Audrey Bruno Carolyn L. Todd

36 Refreshing Cucumber Recipes That Aren’t All Salads

36 Refreshing Cucumber Recipes That Aren’t All Salads

Cucumber recipes are a staple during summertime because they’re so, so refreshing. And for good reason: The veggie is roughly 95% water, so it’s no wonder that recipes that feature cucumbers really hit the spot when temperatures heat up. Because of its quench factor, cucumbers often take center stage in lots of salad recipes. But that certainly doesn’t mean that cucumbers have no use elsewhere. In fact, the cool, crisp, and ridiculously hydrating vegetable is much more versatile than it’s given credit for. Its mild flavor pairs well with just about any assortment of ingredients, from sweet to savory. And that high water content makes it a natural fit for beverages like cocktails and infused waters. You’ll find that the water-rich veggie is great blended into sweet smoothies, frozen into a thirst-quenching, icy desserts, submerged in vinegar for crunchy, future pickles, or simply chopped raw for a quick and crisp sandwich topping. There are even a handful of cooked cucumber dishes that buck the belief that this vegetable can only be eaten raw. When prepared over heat, the cucumber’s water begins to evaporate, leaving behind a finished product that tastes of pure, concentrated, cucumber flavor. Unsure what to do? Try wrapping the vegetable in aluminum foil and throwing in on the grill a quick and tasty barbecue side dish; roast it low and slow with a bunch of olive oil for a decadent confit; or leave it raw and use it in a whole host of healthy salads. Basically, there’s no wrong way to put cukes to work. The next time you’re wondering what to make with cucumbers, these 36 recipes have you covered. They include dishes that take advantage of the vegetable’s crunchy texture—like quick pickles, sushi bowls, and spring rolls—as well as plenty of others that will help you experiment with the ingredient in unexpected ways. Because, as much as we love a cucumber salad, there are so many bright green gazpachos, stir-fries, sandwiches, and smoothies that await. 

26 Delicious Ways to Eat Beans Instead of Meat

26 Delicious Ways to Eat Beans Instead of Meat

There is no shortage of incredible bean recipes on the internet. You’ve got plenty of dishes that celebrate the tasty and nutrition-packed little legume in its own right—plus tons of clever bean recipes that creatively use the ingredient as a vegetarian-friendly substitute in traditionally meat-centric dishes, like burgers, meat sauces, meatballs, and tacos.And it’s no wonder why: Dense and chewy, beans have a certain heartiness and heft to them that makes things like chilis and veggie burgers feel substantial and comforting. Beyond their ability to take on a meaty quality, beans can be great shape-shifters in the kitchen for other reasons, too. For instance, white beans can transform into a creamy dream when puréed with a little fat and liquid. Beans are also great at soaking up the flavors of whatever sauces, spices, herbs, and aromatics they’re being cooked with. And they play nice with other ingredients, like veggies, cheese, or grains.What’s more, beans are extremely nutritious and filling—especially if you’re a vegetarian, or just looking to swap out some of the meat in your diet for more plant-based protein sources. While the nutritional content depends on the variety of bean you’re looking at, beans are generally high in protein and fiber, two nutrients that are important for satiety. Speaking of different types of beans, that’s another strength of this powerhouse ingredient: from kidney to fava and navy to pinto, you’ll never run out of new beans to try. The varieties lend themselves well to different kinds of dishes, too.And not to go on and on about the many wonderful properties of beans here, but beans are a very convenient ingredient for the home chef. Cooking beans often involves little more than popping open a can, rinsing the beans, and adding them to the mix. (No need to worry about getting a properly seared skin!)We’ve got the full spectrum of beans covered in these 26 recipes: black bean recipes, garbanzo bean recipes, white bean recipes, and more. Most of them call for canned beans, but if you’re wondering how to make beans from scratch, a number also include instructions on soaking and cooking dried beans. (For more recipes that specifically call for dried beans, check out these Instant Pot recipes.) And while some call for specific bean varieties, you’ve usually got some wiggle room in subbing in different types of beans.So the next time you want to go meatless but still want something comforting and filling, make one of these satisfying bean dishes. There’s a recipe for everything from bolognese to burgers to un-chicken salad, so every taste and craving is covered.

20 Winter Salad Recipes to Make This Holiday Season

20 Winter Salad Recipes to Make This Holiday Season

Not a lot of people realize this, but winter is actually an amazing time for salads—and winter salad recipes are among the season’s very best culinary offerings. First of all, just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you won’t have access to fresh and flavorful produce. In fact, some fruits and veggies—like juicy citrus and pomegranates, bitter Brussels sprouts and kale, and hearty root vegetables like carrots and beets—are often at their best in the winter months. Plus, there’s usually a good amount of late-fall produce—butternut squash, apples, and pears—still hanging around, which means you have plenty to choose from.Aside from being a delicious way to take advantage of seasonal produce, winter salads can add some much-needed diversity to your holiday dinner table. And what feast couldn’t benefit from a bit more balance and variety? Sure, salads might not seem like a must-make when things like honey-baked ham and stuffing are on the menu. But that’s exactly why people will be so glad to see a big, gorgeous salad they can pile onto their plate alongside the traditional fare.If you’re looking for wintery salad recipes for a dinner party you’re attending or hosting this holiday season, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got 20 winter salad recipes that are just brimming with primo produce, plant-powered nourishment, bold flavor, and seasonal flair (hello, pomegranate arils). Not to mention, they’re quite pretty to look at! Make one of these gorgeous salads for your next get-together, whether it’s a full-on celebratory dinner or a cozy little gathering. Or just whip one up for a weekday side dish the next time you need some extra veggies in your life this winter. Whether you’re looking for something lighter (like citrus-centric or winter green salad recipes) or more hearty fare (such as filling salads packed with grains or cheese), we’ve got you covered.

31 Protein-Packed Lentil Recipes You Will Love

31 Protein-Packed Lentil Recipes You Will Love

Lentils may not be a particularly trendy or colorful ingredient, but there’s a lot to love about cooking with the humble legume—not least, the plethora of amazing lentil recipes there are to be discovered.Dried lentils are a home cook’s best friend: easy to cook with, budget-friendly, shelf-stable, and versatile. Plus, there are different types of lentils to experiment with, each with their own characteristic taste and texture. Some varieties (like black lentils) hold their firmness pretty well, while other types (like red lentils) get splendidly soft when you cook them. And hello, did we mention how ridiculously nutritious and filling lentils are?! They bring a satisfying combination of protein, carbs, and fiber to any dish. Lentils are also loaded with vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, B vitamins, and potassium. As for what you can make with them? While everyone loves a simple lentil soup or salad, you’ll see that these legumes can do so much more. Lentils can make a hearty base for a wide variety of stews and curries, as well as fillings for everything from savory pastries or stuffed bell peppers. They can also make a wonderful substitute for ground beef or turkey—hence the many clever lentil-based riffs on meatballs, shepherd’s pies, burgers, beef Wellingtons, quesadillas, and meatloaves you’ll find below. So put that bag of lovely little lentils sitting in your pantry to work with one of these delicious lentil recipes. No matter what types of lentils you’re working with or what you’re in the mood to eat, there’s a tasty idea here that will help you make use of them. 

40 Fantastic Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes

40 Fantastic Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes

The Instant Pot’s main claim to fame is its magical meat-cooking prowess, churning out tender proteins in little time. But there are tons of delicious vegetarian Instant Pot recipes out there that prove the kitchen wizard is awesome for serving up tasty and nutritious meatless meals too.What goes into a healthy vegetarian Instant Pot recipe? Like any healthy meal (no matter what appliance or protein source you’re using), it should be both nutritionally balanced and enjoyable to eat. “For a meal that is both mentally and physically satisfying, I recommend that people strive for three to four food groups when possible—namely fat, protein, starch, and fruits/vegetables,” SELF columnist Jessica Jones, M.S., R.D., certified diabetes educator and cofounder of Food Heaven, tells SELF. “By doing this, you will not only get a variety of textures and flavors, but also nutrients that work together to provide you with a steady, stable stream of energy.”The vegetarian Instant Pot recipes you’ll find below, including stews, casseroles, and pilafs, generally strive for that varied balance. Most of them begin with a hearty plant protein base like lentils or beans—which, thankfully, cook much faster under the high heat and pressure than on the stovetop.Read on for plenty of Instant Pot–facilitated plant-based deliciousness.A note about the word healthy here: We know that “healthy” is a complicated concept. Not only can it mean different things to different people, it’s a word that’s pretty loaded (and sometimes fraught), thanks to the diet industry’s influence on the way we think about food. At SELF, when we talk about food being “healthy,” we’re primarily talking about foods that are nutritious, filling, and satisfying. But it also depends on your preferences, your culture, what’s accessible to you, and so much more. We selected these recipes with those basic criteria in mind, while also trying to appeal to a wide variety of nutritional needs and taste buds.

28 Nifty Gifts for the Baker in Your Life

28 Nifty Gifts for the Baker in Your Life

Baking is a science, they say, but giving people the perfect baking gifts is more of an art. The baker(s) on your list might be an old pro with a well-stocked kitchen—or perhaps, they took up baking during the pandemic as a creative outlet or a form of stress relief, and still need some of the basics. They may be a baking generalist, or looking to specialize in a certain area, like pastries, bread, confectionary, or cake-decorating. And they might be more appreciative of a specific, functional piece of equipment, or a really beautiful piece of bakeware. 
To help you find just the right present, this list of baking gifts includes fantastic ideas for all of those different scenarios. And finding the right gift is really a treat for you, too. After all, who do you think they’re going to do all that baking for?

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36 Beet Recipes Loaded With Nutrients and Perfect for Winter

36 Beet Recipes Loaded With Nutrients and Perfect for Winter

Whenever I find myself in a cooking rut, I turn to beet recipes. I can always count on ruby red beets—a hearty source of earthy sweetness, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber—to reinvigorate my diet and literally add a little color to my life.
Speaking of which: Red beets, with their eye-catching signature hue, are the most common kind. Other varieties, like golden and pink striped (candy cane), are less easy to find in most places, but are also beautiful in their own right. They’re ideal for when you want to enjoy a more mellow flavor—or avoid getting magenta-colored juice all over the place.
If you’re not quite sure how to eat beets of any color, this assortment of recipes will provide you with a number of creative ways to put the vibrant root veggies to good use, especially when they’re in season during the winter months. Just chop off the leafy stalks, scrub the beets clean—though you can skip that step if you’re peeling them—and get cooking.
One of the most popular ways to cook beets is to chop them up, toss ’em with oil and seasoning, and roast until slightly soft and caramelized—perfect for enjoying on their own or adding to tons of different dishes, like pasta and salad. You can also grate raw beets to add flavor and texture to recipes like veggie burgers and falafel. Or you can cook them whole and purée them for a silky sauce, soup, or dip—including the most gorgeous hummus you’ve ever seen. Beet purée is also surprisingly great in baked goods, providing natural sweetness and extra moisture for tender and tasty treats. Plus, a couple of these recipes will implore you to pick up a can of canned beets, meaning there’s no prep necessary.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. These 36 beet recipes will show you how to use the ingredient in all of your meals—breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack time, and dessert.

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