Everything listed under: food

  • HOW TO BUILD A CHARCUTERIE BOARD

    Mmm—meats, cheeses and more deliciousness! Charcuterie might just be the world’s most perfect party offering. Whether you’re plotting a breezy summer barbecue or dining indoors, a well-constructed Charcuterie Board brings crowd-pleasing tastes to the table every time.

    But before you start randomly merging all that goodness, get the lowdown on must-haves to turn a boring smorgasbord into a mouthwatering explosion of complementary flavors!

    Meat and Greet

    Fun fact: the word charcuterie originates from the French words for “meat” and “cooked” — and let’s face it, the meats are the stars of this tasty show. Cured prosciutto and salami with their rich saltiness pair well with crackers, cheese, and fruits like peaches, cantaloupe and watermelon. And add slices of savory chorizo sausageto appease the spice-enthusiasts in the room.

    Say Cheese!

    You can hardly go wrong when it comes to selecting yummy gourmet cheeses for your charcuterie board, however a variety of textures looks as appealing as it tastes. Serve up a soft Brie or semi-soft Gouda with a semi-hard Manchego; and offer one or two ultra-textural options like Swiss or Jarlsberg. Spice things up with a wedge of pepper jack, or add Gorgonzola blue cheese (bonus: they’re colorful!).

    Pro tip: be sure to put out cheese knives so guests can easily help themselves to the spread.

    The More, the Merrier

    True charcuterie gurus will tell you a board loaded with diverse complementary flavors is a successful board. Create irresistible pairing choices with unique jams (like this sweet-and-spicy Peachy Sriracha jam!), zesty cornichons, salty olives or a nuts like almonds or walnuts. Try drizzling Brie cheese with a bit of honey and a sprig of fresh rosemary for a sweet surprise.

    Lighten up a heavy medley with your favorite fruits. Fresh grapes, blackberries and sliced strawberries are always welcome onboard.

    Breaking Bread

    A natural charcuterie accoutrement is bread in all of its forms. Complete your board with Wine Sticks, pretzels, water crackers or slices of French baguette and you’ll be ready to enjoy this feast of flavors with hungry friends and family.

    Ready to get on board the charcuterie train? Bon appétit!



  • Pantry Makeover: Stock Up on Healthier Staples

    We’ve all been there. It’s 6:45 pm (or 7:45 or…10) and you’re wondering what on earth to eat for dinner. Here’s the good news: with a little planning, you can hunger-proof your pantry and make it easier to create fast and good-for-you meals with staples you always have on hand!

    A healthier pantry starts with some of the same basics that build a wholesome plate: whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and healthy flavor boosters such as vinegar and low-sodium soy sauce.

    Whole Grains

    Whole grains are packed with nutrients and many are packed with fiber, too. Use brown rice, quinoa or bulgur as flavorful foundations for Mighty Bowls like this one with pinapple and ginger. Barley and brown rice are tasty, but take the better part of an hour to cook, so be sure to stock up on some quick-cooking varieties like bulgar or quinoa for busy days. (Frozen grains can be a lifesaver when you’re pressed for time too.)

    Don’t forget about whole grain pasta. Two ounces (dry) of whole wheat spaghetti or linguine, for example, can deliver about 6g protein, and it’s perfect for pantry meals like Puttanesca Pasta or Quick Italian Spinach and Pasta Soup.

    Beans

    Beans provide a shelf-friendly source of protein, fiber and phytonutrients. Cooking dried beans from scratch is easy (though it takes some time at the stovetop) and affordable, while canned beans are key for convenient meals on the fly. With plenty of beans in your pantry, you can whip up salads, burritos, Quick and Easy Veggie Chili or Simply Delicious Homemade Hummus.

    Nuts and Seeds

    They may be small, but nuts and seeds pack a powerful wallop of flavor and texture. Although they tend to be high in fat (and, therefore, calories), it’s primarily monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, and they can also offer fiber, protein and a host of vitamins and minerals.

    Nuts and seeds can work double duty, too. When you are making salad dressing, look to nutbutters and seedbutters as flavorful alternatives to other milder extracted oils. Tahini adds mellow, nutty flavor to Creamy Sesame Greens, while peanut butter makes a tasty sauce for recipes such as Sesame-Peanut Noodles.

    Flavor Boosters

    Don’t forget those indispensable ingredients that pull everything together! A short list includes low-sodium vegetable broth, no-salt-added canned tomatoes, low-sodium soy sauce, vinegars and your favorite dried herbs and spices.

    Read more on Whole Food's BLOG

    Stock up Now: 17 Healthier Pantry Staples

    Whole Grains

    • Brown rice, barley, quinoa, bulgar, millet, or rolled and/or steel-cut oats
    • Whole grain pasta

    Beans

    • Dried beans and lentils
    • Canned no-salt-added beans

    Nuts and Seeds

    • Raw almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
    • No-salt-added peanut or almond butter

    Flavor Boosters + Extras

    • canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes
    • low-sodium vegetable broth
    • unsweetened plain soymilk
    • unsweetened plain almondmilk
    • mellow white miso
    • tahini
    • dried apricots, dates or raisins
    • Dijon mustard
    • a variety of vinegars or lemons and limes
    • your favorite dried herbs and spices
    • nutritional yeast
  • I did a 1-day Nekter Juice Cleanse – Here’s What Happened.

    Think you’re not the cleansing type?? So did our blog editor. Find out what happens when self-professed food-obsessor Katy takes the Nekter Juice Cleanse plunge.

    I don’t consider myself a “cleanse” type of person. As an avid home-cook and food blogger, it’s safe to say that I’m obsessed with food. I awaken each morning mulling over the possibilities for breakfast, and I often spend the evenings after the kids are in bed either poring over a cookbook, or working out to make room for more food. If I am Earth, then food is my sun. It’s Katy + Food 4ever.

    So despite my deep affinity for green juices, the thought of forgoing my beloved food for an entire day to try out a 1-day juice cleanse has always seemed both unappealing and unnecessary – especially for someone like me who eats very healthfully anyway. Besides, the last time I tried a homemade juice cleanse, I ended up at In-N-Out scarfing down a burger by lunch, convincing myself that because it had no bun, it was fair game.

    Read the rest the Nekter Blog! www.blog.nekterjuicebar.com