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17 Days of Vegetarian Comfort Food

The trouble with some vegetarian recipes is the meat substitutes can look (and taste) scary. If seitan, tofu, and tempeh are a few of your not-so-favorite things, allow these meatless recipes to be a breath of fresh air. Nuts, legumes, mushrooms, and pseudograins (aka quinoa) sub in for meat in some of your favorite comfort-food recipes like lasagna, tacos, and potpie. Going meatless for a few meals or a few weeks is starting to look a lot easier now, isn’t it?

8 Effective Ways to Stop Wasting Money on Groceries

Spending money on groceries feels great until you realize that half of them have spoiled within a week. To avoid the total bummer of wasting greens, fresh herbs, avocados, bread, and more, follow these eight helpful storage tips for getting the best bang for your buck. You might realize you’ve been storing your staples wrong this whole time, and you’ll never cry over wilted spinach again.

12 Things You Don’t Know About Giada De Laurentiis

As a certified Italian-food addict and Food Network enthusiast, I’ve been a fan of Giada De Laurentiis since I started watching Everyday Italian years ago. If you’re like me, you know that the chef has five-star Italian recipes, a very charismatic on-camera presence, and an adorable daughter named Jade. But there’s a lot you probably didn’t know, like the fact that she was discovered after her family was featured in a Food & Wine article. Intrigued? Read on to learn 12 facts you didn’t know about the ultrasuccessful Italian guru.

Mario Batali Should Coin the Touching Send-Off He Just Gave President Obama

Americans are reliving touching moments from Obama’s presidency including chef Mario Batali, who catered the last state dinner back in October. Chef Batali Instagrammed an image from that historic event to voice his appreciation of the President’s eight-year term. “Thank you Barack Obama and Michelle Obama for the finest leadership Susi and I’ve ever witnessed. It was an honor to cook for you and to be on your team,” Mario said. And in what feels like the finest and most appropriate send-off from a chef, he concluded, “Good luck and good spaghetti in your future!!”

If You Want Kale to Taste Good, Treat It Like Pasta

Have you ever tried treating kale, collards, and other leafy greens like pasta when you cook them? Yes, I know. Sounds romantic, huh? The culinary technique is called blanching, and it will completely transform your tough, fibrous, bitter greens into something sweet, tender, and totally worth eating. It involves boiling a large pot of water, salting it properly (1 tablespoon salt to 4 cups water), and briefly submerging the greens in the rolling bubbles until it transforms them into a bright green color. This simple technique simultaneously seasons the greens, tenderizes them, and cooks them perfectly in a fraction of the time.

While the water is boiling, stem the kale. I like to use the whole veg, so I’ll dice the stem into very small, paper-thin slices and blanch those separately (but that’s optional). Otherwise, take those leaves and rip or cut them into bite-sized pieces. Dunk those greens, count to 30, and use a spider skimmer to remove the greens from the water. If you don’t have that tool, try a slotted spoon, set of tongs, or simply pour the entire pot out over a pasta stainer. You can then move the cooked greens to a plate and butter them for a fast side. I also like to add a little orange zest and juice to sweeten the deal.

Otherwise, you can shock the blanched greens, which means transferring them to a large bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process. Shocking is beneficial if you plan to dress the greens as a salad (my favorite is with pomegranate seeds and this pomegranate dressing), reheat the greens later (hello meal planning!), use the greens in a filling, for say, lasagna, or you want to sauté the greens, in which case you want as little liquid as possible. Before you submerge the kale into the bowl of ice water, consider placing a fine-mesh sieve inside the bowl so the kale doesn’t go sinking down to the bottom of the ice-cold dish. It’s really unpleasant fishing for kale in arctic conditions. Once the greens are cooled throughout, they can be bunched in your hands and squeezed dry. I love this step. It’s like extracting all the liquid and bitterness out from the greens. Once you’ve tried this method of cooking kale, you’ll wonder why you ever tried to eat the gnarly green any other way.

6 Cheeses You Should Definitely Try From Whole Foods

Have you ever wondered which of the cheeses at Whole Foods Market are the most popular? Brandon Wood, CCP certified cheese professional/Dublin Whole Foods specialty buyer gave POPSUGAR all the details on the top six bestsellers, plus everything you would want to know about them, from how they are made to what they are best paired with to fun facts to share with your friends so you sound as knowledgeable as a cheesemonger!

Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam

  • Tasting Notes: Mt. Tam is a Triple Crème, Brie-style cheese out of Tomales Bay, CA, made by Cowgirl Creamery. This cheese is amazing across the palate because of the uniqueness of the texture and the mouthfeel. When you cut a wheel in half, it has the soft creaminess you find in a classic French Brie on the edge, but a textured middle that has the appearance of a curded cottage cheese. Cream is what you taste on the front of your tongue and the aroma of fresh cream surrounds your nostrils as it hits your tongue. Once it comes across the palate, you can feel the texture of the center and it really brings the flavors of a fresh curd with a rich, buttery finish.
  • Pairings: Champagne – particularly a bubbly closer to where the cheese is made, like Mumm; honey, Friends in Cheeses Fig spread, and Marcona almonds.
  • Fun Fact: Made with Straus Family Dairy’s fresh organic milk, which I think this is one of the coolest things, Cowgirl’s mission is to give a representation of its land, its community, its animals, and its local milks, by partnering with local dairies such as Straus.

Kaltbach Cave Aged Gruyere

  • Tasting Notes: Kaltbach Cave Aged Gruyere is aged 12 months in the classic Sandstone Caves of Switzerland. The aroma of the cheese is slightly fruity with notes of nuttiness and fresh hay. The front of your tongue gets wrapped in the mushroom-y creaminess and then develops across the palate, opening up the drier hay flavors and light nutty notes.
  • Pairings: A solid chutney, French onion soup, Rieslings, and Gewürztraminer. The cheese is solid in any mac ‘n’ cheese or fondue and is excellent on its own melted over a nice sourdough baguette.
  • Fun Fact: This cheese has been around since 1115 and the sandstone caves are obviously a cool standout for this cheese.

Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog

  • Tasting Notes: Humboldt Fog comes from Humboldt County and is a fresh goat’s milk cheese with a fresh layer of vegetable ash right down the middle, separating the evening milking from the morning milking. The aroma is tangy and notes of lemon citrus, which continues once it hits your palate. You get a rich creaminess that is delicate across the palate with nice tangy notes on the front and a citrus-y finish.
  • Pairings: Great on a Rustic Bakery Sel Gris Cracker, fresh figs, honey, French baguette, Crisp Duckhorn Sauv Blanc, hard apple cider with subtle sweet notes, and also great crumbled onto an arugula salad with strawberries.
  • Fun Facts: Thought up in a dream by Mary Keehn, who helped revolutionize the goat milk cheese movement in California and then across the country.
  • The edible vegetable ash running through the middle to separate the evening milking from the morning milking is a staple differentiator of this cheese. The morning and evening milking actually usually have subtle differences in the moisture and the fat content.

Cypress Grove Midnight Moon

  • Tasting Notes: Midnight Moon has a rich brown-butter aroma with a layer of caramel sweetness. The milk is curded and hooped, then waxed in Holland and then sent to Cypress Grove, where it is aged for six months and released to our mouths. The cool part about this cheese is that you get that true flavor of Holland milk, creating that richness in the breakdown on the palate. This then allows the release of a slight tangy creaminess on the front of your palate that pushes back to the textured finish with tyrosine crystals and that brown-butter sweetness.
  • Pairings: Fig jam, honey, a Crisp Mira Sauv Blanc, a light Pinot (maybe the Forager), mixed into enchiladas, nicoise olives, BobbySue’s Nuts

Cabot Catamount (exclusive to Whole Foods)

  • Tasting Notes: Hailing from Vermont, this play on the classic Cabot cheddar is aged nine months and is textured and nutty and has a rolling sweetness that comes in and out across the palate, making this cheese stand out from its counterparts. It has a texture all the way through with tons of crunchy tyrosine crystals running throughout, a cheese that’s good from nose to tummy.
  • Pairing: A nice strong Cabernet or a jammy Zinfandel (like Klinker Brick); just by itself with honeycomb or a sweet white wine. Also great for mac and cheese and grilled cheese sandos.
  • Fun Facts: They use parmesan enzymes in this cheese, which gives it that sweetness.