Blog Posts by CookingLight.com

  • 20-Minute Recipe: Mongolian Beef

    Mongolian Beef

    Serve this slightly spicy dish over wide rice noodles to catch all the garlic- and ginger-laced sauce.

    Mongolian Beef

    Ingredients

    2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 teaspoon cornstarch
    2 teaspoons dry sherry
    2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
    1 teaspoon rice vinegar
    1 teaspoon chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons peanut oil
    1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
    1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
    1 pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced across the grain
    16 medium green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces

    See More: The Best Superfast Recipes

    Preparation

    1. Combine first 8 ingredients, stirring until smooth.

    2. Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced ginger, minced garlic, and beef; sauté for 2 minutes or until beef is browned. Add green onion pieces; sauté 30 seconds. Add soy sauce mixture; cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly.

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  • Our Predictions: 2013 Food Trends

    If you've been asking yourself what the next kale, quinoa, and cupcake will be, then read on for our food trend 2013 predictions. By: Frances Largeman-Roth, RD

    What will be on your plate in 2013? According to Technomic, a food service research and consulting firm, we'll be seeing more vegetables and grains on menus, plus savory snacks, and upscale ramen noodles. And other food industry watchers predict that sour will be the new salty and that popcorn will have its day. Let's take a closer look at some of the food trends we predict will be big in the year ahead.

    Don't Miss:
    Our Best Recipes of 2012
    25 Years of Food Follies
    The Truth About Chicken Strips

    Read More »from Our Predictions: 2013 Food Trends
  • Healthy Holiday Airport Eats

    Healthy Airport Eats

    With airlines skimping on in-flight food, airport terminals are ramping up offerings, ditching mundane choices in favor of high-end gourmet, fresh, and even organic selections. We perused the menu at 20 of the nation's busiest airports to zero in on the ones making the biggest strides when it comes to delivering healthy options. Our top five picks aren't necessarily the most trafficked airports. Instead, they're the ones that make it easy to find deliciously lighter meals. If travel plans allow, it might be worth routing through these five hubs. By Maureen Callahan, MS, RD

    1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

    The world's busiest airport is currently updating concession contracts. Speculation is there could be a push toward even more fresh, healthier options.

    Quick & Healthy: Longtime Atlanta caterer Proof of the Pudding trims the fat and sodium while incorporating the "Super Foods" concept at its three "gourmet fresh" kiosks. Our Pick: Turkey

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  • 20-Minute Recipe: Currant-Glazed Lamb Chops with Pistachio Couscous

    Currant-Glazed Lamb Chops with Pistachio Couscous

    Slow-cooked flavor without the time, these lamb chops pack the flavor. Pistachio Couscous is the ideal accompaniment.

    Currant-Glazed Lamb Chops with Pistachio Couscous

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
    4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
    1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
    1 cup uncooked couscous
    2 teaspoons minced rosemary
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    8 (3-ounce) lamb rib chops, trimmed
    Cooking spray
    1/3 cup red currant jelly
    3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
    1/4 cup unsalted shelled dry-roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
    Rosemary leaves (optional)

    See More: Superfast Holiday Recipes

    Preparation

    1. Bring 1 1/4 cups broth, 2 teaspoons oil, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in couscous; cover. Remove pan from heat.

    2. Combine remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, remaining 3/8 teaspoon salt,

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  • Our Ultimate Eggnog Trick

    Whipped cream adds an extra 2 grams of sat fat per dollop. Whipped topping adds zero.

    Just as fun and festive, but with 90% less sat fat. You'll never guess how we did it! By Sidney Fry, MS, RD

    One day, trying to figure out how to lighten eggnog yet again (it's a complicated annual ritual around here), it occurred to me: Eggnog is virtually indistinguishable in makeup and flavor from melted vanilla ice cream. Why not just make it out of melted ice cream? More than a third of the calories in eggnog come from saturated fat-about the amount in 2 heaping tablespoons of butter. Add rum, bourbon, or brandy ('tis the season!), and you're into 400-plus-calorie range. Starting with full-fat ice cream wouldn't be much better. But I found I could shave 250 calories and 14 grams of sat fat by simply using light vanilla ice cream (we like Edy's Slow Churned Vanilla).

    See More: Christmas Cocktails

    The Formula: Let 1/2 cup of light ice cream melt. Stir in 1 tablespoon bourbon and 1/2 tablespoon brandy, sprinkle with nutmeg, and garnish with cinnamon. Voila, a 150-calorie

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  • 20-Minute Recipe: Fettuccine Alfredo with Bacon

    Fettuccine Alfredo with Bacon

    Need an idea for a quick meal to serve your hungry family? Look no further than the staple of all comfort food: Fettuccine Alfredo topped with a sprinkling of Applewood bacon.

    Fettuccine Alfredo with Bacon

    Ingredients

    1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fresh fettuccine
    2 slices applewood-smoked bacon, chopped
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    1 cup 1% low-fat milk
    2/3 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    See More: Superfast Holiday Recipes

    Preparation

    1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.

    2. While pasta cooks, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings. Add garlic to drippings in pan; sauté 1

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  • How to Eat Mindfully This Holiday Season

    How to Eat Mindfully This Holiday Season

    Pause for a moment amid crazy schedules to appreciate the joy surrounding you this holiday.

    The true testament to the power of food goes beyond any sensory gratification to the feelings of love and togetherness it evokes. Yet, it seems so easy to overlook the deeper pleasures of the table amid the hectic holiday swirl.

    "The body's logic is to respond to any stressor by focusing on taking as much food as possible and storing it," says Martha Beck, life coach and author of The Four Day Win: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace. "But you're not enjoying it. So if you're stressed-and most people are during the holidays-you will overeat and won't enjoy the time."

    By encouraging you to let go of stressors and enjoy the food you're eating, mindfulness can help you make the most of your food choices, paving the way for truly appreciating and savoring them.

    1. Inhale and exhale.
    "I used to get so sick of people telling me to breathe in and out, but now I realize there

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  • Taste Test: Pure Vanilla Extracts

    Taste Test | Pure Vanilla Extract

    A drop will do ya, which is why it's so important to use a good one. By Kimberly Holland

    Vanilla is a team player, boosting other flavors and adding depth, character, and roundness. If you forget to add it, you'll know the moment you take a bite.

    But for all its behind-the-scenes work, vanilla is also a strong flavor unto itself-sweet, caramel-y, floral, unique. That's why most recipes call for only a small amount-a teaspoon or less of extract to flavor an entire cake or batch of cookies. Too much, and vanilla's perfumy presence overwhelms.

    See More: Holiday Baking Fundamentals

    That's what happened in our first tasting; we mixed 1 tablespoon of each of 18 pure vanilla extract contenders into 8 ounces of milk, and the flavor blew testers' tasting circuits. Starting over, we used 1/2 teaspoon whipped with (and mellowed by) sweetened heavy cream, then tested the top four in a stovetop pudding, stirring in at the end to preserve the flavor.

    Because so little delivers

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  • 10 top-rated holiday sides















    Ten superior side dishes earned our readers' highest rating.

    1. Brussels Sprouts with Pecans

    Slicing the Brussels sprouts horizontally makes for quick cooking, and the addition of toasted pecans add an unexpected crunch and buttery richness to this stunning side.

    View Recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Pecans

    2. Lemon-Scented Broccoli Soufflé

    Serve this fluffy side as a perfect foil for the traditionally heavy holiday fare. The soufflé will fall when it's taken out of the oven, but its airy texture and fresh citrus aroma will remain long after it has been served.

    View Recipe: Lemon-Scented Broccoli Soufflé

    3. Steamed Carrots with Garlic-Ginger Butter

    Steaming vegetables helps to retain all of the healthful water-soluble vitamins, and these carrots are no exception. The addition of the garlic-ginger butter gives an exotic flair to an otherwise classic dish.

    View Recipe: Steamed Carrots with Garlic-Ginger Butter

    Read More »from 10 top-rated holiday sides
  • 20-Minute Recipe: Chicken Yakitori Rice Bowl

    Chicken Yakitori Rice Bowl






















    Mirin is a rice wine low in alcohol, and most of it cooks off in this recipe. For a nonalcoholic substitute, use a mixture of equal parts rice vinegar and sugar.

    Chicken Yakitori Rice Bowl

    Ingredients

    2 (3.5-ounce) bags boil-in-bag basmati rice
    1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
    1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    2 tablespoons fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
    3 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
    1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
    8 ounces snow peas, halved lengthwise diagonally
    1 bunch green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

    See More: Superfast Kid-Friendly Recipes

    Preparation

    1. Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

    2. Combine soy sauce and next 4 ingredients (through broth) in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

    3. Heat a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to

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