Here’s a secret that can make gluten-free baking feel less intimidating to newbies: When you need a treat without a ton of fuss, almond flour recipes are your go-to.Don’t get us wrong. The different flours and starches you find in recipes for gluten-free baked goods can all play important roles. And sometimes you do genuinely need four or five types combined to get just the texture and flavor you’re looking for. But sometimes…you don’t.Almond flour’s rich, buttery goodness alone can often deliver perfect pancakes, chewy cookies, fluffy cupcakes, and crispy, crunchy crackers. Which is so (so!) great if you don’t make gluten-free goodies very often, or feel like splurging on a ton of specialty ingredients. And the simplicity of almond flour prevents this dreaded scenario: nearly a dozen opened bags of partially used flours and starches, taking up precious space in your cabinet for eons and expiring any day now. (Are you ever really going to find a cake recipe that uses exactly 1/2 cup rice flour, 1/3 cup tapioca starch, and 2 tablespoons of cassava flour?! No.)That’s the beauty of these scrumptious almond flour recipes. Yes, almond flour is the star in all of these baked goods. (In a few instances here, you will find a recipe that does call for a helper flour because it’s actually necessary. We’re not hardcore almond purists here.) And if you do want to go all-almond flour, all day? Well, here’s your permission.
If you’re an omnivore, vegan mayos probably haven’t surfaced much on your radar. If you’re plant-based, or just looking to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet, you might be more familiar with it—or, at least, its DIY version, which may have elicited a few unhappy memories of trying a homemade recipe involving raw tofu, lemon juice, and a food processor.But in the last few years, vegan mayo has emerged from the kitchen to hit store shelves. The vegan mayo aisle is often totally packed at many larger supermarkets and health food stores these days, and no matter what your dietary persuasion is, it’s a condiment worth exploring.Sales of vegan condiments like plant-based mayo have increased every year since 2016—and are projected to keep growing through at least 2027, according to the latest market reports.“More Americans than ever are choosing a plant-based lifestyle, whether for the health benefits, environmental concerns, or concerns over animal welfare,” says nutrition expert Julie Upton, R.D., a registered dietitian based in the San Francisco Bay area.And if you’re among them (or even just plant-curious!), a tasty vegan mayo can be your ticket to solid sandwiches, creamy pasta and potato salads, rich sauces and dressings, and more. Read on for everything you need to know about the condiment.What is vegan mayo, and does it actually taste good?Both traditional and vegan mayo are made with an oil base like canola, sunflower, or avocado oil. But while regular mayo gets its rich, creamy texture by emulsifying the oil with egg yolks, vegan mayo is emulsified with plant-based thickeners like pea protein, aquafaba (chickpea cooking liquid often used as an egg substitute), or gums like xanthan or acacia gum.So why might people look toward vegan mayo, even if they’re not solely plant-based? There are a few reasons: The egg yolks in traditional mayo tend to give that condiment more saturated fat, which has been linked to health issues like heart disease, though research on that topic isn’t totally conclusive, as SELF reported previously. (While it’s important to note that the overall pattern of your diet matters more than just one ingredient, the American Heart Association still recommends limiting your consumption of saturated fat to 5-6% of your daily calories.) You also have to pay closer attention to mayo-based foods spoiling if they’re sitting out in warm weather, or even just out of the fridge. Plus, there’s the sustainability factor, as plant ingredients generally have a smaller carbon footprint than animal-based ones.OK, so that’s what vegan mayo is, but does it actually taste good? It’s a fair question, considering that vegan mayos, like many vegan analog foods, haven’t always had the most awesome reputation. But that’s changed in recent years. A lot.Some of the vegan mayos out there are a dead ringer for the real thing, especially when you’re slathering a dollop on a sandwich or mixing a spoonful into a sauce or dressing. Others have more of their own flavor going on, which can also sometimes be super tasty, if you go into the experience knowing (and maybe appreciating!) that you’re not getting a carbon copy of that jar of Hellmann’s or Dukes.I know this, because I tried a dozen samples given to me by the brands in the name of finding an option that really sung to me. The reason I was on the lookout? Mainly because my son has an egg allergy, so we were looking for a mayo-based option to use in our sandwiches and other family meals—but also because we lean toward a more plant-based, sustainable diet in general. And because I’m a food and nutrition writer and recipe developer who’s been covering this space for years, I have a pretty good sense of what tastes good, and I’ve tasted a ton of stuff out there!How to pick the best vegan mayoWhile I have a few clear-cut vegan mayo winners, it’s important to note that deliciousness is always in the eye (er, mouth?) of the eater, so even after my taste experiments, I can’t necessarily tell you which vegan mayo you’re going to love the most. Some are on the mild and creamy side, while others are tangy or a little mustard-y. And because all of them basically rely on similar ingredients (an oil, an acid like lemon juice or vinegar, a thickener, and natural flavors like sugar, mustard powder, salt, or rosemary extract), it’s hard to know what a mayo might taste like just by reading the back label.Here’s what I can tell you: I found that vegan mayos with a whiter color and a stiffer, more mayo-like consistency tended to taste more like the conventional thing. Vegan mayos that had a more tan color or a slightly more watery consistency usually had a more assertive flavor that, while sometimes good, didn’t always line up with my expectations of what a mayo should be.Ready to talk about what’s good? After tons of sampling (tough job, I know!) here are the mayos that made the cut for me.
Frantically Googling “shredded chicken recipes”? Either you’ve got some leftover rotisserie in the fridge that needs using up, or you’ve just got a craving for poultry with a very specific texture. Either way, you’ve come to the right place.Shredded chicken is really like the tofu of the…chicken world. Sounds ridiculous, but you kind of get it. When you take plain poultry, cook it till tender, and pull it apart with two forks, it somehow takes on the ability to fit right into any dish. We’re talking chicken salad sandwiches, cozy soups and stews, creamy pastas, fiery noodle bowls, refreshing salads, all-in-one casseroles and pies, and more. Shredded chicken really is a shapeshifter like that!What’s more, using a store-bought shortcut—rotisserie chicken!—is an easy way to hit the ground running. Rotisserie birds are a timesaver that will help you put dinner on the table that much more quickly, and they’re as tasty as making your own shredded chicken from scratch (or depending on your cooking skills, possibly even more tasty). And luckily, most recipes that call for shredded chicken can totally adapt to home-cooked or store-bought. That includes these 20 delectable shredded chicken recipes, all of which will have you saying, Yes! This is exactly what I was searching for.
Is jarred salsa ever as incredible as you expect? Not really. The store-bought stuff will save you time, but it tends to lack oomph. That’s why homemade salsa recipes are where it’s at.Think about it: The whole point of salsa is to add bold, zesty flavor to a dish. Pizzazz, if you will. Its entire reason for existing is to be the exclamation point. And while, sure, there are some pretty good premade salsas out there, the truth is it’s pretty tricky to find the salsa excitement you’re looking for—the brightness, the aroma, the depth of flavor—on a shelf.Nope, genuine pack-a-punch salsa is best made fresh at home, using a variety of awesome ingredients. And we’re not just talking tomatoes. While tomato salsa is a classic for a reason, all kinds of fruits and veggies are welcome to this party—in a supporting or leading role. (We’re looking at you, corn, tomatillos, and mango.)Another advantage to taking the DIY route here: You can taste your salsa as you make it, and adjust the seasonings and heat level to fit whatever you’re feeling. Unlike with store-bought salsa, when you can quickly discover that your “mild” bottle is actually fire–or vice versa–with homemade salsa recipes, you can always get that perfect level of spiciness you’re actually looking for. (Pro tip for the heat-wary: Start with half the peppers and add to taste.)Are you convinced yet? Of course you are. So go ahead. Find your favorite salsa recipes among this very tempting bunch, grab some primo ingredients, and get ready for some real delicious dipping. You deserve it.
Fruit salad cravings don’t necessarily hit every day. But when they do, they hit hard, and you want a solid collection of fruit salad recipes in your back pocket to feed the need.If you associate fruit salads with sad little cups of underripe melon and mushy grapes—or if “fruit salad recipe” means whatever random assortment of fruit is lying around to you—it’s time to change that. Because the right recipe can elevate fruit salad from just OK to positively divine.The truth is, fruit salads done correctly can be many things: Elegant, zesty, surprising, colorful, refreshing, and filling. Side or snack, breakfast or dessert. Sweet and tangy, or sweet and savory, or sweet and spicy. And just wait until you start adding unexpected elements, like veggies, nuts, and dressings. In fact, what about fruit salads with a little fancy cheese? How about something with a whole grain or a handful of fresh herbs? Why not add CHOCOLATE OR A MARSHMALLOW TOPPING?!This collection of fruit ideas will inspire you to start thinking outside the box, and show you there’s a fruit salad for every occasion—from a random Tuesday afternoon snack, to wine on the stoop, to a big old holiday party. With little foresight, a few ripe ingredients, and so many creative fruit salad recipes ready to go, your fruity combo will never disappoint.
Actual pasta salad recipes might seem kind of unnecessary if you’re used to winging it. And while you could just toss a box of boiled pasta with some bottled dressing or mayo and a shredded carrot, that’s really selling pasta salad short.Pasta salad can be anything you want it to be, from a versatile side of rotini tossed with cherry tomatoes and Italian dressing, to a zesty Southwest-inspired bowl packed with chipotles and avocado, to a fancy bow tie-shrimp number that you’d get at a swank lunch event. While pasta salad usually gets relegated to side dish status, if you add enough tasty and filling ingredients, it can absolutely be a filling one-dish meal.And no matter what flavor direction you decide to go in, pasta salads tend to be pretty easy to make. (That’s one reason why people always have it at cookouts—no one wants to spend hours in the kitchen making side dishes for a meal where all anyone really cares about are the burgers and dogs anyway.)These pasta salad recipes are still fast and simple, but they’re interesting enough that they can hold their own at a BBQ. And, yes, you should definitely have a heaping bowl of pasta salad leftovers for lunch any day of the week, too. Once some of the grill hounders catch on to your game plan, they just might follow suit.
Does anyone need more potato salad recipes? Your first reaction might be no. But that’s only because you haven’t read through this list of fantastic tater recipes just yet. Potato salad is a picnic and cookout mainstay for a reason, of course. It’s easy to make and can feed a crowd. And it makes everyone happy. Wait, it doesn’t always. Too often potato salad fails to live up to its expectations because people think they know how to make it but are actually selling the dish short. Sorry, you can’t just toss boiled potatoes with mayo and call it a day.Then there are the traditional potato salads that are done pretty well, but are just sort of boring. You’ve probably had your fill of these by now, and are just looking for something different.This collection of potato salad recipes solves both problems. If you’re looking for Real Potato Salad done right, you’ll find it. And if you’re feeling like it’s beyond time to think outside the standard spud box, there’s plenty of inspo here too. These potato salad recipes are so good (and easy), you’ll be meal prepping them as a lunch and dinner side all fall and winter long, too.See? Now that you thought about it for a minute, you really did need more potato salad recipes!
You might already be dreaming about mugs of hot apple cider or pumpkin spice lattes. But we’re not there yet. It’s still cool beverage season, and some refreshing drinks are just what we need to get us through summer’s final (we hope) wave.This time of year, water alone won’t really cut it. You’ve been guzzling from that reusable bottle all season long, and even the usual tips like adding a squeeze of lime or stirring in some muddled berries may not be bringing you much joy.DIY drinks like agua frescas, lemonades, flavored iced teas, and even some iced coffees can deliver the invigoration you so desperately need right now. And they’re actually not a lot of work. Most involve blending a few basic ingredients (think fruit or herbs) for a quick minute, or at most, steeping stuff in a pitcher while you’re doing other things (working, sleeping, whatever).So even if you have a lot going on, you really can be a person who makes their own refreshing drinks. And you totally should! Not only are they hydrating and delicious—they turn sweaty non-events like sitting on your porch or a park bench into legit activities that feel cool, comfortable, and fun. Here are 20 simple refreshing drink recipes to get you started. Make them all before sweater season starts!
In the last few weeks of summer, stone fruits are life. To make the most of this delicious, fleeting moment, you need some really solid peach recipes. Biting into a sun-ripened peach on a hot afternoon is a simple pleasure that really can’t be beat, sure. But at this very abundant time of year, why limit yourself?Seriously. You need to be making peach galettes and popsicles. You need to be adding them to tomato salads and salsas and pancakes. You need to be skewering slices with savory meats. You need to be halving them, grilling them, and drizzling them with sweet, delicious cream.Because you deserve the best. And before you know it, it’s going to be fall, and all of the in-season peaches will be gone—and they won’t be back for another 10 months. So in a few weeks, when you breathe a sigh of relief because you can finally put on a cardigan for the first time in three months, don’t you want to have the satisfaction of knowing you lived Peach Season 2021 to the fullest by making all of these amazing peach recipes? Plus, you’ll be that much more prepared to dive right back into peach season next year. Here are the peachy perfect recipes that will make it happen.
Looking for some summer squash recipes to use up all the gorgeous gourds on your hands? Maybe your pandemic garden has really taken off (finally). Maybe you got a little overzealous at the farmers market and scooped up more squash than you know what to do with. Either way, summer squashes are everywhere right now—and there are so many ways to make the most of the season’s abundance.Both zucchini and yellow squash—the two most common types of summer squash, which can be used pretty interchangeably—have a mild flavor and tender texture that makes them amazing at taking on whatever flavors you hit them with. We’re talking hot-off-the-grill smokiness, spicy curries, well-seasoned tacos, zesty noodle bowls, you name it.And if you want them to kinda just hang out in the background, summer squashes are happy to do that too. You can fold them into almost anything—eggs, meatballs, muffins—and they’ll add a little bit of extra color, bulk, and nutrition (hello, fiber and vitamin C) without demanding too much of your attention. Basically, there are endless ways to eat up these gold and green beauties without getting bored.So, yeah, it’s always a good move to load up on these green and yellow all-stars. When you’ve got zucchini and summer squash recipes like these at the ready for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, you’ll be totally glad you did.