You can call it a peppercorn all you like, but the peppery ingredient that puts the buzz in Sichuan-style cooking actually isn’t one. Though it resembles and is used similar to black peppercorns, Sichuan pepper isn’t a peppercorn at all. Rather, it is the dried rind of the berry-like fruit of the prickly ash tree. And you don’t need to be a heat fiend to love it. Because while it does have a peppery bite, its real power is in the tingling, zingly feeling it leaves on your tongue, rather than a true heat.
When baking season brings thoughts of savory loaves of bread hot from the oven, we often overlook egg breads. But these rich, moist — and yes, eggy — loaves deserve serious consideration. They are satisfying in a way we typically associate with quick sweet breads, yet are versatile enough to accompany dinner and make delicious sandwiches.
Just as summer demands salads, fall calls for casseroles. The combination of a chill in the air and the chaos of kids heading back to school means many families are looking for easy, warming one-pot meals that come together quickly and with little mess or fuss.
Few treats say — or perhaps scream — summer quite the way ice cream does. And frankly, it’s hard to improve on a giant, creamy, chilly bowlful. But we figured we’d try, anyway, because sometimes you want a little more pizazz.
Like many summer favorites, chicken salad has all the makings of a refreshing, light meal... except for all that mayonnaise. An easy way to lighten it up is to switch it out for our favorite creamy substitute, nonfat plain Greek yogurt. We also opted to grill the chicken, an easy way to pump up the flavor while adding virtually no fat.
Nuts often get a bad rap because of their high fat content. But the fat in most nuts is the healthy unsaturated variety. It doesn’t mean you should eat nuts with abandon, but it does mean you should feel no guilt about working them into a healthy diet. The trick is moderation. And because nuts are so rich, moderation can be easy. All that rich flavor means it doesn’t take much to feel satisfied. Whether you prefer to incorporate them in a dish, sprinkle them on a salad, or snack them by the handful, they are a great choice for healthy eating.
Cool days call for cooking that is low, slow and wet. Which is to say, braised. And it’s simpler than you might think. Braising is just a matter of cooking food, usually meat, for a long period at a low temperature and submerged in some kind of liquid. Pot roasts are a good example. Many foods cooked in a slow cooker also qualify.
Dublin coddle is considered one of Ireland’s national dishes. But like many of Ireland’s great foods, it is rich in fat. Traditionally made with both bacon and sausage to flavor a base of potatoes and onions, Dublin coddle is an insanely good one-dish meal. And it would be a great choice for St. Patrick’s Day. Assuming, that is, we can find a way to work it into a healthy diet. Turned out to be easier than we thought.
When we think of winter desserts, we often think of spiced flavors and butter-laden richness. But while that butter may bring comfort at the end of a chilly winter day, it also adds tons of unnecessary fat and calories. But winter treats don’t need to put a chill on healthy eating. A good place to start when looking for more healthful desserts is fruit, which not only packs plenty of its own no-added-sugar sweetness, it also tends to have gobs of fiber and nutrients.
It’s winter. It’s cold. You want something hearty. But you’re also trying to eat better and don’t want to ruin your diet by diving into a cream-laden casserole. A lean stew is just the thing you need. Instead of being heavy, it’s hearty with virtuous veggies, lean protein and warm seasonings. We start with a pork tenderloin, sear it for maximum flavor, then simmer it in a flavorful broth. Once the pork is tender, we shred it for a pulled pork effect, then add in filling and nutritious vegetables.