Bok choy is a delicious Asian cabbage that has many of the same benefits as other dark leafy greens. It is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin Kfolate, and small amounts of niacin, thaimine, and riboflavin. The best part is that even with all these vitamins, one cup of bok choy only has nine calories! This means that bok choy is a great complement to any diet. Plus, cooking with bok choy is easy, and there are a variety of ways to use it. Read on to learn how to cook with bok choy:
How To Cook With Bok Choy
Throw it in a soup. Bok choy is traditionally used in savory and comforting Asian soups, which are the perfect meal for a chilly night. Many of these recipes feature the dark leafy green with wheat noodles, steak or other protein, and Asian spices like ginger and garlic combined with chicken stock. One simple way to make Chinese bok choy soup is to boil 3 cups chicken broth with soy sauce, Asian sesame oil, red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic, then add thinly sliced bok choy leaves. Simmer until the bok choy has become dark green, wilted, and tender.
Serve it cold. For a different take on bok choy, try eating it raw. The flavor of raw bok choy is surprisingly delicate, and is complemented quite nicely by a salty Asian dressing. This refreshing method of cooking bok choy is a great dinner or lunch meal when the weather gets hot. Simply combine bok choy with green onions, chow mein noodles, and almonds in a large bowl. Toss with a dressing made from olive oil, white vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. Simple as that! A healthy, crunchy way to enjoy bok choy.
“5 Ways with Bok Choy”, Williams Sonoma’s The Blender
Kettle cooking can mean two different things: cooking with a large cast iron or other sort of kettle, or using an electric kettle or tea kettle to heat hot water. Two very different methods, two very different results! Here is how to cook with both a cast iron kettle and a tea kettle:
How To Cook With A Kettle
Cooking with a cast iron kettle: These cast iron beauties are a great tool to have around. They cook evenly and can be used for a variety of different recipes. They can even be used over the campfire. Before you start cooking with your new cast iron kettle, you will need to season it. Wash it in warm water and let it completely dry, then coat the inside and lid with olive oil and place in an oven heated between 350 to 400 degrees. Turn off the oven and let the kettle cool inside. This gives the kettle a stick-resistant finish. Now you are ready to start cooking! These kettles are great for browning meat on the stove, making casseroles over a hot fire, making delicious Dutch oven desserts, and, of course, creating your own kettle fried sweet potato chips.
Cooking with a tea kettle: There is nothing quite like enjoying a hot cup off tea after a long day. But did you know you can do more with a tea kettle than make tea? If you have ever made noodles in a cup or poured hot water into a pre-made soup mix, then you will already understand how cooking with a kettle can work. Heat up hot water in your tea kettle or electric kettle, and pour over your soup ingredients. Some great things to try are combinations of finely chopped fresh vegetables, a protein source (cooked chicken, chorizo, or salami), a carbohydrate (couscous, chickpeas, or lentils), and some seasonings like soy sauce, miso, tomato paste, curry, or bullion cube.
“The quickest, easiest way to make a meal without a kitchen”, The Stone Soup
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On average, American women with children under age 18 spend about an hour on food preparation and clean up every day, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s an hour less time spent chatting with the kids or catching up with their spouse or even just relaxing and re-energizing. Instead of spending an hour on dinner and cleanup, why not cut it to 20 minutes, or less? Replace the cleaning, mixing, and chopping, with time at the dinner table, savoring your food and catching up with the family.
Here are some great easy weeknight dinners ideas:
Slow cooker soups and stews: Really, the slow cooker is a godsend for any busy mom. You can get creative with your slow cooker by coupling a meaty dish with your favorite jam, making an apricot pork dish (hyperlink: http://www.foodonthetable.com/recipes/355007-slow-cooker-apricot-pork), for example. You can also cook a rotisserie chicken or lime and cilantro chicken in your crock pot for a tender, succulent and juicy chicken dinner dish. Load up your slow cooker in the morning, and come home to a fully prepared meal, just waiting to be devoured.
Grilled panini: Grill your sandwich with turkey, spinach, basil, and sun-dried tomato, and drizzle the sandwich with garlic olive oil for a Mediterranean dish that’s both filling and fast. All it takes is about 10 minutes for the contents of the panini to warm up and for the bread to brown. Cleanup is made easy, too: all you have to do is clean the panini residue of your panini grill or pan!
Quick and painless pizzas: All you need is single-serving pizza dough (which you can defrost ahead), tomatoes, pesto or olive paste, cheese (unless you want delicious white pizza), and salami to make mini-pizzas that each family member will love. You can even use pocketless pita bread to make these single-serving treats. You can even make extra pizzas and freeze for another easy weeknight dinner.
Beef salsa: Cook beef ahead of time or defrost leftover beef from another day to make a filling southwest salsa. Mix beef with quartered cherry tomatoes, black beans, shredded carrots, green chile salsa, red onion, and cilantro to a dinner that will take you 10 minutes to assemble. Just throw your beef salsa into taco shells and garnish with lettuce. You can also try this salsa with salmon, if you prefer fish.
Burgers: Use your George Foreman grill or panini press to quickly grill up burgers for a dinner that should take you under 15 minutes. Broil hamburger buns with a bit of butter and garnish with ketchup and lettuce for the quintessential, American dinner.
Hearty salads: Get some more greens on the table by quickly tossing up a hearty, dinner salad. You can prepare a taco salad with beef or make a summer salad with grilled chicken breast. If you like to make your dressing from scratch, make the dressing ahead of time to cut down on cook time. Chicken, spinach, and raspberry salads are especially delicious in the warm, summer months.
Fruit salads for dessert: You don’t have to serve a decadent dessert. For weeknights, prepare a delicious, sweet fruit salad, which can last for a few days if you make it in bulk. Make your fruit salad using fruits that are in season and at their peak ripeness to get maximum flavor. You can even add 3/4 cup of marshmallow cream, coconut shavings, and whipped cream to really take a plain fruit salad into dessert territory. Make a fruit dip using marshmallow cream and orange juice. If you’re not a fan of marshmallow, simply serve your fruit salad with a couple of scoops of vanilla bean ice cream. Sometimes less really is more.
Now that you have some quick and painless recipe ideas at your disposal, time yourself to see how fast you can get dinner on the table. The less time cooking and cleaning, the more time you have to spend your way.
You may have plenty of easy family dinner recipes up your sleeve, but what do you use to make them? Sure, you may already have your trusty tongs, your Dutch oven, and a great saute pan, but there are plenty of other kitchen tools that can help you churn out dinner in a flash. Here are some kitchen tools that could make dinner and dessert a whole lot less stressful:
Panini Press: The panini press can cook plenty of different easy dinner recipes, from chicken breast to vegetables. Clearly, the panini-maker’s strong suit is grilling sandwiches to perfection. If you’re in the mood for a low maintenance dinner, simply turn on your panini press, slice a baguette and some turkey, add cheese, and press, for a delightfully warm sandwich. You can also use your panini press for dozens of other dishes, including grilled chicken, vegetables, or even pancakes (if you invest in a griddle attachment). Make a dessert panini with hazelnut spread, bananas, and marshmallows on white bread for a wonderfully filling treat.
Food Processor: A powerful food processor can help you blend soups, chop veggies, make smoothies, whir breadcrumbs, or blend homemade ice cream. Best of all, it’s more compact than a huge blender, so it doesn’t take up much counter space.
Salad Spinner: Once you use a salad spinner, you’ll never go back. Spinners help you wash your greens and dry them to perfection, without wilting the leaves. Dry, yet clean, lettuce leaves are necessary if you want your vinaigrette to cling beautifully to the greenery.
Slow Cooker: A slow cooker is a must-have for any busy mom or pop. Simply throw your contents into the crock pot and let the magic happen on its own. Invest in a slow cooker with a timer, so that you don’t have to watch your soup or stew at all.
Mixer: Any cook or baker knows that you can’t live without a mixer. Make pie crust, knead bread dough, mix chocolate chip cookie dough, make frosting, or make mashed potatoes with this electric wonder.
Cookie scoops: Cookie scoops aren’t just for scoopin’ dough on to your cookie sheet. This kitchen tool is great for serving guacamole, making fried cheese balls, or simply serving up a beautiful scoop of ice cream.
Next time you’re perusing the cooking aisle of the grocery store, make sure you keep your eyes out for these six great kitchen tools. Even if you already have the kitchen essentials, you can always use more help from great kitchen utensils. Each one of these tools will help you prepare easy family dinner recipes in no time.
Every diet, nutrition, or health book will tell you the same thing: eat more fish! Studies show that those who consume more fish are less likely to have diabetes and heart disease, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. This is namely due to fish’s omega-3 fatty acids, which have been known to regulate your body’s inflammation. Luckily, fish dishes can be easy and extremely quick to make. Try out some of these quick easy meal ideas, which only take about 20 minutes a piece!
Tilapia in Garlic Butter: Garlic butter is delicious and can be great on any kind of fish, really. This butter tastes especially wonderful with tilapia, which doesn’t have an extremely fishy taste like many other fish. Brush your tilapia with garlic butter, along with other spices like garlic, pepper, salt, and paprika to extra taste. Bake for about 15 minutes and serve with a salad or some pasta for a delicious meal.
Pan-Seared Paprika Trout: While trout contains about 5 grams of fat, these fats all come from omega-3s, making them both delicious and healthy. Just one, 3 ounce filet carries about 19 g of protein, making it a great pick for those who need a hearty dose of protein in their diet. All you have to do to make a paprika trout is season fish on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Serve with broccoli and a spicy sauce for a great meal.
Soy and Ginger Broiled Salmon: Salmon is the reigning king of omega-3s and some studies have shown that this fish may even help with joint cartilage and insulin effectiveness. Luckily, a salmon dish only takes about 25 minutes to cook. Try a soy and ginger salmon, which can be made by simply throwing a marinated salmon in a broiler for about 8 minutes. Serve with peanut noodles and an Asian-style salad with ginger vinaigrette.
Pan-Seared Halibut with Tomatoes: Halibut only takes about 10 minutes to prepare and tastes great when seared in a large saute pan, prepped with grapeseed oil. Serve along with tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and parsley on a bed of fresh greens.
Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry: Shrimp, like tilapia, is approachable and mild, and perfect for people that aren’t exactly fish fanatics. Shrimp tastes great in a stir fry with a sweet and sour sauce with lots of vegetables, like mushrooms, bean sprouts, broccoli, and scallions.
If you absolutely despise fish, we understand. Try taking a high quality fish oil supplement to get a good dose of your omega-3s. However, for you fish-lovers out there, next time you want to whip up a great quick easy meal try one of these recipes. The omega-3s in fish may make you feel better than ever!
Turns out that hosting a dinner party is a lot more stressful than we all thought. A recent survey by After Eight found that 57% of people find entertaining friends for a meal more nerve-racking than commuting to work, while 25% of people said it was more stressful than a job interview. The greatest fear of hosts and hostesses? A dish will go wrong. While we may all get stressed out before the guests come over, dinner parties can still prove to be enjoyable and memorable evenings. And, even though you may feel like pulling off an exotic and delicious dish requires a feat of magic, there are some impressive dishes that can make you look like a culinary genius without herculean effort:
Lamb Chops with Basil Butter: Basil butter (or any kind of mixed butter, like honey butter or cinnamon butter) is an impressive condiment that’s easy as pie. All you do is combine butter, chopped basil leaves, lemon juice, and salt, then refrigerate for 2 hours. That’s it! Make the lamb chops in a heavy pan over high heat with vegetable oil (they should take about 2-3 minutes per side). Serve with basil butter and warm rolls. Total prep time? Only about 15 minutes. Trust us, the guests will love this dish.
Deep Fried Feta Cheese with Cranberry Puree: Fried cheeses are another finger food that the crowd goes wild for. Goat cheese also tastes great fried. Deep fried feta makes a great appetizer for any dinner party, especially when paired with a fruity sauce, like a cranberry sauce. All you have to do is cut the cheese into half inch chunks, bread them, then deep fry until golden.
Stuffed Chicken Breasts: Stuffed chicken breasts make for an entree that people adore, and they only take about 40 minutes. You can use pretty much anything to stuff chicken breasts but ingredients that work well are kale, spinach, garlic, pine nuts, raisins, or porcini, dried tomatoes, olives, and bread crumbs. Get creative and use ingredients that inspire you.
Shrimp Bruschetta with Lemon Fennel: Any bruschetta dish is beautiful, yet laughably easy to make. Serve as appetizers or “tapas” if you’re having a more unconventional dinner party. Try a lemon shrimp bruschetta, made with toasted bread (which can be browned on a griddle) dabbed with garlic. Fennel should be boiled for about 2-3 minutes until tender, then tossed with lemon, olive oil, and whatever other seasonings you can think up.
Scallops with Brussels Sprouts: Season scallops with salt and pepper, and cook until lightly browned (about 1-2 minutes on each side). Then, simply serve softened sprouts with orange slivers and lemon juice along side your scallops and you have an undeniably healthy, 10 minute meal for your guests to enjoy.
Next time you feel a little stressed about your next dinner party, just try and make some of these dishes and you’ll impress all of your guests with little to no effort. Who knew being the hostess with the mostess was so easy!
Us dieters get sick and tired of eating the same thing day in and day out: salads, salads, salads. However, we all know that getting out leafy greens and filling up with low-cal, healthy fiber and nutrients is the best thing we can do for our health. As an added bonus, salads are extremely easy to assemble and serve. So instead of boring yourself to death with the same salad, try mixing it up with different, colorful and unique leafy meal recipes. Salads don’t have to be boring–they can be delicious and lively in addition to being healthy and nutritious.
Every culture and region has its own salad to bring to the mix. Get inspiration from your travels or simply check out easy meal recipes in food magazines to jazz up an old, diet staple.
Thai Mango Salad: A Thai mango salad can be a great way to get excited about salad. Colorful peppers and mangos make this salad both flavorful and aesthetically pleasing. Fish sauce, sugar, Thai pepper, shallots and peanut oil are blended to make a Thai-inspired dressing, while mangos and sweet pepper are grated and combined with carrots green onions and cilantro. Just sprinkle with chopped nuts and serve on a bed of lettuce.
Greek salad: Take olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, oregano, and garlic for a basic Greek vinaigrette. Then slice cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper tomato (cherry tomatoes are great for any salad) kalamata olives, red onion, toss with vinaigrette and feta, and serve! It should only take you about 15 minutes total to chop and toss this salad. Now, that’s easy.
Salade Nicoise: For anyone who has been lucky enough to visit Nice, France, you may think back on the delicious Salade Nicoise fondly. Bring a little bit of France home by prepping this classic French salad in your own kitchen. This salad is composed of tomatoes, cucumber, onions, fava beans, olives, lettuce, tuna, and hard-cooked eggs, all drizzled with olive oil.
Spinach Orzo Salad: Whole grain, orzo pasta, feta cheese, olives, and baby spinach make an orzo salad pop with flavor. Puree the baby spinach so that it combines well with the orzo and you’ll have yourself a whole new take on the same ol’ spinach salad. Chill for an hour before serving.
Japanese Ginger Salad: The dressing is really the main event of this salad, but you can make it colorful with baby spring greens, iceberg lettuce, carrots, beets, onion, and dried rice noodles for a bit of crunch. “Historically, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. In herbal medicine, ginger is regarded as an excellent carminative (a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas) and intestinal spasmolytic (a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract). Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects.”
Salads don’t have to be boring, make them colorful and fun, experiment with different regional salads rather than sticking to the same-old and healthy foods won’t be so boring, salads make for great easy meal recipes.
Every chef has horror stories about their cookware. Muffin tins rust, pans warp, and cheaper Dutch ovens have been known to crack open, spilling pounds of chili all over kitchens across America. That’s why we need sturdy cookware when it comes to our cooking adventures. If you’ve ever wondered what type of pots, pans, tins and tools you should keep your eye out for, here’s your guide to selecting the crème de la crème of cookware:
Pans: Choosing a great sauté pan is tough, but you can narrow down your search by looking for ones with sloped sides and a dense bottom that spreads heat evenly. Also keep your eyes peeled for a decent sized pan that can cook multiple items simultaneously. Nonstick pans are fine, unless you love to make sauces, in which case you should use a regular pan. Regular pans allow sauces to coagulate more effectively to attain a creamy texture. Meat and caramelized ingredients are also best left to regular pans. A great pan could help you make dinners that use eggs, spinach, sautéed onions, mushrooms, sautéed fish or chicken, and numerous other foods.
Pots: Find a soup pot with a heavy bottom to prevent burning and make sure the pot has sturdy handles for easy transport.
Dutch oven: The best way to avoid a potential cooking disaster is to buy a sturdy Dutch oven made out of either a sturdy metal or an enamel-coated metal. If you pick up your Dutch oven and it feels weighty, you’ve found a good piece of cookware. Also check the walls and bottom of the Dutch oven, which should be thick and strong. Want to use your brand new Dutch oven for an easy dinner meal tonight? This cookware is great for beans, pasta sauce, and even bread or yogurt. Yup, the Dutch oven can pretty much do it all.
Baking Pan: Like the other cookware items, look for sturdiness when shopping for a baking pan. If you want to cook meals like lasagna or other acidic dishes, opt for a stainless steel roaster or ceramic or stoneware dish. Metal pans or silicon cookware are great for baking cakes and breaded chicken. Choose a glossy finish on your ceramic dishes for an easier cleanup and make sure that your ceramic dishes are completely smooth on the bottom (some unfinished bottoms can scratch up your tables).
Next time you’re doing your meal planning, consider the dinner that you’re about to prepare and make sure you have the right cookware for the job. Cookware can greatly affect the taste and success of your dinners.
According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), 133 million Americans eat out every day. Michael Donohue, spokesperson for the NRA, contends that, “The typical adult eats at a restaurant nearly six times a week.” While this is great news for restauranteurs it may make budget-minded moms and pops blush with shame. So why do we eat out so much? Time is partially to blame. The grocery shopping, the cooking, the prep, the cleaning — all of these things take time that we, as working Americans, really don’t have. Luckily, however, there is a way to get in and out of the kitchen in a flash. There are plenty of chefs and cookbooks that have proved to us that having dinner out in under 30 minutes is achievable.
Tips to making your kitchen 30 Minute Meal-Worthy
You can’t just throw together 30 minute meals if you’re in the midst of a filthy or unorganized kitchen. You need to be adequately prepped to churn out meals in a flash. One way to prep for a 30 minute meal? Practice what chefs like to call “mise en place,” or “to put in place.” The basic premise of mise en place is that if you put everything out in front of you before you start to cook, you’ll be able to prepare a meal quickly and efficiently. Get your mise en place set up by doing the following:
Make sure you have all of your ingredients in front of you
Have plates ready so you can put the meal on the plates and serve it while the dish is still hot.
Have stations set up for different phases of the meal. Arrange a washing, chopping, and seasoning station.
Put all of your herbs or different chopped ingredients in bowls so that you can easily grab and use them. The bowls can be quickly thrown in the dishwasher after use.
Apply this technique to all of your meals to churn them out as quickly as possible.
Examples of 30 minute Meals
Thirty minute meals usually include elements like a meat that can be cooked in a skillet in a flash and simple recipes without hundreds of ingredients. Meals that you can cook in under 30 minutes include:
Steak with herbs: Steak is so easy to just throw on a cast-iron skillet and cook. All you need is herbs like rosemary, parsley, and oregano to really make a rib-eye taste delectable in only about 8 minutes!
Lemon Garlic Tilapia with Spinach: Just sauté some spinach and throw a tilapia filet on the skillet with garlic, lemon, and butter for a delicious dinner that only takes about 20 minutes.
Parmesan Chicken Tenders: Bust out your olive oil and get ready for some quick frying. You can bread your chicken tenders in rosemary, shredded parmesan, red pepper flakes and garlic cloves. Then, just fry up your breaded tenders and serve with a pasta salad and some leafy greens for a great meal.
You can make the time to cook for thirty minutes each night. Just start planning your meals out, and open your mind to the possibility that cooking could actually be enjoyable.
Meals don’t have to be a pain to prepare and clean up. Put all of your ingredients in one dish and be done with it! These soups, casseroles, and stews can be made in just one cooking vessel and make a complete meal. These meals also make excellent leftovers that can be enjoyed weeks later (after being properly frozen, of course). The best part? Only one pot to clean. Now that’s one easy dinner.
Lasagna: Maybe people love the cheese or perhaps its the the multi-tiered effect. Whatever the reason, lasagna is a one-pot dish that everyone goes nuts for. Try making lasagna a bit healthier by adding some spinach into the mix. Ragu alla Bolognese and parmigiano-reggiano can give a spinach lasagna a fantastic kick of flavor.
Chicken Divan: Chicken divan is not only tasty, it’s filling and inexpensive, too. Lucky for us, all it takes is one pot to make this dish. Shredded roasted chicken, sharp cheddar, parmesan, cream of chicken soup, and some broccoli are all that’s required to make this extremely simple dish.
Macaroni and Cheese: Any mommy knows how to make mac ‘n’ cheese in a flash. That’s because, this is an easy dinner that kids absolutely love. Make cheeseburger or bacon macaroni and cheese to wow the kids. Then make them clean the one pot you cooked it in!
Shepherd’s pie: Shepherd’s pie is an English dish, traditionally made with mutton or lamb. However, we like it with good ol’ fashioned American beef. Beef broth, ground beef, onions, veggies, and potatoes, make for an easy to make dinner that never fails to leave us feeling warm and satisfied.
Chicken pot pie: We love any type of pie and chicken pot pie is no exception. Luckily, it’s a one-pot wonder that is easy and delicious. Individual pot pies are charming and a great way to control your portions if you’re watching the figure.
Pork or Chicken Stew: Any kind of stew is a one-pot deal — only one dish is needed to make a deliciously flavorful pork stew. Add butternut squash or even apples to your stew for a seasonal touch during the autumn months.
You don’t have to be a culinary genius to whip up these easy meals. Grab a pan, pot, or Dutch oven and churn out one of these one-pot wonders.