Sure, bottled salad dressings are quicker and more convenient. But homemade salad dressing tastes SO much better and fresher. This one takes 5 minutes to assemble, uses heart healthy condiments most people have on hand, and isn’t full of the scary preservatives found lurking in most bottles. This tart, lemony vinaigrette keeps for about a week in the refrigerator and can be tossed with salad greens, drizzled over steamed green beans, or even used as a marinade for meat.
Read more: Easy salad dressing recipe: Garlicky Lemony Vinaigrette
Dark meat chicken gets a bad rap. Sure, it’s a tiny bit higher in calories but chicken thighs and drumsticks boast more flavor and juicy, savory goodness. Plus, they’re not going to set me back as many shekels. In this jerk chicken recipe, the Caribbean seasoning rub includes the earthier scents of nutmeg and allspice, which melds well with this fattier meat. This super fast, super flavorful recipe takes about 5 minutes to prep and 1o minutes to cook, so feel free to whip it up for a weeknight meal.
Read more: Recipe: Quick, delicious thighs, Caribbean Jerk Chicken of course
I’m one of those weirdos that doesn’t like licorice. Black or Red. Groan. No… it goes beyond that. It makes me nauseous… unhappy and desirous of fleeing. So it wasn’t until well into my adulthood that my love affair with the fennel bulb began. Before I discovered this root vegetable, I assumed fennel arose from the same family as anise, which is the base flavoring of licorice (or, at least, it’s supposed to be but today’s chemical candy is anyone’s guess). It’s certainly related to anise but fennel bulb is the milder-flavored underground portion of an herb, which, coincidentally, is the basis for the controversial grog Absinthe. I’ve already posted a main dish using this root veggie, Spicy Shrimp with Sauteed Fennel, but this super-fast side can give you all the mild, delicious flavor without the hassle of cooking. I re-created this salad recipe after enjoying it at a Tampa restaurant and now it’s a staple in my salad arsenal.
Read more: Healthy side recipe: Fennel salad with mustard dressing
This recipe can be thrown together as soon as your feet hit the welcome home mat. Takes about 10 minutes to make and 30 minutes to cook. Earthy, savory and filling, this stew cures what ails you, warms the cockles (whatever those are) and leftovers freeze well for the next rainy or cold day.
Read more: Simple weeknight recipe: Smoky garbanzo and spinach stew
Growing up, our poor excuse for a Thanksgiving cranberry side was opening up a chilled can of cranberry sauce. I was never a fan… tasted like (and I imagine it still does) aluminum flavored, jellied cough syrup. It was one of the items I pushed around the plate until no one could notice I didn’t eat any. This recipe is nothing like that horrible memory.
Read more: Thanksgiving cranberry: A chutney alternative to the dreaded canned sauce
Huzzah… this is a tasty good quinoa recipe! I’ve been exploring this fashionable “superfood” in the past few months… buying it by the mega bag at Costco and seeing how I can stretch its recipe legs. A versatile, high-protein grain, quinoa can play cold salad, warm side dish made like rice, or the main course like this faux risotto.
Read more: Recipe: Wild mushroom red quinoa risotto with chicken
This recipe is one for the home cooks who love throwing a few, uber high quality ingredients together to form a perfect union. In this tomato salad, the ingredients absolutely make the difference and if skimping is the only option, you might not experience the ethereal feeling which comes from a ripe tomato. My husband thinks I’m a bit of a lunatic when it comes to tomatoes but biting into a mealy, flavorless piece of fruit just isn’t my idea of good eatin’. So shop carefully if you can’t grow them yourself. Note: You don’t have to use “heirloom” tomatoes for this recipe but ripe is crucial.
Read more: Recipe: Super simple fresh heirloom tomato salad with feta
Ground turkey is one of those ingredients that sounds ssoooo healthy yet tastes pretty much like nothing. Not even sawdust. The meat is so lean, it doesn’t really stay together by itself in a burger, requiring other ingredients to keep it from falling apart like a sandcastle. So I tend to use it in other recipes, surrounded by other flavors which make it taste great, kinda like tofu. Ground turkey absorbs liquids and flavor like a sponge. It’s versatile that way. So… it’s perfect in lettuce wraps where it can soak up all those fresh, pungent ingredients. This recipe does have some luxurious additions to a traditional Asian lettuce wrap recipe, like bacon, but that’s how I roll… bring on the flavor.
Read more: Recipe: Low fat, healthy Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
The packages of beef jerky at the gas station make every fiber of my body shudder. I can’t get past the thought of consuming any part of that slimy, salty, chewy “beef product”… the expiration date and unpronounceable ingredient list reveal a recipe for a disgusting, bloated disaster. But too often it’s the only quick protein to be had in a convenience store when on the road, so I reach for nuts, which are a poor substitute when craving meat. I don’t have to worry about that anymore.
Read more: Recipe: How to make homemade beef jerky
With my summer garden beginning its overwhelming crop of zucchini, getting creative with this squash has become a necessity. This once-innocent plant –which started its determined life by sprouting from my compost pile — has decided to take over a large section of the yard. So I’m gettin’ cooking with vegetables. Likely, there will be more zucchini recipes to come.
Read more: Great healthy summer vegetable recipe: Zucchini parmesan crisps