Smart Dessert

Apple-Date Torte

Pie is delicious, but crusts made with wheat flour and butter make it unfriendly to guests with wheat or gluten sensitivities or who are following a vegan diet. This torte wouldn’t work if your guests’ primary allergy concern is tree nuts, but it’s fantastic for the subset of dinner guests that often end up having fewer options to pick from. Using dates to sweeten good apples and a crust made of nuts, it’s also bringing some serious nutrition to the table. If you skimped on the meal food to save room for dessert, this is an option that will both please your tastebuds and sustain you.

Continue reading »

Smart Sides

Garlicky Green Beans

If you can get fresh green beans, they really don’t need more than a light treatment of garlic and herbs to be worthy of playing handmaiden to the sacrificial bird, so to speak. Color and crunch are also often lacking on a Thanksgiving table. While you could provide those with a salad, you could also save yourself time, money, and oven space by swapping in a fresh green bean recipe like this one instead.

Continue reading »

Smart Appetizers

Sweet Potato Tapas

Snacking during the parade in the lead up to dinner is a tradition in my family. The array of nibbles, however, isn’t really all that different than the same kind of snacks we have access to all year. Cheese, nuts, shrimp cocktail, cream cheese and olives on celery. The dominant flavors are salt and fat, and the truth is, the apps tray can lean towards the side of more calorific than flavorful.

Continue reading »

Smart Thanksgiving

Sweet Potato Tapas

When I say “smart,” I mean…follow me off the beaten path, here. Let’s play with the traditional ingredients of Thanksgiving, but put them to work in different and delicious ways. This month, I’ll be showcasing some recipes that our team especially enjoys using fall flavors to their best in recipes you don’t see every year.

Continue reading »

Ham It Up

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Here at Guiding Stars, our algorithm is intentionally designed to help you minimize the saturated fat and salt in your food. Ham, of course, is full of both. Ham, bacon, pancetta, and salt pork are not products you will find labeled with any stars. Slow cooking, however, gives us a beautiful opportunity to showcase the philosophy that no food is “bad” food, per se, but rather, that enjoying great nutrition and a good relationship with food is all about balance. 

Continue reading »

Lean In to Slow-Cooked Meat

Meats that are high in saturated fat are also high on the list of foods to consume in moderation. They’re also delicious, in part because fat is helpful for improving tenderness and moisture during cooking. Lean cuts of meat are a better choice for nutrition, and good news! You can get to moist and tender without the saturated fat. Long cook times at a low temperature are ideal for getting lean meat to fall apart under your fork.

Continue reading »

Slow Cooker Champions

Slow Cooker Lentil Chili

A crock full of bubbling goodness is a special delight as the cold weather edges in around us. It’s easy to get carried away with enthusiasm for the convenience that the slow cooker provides, but if you’re not an experienced slow cooker cook, it’s easy for modified recipes to go awry. Explore some of these tried and true slow cooker favorites with us this month as we consider what goes into making slow cooker recipes work.

Continue reading »