Blog Posts by The Editors of EatingWell Magazine

  • Lighter Hanukkah latkes (without a lotta fat)

    I like to think of latkes as a sort of flattened French fry-toothsome and crispy on the outside and warm and soft in the middle. But the frying that delivers these perfect results is exactly what makes latkes unhealthy. Luckily, we've created a healthier Crispy Potato Latke recipe that's just as delicious as a traditional version, and easy to make too.

    We turned to a time-tested method to get crisp latkes without a lot of fat: pan-fry the latkes in a small amount of oil and finish them in a hot oven for a few minutes. To amp up the flavor and compensate for the lack of "shmaltz" (chicken fat) called for in traditional recipes, we added more onion and chopped shallot. With 75% less fat and 61% fewer calories, the results are delicious-a small culinary miracle. A perfect recipe for a healthy Hanukkah celebration featuring Braised Brisket & Roots and Quick Applesauce.

    Here are the results of our latke recipe makeover:

    Traditional Latkes

    • 277 calories
    • 17 grams total
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  • Get rich quick: delicious dinners for $3 or less

    With the stock market falling faster than a cold soufflé, many of us are looking at just how much our meals cost. And when we start trimming expenses, our food budget is often one place that takes a hit. An easy way to save money is to eat fewer meals out and make more meals at home. Plus you'll have greater control to create healthy, delicious meals.

    Our staff at EatingWell Magazine "shopped" online for ingredients and then calculated the cost per serving for main-dish recipes in one of our recent issues. The results seemed so amazing we even went back and double-checked the math: most of those main-course recipes cost less than $3 a serving.

    And if you think that nothing's cheaper than fast food, consider that Pork Chops with Orange & Fennel Salad, a slice of fresh-baked Parmesan-Herb Focaccia and Baby Tiramisù for dessert (total: 488 calories, 3 grams of saturated fat, see recipes below) is less than $6-while a McDonald's Quarter Pounder, fries and apple pie (1,040

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  • 5 winter fruit desserts in 15 minutes or less!

    With holiday cookies and treats around every turn, my sweet tooth is out of control during the holidays. So to satisfy it without consuming unhealthy junk food and calorie-laden sweets, I try to have a vitamin- and fiber-packed fruit dessert every night after dinner.

    These 15-minute fruit desserts are not only fast but they're also a delicious way to eat more antioxidant-rich fruit (when cookies are tempting!).

    Satisfy that chocolate craving with Chocolate & Banana. A drizzle of melted chocolate chips over banana slices makes an easy treat.

    Chocolate & Banana

    1 tablespoon semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 banana, thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon nonfat vanilla yogurt
    Melt chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave. Top banana slices with the chocolate and yogurt.

    Makes 1 serving.

    NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 117 calories; 3 g fat (2 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 2 g fiber; 14 mg sodium; 277 mg

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  • Devilishly good no-bake cookies

    I heart multi-tasking. Especially over the busy holiday season when I seem to have a zillion places to be at the same time, plus bake, shop and travel. So to save time when I'm making cookies for the holidays, I make a no-bake cookie. I can whip up Angel Delights (recipe below), the winner of EatingWell's cookie contest this year, and have finished cookies in 30 minutes from start to finish. It's really awesome.

    Better yet, no-bake cookies are perfect to make with kids. EatingWell's No-Bake Cookies are the ultimate kid-friendly cookie, as they don't even get heated on the stove.

    If you want more sophisticated options for your holiday cookie swap try Festive Fruit & Nut Balls or Date Bran Jingle Balls.

    For oven-friendly cookie recipes, check out our Healthy Holiday Cookie Collection.

    Angel Delights

    1/4 cup unsalted butter
    1 cup sugar
    1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates (8 ounces)
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 cups toasted rice

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  • Make Christmas memorable—without the fuss

    Before I was old enough to cook, my sister Katie and I would perch on stools in the kitchen to help our mom brainstorm menus for our family's holiday feasts. Once we gained a little experience in the kitchen (and eventually both started working for EatingWell) we were invited to help out. Christmas took on a whole new meaning-it became all about trying out new recipes and cooking together in the kitchen. After all, what's the fun in cooking the same thing every year? Plus, our team effort on the meal makes the process relaxing and fun.

    This stress-free Christmas menu (complete with a step-by-step planner) is full of delicious, healthy dishes that are easy to prepare so there is plenty of time to enjoy friends and family.

    Starter: Red & White Salad
    Main dish: Horseradish-Crusted Beef Tenderloin (recipe below)
    Side dish: Vermont Cheddar Mashed Yukon Golds
    Side dish: Garlicky Green Beans
    Dessert: Maple Walnut Cake

    Get the step-by-step planner for this menu.

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  • 5 stunning Christmas cookies (and healthy too!)

    All year I look forward to baking holiday cookies and sharing them with family and friends. I like to make holiday cookie recipes with a healthy twist and EatingWell's recipes call for no hydrogenated fat, all-natural ingredients, only as much sweetener as is necessary and as much whole-grain flour as possible. Being healthy doesn't detract from being irresistibly delicious-tasting and festive. Here are five of my favorite cookie recipes to share (only you need to know they're healthy).

    Apricot-Almond Sandwich Cookies

    Elegant and delicious, these cookies are the perfect addition to your holiday spread. For a variation, try with raspberry preserves; you can show off the jewel-like filling by cutting the center out of half of the cookies. Make ahead tip: Prepare through Step 4 up to 2 days ahead.

    3/4 cup whole almonds
    1 1/4 cups white whole-wheat flour (see Ingredient note)
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt

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  • Hot chocolate for a hot bod

    It's easy to blame winter weight gain on holiday cookies, but festive foods and rich desserts aren't the only culprits. Sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks, sports drinks, sweetened teas, etc.) are a factor in excessive weight gain. Cozy, warm winter drinks, such as hot chocolate, eggnog, flavored coffee and cider, can be full of sugar and fat too.

    At 500 calories, a Starbucks 16-ounce eggnog latte has almost twice the calories of a regular-size (2-ounce) Snickers bar. A cup of rich hot chocolate can add up to 13 Hershey's Kisses.

    Cut the extra sugar, fat and calories from winter drinks with EatingWell's healthy winter drink recipes so you can eat, drink and be merry and healthy.

    Here are four of our favorite healthier classics:

    Spiced Hot Chocolate

    4 cups prepared hot cocoa with 1% milk
    1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    4 cinnamon sticks

    Combine cocoa, nutmeg and chili powder. Pour into mugs and serve with a

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  • Unleash your inner cookie monster

    I'm hosting my first cookie swap this year. It's an inexpensive way to get together with my favorite friends and most of them love to bake (and eat cookies, of course!).

    At my cookie swap I'm going to ask all my friends to:

    1. Make two dozen cookies. (When we swap, we leave with as many cookies as we came with-just different kinds!)
    2. Bring a bottle of wine (it is a party, after all).
    3. Fill a container to bring home their share of cookies at the end of the night.
    4. Make cookies with a healthy twist (such as low-fat versions or recipes made with whole-grain flour, healthy nuts, etc.).

    Since baking a healthy cookie may be a challenging idea for some of my friends, I'll direct them to EatingWell's healthy holiday cookie collection, which includes more than 30 prize-winning recipes from our annual holiday cookie contest. Some of my favorite cookies-like triple-chocolate Lava Rocks-are among these recipes.

    Here are more of my favorite healthy holiday cookie

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  • Super-easy entertaining—on a weeknight!

    My husband and I have friends over for dinner at least once a week. And more often than not, our entertaining is done on a weeknight. Seems counterintuitive, I know, but our friends seem to have fewer plans on a weeknight, so it's easier to get together.

    An impressive dinner can be super-easy, especially when you follow my formula: start with an entree that's ready in 45 minutes or less.

    Last time we had friends over for dinner, I planned the meal around Seafood Linguine, a restaurant-worthy seafood pasta dish that is a snap to make and an easy way to impress guests. We like the sweet taste and extra-saucy consistency of canned diced San Marzano tomatoes in sauces like this one. Marjoram pairs well with the seafood, but basil or even parsley works too.

    Seafood Linguine

    8 ounces whole-wheat linguine or spaghetti
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 tablespoon chopped shallot
    1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

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  • Are you wasting your money on Vitaminwater? 3 foods to boost your immunity

    'Tis the season for colds and the flu. It's also the time of year when I tend to burn the candle at both ends with holiday cooking and shopping, parties and traveling to visit family. If you're like me, there isn't any spare time built into the schedule to get sick.

    So you can imagine how thrilled I was when, in the December issue of EatingWell Magazine, our senior nutrition advisor Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., revealed which 3 immune-boosting superfoods work-and what products aren't worth the money.

    After reading Rachel's article I'm going to think twice about:

    • Airborne: As with many label claims, Airborne's current one begins with a kernel of truth: vitamins A, C, E, zinc and selenium-nutrients in the supplement-are among the vitamins and minerals that our immune systems need to function efficiently. According to a 2002 report in the British Journal of Nutrition, deficiencies of any of these nutrients (or of vitamins B6, B12, folic acid, copper or iron)

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