Rachael Ray Every Day Staff

The 10 best smoothies: store-bought vs homemade

As the weather gets warmer, we find ourselves craving smoothies all the time. So what did we do about it? We taste-tested over 100 store-bought smoothies to find the very best ones! In the Battle of the Bottled, we found five awesome winners available at your local supermarket— check them out in our June 2016 issue. But if you’re more of a DIY type, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite homemade smoothie recipes, too. Slurp’s up!

Best Tropical

Store-bought: Evolution Fresh Defense UpStick a tiki umbrella in this combo of pineapple, mango and orange juices. It has no artificial sweeteners and delivers 310% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C per serving. ($4.99 for 15.2 oz.)

Homemade: Kiwi-Pineapple SmoothiesIf you love tart and fruity smoothies, this one’s for you. Try adding coconut milk to make it more like a piña colada.

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The Year of the Vegetable: Cocktails and Desserts

We’ve declared 2016 to be The Year of the Vegetable, and eating your veggies has never been easier (or tastier!). We’ve shown you how to take veggies from side to main in the tastiest ways possible: build-your-own bowls, good-for-you tacos, and the best-ever veggie burger. For the final part of this package, we’re switching gears to our favorite veg-forward indulgences: cocktails and desserts! Make Happy Hour even happier and decadent desserts even more special with these healthy recipes.

 

Green-Tomato Mojito

When it comes to tomatoes, think beyond the Bloody Mary. Matthew Biancaniello, author of Eat Your Drink, muddles Day-Glo Green Zebra tomatoes in his mojito. They have “the perfect balance of fruitiness and acidity,” he says.

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The Year of the Vegetable: Building the Best-Ever Veggie Burger

The star of our “Year of the Vegetable” package from the June 2016 issue is — without a doubt — the Best-Ever Veggie Burger. Take one bite and you’ll see why! It’s a mashup of our favorite elements of five of the country’s tastiest veggie burgers, at Farm Burger, Superiority Burger, Butcher & Bee, Salvation Burger and LocoL. Below, see the drool-worthy burgers that blew up our Instagram feeds and sparked our inspiration.

Photo: @dana_bowen

Veggie Patty

Nuts, grains and legumes are the “meat” of the best new veggie burgers. This patty, inspired by Superiority Burger’s top-secret formula and April Bloomfield’s Indian-influenced version at Salvation Burger in NYC, combines toasted walnuts, farro (which crisps up for a nice crust) and lentils for a protein punch.

Photo: Superiority Burger by @basictown

Photo: Salvation Burger’s veggie burger by @thecookbookgirl

Oven-Roasted Tomatoes & Zucchini Pickles

Skip the ketchup and get that rich-tangy flavor from oven-roasted tomatoes, like they do at Butcher & Bee in Charleston, S.C. While you’re at it, switch up your pickle, too. Butcher & Bee use pickled zucchini, not cukes, on its veggie burgers.

Photo: @allisonkimchi

Iceberg Lettuce & Muenster Cheese

At Superiority Burger in NYC, chef Brooks Headley tops his meatless patties with iceberg, the queen of burger lettuces, which adds major crunch and won’t wilt like fancier lettuces do. Muenster, his cheese of choice, melts like a dream.

Photo: @umieats

Balsamic Onion Relish & Sesame Seed Bun

The sweet-tart balsamic onion relish at Farm Burger‘s Georgia and Alabama outposts puts the raw onion slice to shame.

Photo: @anniebabex3

 Smoky Scallion Mayo

Every self-respecting burger needs a special sauce. Charred scallions bring flame-broiled flavor to this creamy take on the grilled scallion relish at LocoL, the new California-based joint from chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson.

Photo: @blissisthis

Craving more? Check out how to make veggie-based tacos, build-your-own vegetable bowls and more in our June 2016 issue, on newsstands now!

The Year of the Vegetable: Tacos

Veggies are having a huge moment right now, and delicious things happen when they get the taco treatment. In honor of our special vegetable package in our June 2016 issue, we’re celebrating chefs’ favorite veg-centric recipes— and let’s be honest: everything tastes better wrapped in a tortilla. You might even find yourself choosing cauliflower over carnitas next Taco Tuesday!

Cauliflower Al Pastor Tacos

This vegetarian taco from Ray Garcia, chef-owner of B.S. Taqueria in L.A., was inspired by tacos al pastor, a classic recipe made with pineapple and spice-marinated pork roasted on a spit. You won’t miss the meat! Read more

The Year of the Vegetable: Bowls

After years of celebrating all things meaty, chefs have vegetable fever… and so should you! Behold the country’s most inspired veg-centric dishes, plus a crisper drawer full of recipes and tips. Whether it’s the cauliflower in your taco or the beets in your chocolate pudding, eating your vegetables never tasted so good—or felt so cool! Each week, we’ll be sharing recipes from our special package in our June 2016 issue, on newsstands now. Below, dig into our favorite bowl recipes. They’re so good, they’ll bowl you over!

Greens Bowl with Garlic-Yogurt Sauce Read more

When life gives you lemongrass

What looks like leeks, smells like lemons and tastes great? Lemongrass, an aromatic plant that gives dishes like chicken curry or beef satay their signature fragrant flavor. Look for the fresh stuff at Asian markets, and choose firm stalks with green leaves. Before using, trim the tops and ends, and remove any loose outer leaves. Lemongrass is stringy so slice it thin for stir-fries or stews, or pulse it in a food processor for sauces or curries. To give chicken soup a lemony lift, whack the stalk with the flat edge of a knife blade to release its oils, add to the broth… then inhale.

Want to incorporate lemongrass into your cooking? Add these recipes to your repertoire!

Coconut Cod with Rice Noodles

Pomegranate-Lemongrass Fizz

Beef and Lemongrass Soup

DIY Mother’s Day spa treatments

Pamper Mom (especially if that’s you!) with spa treatments from your kitchen. They’re even better than breakfast in bed for giving her an ahhh-some Mother’s Day!

 

Chocolate & Strawberry Scrub

Berries and cocoa are high in skin-protecting antioxidants, and coarse sugar gently exfoliates, says Philip Berkovitz, food beauty guru and founder of Philip B Botanical Products.

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What to do with leftover Easter eggs

Gather those extra Easter eggs and get cracking with these fun, easy recipes.

Bread-and-Butter Pickled Eggs

Once you’ve polished off a 24-oz. jar of bread-and-butter pickles, add 4 peeled hard-boiled eggs 3 sprigs dill and 2 bay leaves to the liquid in the jar. Refrigerate overnight. Makes 4.

Deviled Egg Dip

In a food processor, blend 6 hard-boiled eggs, 6 tbsp. mayo, 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder and hot sauce to taste; season. Sprinkle with paprika. Serve with raw veggies. Makes 1 1/4 cups.

Egg & Smoked Salmon Pasta

Cook 1 lb. fettuccini; drain and reserve 3/4 cup pasta cooking water. In a pot, melt 8 oz. cream cheese, 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan and 1/2 tsp. Dijon. Stir in pasta, cooking water and 6 oz. chopped smoked salmon. Top with capers, chives and 3 grated hard-boiled eggs. Serves 6.

Breakfast Scotch Eggs

Shape 1 lb. bulk breakfast sausage into 6 thin patties; place 1 hard-boiled egg on each. Press sausage around egg to cover. Roll in flour, dip in beaten egg and coat with panko. Bake at 400 degrees until sausage is cooked through, 45 minutes. Makes 6.

By Ananda Eidelstein

6 reasons to shop generic

‘Nduja and basil pasta sauce, organic kale and vegetable salsa, pine nut-topped hummus: they sound like they come from a very fancy lunch spot, but they’re actually all examples of amazing store-brand products featured in the April edition of Checkout. I love a bargain as much as the next person, which is why I usually opt for generic canned goods; even so, I was amazed at the quality of the products we tried. And we tried a lot—dozens, in fact—ranging from drinks to snacks to full meals and appetizers.

 

Kroger HemisFares Fiery ‘Nduja and Basil Pasta Sauce ($4.49 for 15 oz.)

Sprouts Organic Kale & Vegetable Salsa ($2.99 for 16 oz.)

 

Aldi Little Salad Bar Pine Nut Hummus ($1.99 for 10 oz.)

I shouldn’t have been surprised. Mintel published a study that said 63% of consumers think store brands are more innovative than they used to be. Judging from my consumption of Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies, I think it’s true.

 

Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies ($3.99 for 18)

Whole Foods Market Potato & Pea Samosas ($2.69 for 8)


Target’s Beekman 1802 Farm Pantry Ploughing the Earth Granola ($4.99 for 10 oz.)

 

Check out why our editors chose these 6 products in the April issue, or scope out our totally adorable video on Instagram. What are your favorite store brands? Tell us in the comments!

 

By Cecily McAndrews

Use your grater for so much more than just cheese

Before there was the food processor, before there was the mandoline, there was the box grater. This workhorse of the Rachael Ray Every Day test kitchen can perform basic shredding duties, but it also excels at some less expected culinary tasks.

 

Tomaotes

Grate a fresh tomato on the largest holes of a box grater for a fast and easy fresh tomato sauce. The pulp goes in the bowl, but the skin doesn’t!

 

Day-old bread

Got day-old crusty bread? Don’t toss it! Grate it on the medium holes of a box grater for easy breadcrumbs.

 

Pistachios

Pistachios are pricey, but tasty, and a gorgeous shade of green. Make the most of them by using the smallest holes of a box grater (we tested it—no boo-boos!) to finely grate the nuts over fish or pasta