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5 Last-Minute Bites from the Culinary Content Network

5 Last-Minute Bites from the Culinary Content Network

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We’ve got great tips, recipes, and ideas from a few of our Culinary Content Network blogs just in time for St. Patrick’s Day

These last-minute ideas will be a hit this St. Patrick's Day.

Are you all ready for St. Patrick’s Day this weekend? We are! We’ve got our slow cookers prepped for corned beef and cabbage, our trifle dishes good to go for shepherd’s pie, a cocktail list that never ends, and a slew of playlists to keep the party going. It’s safe to say it’s going to be a great time.

With a weekend full of plans and parties, there won’t be much time to prep, so we’re double-checking our recipes, lists, and tips for Sunday.

When reading a few of our favorite blogs this week, we realized we might have overlooked a few things, which is why we’re highlighting a few stories from our beloved Culinary Content Network to have all our bases covered when it comes to the Irish holiday.

They’re talking treats, kids’ activities, and authentic recipes.

For more on St. Patrick’s Day, head to our awesome guide: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with The Daily Meal.

14 Protein-Packed Lunch Recipes for Plant-Based Eating

They say breakfast is the most important part of the day. Well, sorry chia pudding, but we want to argue that by highlighting the fact that lunch is pretty dang important too. Once our morning coffee wears off and we're headed into the afternoon, we *need* a healthy dose of protein to help us motor through. If you've been eating a plant-based diet regularly, then you're familiar with chickpeas and tempeh and all of the other glorious ways to fill up. If you're new to the plant-based diet, don't fret. We've got 14 lunch options perfect for work.

Smokey Chickpea “Tuna” on Rye With Spinach and Avocado

Smoked paprika and cumin elevate this creamy chickpea blend loaded with both protein AND fiber. (via The Simple Green)

Sweet Pea Power Pesto Avocado Toast

Aaaand the avocado toast craze lives on. This lunch option packs a powerful punch of protein with a sweet pea pesto. (via Real Food Whole Life)

Thai Quinoa Salad With Peanut Dressing

This rainbow salad gets its protein from the tasty edamame, the hearty quinoa, and the crunchy roasted peanuts. Though that dreamy and peanut-y dressing is optional, we wholeheartedly recommend it. (via Cook’s Hideout)

Lentil Meatballs

These super healthy *cheatballs* are kind of a big deal, y’all. Made with lentils and an assortment of veggies, they’re seasoned to perfection and will fill you up with a feel-good dose of protein and fiber. (via Well Plated by Erin)

Protein-Packed Quinoa Bites With Sweet Potato and Black Beans

If you’re looking for a light lunch or snack that will help you feel fuller longer, here it is. Made with quinoa, tender sweet potato, and black beans, these little sweet and savory bites are the BOMB. (via She Likes Food)

Freezer Vegan Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast for lunch can be a thing, right? These robust burritos are made in advance and popped into the freezer for grab ‘n’ go convenience. Full of protein, they’ll give you that extra burst of energy you need to get through the afternoon. (via Emilie Eats)

Sorghum Protein Pesto Power Salad

If ease of prep and minimal ingredients are your jam, this wholesome salad has your name on it. (via Blissful Basil)

The Runner’s Sandwich

This Mediterranean-inspired meal with protein-rich cheese is the ultimate fuel for your day — especially if you love to pound the pavement. (via Hurry the Food Up)

Lentil Pasta With Vegan Butter and Garlic Sauce

Heading home for your lunch break? This 15-minute wonder is pure perfection. It’s quick, easy, and full of the nutrients you need in order to keep on keepin’ on. (via Neurotic Mommy)

Bali Bowl With Tempeh, Peanuts, and Tomato Sambal

Tempeh brings you a generous helping of protein, fiber, and vitamins in this bowl, making it a total powerhouse. (via Quite Good Food)

Avocado Chickpea Salad Sandwich

This swoon-worthy sandwich is stacked high with layers of heirloom tomato, microgreens, beets, and carrots. (via Abbey’s Kitchen)

Turkish White Bean Salad

Adding white beans, green peppers, boiled eggs, and other simple ingredients to the mix, this recipe will give you that surge of mid-afternoon energy you need. (via Give Recipe)

Chickpea Caesar Collard Wraps

Chickpeas and a homespun vegetarian caesar dressing put a plant-based spin on this chicken classic. (via Girl Adulting)

Smashed Avocado Hummus Sandwich

No time to get fancy? No problem. You can keep things simple and still end up with something incredibly delicious and protein happy with a few generous smears of hummus. (via Sincerely, Katerina)
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These brownies are so easy the kids can help make them. This excellent meal will wow your loved ones. Smoked sausage in bbq sauce.

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2020 has been a wild year and the holiday season snuck up on us all.

So here we are a few days before Christmas and you have a keto loved one to buy for but it’s too late to order them a new product or even an Amazon delivery. Fear not my friend, I have five great ideas to share for last minute keto gifts that you can find at a local store like Walmart, Target, or even a regular supermarket! Let’s dive in, the clock is ticking.

#5 - Cast Iron!

Cast iron skillets of all shapes and sizes are the perfect gift for a ketogenic chum! You can find them at most stores and will not break your bank. If your friend or family member is an Instagrammer see if you can find some of the smaller ones they can use for plating pics! Cast iron is great for searing meats, roasting vegetables and making recipes like the Culinary Lion’s Pizza Hut Copycat Pan Pizza Crust Recipe you can find here.

#4 - Glass Storage Containers

Most folk paying attention to their health food wise are also getting hip to replacing plastic as their go-to storage material. You can find a nice set of glass storage containers at most stores, or you can mix and match individual pieces to make your own set. Worried they might already have some? You can literally never have enough! Glass Ball Jars are also great gifts that can be used for storing leftovers, homemade mayo, and pickling/fermenting vegetables!

#3 - Small Appliances

If you’re looking for a more substantial gift look to the appliance section! Most keto foodies would love to get an Instant Pot, air fryer, Ninja Foodi, or even a nice waffle maker. The Dash Brand mini-appliances are great small gifts too, like their waffle maker most folk use to make chaffles!

#2 - Spice Up Their Life!

Sugar free spices and seasoning blends are always fun, and easy to find! Get them a few things they might not have tried, or you know they will use. I suggest some good peppercorns, Aleppo pepper, sumac, Chinese Five Spice, Smoked paprika and a spicy chili powder as great places to start! Tangentially get them some good salts, like Redmond Real Salt, Pink Himalayan Salt, or flavored salts like Truffle Salt or a Smoked Sea Salt.

#1 - A Stocking Full of Fats!

Get a nice big stocking and fill it with an assortment of ketogenic diet friendly fats. You could get extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, coconut butter, grass-fed butter (It will be safe out of the fridge for a while!), pastured pork fat, beef tallow, ghee or heck toss in a few unripened avocados! Be careful to avoid blends that include vegetable oil or sunflower oil as they pop up a lot in the gourmet aisles even!

I hope this quick list gives you some ideas! You can also get them a gift certificate to your favorite small business that supports the keto community. Print it out and wrap it! Happy shopping my friends and have an amazing Christmas!!

5 Last-Minute Bites from the Culinary Content Network - Recipes

So I guess Sunday is Mother’s Day and I’m just basically watching Ted Lasso (finally, says the crowd collectively) and recovering from standardized testing last week. I kind of know what day it is, but really, I’m kind of in survival mode. So. If you’re a procrastinator like I am and need to know what to get… Read Post

How to Quickly Dice an Onion

There are lots of tools and gadgets to help you do simple tasks like dice an onion, but the only tool you really need to dice an onion, is a knife! With the right skills, you can easily dice an onion into perfectly uniform pieces, much quicker than you can use and wash one of… Read Post

Greek Pasta Salad

One of our favorite ways to use up a lot of fresh produce quickly is to chop it up and toss it with some pasta and a favorite salad dressing and the possibilities are kind of endless. This particular pasta salad, though, is one of my all-time favorites. You can use whatever kind of pasta… Read Post

Sweet Orange Vinaigrette

“Why,” I pondered a little while back, “don’t I have an orange salad dressing recipe?” We’ve got a gazillion lemon dressings (like this honey-lemon or this lemon-herb or Sensation (which is basically lemon-garlic-parmesan) or lemon poppyseed (which…yikes. Looks like someone’s due for a makeover.) We have lime dressings. Apple dressings. Strawberry dressings. We do have… Read Post

Chicken Salad with Mango Chutney Dressing (Kathy’s Chicken Salad)

This chicken salad is REALLY good. It’s featured in our Savoring the Seasons Cook Book Savoring the Seasons Cook Book and it’s come up recently in several discussions in our Facebook Group, where I was happy to hear so many people tout it as a favorite. In our book it’s called simply “Kathy’s Chicken Salad,”… Read Post

Spinach and Bacon Frittata

I am a huge believer in all-day breakfast. I love pancakes for dinner. I love quiche for lunch. I will happily eat bacon and eggs regardless of the time of day. I. Love. Breakfast food. Like this Spinach and Bacon Frittata. In the immortal words of Ron Swanson… One of the things I love about… Read Post

Giant Chocolate Cadbury Egg Cookie

This cookie is a riff on our very popular Cadbury Egg Cookies it’s been slightly modified to make one single GIANT cookie! This is an amazingly soft, chewy chocolate cookie that is studded with crunchy bits of everyone’s favorite eggs. If it’s not Cadbury-Egg-Season, feel free to sub in another add-in. We love this one… Read Post

Mint Brownies

These rich and fudgy Mint Brownies are PERFECTION. The base layer is dense and chewy (in a good way) and it’s topped with a cool and creamy peppermint icing. The top layer is a buttery ganache and my favorite way to eat these is chilled from the fridge. This is the exact Mint Brownies recipe… Read Post

Lifetime Membership to the Our Best Bites Meal Heroes Community

The other night, I made a taco bar for the cast of my son’s cast of his high school production of Footloose. I used our slow cooker taco chicken and pico de gallo and guacamole and cantina salsa. We had soft tacos and salad and it was delicious and all these kids were like, “OMG, do… Read Post

How to Cut Meat Against the Grain

I recently asked my Instagram audience what struggles they had working with raw meat and a huge number of people were confused at the instruction to “cut meat against the grain”. I did this quick video series to explain it and I wanted to share it here, as well! What is the “grain” when talking… Read Post

Smoked Sausage Soup with Potatoes and Kale

Sometimes I do cook-with-me series on my Instagram channel where I video the cooking process as I’m making something up as I go. Recently, with the intent of using up some leftover ingredients in my fridge, I made this creamy smoked sausage soup and it was a huge hit with both my family (my kids requested it… Read Post

Schitt’s Creek Giant Cookie Labels

So you probably know by now that Sara and I are HUGE Schitt’s Creek fans. It took me longer to get on board–I tried (and quit) a couple of times, but Sara told me that if I didn’t watch it, it was going to put our relationship in danger. Always one to succumb to emotional blackmail, I… Read Post

65 Super Simple Last-Minute Appetizers

Procrastination happens to the best of us &mdash but these easy apps got your back.

Procrastination happens to the best of us &mdash but these easy apps got your back.

Perfectly crunchy with a side of warm marinara sauce.

Crispy chicken parm in 30 minutes.

These pigs are ready to paaartay!

The perfect party appetizer.

Turn the classic casserole into a party app!

When *aren't* mozz sticks the move.

The caramelized topping is EVERYTHING.

Our three favorite flavors: spicy, cheesy, and. bacon-y.

Crescent rolls have the kind of magic to make something like vegetables taste seriously next-level.

You're going to want two batches&mdashthese go FAST.

These flavorful bites don't even require sliced bread.

The ULTIMATE cheesy bread.

If you're making brussels sprouts as a dinner side dish, just make extra for a dip-able app. Two-in-one FTW!

Recipe Summary

  • 2 pounds beef strip steak (1-inch thick), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 mediums garlic cloves, finely chopped (3 tablespoons)
  • ⅓ cup dry vermouth
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle steak all over with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Add oil to skillet, and heat until shimmering. Add half of the steak pieces to skillet, keeping space between each piece. Cook, undisturbed, until browned and crispy on bottoms, about 1 minute. Flip steak pieces, and continue cooking until browned on other side, about 1 minute. Flip pieces again, and cook, turning occasionally, until most sides are browned and crispy and steak is almost medium-rare, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer steak to a large bowl. Repeat cooking process with remaining steak pieces, transferring cooked steak to bowl with first batch set aside. Do not wipe skillet clean.

Reduce heat under skillet to medium add garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add vermouth, and scrape up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons, about 1 minute. Remove from heat add butter, and stir until melted and creamy. Add Worcestershire sauce and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pour mixture over steak pieces in bowl, and toss to coat. Transfer steak with butter sauce to a platter, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

5 Last Minute Stocking Stuffers

This post is sponsored, but all opinions are my own. I love being part of the Mom It Forward Influencer Network .

Well, of course, it is the week of Christmas, and I&rsquom behind in my shopping and baking. What about you? Are you still looking for gifts? What about stocking stuffers?

Oh my goodness, during this time of the year I&rsquom always so stressed out and always forget Stocking Stuffers. I love to give and get items that will be used throughout the year. There are so many different ideas, but I made a list of 5 products I would love in MY STOCKING.

I was at my local CVS and saw a couple of items I know I would like in my stocking- yes I shop for my stuff. Kids make me things and put in my stocking but why not treat myself too. So I picked up some Organic Skincare Doctor products which are available locally at CVS stores or online at for myself and the kids.

Organic Skincare Doctor has me covered for the kids too! Everyone loves LOTION, right? I buy so much lotion during the year for my family, so I know they each will want their bottle. The Organic Virgin Olive Oil Skin Lotion is going in all of our stockings this year. This lotion goes on so smooth and loves how it makes my skin feel, so I know my kids will love it, too!

  1. Organic Olive Oil Skin Lotion: This highly effective formulation helps protect skin from environmental damage and enhances skin firmness, elasticity, and radiance, so the skin appears significantly softer and smoother all day long quickly restores the skin&rsquos integrity and soothes and conditions the skin for a silky feel. Cost: $11.99

Now I like to treat myself to a bottle of facial serum that helps with these lines that keep appearing on my face, around my mouth and eyes. Getting older sucks when it comes to your skin but if get a product that helps then stick to it and use it! Organic Rose Otto Facial Serum is what I like, and it doesn&rsquot cost a fortune! Using this serum hydrates my skin so much.

2. Organic Rose Otto Facial Serum: It absorbs quickly into the epidermal cell matrix to instantly lock in moisture while using its powerful transdermal properties to permeate deeply, helping to renew elasticity, restore skin integrity and leave a soft, toned feeling. It&rsquos precious, richly nourishing and balancing ingredients help with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It helps lock in extra hydration and leaves skin smooth and supple. Cost: $21.99

Now another item I got myself is the Organic Snail Gel&ndash now don&rsquot let the name scare you at all! This soothes and moisturizes my skin. Feels so good too!

3. Organic Snail Gel: A moisturizing, soothing, healthy-aging gel which harnesses the remarkable cosmetic benefits of Helix Aspersa Muller, a unique substance the snail produces to quickly nourish its shell and skin. Combined with organic Aloe Vera and our proprietary blend of bioactive ingredients, it effectively soothes and hydrates the skin. Cost: $29.99

4. Candle! Candles are my favorite thing to get for gifts. I buy candles all the time, but one of my favorite candles is from Aurorae Spa The Pledge Candle&ndash Warmth Pumpkin Pie Soy Candle.

5. Make sure you put CANDY in the stocking too! I always need candy&hellipPeppermint and Chocolate are the very best for this holiday season.

5 Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Recipes

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! If time got away from you and you’re not one for a V-Day prix fixe menu, then consider one of these romantic 30-minute recipes. Each one is impressive, but can be easily pulled off on short-notice. Don’t forget the wine!

Coq au Vin Chicken Meatballs

These weeknight chicken meatballs from Half Baked Harvest have all of the flavors of a classic coq au vin, but without the hours of braising. Pair them with your favorite homemade or store-bought mashed potatoes to soak up the rich red wine sauce!

Ravioli with Sage-Walnut Butter

Dress up store-bought refrigerated ravioli with a simple brown butter, sage and walnut sauce! This Food Network recipe is perfect for vegetarians, or pair it with roasted sausages or seared pork chops for the meat-eaters.

Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

When we’re looking to get dinner out in a hurry and don’t want to fill the sink with dishes, a baking sheet is always where we turn. Here, we use a quick-cooking protein like pork tenderloin and crust it with freshly cracked spices. The spices not only provide flavor, but also great texture on the outside of the pork. The sheet pan also has enough surface area to cook your protein and your vegetables. It’s an entire dinner on one pan!

Veal Scallops with Apple-Cream Sauce & Fennel Slaw

When it comes to proteins, “scallop” cuts are a great solution when you’re looking for an impressive, but quick-cooking, dinner. In this recipe from Rachael Ray Magazine, thinly sliced veal scallops are seared in a hot pan and then topped with a simple apple cream sauce spiked with Calvados. A fast fennel slaw adds crunch, acidity and rounds out the meal.

You Won’t Regret a Single Bite of These Mini Slow-Cooker Lamb Tacos

Former food editor and Food Network host Marcela Valladolid flexes her culinary prowess in her latest masterpiece Fiestas: Tidbits, Margaritas & More ($14). The Mexican-American chef elevates her native cuisine to Pinterest-worthy heights — all while keeping everything accessible. We recently caught up with Valladolid, who is partnering with Capital One, to celebrate the intersection of food and travel. “People always ask me, ‘Where’s your favorite place to travel?'” she told us. “I always end up saying Mexico.”

Naturally, the cookbook celebrates her love for Mexico in a way that looks and feels personal. Because it is. The entire book was photographed at her house, using solely natural light, and she styled every shot with pieces from her own collection. Anything that wasn’t hers, was “done by either a local artist or a Mexican artist that let us use their stuff,” according to Valladolid.

Throughout Fiestas, you’ll find easy-to-follow recipes you will will adore for parties. Once you’ve learned to appreciate the “humble” tortilla, you really can’t go wrong. Valladolid joked, “I always say that — unless it literally turns green — there’s no reason to ever throw out a tortilla.” She recommends picking them up “warm by the kilo” at your local Latin market. Just don’t forget to separate them before they cool. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a blob of masa, she informed us.

Though tortillas star in chilaquiles, enchiladas, and more classic fare found in her book, nothing beats tacos for a crowd as they don’t really require plates or forks. Valladolid’s mouthwatering mini lamb tacos (below) are slow-cooked too, so you can set-and-forget for breezy entertaining. You’ll want to promptly wash them down with one of her favorite cocktails from the book, the blood orange paloma pitcher.

Slow-Cooker Lamb Mini Tacos


Slow-Cooker Lamb Mini Tacos:

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 (4 1/2-pound) whole semi-boneless leg of lamb
  • 3 large shallots, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 4 cups lager beer
  • 16 corn tortillas, warmed
  • lime wedges, for serving

Roasted Tomatillo and Green Apple Salsa:

  • 1 pound tomatillos (about 12), husked, and rinsed
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, quartered, and cored
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 2 jalapeños, stemmed
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine the rosemary, oregano, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl and stir. Rub the mixture all over the lamb and transfer to a slow cooker.
  3. Add the shallots and garlic and pour the beer around the lamb.
  4. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours, or until the lamb is fork-tender.
  5. While the meat is cooking, make the salsa. Place the tomatillos, apples, onion, jalapeños, and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until the tomatillos are softened and slightly charred, about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and peel the garlic. Let the roasted vegetable mixture cool slightly.
  7. Transfer the vegetables and roasted garlic to a blender, add the cilantro, and process until smooth. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to help blend, if necessary.
  8. Season the salsa to taste with salt and pepper, transfer to a serving bowl, and serve.
  9. With the slow cooker still on high, remove the lamb and transfer it to a platter. Shred the meat, discarding any bones. Return the shredded lamb to the slow cooker and cook for 1 hour more.
  10. Preheat the broiler.
  11. Turn off the slow cooker and, using tongs, transfer the lamb to a large cast-iron skillet. Reserve the juices in the slow cooker for serving.
  12. Broil the lamb until crispy (about 7 minutes).
  13. Pour the reserved juices over the lamb and serve immediately with the tortillas, roasted tomatillo and green apple salsa, and lime wedges.

Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.

(Reprinted from FIESTAS: Tidbits, Margaritas & More Copyright © 2019 Marcela Valladolid. Photographs Copyright © 2019 Isabella Martinez-Funcke. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.)


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