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  • Lynda’s Garden Vegetable Casserole Aug 20, 2014 8:00 AM
    Eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes come together in a cheesey summer casserole.

  • Shrimp-Watercress Summer Rolls Aug 20, 2014 8:01 AM
    Shrimp Watercress Summer Rolls highlight the newest superfood, watercress.

  • Easy Overnight Ham and Cheese Casserole Aug 20, 2014 7:01 AM
    Overnight Ham and Cheese Cassrole takes just 20 minutes of active time and leaves you with a weeknight dinner everyone will want to sit down for.

  • Plant waters grow into hot beverage market trend Aug 20, 2014 6:00 AM
    Soda and non-fresh juice sales are flat or slipping slightly, but plant-based products like coconut water — along with other alternative beverages such as kombucha and tea-based drinks — are growing, particularly those sold alongside your fruits and veggies, according to data compiled by market research firm Nielsen. “The one area of the store where we are just seeing phenomenal growth is the produce department,” says Sherry Frey, health and wellness expert for Nielsen.

  • For parents, back to school means back on lunch duty Aug 20, 2014 6:13 AM
    Ready for another 180? Sure, you’ve braced your kids for the early mornings. You’ve bought them their shoes and shirts and binders and book covers. You’ve even scheduled their haircuts and made sure their backpacks can handle another year of abuse. But have you prepared yourself for another 180 school days of packed lunches?

  • From the Food Editor: College cuisine from food service and beyond Aug 20, 2014 11:13 AM
    Food editor Deborah Pankey didn't think the dorm food at University of Illinois was half bad, but granted that was a few decades ago before she developed a food critic's palette. Still, she was surprised that her alma mater didn't land on The Daily Meal's list of the 75 Best Colleges for Food in America for 2014. Only two Big 10 schools made the list — Northwestern and Purdue. University of Chicago and Wheaton College also got a nod.

  • Do-ahead dinner makes back-to-school smoother Aug 20, 2014 7:01 AM
    A do-ahead dinner can be a lifesaver as families get accustomed to their new school routines. So we created this easy, kid-friendly ham and cheese casserole that can be prepped and refrigerated the night before, then just popped in the oven the next evening.

  • Culinary adventures: Eating, preserving, sharing vegetables from the garden Aug 20, 2014 8:00 AM
    Penny Kazmier's desire to consume and preserve her precious summer produce has driven her to pickle cucumbers, jalapenos and even green tomatoes. Cucumber, tomato and onion salad has been on her dinner table almost every night; and she has zucchini shredded, measured and frozen for future zucchini bread recipes. Her favorite was to use up her garden's bounty has been Lynda’s Garden Vegetable Casserole. The hearty casserole won “two-thumbs up” from even the veggie-adverse around the table.

  • Watercress wrapped in nutritious glory Aug 22, 2014 6:41 AM
    A recent study at William Paterson University in New Jersey ranked the top “powerhouse fruits and vegetables,” based on the nutrients they provide per calorie. What topped the list? No, not kale or spinach (though they didn’t do too badly). The most powerful of the powerhouses was watercress.

  • Chocolate Beet Cake Aug 19, 2014 6:00 AM
    Pureed beets add rich color and flavor to chocolate cake without adding any fat.

  • Zuquinoa Boats Aug 19, 2014 6:00 AM
    Stuffing zucchini with a quinoa mixture makes a filling meatless meal.

  • Whole Wheat Flatbread Pizza Aug 19, 2014 6:00 AM
    MacKenzie Le Beau teaches kids how to make seasonal meals, like this flat bread pizza that starts with garden-ripe tomatoes, peppers, onions, potatoes and basil-garlic pesto.

  • Broccoli Cheddar Breakfast Muffins Aug 19, 2014 6:00 AM
    Broccoli Cheddar Breakfast Muffins start a busy day off on the right foot.

  • Breakfast muffins get day off to a grade A start Aug 19, 2014 6:00 AM
    When fall rolls around and it’s back to school and work, wouldn’t you love to start your day with something tastier and more substantial than that all-too-typical bowl of cold cereal? It’s just so boring day after day. And that’s apart from the fact that most cereals fail to tide you over until lunchtime.

  • Cook of the Week: Intern relishes teaching kids farm-to-table cooking Aug 19, 2014 6:37 AM
    For the past three summers of MacKenzie LeBeau's college career, she's immersed herself in programs that explore healthier ways to feed America. This summer MacKenzie, a native of Vermont and a student at Syracuse University in New York, has worked as a crew leader for the Prairie Farm Corp, an educational program sponsored by the Liberty Prairie Foundation in Prairie Crossing. For the first time she found herself behind a kitchen counter, teaching teenagers how to cook and learning along the way herself.

  • Constable: Brace yourself for World War Zucchini! Aug 19, 2014 5:34 AM
    Every year as summer moves closer to fall, we suburbanites must steel ourselves for the onslaught of World War Z. Those who aren't vigilant end up with more zucchini than we know what to do with. And that number is one.

  • Walmart Neighborhood Market opens Wednesday in Des Plaines Aug 20, 2014 10:32 AM
    The Walmart Neighborhood Market makes its first foray into the suburbs today with the grand opening of a 39,000-square-foot store at 727 W. Golf Road in Des Plaines. “A lot of folks don’t want to walk the 150,000- to 200,000-square-foot building and weed their way through the apparel and all the other stuff," said Jeremy Arndt, the Des Plaines store manager, explaining the concept behind the smaller, food-focused store.

  • Reindeer dogs from Alaska’s cranky hot dog vendor Aug 15, 2014 5:45 AM
    There’s no shortage of hot dog stands hawking that spicy, oh-so-Alaska treat, the reindeer dog, in downtown Anchorage. But only one of them has consistently long lines. M.A.’s Gourmet Dogs is owned by Michael Anderson, who offers seven types of tasty grilled dogs — including one with a little bit of Rudolph in it. It’s the hands-down crowd favorite, every bite delivering a pleasing crunchy pop.

  • Use garden harvest for fruit or green smoothies Aug 15, 2014 5:45 AM
    Smoothies are a nutritious way to stir things up in the kitchen, especially if the ingredients come from your garden. Few drinks are as refreshing as fresh or frozen fruits and syrups mixed with milk and yogurt. Many people also add greens. “Follow the harvest and work with whatever is ripening,” said Nan Chase.

  • Easy Steak and Cheese Pasta Aug 13, 2014 5:30 AM
    A steak and cheese grinder gets re-imagined as a pasta salad.

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