Blog Posts by The Editors of EatingWell Magazine

  • Mom's Apple Squares & other delicious apple treats

    Every fall, when I was growing up in western Pennsylvania, my parents took me and my younger brother, Angelo, apple picking. We'd usually go in late September, always on a Sunday. Angelo and I loved picking-but even more, we loved the savory apple recipes and sweet apple treats that my mom made with the bushel of apples (roughly 45 pounds) stored in our downstairs fridge.

    My favorite was my mom's apple squares-sweet apple filling spread thin inside two layers of flaky crust (see recipe below). But I also loved her apple crisp (see EatingWell's version below) that she made when my parents' friends and their kids came over after the high school football games that took place just down the street from my house.

    When I moved to Vermont seven years ago, my husband, Jon, and I restarted the apple-picking tradition. This is the second year we'll be taking our little boy, Julian. Just as I remembered it, apple picking is good family fun. And I still appreciate having a bounty of

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  • 4 simple vegetarian bean dinners

    I'm trying to eat more vegetarian meals, so I'm obsessed with beans. And the bean recipes I've been making have made it incredibly easy. I thought I would feel less satisfied without having meat as part of my dinner, but beans fill me right up. Since they're packed with fiber I never feel hungry after a meal. And my wallet isn't suffering either-a can of beans is much cheaper than a pound of chicken or beef (and a pound of dried beans is even less expensive!). Now that's what I call satisfaction.

    Here are a few of my favorite vegetarian recipes with beans:

    Southwestern Corn & Black Bean Salad (recipe below) - Here's a great make-ahead dinner-and leftovers are welcome for lunch the next day. If you make it ahead, don't add the salt and pepper until just before serving. That way, the salt won't render the vegetables soggy and the pepper won't lose its bite. Make it a meal: Scoop up this salad with warm corn tortillas.

    Bean Bolognese - Fiber-rich beans stand in for the beef

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  • Have a cheese fest--it's good for your bones!

    I like to say that my favorite food group is cheese. I know cheese is not an actual food group, but it's so delicious it ought to be. Even though it can be high in calories and saturated fat there are still ways to enjoy cheese as part of a healthy diet. Plus, all cheese is a rich source of calcium, so sampling the abundance helps to strengthen your bones. (Try these 20+ recipes for bone health.)

    I was inspired to offer the following recipes and tips for healthy ways to enjoy cheese after I recently went to the Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival, a special five-course cheese dinner. Here are some pictures from the festival:

    An impressive spread of artisan cheeses! Photo Credit: Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival / Adeline Druart

    A monster wheel of Grafton Village Cheddar Cheese. Photo Credit: Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival / Adeline Druart

    In addition to trying lots of delicious cheese, I got to meet some cheese makers at the event. It was really awesome and so are

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  • One chicken, 4 dinners

    If you're looking for a way to make your food dollars and your cooking efforts go further, think cheap chicken dinners. A whole chicken can go a long way. Once a month, my husband and I buy a fresh chicken from a local farm. Sometimes I roast it whole and use the leftovers in another meal the next night. If I don't want to cook the whole thing at once, I divide it up so we can have the breast one night and the legs another. Because I think this fresh local chicken tastes so amazing, I get really excited about the delicious chicken recipes we can make with our special purchase.

    Here are some of my all-time favorite chicken recipes, from simply roasting a whole chicken to a quick, easy recipe using convenient boneless, skinless breasts to a great recipe for leftover chicken.

    Use a whole chicken in:
    Pan-Roasted Chicken & Gravy (see recipe below) - A cast-iron skillet is the perfect vessel for a simple roast chicken. Almost every side dish, be it vegetables, legumes, pasta or

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  • Shed pounds by eating more of this nutrient

    I recently had a baby and am trying to lose those last few pregnancy pounds. With a young child and a full-time job, I have little time for exercise. Luckily, there's another option: eating!

    New research suggests that there's a way to prevent this weight gain or even encourage weight loss-without dieting. The secret? Eat more fiber. Why? Researchers at Brigham Young University in Utah found that women who increased their fiber intake generally lost weight. Read more about the study below.

    In the meantime, try these 20 delicious fiber-rich recipes to help you lose weight. Or add more of these four foods to your diet to help you get your fill:

    Raspberries: 1 cup = 8 grams
    Eat more of them in Raspberry, Avocado & Mango Salad and 9 more delicious raspberry recipes.

    Chickpeas: 3/4 cup = 8 grams
    Enjoy these protein-packed beans in Middle Eastern Chickpea Platter (yum!) and more healthy chickpea recipes.

    Strawberries: 1 cup = 3 grams
    Pile them onto this healthier

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  • Who doesn't love creamy mac and cheese? 4 recipes to try

    Mac & cheese is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. I was a big fan of the boxed variety when I was a kid (the kind that came with a can of "real" cheese sauce, not the powdered cheese stuff, of course). And my mom was a big fan because it was a quick, easy meal that the whole family liked. But when I was finally wise enough to look at the nutrition label on those boxes, I was stunned at all the fat and sodium (and don't forget all those unpronounceable ingredients). Not only is this ultra-creamy version of mac-and-cheese (recipe below) nearly as fast as the boxed variety, but your family will be able to pronounce every ingredient. Even my mom can get on board with that!

    When I have some extra time, I like to cook Baked Mac & Cheese. Whenever I make it, I whip up a double batch to freeze for a practically instant dinner on a busy night. And there's a layer of spinach in there, which is delicious and nutritious!

    Hate spinach or just prefer your mac & cheese unadorned?

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  • Worried about tainted food? 3 ways to protect yourself

    Until a few months ago, I never gave much thought to E. coli. Or salmonella. Sure, I studied these foodborne bugs when I was getting my nutrition degree, but back then I saw them more as organisms that occasionally infect food, not perpetrators that destroy lives and families. And although I took note of the occasional food recalls I heard about in the news, I didn't much worry about getting sick. That all changed when I edited an article for EatingWell's September/October issue about all the ways food can make us sick. I became sick-with worry.

    While working on the story I read about toddlers who'd eaten spinach or ground beef tainted with E. coli and, days later, were fighting for (and sometimes losing) their lives. Plagued with these mental images, I started to come home from the supermarket without buying some of the items on my shopping list. "I just couldn't buy ground beef-any of it," I'd tell my husband, Jon, insisting that it was simply too risky to feed our

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  • 3 ways to break your sugar habit

    I was at the coffee machine yesterday when my co-worker Carolyn asked me about the new sugar recommendation from the American Heart Association. Co-authored by EatingWell nutrition advisor Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., the recommendation says to reduce our intake of added sugars to help your heart and waistline. (Learn more about the difference between added sugar and natural sugar here.)

    As we talked, I doctored my coffee: first some milk, then sugar….wait, should I even add sugar to my coffee?

    Carolyn was thinking the same thing-she adds sugar to her coffee, and there's already so much sugar in soda and many packaged foods. We aren't the only ones eating too much sugar-a recent survey suggests that Americans consume 355 calories, or 22 teaspoons, of added sugar a day! And although there isn't a direct scientific link, it's likely that the weight gain in our population is related, in part, to our increased intake of added sugars. (Is high-fructose corn syrup the

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  • Should you sip—or skip—that drink?

    I don't always pour myself a glass of wine with dinner. Frankly, there are days when I'd rather "spend" those extra calories on a larger dinner portion or dessert. After all, a 5-ounce glass of wine has about 120 calories, a 12-ounce beer has 150 and mixed drinks like pina coladas or margaritas can boast 300+ calories. (Check out these 3 cocktails: they won't bust your diet!)

    But what I often forget is that when it comes to drinks, it's not just about the calories. There are health reasons to drink-or not-too. You've probably already heard the good news (alcohol might boost your good "HDL" cholesterol)-as well as the bad (alcohol could also elevate your blood pressure). And now, two new studies give more health reasons to sip-or skip-that glass of wine, or any alcoholic beverage for that matter.

    Glass Half Empty
    Women who drink even one alcoholic beverage a day have an increased risk of some cancers (especially breast cancer), according to new research done at Oxford on

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  • Have lunch, will travel

    I often drive to visit my family on long holiday weekends. I used to not enjoy the trips because when I got hungry I would have to pull over at a rest stop and buy fried food that I would spend the latter half of my drive regretting. So now I pack a cooler with healthy lunches that keep me satisfied for the entire trip. When I stop, I find a picnic bench and enjoy a sandwich or salad that I packed and I don't have to deal with swarms of people, greasy food or regrets.

    BBQ Chicken Sandwich (recipe below) - Toss leftover cooked chicken with barbecue sauce and crunchy carrots for a quick and healthy lunch.

    Greek Tofu Salad - This quick tofu salad is flavored with feta, onion, olives and lemon. Make it a meal: Spoon the salad into toasted whole-wheat pitas and add lettuce leaves.

    Londoner's Egg Sandwich - A simple egg sandwich gets added zing from whole-grain mustard and fresh dill.

    Crab Salad-Stuffed Pitas - This bright and easy breakfast packs two servings of fruit

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