Craft beer is no longer confined to pairing dinners, cooks are now adding a splash of their favorite IPA or stout to amp up flavor in dishes such as pulled-pork sandwiches and dark chocolate muffins, writes Jackie Burrell.
"I'm of the mindset, if you're going to cook with beer, cook with a lot of beer," said John Holl, editor of All About Beer magazine. "Two tablespoons of lager isn't going to do anything. A carbonade? Use the entire six-pack. You want those flavors to pop up and show."
Students in a Minnesota high school are served fresh lettuce grown at a community greenhouse. Students say they can taste the difference between the fresh greens and the bagged lettuce they eat between harvests. So far this year, about 165 pounds of salad greens and other vegetables have been harvested at the greenhouse and served at the school. "We've never had a bad batch," said school nutrition professional Bonnie Nordmeyer. "How lucky are these students, to get lettuce from two blocks away."
If eating healthier is a 2012 resolution, one easy answer is moving toward a plant-based diet, writes Mark Bittman. Vegan diets may not yet be mainstream, but many dishes are becoming favorites, so adopting a semi-vegan model can work, even if it is just one day a week, Bittman writes.
Ontario nutritionist Kathy Smart has celiac disease and a dairy allergy, which led her to write a cookbook called "Live the Smart Way" that will be turned into an eight-part TV series featuring easy recipes that are gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and wheat or dairy-free. Smith says the TV show is not just about cooking, however, because she also plans to talk about staying healthy and good lifestyle habits.
Tea cakes and quick breads can be toasted for breakfast, sliced thin for sandwiches at lunchtime, or served alongside a hearty soup or stew for dinner. Recipes for zucchini bread, lemon bread and orange nut bread are healthful and easy.