Fava Beans with Red Onion and Mint. Photo: John Kernickby Epicurious.com
Healthful eating is never so easy as it is in the spring. With fresh fruits and vegetables flourishing, you only need minimal preparation to bring out maximum flavor. From salads to sides, entrées to desserts, here is a collection of our wholesome springtime favorites.
Related: Quick and Healthy Breakfast Recipes for the School Year
Tip: Preventive Medicine
Fresh fruits and vegetables are healthy in part because they contain phytochemicals, or beneficial compounds, such as beta-carotene, folate, and lycopene, which aid in the prevention of cancer.
Lemon Mint Braised Artichokes. Photo: Jonny Valiant
Fresh Starters and Sides
• Mixed Greens with Mustard Dressing
• Lemon Mint Braised Artichokes
• Spring Vegetable and Quinoa Pilaf
• Fava Beans with Red Onion and Mint (Fave con Cipolla Rossa e Menta)
• Snow Peas with Toasted Almonds
• Fresh Pea and Mint Soup
• Butter Lettuce and Radish Salad with Fresh Spring Herbs
Tip: An Apple a Day
There is truth to the old "apple a day" adage, though this time of year, think
Blog Posts by Epicurious.com
Fava Beans with Red Onion and Mint. Photo: John Kernickby Epicurious.comRead More »from Healthy Recipes for Spring
by Carolina Santos-Neves, Epicurious.comRead More »from Taste Test: Milk Chocolate Easter Bunnies
For many of us, it's just not Easter without a chocolate bunny in our basket. With all the options in the supermarket, we wanted to find a hollow milk chocolate bunny that would satisfy both kids and adults-without breaking the bank (this isn't the year for $100 mail-order bunnies). We purchased eight brands, with and without foil. All are available at drugstores or supermarkets, with the exception of Godiva (sold online or at its boutique stores). Prices ranged from $3.29 to $23.50.
Related: The Epicurious Guide to Easter
Methodology: In the blind taste test, nine judges compared the appearance, flavor, and consistency of the bunnies. We then ranked them according to the standard Epicurious four-fork rating system. One Epi Top Pick emerged from the group, earning a three-and-a-half-fork rating.
Epi Top Pick: Lindt Milk Chocolate Bunny
($4.50 per 3.5 oz. bunny)
Pros: Dressed in intensely yellow-gold foil and a red bow, this bunny
- Epicurious.com | Get Up and Go – Thu, Mar 1, 2012 11:31 AM EST
by Esther Sung, Epicurious.comRead More »from Quick and Healthy Breakfast Recipes for the School Year
Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but who has time for a healthy breakfast, especially when mornings are often hectic? Feeding school-age kids a quick and healthy breakfast can be particularly challenging, but it's not impossible. Whether you can pull off a sit-down meal, or need breakfast on the go, we've got quick, healthy, and nutritionally-balanced recipes and tips to ensure everyone in the family is well-fed and ready for the day.
Related: The Epicurious Guide to Easter
Studies show that a meal packed with "brain foods" (those filled with healthy nutrients such as protein, vitamin B, and omega-3) will aid concentration, memory, and brain development, and can lessen mood swings and boost energy levels, too. Breakfast is an excellent opportunity for everyone-school-bound kids and adults heading to the workplace-to take in these foods.
• Plan ahead and get a head start on the next morning's
by Carolina Santos-Neves, Epicurious.comRead More »from Jelly Bean Taste Test
According to the National Confectioners Association, Americans consume approximately 16 billion jelly beans at Easter time. So even if you're not a fan-and we don't believe people like that really exist-Easter seems to trigger the sweet tooth in everyone. Not that it's easily escaped, as everywhere you look, there seems to be a ceramic bowl filled with pastel-colored candies just waiting to be devoured. To make certain those bowls are filled with only the best jelly beans, we tasted 17 brands, ensuring that your (and our) sugar highs and dental indiscretions are worth it.
Related: The Epicurious Guide to Easter
We split our taste test into two categories: classic (or an equivalent standard variety) and sour. Read below to find out which two we would indulge in again and again and share with friends.
Best Classic Jelly Beans
Life Saver Jelly Beans
($2.28 for a 14-ounce bag)
Pros: These jelly beans were liked for their crunchy, shiny shell and
Photos by Kimberly Sentner; styling by Ma'ayan Rosenzweig and Sara BonisteelRead More »from Egg Dyeing 101
by Tracey Seaman, Epicurious.com
Prepare the Eggs
You can take one of two approaches to preparing your eggs for decoration: hard-boiling or draining the egg shells. We give you tips for both.
To hard-cook eggs: Use a pot that's large enough to accommodate the eggs in a single, uncrowded layer-this will prevent cracking. Add cold water to cover the eggs. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid, and let stand for 18 minutes. Drain the water from the pot, cover the eggs with cold water, and drain again. Then cover with ice water and let stand until cold, about 3 minutes. Return eggs to cartons to dry or transfer them to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. If there are any cracked eggs, separate those and save them for eating instead.
Related: Chocolate Easter Bunny Taste Test
To empty a raw egg: Wash an egg in warm water and dry. With a sterilized long needle or slender metal skewer, prick a small hole in the pointy end of the egg and a larger hole in the
Photo: LA Premier, © Mario Anzuoni/Reuters/CorbisRead More »from Kevin Lee's Glamorous Oscars Party
by Sara Bonisteel, Epicurious.com
Party planner Kevin Lee is no stranger to the nightlife that follows the Academy Awards. He's attended his fair share of Oscar parties (he's been to the Governors Ball every year for the past decade), and with his company LA Premier, created more than a few Hollywood soirées.
Related: Oscar-Inspired Movie Menus
So we turned to Lee to get his tips for throwing an Oscar-viewing party worthy of Beverly Hills. Follow his advice and you'll feel like you're living life on the A-list, if only for one night.
Make It a Black-Tie Affair
Encourage your guests to dress to the nines. That means suits or tuxedos for guys, and cocktail dresses or ball gowns for the ladies. "Your guests should wear something glamorous and very over-the-top, just for the night," Lee says. "Beautiful makeup and hair are all required, just to make sure that all your friends look fabulous, of course. The dress code has to be there. You cannot walk in with tennis shoes and wearing tank
Photo by Sara Bonisteel
By Lauren Salkeld, Epicurious.com
Before you dive into homebrewing, it's important to understand that there are two main beer styles: ales and lagers. Ales tend to be fruity and robust, and include stouts, porters, amber ales, and India pale ales (or IPAs). Lagers, by contrast, are characteristically clean, crisp, and neutral in flavor; this category includes Pilsners, bocks, and Märzenbiers (or Oktoberfest beers). (If you're interested in what to eat with different brews, see our guide to beer and food pairings.)
See also: Oscar-Inspired Movie Menus
The critical difference between ales and lagers is the type of yeast used in fermentation. Ale yeasts ferment around room temperature (65°F to 70°F) and are top-fermenting, meaning they ferment near the top of the fermentor. Lager yeasts ferment Read More »from How to Brew Beer at Home
Photo by GourmetBy Siobhan Adcock, Epicurious.comRead More »from Do You Prefer Cake or Pie?
Last Friday the Treats Truck rolled into position near the Epicurious office. We're Kim Ima fans from way back and were delighted by the Treats Truck Baking Book when it came out last November (despite a growing sense of overall food truck fatigue, I'd still rather pick up a sack of treats from the truck on Friday than bake them myself).
See also: Brew Beer at Home
Besides straightforward and careful recipes, the book is full of punchy, colorful illustrations, friendly tips (to make a great pie crust, "make sure the ingredients are very cold: you can even chill the flour!"), and cheerfully philosophical observations about the human race's age-old attachment to treats. One of my favorite passages addresses the great cake vs. pie debate:
"I have a favorite question I like to ask: If you could have only cake or only pie for the rest of your life, which would it be? Now, most people know the answer without even thinking. I actually think the world is
Photo by GourmetBy Lauren Salkeld, Epicurious.comRead More »from An Unconventional Valentine's Day Gift
Chocolate may be the classic Valentine's Day gift, but it's not the only way to make your sweetheart swoon. It's not even the only edible option; see our ultimate guide to Valentine's Day for many more ideas, both sweet and savory.
Related: Aphrodisiacs to Sweeten Your Valentine's Day
Stephanie Pierson, author of The Brisket Book, thinks brisket, "gently cooked, with its delicious aroma and succulent taste, is both the quickest, and paradoxically, the slowest way, to someone's heart." It's a dish that's "cooked and served with love," she says. While Pierson likely has a brisket bias, she may also have a point. If someone goes to the trouble to buy a beautiful piece of meat, and devotes several hours to cooking it for you, he or she is definitely sending an amorous message, and it's one that's difficult to miss and hard not to appreciate.
If Brisket sounds like just the thing to share on Valentine's Day, we have dozens of recipes, including Beef
Photo by CN Digital StudioBy Tanya Steel, Epicurious.comRead More »from On Mindless and Mindful Eating
Last night, I watched the Republican election results while writing a story. Oh, and eating my nightly bowl of Peanut Butter Cup ice cream (yes, I said nightly). Trouble is, I barely noticed when I found a small eddy of creamy peanut butter or some chocolate chips. I was too absorbed in the Santorum surprise and editing my article. Ultimately, I wasted calories and didn't really notice my daily indulgence.
See also: Oscar Best Picture-Inspired Movie Menus
So, it was with great interest that I read today's piece in The New York Times on just this matter. "Mindful Eating As Food For Thought" details how Buddhist monasteries preach the notion of mindful living, and eating in a conscious and meditative state is part of this philosophy. While I could never master some of their practices, of chewing each mouthful 25 to 30 times, or taking an hour to consume one dish, there are four things I, and all of us, can do to make each mouthful count. The results are