I don’t know about you, but after all the colored eggs have been found and the chocolate bunnies have been nibbled, I find that Easter dinner is a welcome break from the long parade of Easter sugar.

Dyed Easter Eggs

Dyed Easter Eggs

Easter Sunday’s big meal is presented differently across cultures, but it’s always an opportunity to embrace rebirth, renewal and delicious springtime ingredients.

And unlike some holidays (I’m looking at you, Thanksgiving!) Easter tends to have fewer “rules” about what’s required on the dinner table. So whether you choose to cook lamb, ham or a vegetarian entrée, it’s easy to accompany the main course with something a little something special that invites conversation (and compliments!) at the table.

To mark the occasion, I’ve chosen five inspiring Easter recipes: two steeped in old-world traditions and three more simple side dishes that salute the season. Bon appétit!

Find more ideas for Easter Feasting in the FreshDirect One-Click Recipes section.

04/23/2011 by in One-Click Recipes - Comments are closed
Fennel

Fennel

I can still remember my first taste of raw fennel.

I had yet to reach the age of happily consuming vegetables (and broccoli only served to amuse me with its tree-like appearance), but here was a crunchy vegetable that looked a little like celery and… TASTED A LOT LIKE CANDY! One crisp, licorice-scented bite and I was hooked.

Once I started cooking on regular basis, my childhood appreciation of fennel’s sweet flavor developed into a deep, abiding love.

It might seem silly to declare my devotion to foeniculum vulgare, but I find fennel to be such an engaging ingredient. This singular vegetable develops a variety of characteristics based on different preparations, and it brings its distinct flavor to whatever I’m preparing.

Since fennel offers a hint of spring before most of the real spring vegetables arrive, now’s a great time to experiment with a few tasty ideas… both raw and cooked. (More…)

04/22/2011 by in Savor the Season - Comments are closed
Golden Delicious Apples

Golden Delicious Apples

I can’t wait for my meal to end. I don’t want my guests to leave — I just want dessert.

Serve up prime rib and my mind is craving cookies. Give me baked potatoes and I’m daydreaming about créme brulee.

In fact, if I could skip the entire meal and munch my way from muffins to pound cake, I would be in heaven. But some people, (my husband and son) actually like eating the entire meal.

With our family’s busy schedule, any dessert to be enjoyed has to be quick and easy, but decadent enough to pass my rigorous crave test. Behold the wonder of frozen puff pastry! (More…)

Royal Dorade

Royal Dorade

Looking for ways to serve up seafood the whole family can appreciate? Look no further than mild, approachable white fish.

My two favorites are Australis Barramundi and Local Ocean Royale Dorade.

The Barramundi is even on sale at my Healthy Living for Less page right now (through May 3rd). It’s also in my refrigerator waiting to be made into dinner tonight (had the Dorade last week).

What makes these two fish top picks in my book? A lot. They’re budget-friendly, great for the whole family, are simple to prepare, and they provide healthy omega-3 fats.

You won’t have to worry about mercury with these fish, and they’re ocean-friendly, too.

Already convinced? Head on over to the seafood market to try them for dinner tomorrow. Want to learn more? Keep reading. (More…)

04/20/2011 by in Eat Right Here - Comments are closed
Stack of Cookbooks

One-Click Recipes at FreshDirect

It’s time for another confession: I don’t make shopping lists.

There are lots of reasons for this. There’s a large supermarket around the corner from my apartment, so forgetting something is never a tragedy.

I also enjoy going up and down every aisle, seeing what’s in stock and getting ideas. But there are two main factors in my lack of list-making: I don’t use recipes, and I’m lazy.

Recipes scare me. They’re supposed to make cooking easier, but they just make me panic. (More…)

Chef Brenanan's Cheddar, Apple & Bacon Sandwich

Chef Brenanan's Cheddar, Apple & Bacon Sandwich

Did you know that April is National Grilled Cheese Month?

Why? No idea. But I’m not going to argue with any available reason to eat a grilled cheese sandwich.

Aside from the unassailable classic pairing (grilled cheese sandwiches cut diagonally and served with a bowl of tomato soup, of course), there are so many delicious ways to jazz up a melted cheese sandwich, I could probably list a new one for each day of the month.

Instead, I’m going to link you to five terrific (and easy) grilled cheese recipes from the treasure trove of tempting One-Click Recipes here at the FreshDirect website. (More…)

04/14/2011 by in One-Click Recipes - Comments are closed
Grilled Fish & Vegetables

Grilled Fish & Vegetables

People ask me why a registered dietitian should care about sustainable seafood. The heart of the answer is the idea that nothing exists in a vacuum.

Let me explain: Enjoying a variety of seafood is a great way to benefit from the heart-healthy omega-3 fats that are in all seafood.

Like many health care professionals, I recommend that people enjoy seafood twice a week as part of a heart-healthy diet. Doing so contributes to an increased demand for seafood, for better or for worse.

Since there is seafood out there that is well-managed and caught in environmentally responsible ways, and because it can be confusing to find it, I want to do my best to guide people towards those choices that are good for human health as well as the health of the community and planet. (More…)

Erica's Impromptu Dinner Party!

Impromptu Dinner Party!

On the day of my first FreshDirect delivery, I was a bit wary of the two-hour window.

Nothing has a two-hour window. I’ve waited up to six hours for my couch, my cable and the gas man.

If coming to my house within a two-hour window is so easy, why doesn’t everyone do it?

Those were the thoughts running through my mind as I sat drinking coffee with my good friend Adrienne at Cocoa Bar, a cafe a few blocks away. And I think it must have been this bit of disbelief that kept me from checking my watch as frequently as I normally would if I had an appointment.

You can probably tell where this is going (More…)

Penne with Spicy Vodka Sauce

Penne with Spicy Vodka Sauce

Want to know my not-so-secret secret? I often over-commit myself.

Last week, for example, I offered to host a dinner for seven people in honor of a friend who was visiting from out of town.

I immediately started polling the FreshDirect Research & Development team on what I should make (admittedly, I’m lucky enough to have insider access to their professional advice!), and they came up with the idea of using our own Marsala Wine & Mushroom Sauce — which is truly to die for.

The party was scheduled for Wednesday, and while I was sure it would take me all night Tuesday to prepare for our dinner party — instead, I just took their advice… and it was brilliant. I was able to prepare everything in less than 30 minutes. Here’s how I did it: (More…)

04/07/2011 by in Short Cuts - Comments are closed
Maggie Moon, MS, RD

Maggie Moon, MS, RD

Happy Earth Month!

In addition to a month of homage to our shared planet, April also signals the turn of the season from winter to glorious spring — ripe with the promise of fairer weather and fresh foods.

What a perfect time to appreciate “eating green” by eating greens (and reds, blues, oranges, blues, and… you get the idea).

For the planet, eating green could be a great thing, since plant foods don’t typically require copious natural resources to grow.

For your health, eating green is consistent with the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommendation to eat a plant-based diet. (More…)