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If you haven’t tried these melty cheese dips, you’re missing out
Is there anything that doesn’t taste good dipped in queso?
Green Chile con Queso Dip. Chef Todd English knows a thing or two about cooking and this spicy cheese dip proves he also knows quite a bit about deliciousness. Click here for the recipe.
Queso with Chile con Carne. If you believe that Velveeta cheese is the key to a perfect queso then this recipe is for you. Click here for the recipe.
Bayless’s Queso Fundido al Tequila. Just when we thought queso couldn’t get any better, enter tequila. Click here for the recipe.
(Credit: Flickr/Raj Taneja)
Sausage con Queso Dip. If you need a queso fix fast, try this sausage con queso dip; it only uses 3 ingredients and it’s ready in just 15 minutes. Click here for the recipe.
Queso Fundido con Chorizo Verde y Rajas. This melted queso is loaded with chorizo sausage and roasted peppers. Click here for the recipe.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.
5 Reasons You Need Beef Ragù Spaghetti In Your Life July 17, 2017
Beef ragù is a thick, full-bodied meat sauce that hails from northern Italy’s Bologna region. And if you’re thinking… isn’t that bolognese? You’re right (kind of). Bolognese is the dish. Ragù is the sauce. But tomato, tomAto, right?
The important thing is that it makes an appearance on next week’s menu in the form of Beef Ragù Spaghetti with Zucchini and Italian Seasonings, and you can officially select it off the menu TODAY. Need more convincing? We rounded up five irresistible reasons to cook this meal below…
13 reasons you need Easy Food February in your life
Thankfully, it’s nearly time to wave goodbye to January, and welcome a bit of craic back into the kitchen. Our February issue hits the shops this Thursday 22nd, and it’s filled with enough flavour-packed recipes to keep you very, very well-fed, the whole way through the month. Read on to find out what’s inside…
1. Donal’s back
Returning guest editor Donal Skehan is back in the Easy Food Test Kitchen — virtually, of course — sharing even more of his always-fantastic quick and easy meal ideas.
2. Culture club
For new ways to enjoy a familiar favourite, we’re using plain yoghurt in everything from flatbreads and cakes to marinades and sauces — like in this spicy chicken curry.
3. Don’t chicken out
As always, our goal is to solve the daily “what’s for dinner?” conundrum. In this issue, Ireland’s favourite protein gets a welcome makeover with a selection of inventive new ways to enjoy chicken fillets we’ve got our usual quota of quick and easy midweek meals, too.
4. Love is in the air
We may all be destined to spend Valentine’s Day at home this year, but there’s no reason your meal should be any less special. We’ve pulled together an easy menu made for two to bring a touch of romance to your evening. 5. Up for a challenge?
If you’re on the hunt for a weekend project with delicious results, our homemade samosas will hit the nail on the head. Enjoy them as a handy snack or part of an Indian-themed lunch or dinner spread.
6. Perfect pork
Our butcher pal Michael Fleming is giving us the lowdown on buying and cooking different cuts of pork, while Deputy Editor Jocelyn Doyle is telling us about the best pork she’s eaten in a long time — the fabulous Velvet Pork from Andarl Farm in Co. Galway.
7. Kale-ing me softly
We’re still on a major veg buzz after January, and were unreasonably excited to create some flavour-packed ways to enjoy in-season kale. This beautiful winter salad is just one way to add more kale to your diet — from creamy, cheesy pizza to comforting risotto, there’s something for everyone.
8. Green machine
You’ll also find lunches and dinners specifically designed to maximise your veggie intake. With droolworthy ideas like this crispy egg salad, you won’t even notice how healthy those meals are.
9. Herb your enthusiasm
With woody herbs in season, we’ve been going back to basics with the good old-fashioned bouquet garni. This herby pot-roasted chicken with beans and veg is the ultimate comfort food for those cold evenings.
10. La cucina povera
You’ll love our collection of traditional peasant food recipes from around Western Europe: hearty, wholesome and full of veg, these are ideal family feeds that are sure to “put hair on your chest”.
11. Keep it sweet
After all that veg, you’ll want something sweet! Food Stylist Shannon has been adding coffee to her baked goods for gorgeous depth of flavour. Just look at these buns!
12. Rule of three
We’ve been busy experimenting with three-ingredient bakes, making it easier than ever to treat yourself. The secret ingredient in these cupcakes? Ice cream!
13. Let them eat pancake
As always, we’ve been getting creative with some superb new ideas for Pancake Tuesday. Whether you like ’em sweet or savoury, classic or over-the-top, French-style or all-out American, and for breakfast or dinner, there’s a stack for you.
The February issue of Easy Food is in shops from Thursday, January 22nd — don’t miss out!
9 Reasons You Need Carbs in Your Life
Eating a diet packed with the right kind of carbohydrate is the little-known secret to getting and staying slim for life.
Include carbohydrates in your healthy eating plan to help shrink fat cells, boost fat burning, preserve muscle mass, curb cravings, control blood sugar, and keep you feeling full longer than other foods. A diet packed with the right kind of carbohydrate, especially the type known as Resistant Starch (RS), is the secret to getting and staying slim for life. Resistant Starch is a carbohydrate that resists digestions and is a natural appetite suppressant and metabolism booster. According to Health&aposs The Carb Lovers Diet, here are 9 reasons you need carbs in your life:
1. Eating carbs makes you thin for life. A recent multicenter study of thousands of people found that the slimmest people also ate the most carbs. Researchers concluded that your odds of getting and staying slim are best when carbs comprise up to 64% of your total calorie intake.
2. Carbohydrates fill you up. Many carb-filled foods act as powerful appetite suppressants. These foods fill you up because they are digested more slowly than other types of food. They trigger a sensation of fullness in both your brain and belly keeping you satisfied longer.
3. Carbs curb your hunger. Carbs raise levels of satiety hormones that tell your brain you are full.
4. Carbs control blood sugar and help prevent diabetes. The right mix of carbs is the best way to control blood sugar and keep type 2 diabetes at bay.
5. Carbs speed up metabolism. When you eat carbs with Resistant Starch, it moves through your digestive system releasing fat-burning fatty acids that encourage fat burning, especially around your belly.
6. Carbs protect muscle while burning fat. The right carbs produce a fatty acid that helps you preserve muscle mass𠅊nd that stokes your metabolism, thus helping you lose weight faster.
7. Carbs blast belly fat. Carbs help you lose your belly fat faster than other foods, even when the same number of calories are consumed.
8. Carbs keep you satisfied. Carbs flip on the fullness triggers in your body by releasing fullness hormones in the intestines.
9. Carbs make you feel goodout you. "Dieters feel so empowered once they lose weight on carbs. For the first time, they are able to lose weight by eating in a balanced manner, without cutting out entre food groups," says Sari Greaves, RD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.
How To Supplement With Spirulina
Spirulina is an excellent health supplement with a whole host of benefits, which makes sense granted its superfood status, but what’s the best way to supplement with it?
Spirulina is available in various forms, as are most health supplements, including the most common variations which are tablets and powders.
Since spirulina is a potent supplement, it’s important to pick the right type for you, because otherwise you might end up not wanting to continue with it.
Spirulina tablets aren’t as common as the dried powder supplement.
Yet what they offer is a convenient way to get your daily fix of the superfood without having to blend it into your drinks or food and turning them green.
If you can’t stomach the thought of adding the blue-green algae to your morning smoothie or porridge, then tablets are hands-down the best option for you.
However, there is a caveat.
Even in tablet form, spirulina can have a pungent odor due to the strong aroma that spirulina produces.
So that means first thing in the morning whenever you open up your bag or container of spirulina tablets, you’re going to be hit with the smell whether you like it or not.
This is simply an unavoidable reality of taking a supplement that’s sourced from an algae such as this one.
Nevertheless, if you choose to take spirulina in tablet form, the short-term discomfort should be outweighed by the long-term convenience of being able to simply take it with a glass of water.
Plus, there’s the added bonus of portability and the slow-release nature of tablets which means the effects will gradually be felt over the course of the day.
Powdered spirulina is the most popular choice for taking the algae as a supplement, and it’s definitely not because it tastes amazing.
Spirulina powder is preferred by many because it can be easily combined with a number of ingredients to make health recipes that have that extra slew of benefits.
If you’re already committed to downing a green smoothie or juice on a regular basis, then why not make it even healthier by throwing some spirulina powder in it?
You will also be able to get a greater dose of the green stuff with a powdered form, and you can more precisely measure out quantities if that’s something you’re interested in doing.
Of course, the tradeoff here is that it won’t be as portable as a container of tablets and the taste of the power might seep into your meals.
Plus, it requires more preparation to implement spirulina powder into your diet, unlike with the tablets.
How Often Should You Take Spirulina?
Spirulina is an excellent health supplement packed full of benefits which you’ll discover throughout this guide.
But just how often can you take spirulina, and are there any side effects associated with the supplement?
The recommended daily dosage for spirulina to get the most out of the algae is 1-3 grams. However, if you’re prepared to take even more of the green stuff to potentially maximize the benefits, it’s safe to use up to 10g and can be even more effective at that high dosage.
If you’re using a spirulina powdered supplement, take care to measure out the powder so that you get an exact dose otherwise you could take up more than intended or end up with a different dose every time you take it.
With tablets, getting the right dosage is simply a case of following the instructions on the label which will be based on the potency of the supplement in question.
Known Side Effects
For the most part, spirulina is safe, so you don’t have too much to be concerned about.
Though with that said, there are more risks of serious side effects for people with specific health conditions and some general side effects you could experience.
Some batches of spirulina can be contaminated, depending on how the algae was harvested.
If the water the algae was taken from is heavily polluted with bacteria or heavy metals, that could spell bad news for the superfood.
Spirulina also produces microcystins, which are harmful particles intended to protect the algae from predators. If a human consumes too many of these microcystins, they can prove toxic to the liver.
Generally speaking, though, this shouldn’t be an issue you come across with the spirulina you pick up in your local health food store. This is because in the lab scientists can remove microcystins, so that when it arrives on the shelves the supplement is free from the harmful particles.
If you are worried about consuming toxins, though, it might be worth considering organic spirulina supplements which have the highest quality.
If you have an autoimmune disorder, exercise caution when it comes to taking spirulina supplements.
This is because it can worsen certain diseases including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
This may be at odds with the fact that spirulina is touted to boost your immune system, but the increase in natural killer cells, while a good thing for common illness, is a bad thing for autoimune disorders.
Some say that spirulina can help alleviate symptoms associated with allergies.
While this may be true, there is some evidence to suggest that it could also have a negative effect.
As such, always consult your doctor before taking this supplement for allergies, or to be safe avoid it altogether.
Finally, spirulina supplements can have an anticoagulant effect, which means that it could thin your blood and extend the time it takes for the blood to clot.
Since clotting can help slow down excessive bleeding among other things, this could be bad news.
Especially if you take a blood thinner or already have a bleeding disorder, you don’t want to take the risk.
Easy + Amazing Instant Pot Meals to Kick Off the Memorial Day Weekend
Pssst. Did you hear? Brit + Co's 10-week business program for women, Selfmade, is back for the summer! And that also means our scholarship program is back in action thanks to our amazing partner, Office Depot. Keep reading for more about the life-changing program and how to join the thriving, entrepreneurial community that's helped mentor over 5,700 women to date.
Designed to help you create a new business or grow your existing one, this course is personally led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin, and supported by more than a dozen of the top female entrepreneurs, creatives, and investors in the country. Students receive personalized coaching on everything from how to get out of your comfort zone to how to scale your business, and everything in between. And now, thanks to our founding sponsor Office Depot, even more of you can join the course!
When is the program?
The summer session of Selfmade kicks off Monday, June 28 and runs for 10 weeks through Friday, September 3, 2021.
How much does it cost to enroll?
The enrollment price is $2,000, but for the summer session, we're thrilled to team up with Office Depot to grant 200 FREE scholarship seats to the course. Scholarships are open to US residents, focusing on women of color, women from underserved and underrepresented communities, and women in need of support to help them trail-blaze. After all, we firmly believe that your support system is a huge part of how you achieve greatness, and we are here to cheer all of you on.
To nominate yourself or someone you know for a scholarship, head to our application form right here. The deadline for scholarship applications is June 8 — it's time to take the leap!
Once scholarship recipients are chosen in June, prospective students will have 48 hours to accept their seats, so keep an eye on your inbox starting June 8! For those who don't receive a full-ride scholarship, you'll be eligible to receive a special discount and perks just for applying!
So what are you waiting for? Take a chance on yourself and get yourself one step closer to truly being selfmade. Learn more about the Selfmade program, apply for a scholarship and prepare to be inspired :)
Discover what valuable lessons these small business owners and entrepreneurs took away from the spring session of the Selfmade 10-week course at Selfmade Success Stories.
Numbers Don’t Lie
With science, data trumps human intuition. Science demonstrates that things aren’t always as they appear. For example, research reveals that chronic illness is directly related to the type and amount of food you consume.
The numbers also indicate that 9 out of 10 people with a chronic illness will die from the drug treatments they receive rather than from the disease itself.
A significant study in Finland revealed that changing to a plant-based diet was effective in:
- Lowering plasma cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure levels
- Improving cardiovascular health
This study showed that heart disease is not inevitable and that the disease’s roots are lifestyle related. But trying to halt the progression of cardiovascular disease with medications such as antilipids and hypotensive drugs is ineffective. You could say…
With SodaStream you’re creating a lot less waste for the environment! To say thank you, Kitchen Stuff Plus offers SodaStream customers an amazing discount. Simply trade in your empty SodaStream CO2 canister and save $14.99 off your replacement! Learn more about our SodaStream exchange program here.
Not only are you saving the environment, you’re also saving money. As a regular soda consumer you pay for the price of the can or bottle, design, shipping and other manufacturing expenses but with a SodaStream you can quickly make your favourite fizzy drink at home for less!
23 Reasons Why You Need More Bananas In Your Life
If you go bananas for…bananas, we don’t blame you. There was once a time when bananas simply adorned your fruit bowl, or got sliced on top of your cereal. These days there’s a full-on banana craze that has people bedazzling their ‘nanners on Instagram, writing motivational quotes on the peels and creating banana-laden fruit pizzas that truly look like works of art. (Seriously. That ish is bananas.)
Beyond that, it turns out that bananas carry all sorts of mind, body and beauty benefits, from fueling you through a workout, to helping you feel less stressed, to potentially lowering your risk of stroke. Hate the taste? There are plenty of non-food uses, too. Let’s just say, don’t forget to save those peels. (More on that later.)
Without further ado, here are 23 unexpected ways to put bananas to good use. Banana skeptics, prepare to be amazed.
Here’s What Bananas Can Do for Your Body
1. Fuel your workout. Who needs Gatorade? According to one study, bananas provide an even better pre-and mid-workout boost than sports drinks thanks to their antioxidants, fiber, potassium and vitamin B6. You’re one peel away from a more powerful sweat session.
2. Ease your muscle cramps . Nobody likes being sidelined with a killer Charley horse. Incorporating potassium-rich foods (like, say, bananas) into your diet can help soothe achy muscles and maybe even prevent you from cramping up in the first place.
3. Stave off hunger . Why eat a 100-calorie pack when you can indulge in a banana? The calories in a banana only total about 105 — plus, here’s why it makes a great before-bed snack , too.
4. Decrease risk of stroke . Reality check: Women who eat potassium-rich foods may be less likely to die from a stroke compared to women who don’t eat as many foods rich in this nutrient, according to a 2014 study . Could a banana a day keep the doctor away?
5. Beautify your hair . We’re not saying you should ditch your blow dryer and rely on bananas for your next great hair day — but this hack might be worth a try. When mashed and applied like a conditioner, bananas also reportedly soften hair and preserve its elasticity. Test it for yourself with this Banana and Almond Oil Hair Mask .
6. Treat acne . It’s a practice beloved by natural living bloggers : Rub the inside of the peel on the affected area for approximately five minutes (until the peel turns brown). Repeat this process three times a day for clearer skin in just a few days, beauty gurus say.
7. Soothe puffy eyes . Beauty experts claim that rubbing mashed banana underneath the eyes can help reduce puffiness . That’s because the potassium in bananas reportedly limits fluid retention. And hey, it’s cheaper than the stuff at Sephora.
8. Relieve an itch . There’s nothing worse than the need to scratch. Whether you’ve got bug bites, poison ivy or a rash, rub the inside of a peel directly on the site of itching to get quick relief . (And we’ve never me a LifeHacker trick we don’t trust.)
9. Reduce stress . Thanks to bananas’ vitamin B6, eating the yellow fruits can trigger feel-good serotonin — which makes us feel mellower (or at least less likely to combust).
Hate the Taste? Use Bananas To…
10. Fertilize tomato plants . Wrapping a banana peel around tomato seedlings right before planting them can help keep the plants fertilized throughout the growing season. Watch out: Your green thumb just turned yellow.
11. Make quality compost . Speaking of fertilizer… banana peels make great fodder for compost . They break down quickly and infuse the compost with nutrients, making it richer by the time it’s ready to apply to your garden.
12. Repel garden pests . To rid a garden of aphids (think of them like lice for plants) without turning to nasty pesticides, cut up banana peels and bury them one or two inches underneath the soil at the base of the affected plants.
13. Attract the birds and the butterflies . Setting out an overripe banana or a banana peel on a flat platform in your yard can attract a variety of species that can help pollinate plants and promote biodiversity.
Sick of ‘Em? Try This…
14. Brew some tea . Banana skin tea? Believe it (and don’t knock it ‘til you try it).
15. Make banana vinegar . The peels’ bitter flavor makes a great base for homemade vinegar , which can be used in a variety of salad dressing recipes or any other recipe that calls for vinegar.
16. Bake a protein-rich breakfast . Banana Nutella Protein Muffins pack eight grams of protein, 165 calories each, and a whole heap of flavor. Plus…nutella.
17. Slice them (and bake them) into chips . Homemade banana chips are nutritious, sweet, and way less greasy than potato chips.
18. Put them in pancakes . These Chocolate-Banana Pancakes are chockfull of filling protein thanks to protein powder, ground flax seeds, and eggs.
20. Banan-ify guacamole . Banana Guacamole ? Yes, we went there. Pair it with grilled fish, tofu, or summery dishes.
21. Blend ‘em in a smoothie . A protein-rich Banana-Oat Protein Smoothie provides potassium and energy — drink one before or after a grueling workout to fuel and soothe aching muscles.
22. Tenderize meat . Before cooking your next roast, rub banana all over the meat or add a whole, peeled, overripe banana to the pan in order to ensure that the meat stays tender .
22. Eat the peels . Say what?! Now, we know it may feel unnatural, but green banana peels can actually be incorporated into tasty dishes. Just check out these recipes for Banana Skins with Black-Eyed Peas and Green Banana Curry .
23. Whip up some “ice cream” . It’s cheap, healthy, and oh-so-easy: This protein mint chocolate chip ice cream recipe features a secret ingredient that makes it insanely guilt-free. You guess it…bananas.
And there you have it: Better skin, healthier gardens, and nutritious, tasty dishes await all who are brave enough to open their minds to the many abilities of the humble banana.
10 Reasons Why You Need A Slow Cooker In Your Life
They’re the must-have kitchen gadget for every proud suburban housewife, but slow cookers are so much more than just a Stepford wife’s accessory. This handy and dependable cooking tool should be on every kitchen counter all over the world, and here’s why:
1. Cooking with a slow cooker is easy on your pocket.
There are so many ways in which slow cookers allow you to save money. For one, it allows you to use cheaper cuts of meat that would normally be too tough to chew, such as Swiss steak or pork shoulder. The slow cooking disintegrates the fleshy parts of otherwise undesirable pieces and makes them delectable and tender. Apart from meats, you can also cook dry grains and beans, which are so much more economical.
Additionally, slow cookers are made to allow the flavors and spices to mellow and fuse. This means that an otherwise basic meal can even taste like a gourmet spread. It’s an easy way for inexpensive and healthy food to taste amazing.
2. It’s fast and easy to clean.
The days of having to clean 4 different pans to prepare one meal are no more. Slow cookers are basically lean, mean, one-bowl cooking machines, so cleaning up after yourself has never been easier.
But there’s actually a way to make it even more simpler: you can cut and chop your ingredients in advance and store them in freezer bags of Crock-Pot-ready meals, for those days when you don’t even have time to get the ingredients ready.
3. It’s all-purpose.
When you think slow cooker, you usually think of the typical American grub: meat loaf, casserole, pot roast. But the beauty of the slow cooker is that you can also explore outside of this triumvirate with other meals, and still end up with restaurant-worthy results every time. Craving for Indian food? Chinese rice and chicken? Rustic French dishes? The more challenging, the better.
4. It’s like a reliable sidekick.
Even though its ability to cook up delicious main courses is a slow cooker’s principal feature, it can also be a wonderful sidekick especially when large batches of food are in order. Cook huge quantities of scalloped potatoes, mac and cheese, healthy beans, rich creamed spinach, or collared greens in just one go.
5. It’s basically fail-proof.
For those scared to even step inside a kitchen, the slow cooker is the key to a whole new world of culinary wonders. Basically, you just dump all the ingredients into the pot and set it to cook at ‘high’ or ‘low’ for as long as needed—so easy, a child could do it! As long as your button-pushing skills are present, there should be no cause to worry.
6. You can come back to a home-cooked meal at the end of a long day.
How some people still have the energy to create an entire full-course meal after a long day at work is beyond me. If you’re also the type to just want to wind down after 8 hours at your desk, then a slow cooker is the solution. Prep in the morning, throw it in the pot, set it to cook on low for the entire day, and come home to a tender, delicious meal without having to slave away at the stove all night.
7. They’re huge time savers.
Forget sautéing, baking, boiling, fricasseeing, and all other fanciful –ings you’ve been made to think are required for a delectable meal. Chopping up ingredients is the only thing you need to be able to make edible magic using the slow cooker. That cuts down prep time in half! Not to mention that cleaning up will be a breeze, as you only have to wash the ceramic crock afterwards.
8. You can eat as healthy or as indulgent as you want.
Eating clean doesn’t have to be such a burden with the slow cooker in your armory. You’ll look forward to having stuffed peppers, chicken chili, or red beans and rice for dinner because they won’t just be healthy, they’ll be delicious too! For cheat days, you can even use the slow cooker to make mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy, or an ultra-moist chocolate cake.
9. Leftovers for dayyyyyyys.
Most slow cookers are large in size, allowing you to cook really big portions with just a single recipe. You can easily get a week’s worth of meals out of one cooking session. And since most recipes freeze well, too, there’s no need to finish it all at once. Make a big batch of roast chicken and vegetables on Sunday and you’ll be sitting pretty for the entire week.
10. Slow cookers can help you get drunk.
One special talent slow cookers have is that they can create boozy concoctions that will top off the wonderful meal you also just cooked in it. You have to admit it, spiked hot chocolate, mulled wine, or an adult apple cider drink could just be the most important reasons why your kitchen needs a slow cooker right this second.