold breakfast cereal—pour on the milk, top with fresh fruit and perhaps a little sweetener, and dig in. You can add flavors to the quinoa, such as orange zest, sliced fresh ginger, vanilla extract, cacao powder, nut butter, or dried fruits, such as currants, raisins, or chopped dried apple. You can also sprinkle in toppings such as chopped toasted nuts, toasted seeds, coconut flakes, or cacao nibs Whatever add-ins you use, this recipe is simple, satisfying, and devoid of all those sugars, additives, and preservatives.

Cucumber Spears

This recipe is from Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking ($35), Madhur Jaffrey.

Braised Baby Artichokes

This recipe is from The Clean Plates Cookbook ($17 Running Press) by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough.

Candy Crush

Vegan candy, delivered in NYC

Kimberly Silver always had a sweet tooth. But a degree from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a career in…

This home-brewed elixir gives foods a kick--and boosts your immune system

Bone broth, fermented foods, oil pulling—old-fashioned folk remedies are having a moment…

Chocolate & Apples: A Perfect Pair

Delicious on their own, but together this duo pack a punch of health benefits

Who doesn’t love a great mashup, especially one with chocolate? It’s no longer a secret that…

Lukas Volger shows us one-bowl dishes from ramen to dumplings

There is something both exhilarating and liberating about putting everything you need for a…

Honey, Be Mine

Supercharge your honey and your health with beneficial spices

Here’s some good advice that bears repeating: Eat more spices. Cinnamon is full of antioxidants and can…

Smoothies To Warm You Up

We know it sounds weird, but this is one trend you will want to blend with

We love smoothies. But what makes for a refreshing wake-up in July can be decidedly less…

Sea Stars

Why should fish be the only ones to gorge on these tasty greens?

Want a sustainable vegetable full of minerals that you can add to almost any dish to give it…

Smoothie Move

Green Blender is whipping up weekly deliveries of decadent smoothie ingredients

Smoothie lovers, start your engines. East Coast organic smoothie delivery service Green Blender has arrived…

Remarkable Root

This once unloved, ignored root is now ready for its close-up

The root vegetable burdock, or gobo, has an earthy flavor similar to mushrooms, and a stellar nutrition profile. Try burdock in an easy, nutritious sautee.

Savor The Savory

Ever thought of trying savory yogurt combinations? You will be surprised how good it tastes

If you’re a yogurt with fruit, granola and maple syrup breakfast eater, it might be time to…

That's what you'll do after trying all-natural nut butter blend ChoCoco Nut Power

MeeNut Butter artisan nut spreads are good enough to eat straight out of the jar.

Quinoa Carrot Muffins

Quinoa not only adds high-quality protein to these muffins, it also keeps them deliciously moist. This recipe is from The Clean Plates Cookbook ($17 Running Press) by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough.

Make a Magic Potion

Whip up a potion of turmeric, ginger and lemon to keep the doctor away

Our turmeric-ginger elixir recipe will give your immune system a boost.

Apple and Applesauce Bran Muffins

These apple and applesauce muffins are a super simple recipe that you can change and adapt, depending on your mood and what’s in the cupboard.

Skip the microwave variety and cook up some homemade kernels

Make your own popcorn complete with healthy toppings.

Brooklyn's Big Cheese

At Brooklyn's Riverdel, vegan cheeses are all the rage

Stroll into Riverdel in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood and you’ll see all the markers of a delicious cheese shop…

Cranberry Apple Squash Quinoa Pilaf

This Cranberry Apple Squash Quinoa Pilaf recipe is from Chef Charles of RawYouth.org.

Entube's new spicy condiment lets you feel the burn

Spicy food lovers: At attention! Do you want your meal seasoned—but not bludgeoned—with piquant heat…

Using lemon and orange peels in your food will brighten flavors and boost your immune system

Try these easy ways to use the whole orange.

Good Bones

Brothee has created a heady brew of nutrient-dense broths that are good for your, well, bones

We love to drink bone broth for its warm, nourishing benefits. But, admittedly, the taste of bone broth’s…

Hudson Valley Harvest puts peas, tomatoes and more in a deep freeze

Chefs, they’re just like us. Some of New Yorks best culinary minds—including those behind Clean Plates-favorites…

Ever wonder what sprouted grains are and why they're good for you? Read on.

Take your whole grains to the next level—go sprouted.

Poached Skate with Ginger and Scallions

Use local and/or organic ingredients whenever possible. Substitute grapeseed or sesame oil for canola oil. Choose brown rice instead of white rice. “This is one of my favorite ways to cook fish. It’s so simple yet so satisfying. Traditionally, we use black bass or flounder for this preparation, but one of my favorite fish is skate. The poaching liquid that pools on the plate is the beginning of a fantastic sauce. Once you add the soy sauce and flash fry the ginger and scallions, you’ll be spooning it over your rice and eating every last grain.” – Edric Har

Instant Blueberry Chia Jam

Sweet Thing

EKG Project desserts are gluten, grain, dairy and soy-free

EKG Project makes guilt-free, healthy desserts.

Black and White Sesame Seed Crackers

These sesame crackers are all they cracked up to be. The two-hued sprinkle of crunchy black and white sesame seeds gives lots of favor and character to these delicious crackers.

Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet Potatoes, carrots, and spices come together to make this hearty, warming soup. Accompanies a meat dish well, but also great by itself.

Roasted Root Vegetables

This colorful mélange will brighten any holiday table. Using locally grown, organic vegetables offers superior nutrition and intensifies the flavors.

Souped Up

Marco Canora of Hearth gives us his favorite bone-warming recipes in his latest book

Marco Canora’s set the both broth standard in his new cookbook.

Grapefruit: Ripe For a Citrus Comeback

The recently maligned grapefruit is making a zesty return to meals

Grapefruit’s health benefits are reason enough to incorporate the fruit into your next salad.


5 Cheeses You Can Eat on the Keto Diet — and 5 You Can’t

Cheese is allowed (and even encouraged) on this high-fat, low-carb eating plan, but some choices are better than others.

Cheese lovers will be happy to know some varieties are keto-friendly.

The ketogenic diet, or the keto diet for short, is a high-fat (70 to upwards of 80 percent), moderate-protein, and low-carb diet. A common goal on the plan: to change your body’s biochemistry and, in turn, lead to weight loss.

“Following a ketogenic diet changes your fuel source from one that primarily burns carbohydrates to one that burns fat,” says Olivia Wagner, RDN, a functional dietitian at Liv Nourished in Chicago. In metabolic terms, this process is called ketosis.

One of the perks of a keto diet, followers say, is that cheese is not off-limits. In fact, cheese is basically the perfect keto food: high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb. “Cheese can add flavor, variety, and new textures into your meals,” says Wagner, adding that the best varieties for the keto diet are high-quality, grass-fed, and full-fat. (Just remember: Cheese isn’t “unlimited” in a keto diet, as it still contains calories and carbs it’s also high in saturated fat, which is a less heart-healthy option than unsaturated fats, per the American Heart Association.)

Cheese might not be the first food you think of when it comes to weight loss, and yet some research suggests the food may be beneficial for this purpose. For example, in a study on more than 2,500 men who self-reported their intake of dairy products, a higher consumption of cheese specifically was associated with a lower BMI after a five-year follow-up, per an study published in October 2018 in Nutrients. (That said, cheese is high in calories, and so while it can fit into a weight loss or maintenance diet, it’s best enjoyed in moderation.)

Some studies have also suggested that cheese may benefit certain health outcomes, too. Cheese may be linked to better cognition with age, concluded an observational study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in February 2021. And an earlier meta-analysis on 29 cohort studies, which involved more than 938,465 people and was published in the April 2017 issue of the European Journal of Epidemiology, found that participants who ate 10 grams (g) of cheese (or about ⅓ of an ounce) per day had a slightly lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those who did not. (However, this conclusion was based on a single study. It also relied on “food frequency questionnaires,” a method that’s validated by science but is error-prone because it relies on the memories of participants. It’s also important to note that in all of this research, the authors write that more research needs to be done to determine a potential mechanism.)

If you find that your results are plateauing while on keto, you may want to take it easy on the cheese, says April Murray, RDN, founder of Orange County Nutrition Coaching in Costa Mesa, California. “Sometimes people lose weight much quicker and feel better when they take out dairy,” she says. If you find you tolerate it okay, there’s no reason to omit it, but if you’re struggling with gastrointestinal side effects or water retention — or if you find that you’re not losing weight despite being in ketosis — it may be time to discuss the role of dairy in your diet with your healthcare team.

If you’ve decided to add cheese to your keto diet menu, you should also know that not all cheeses are created equal. Here’s what you need to know about which cheeses to eat, which to limit, and which to skip altogether.


Some of My Favorite Clean Eating Recipes

Being a Mom in the fitness and nutrition industry, the 2 most common questions I get asked are to share my recipes and “what diet should I be on?”. A very close third is “how many grams of protein should I eat?”.

I’ve already given my theory on ‘diets’ and what people should choose based on their lifestyle. So I’ve decided to compile a few recipes that my kids love (and request often) that are also high in protein.

So, what better time to share recipes then this time of year! We live in Arizona, so the summer I am usually not found slaving away over a stove! It’s finally starting to cool off which means also means more baking and cooking. Our summers here in Arizona are not good for baking and slaving over a stove. So, when fall arrives, thats when I start cooking!

No matter what your fitness goals are, eating a high protein diet will help you burn fat and lose weight. When most people think of high protein diets, they also equate that with lacking carbs. While I tend to scale back on the carbs after 2-3pm, I don’t make my kids do the same.

We do good carbs. Carbs from vegetables or brown rice. P.S. I have gotten my kiddos to eat brown rice just by throwing in black beans or kidney beans with some cilantro (find that recipe here under Spice Up Your Rice).

The best sources for protein are typically lean meats, but surprisingly they also include plant sources such as tofu, beans, nuts and quinoa. For animal protein sources I always suggest chicken breast, lean fish such as Tuna, ‘fatty’ Omega-3 fish such as salmon, egg whites, turkey, skim dairy products, shrimp, veal or lean cuts of pork. Depending on your dietary preferences you might decide to eat only a few of these options, but all will provide you with healthy servings of protein!

However, not all sources of protein are equal. Here’s a list from the United States Department of Agriculture describing the differences in amounts for some of the foods listed above.

Protein Source

Grams of Protein

1 ounce meat, fish, poultry

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1/2 cup cooked kidney beans

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1/2 cup of most grains/pastas

Here are a few healthy, high protein, lowfat chicken recipes:

Chicken Dijon

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 six-ounce chicken breasts

Preparation:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place a rack on top and spray with cooking spray.

-Combine honey, mustard, oil, curry powder, and pepper in a small bowl. Brush chicken pieces all over with the honey mustard mixture, then place chicken breasts on the rack.

-Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning half way through. Baste every 10 minutes or so with the remaining honey mustard glaze.

Per serving: Calories 268, Total Fat approx 5.9g Carbohydrate 21g, Protein 32.9g

Basil Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ounce basil, slivered
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes

Preparation:

-Preheat broiler and spray pan with cooking spray and place chicken breats on broiler pan

-Whisk oil, vinegar and garlic together

-Brush half of vinaigrette on to chicken breasts, and sprinkle half the slivered basil on top of chicken.

-Broil 5-6 minutes, then turn over. Brush second side with remaining vinaigrette and sprinkle remaining basil.

-Add tomatoes to broiler pan, surrounding chicken.

-Broil for 5-6 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Serving: Calories 198, Total Fat 5.4g, Carbohydrate 4g, Protein 33.5g

Chicken & Wild Rice

Ingredients:

  • (4) 5-6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup long grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped (1/2 a six-ounce bag)

Preparation:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

-Place chicken breasts in a single layer in baking dish that can accommodate the chicken in one layer.

-Combine uncooked rice, chicken broth, tomatoes, onion, garlic and oregano in a medium bowl. Stir in chopped spinach. Spoon mixture over chicken. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 35-40-minutes, until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender.

Per Serving: Calories 372, Total Fat 2.5g, Carbohydrate 48.3g, Protein 38.9g

Here are some High Protein Vegetarian Recipes

Mexican Vegetarian Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped onion, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red pepper, fresh or frozen
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 15.8 ounce cans black beans, drained
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack and Cheddar blend cheese shredded
  • 3 tomatoes chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives and/or chives (optional)

Preparation:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-Combine onion pepper, garlic, salsa, cumin and black beans in a large skillet and bring to simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.

-Arrange 6 tortillas in bottom of 9″ x 13″ baking dish overlapping them as necessary. -Spread half of bean mixture over tortillas and sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat layering process with remaining tortillas, bean mixture and cheese.

-Cover dish with foil and bake 15 minutes. Carefully remove foil and serve warm.

-Garnish with tomatoes, sour cream, olives and chives.

Nutritional Information per Serving excluding the optional ingredients: (*you can save the calories by using less cheese*)
Calories: 605*, Fat: 11.5g, Protein: 35g

Easy Whole Wheat Vegetarian Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 8 ounce package whole wheat lasagne noodles, cooked slightly (al dente)
  • 1 9 ounce package frozen raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups low-fat cottage cheese
  • 3 cups pre-made or store-bought pasta sauce
  • 3 cups grated low-moisture part skim mozzarella cheese

Preparation:

-Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

-In medium mixing bowl, beat eggs add cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese. Spray a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

-Put one layer of slightly cooked lasagna noodles flat across the bottom of the baking dish. Add 1/2 the leaf spinach, pressing down lightly and evenly over noodles. Top with another layer of lasagna noodles. Top this layer of noodles with the cottage cheese mixture add the remaining spinach. Then add the last of the lasagna noodles laid evenly on top of spinach. Spread pasta sauce evenly over the top sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Press down lightly.

-Cover baking dish with foil, using foil sprayed with cooking spray and keeping foil off the center of the lasagna. Secure sides tightly over baking dish.

-Bake about 1 hour 15 minutes in oven. To lightly brown the top, remove foil for a few minutes at the end of baking time.

-Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Servings: Provides 10 servings

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories: 373, Protein: 33g, Carbohydrates: 33, 12 g fat

Try some of these recipes yourself and tell me what you and YOUR family thinks! And please share with your friends anf family!

Macro Nutrients are approximate based on the brand you choose and how you choose to measure ingredients.

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Sugars to Avoid

Here's a list of sugar and hidden sugar you must watch out for in the food ingredients:

  • Agave Nectar
  • Agave syrup
  • Aspartame
  • Beet sugar
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Buttered syrup
  • Cane sugar
  • Cane juice
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Coconut sugar
  • Carob syrup
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Crystalized fructose
  • Date sugar
  • Dextran
  • Dextrose
  • Diastase
  • Diastatic malt
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose
  • Glucose solids
  • Golden sugar
  • Golden syrup
  • Grape sugar
  • Grape juice concentrate
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Malt
  • Maltitol
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Sugar and Raw sugar
  • Rice syrup
  • Honey
  • Castor Sugar
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Carmel
  • Barley malt
  • Yellow sugar
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Sucralose (powder, Splenda)
  • Sucrose
  • Sucanat
  • Sorghum syrup
  • Refiners syrup

Final Tips

The keto diet is full of naturally healthy and satiating foods, which means you shouldn’t feel the urge to snack or eat above your caloric requirements. In order to optimize weight loss, you will need to track macros and to be in a caloric deficit. There are plenty of apps and websites that allow you to do this. In order to stay in ketosis, you need to to stay at or below 20-25 net carbs per day, which still allows you to eat plenty of green vegetables (which are essential for their micronutrients).

Stay away from processed food as much as possible and eat whole food that you prepare yourself, so that you can track its macros. Keep things simple and stick to the basics: meat, veggies and salads, avocados, eggs, and some nuts from time to time. If you need ideas on what to eat, we have plenty of recipes for excellent keto meals, so make sure to check out our Recipes section.

*Disclaimer: We try to provide the most accurate nutrition facts of all the foods presented on this page. However, the actual nutritional information of each food might vary based on the ingredients it's made of, the brands and other factors. Make sure you read the food labels, check the nutritional information and track your macros for the best results when following keto diet.

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Comments:

  1. Ferda

    I apologize for interfering, but could you please describe in a little more detail.

  2. Martin

    The word of honour.

  3. Alarick

    Said in confidence, my opinion is then evident. I didn't want to develop this topic.



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