Category Archives: Health

Stretches to Energize Your Morning | 5-Pose Yoga Fix

You can practice yoga at any time of day, but the early morning hours are considered particularly auspicious. Your mind is supposed to be the most clear and calm. There are fewer distractions. Your practice can awaken the body, focus the mind, give your day intention and get it off to a good start.

Each posture has a different impact. Some poses, like backbends, are energizing. Others, like forward folds, are calming. In the morning, consider strength-building standing poses, energizing backbends and a few balance postures, which cultivate concentration, and you have a practice that’s better than a cup of coffee — and good to the last drop.


This pose increases circulation to the head, helping you bring your attention to your day. And, it stretches your lower back, hips, thighs and ankles. Take several deep breaths here as you gather your energy and prepare to move.

The move: To begin, kneel down and sit on your heels with your knees and feet together. As you exhale, bend forward, placing your forehead on the floor. Extend your arms forward, placing your palms down to lengthen your torso and stretch your arms.


Cat stretches your back and strengthens your abdominals, while cow opens your chest and strengthens your back. Flowing between them warms up the spine for the day ahead.

The move: Start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees so your palms press into the ground and your knees rest under your hips. Make sure your wrists, elbows and shoulders form one straight line and your knees and hips form another.

As you exhale, press into the ground with your hands and round your back like an angry Halloween cat. Gently bring your chin toward your chest and activate your abdominals, pulling your navel toward your spine.

On your inhale, come into cow by arching your back in the opposite direction. Broaden your chest and lift your tailbone to the sky so your belly sinks toward the floor.

Hold each pose for several breaths or find a gentle flow between the two so that with each exhale you round into cat and with each inhale you open into cow.


Down dog releases your spine; stretches your hamstrings, calves and arms; and strengthens your back and arms. Coming into a three-legged dog and adding an abdominal flow fires up your center.

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The move: Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Slide your palms forward so they rest in front of your shoulders, and tuck your toes under. As you exhale, press your palms into the ground and lift your knees off the ground, straightening both arms and legs. Your body will form a wide, upside-down V shape.

On an inhale, lift your right leg up behind you. Exhale here. On your next inhale, round your spine, engage your abdominals and draw your knee to your nose. Exhale and send your leg up and back. Take 5 breaths here, pulling your right knee toward your nose on each inhale and then switch legs.


Wake up your legs with this lunging series that strengthens the legs, stretches the groin and begins to release the hips.

The move: From down dog, step your right foot forward between your hands. It’s a big step, especially in the beginning. If your foot doesn’t make it all the way between your hands, inch it forward or use your right hand to help your foot along. Once your foot is between your hands, check your alignment. Make sure your right knee and ankle are in a straight line. Press your left heel back, keeping your left leg strong and solid. Hold here for 3 breaths.

On your third exhale, lower your left knee to the ground and relax your toes. On an inhale, lift your torso and rest your hands on your thigh. Sink forward stretching your hip flexor and quads. Hold here for 3 breaths.

On your next inhale, reach your arms overhead and find a small backbend. Keep lifting and lengthening to avoid compressing the low back. Inhale and re-engage the back leg coming into high lunge. Hold here for 3 breaths. On an exhale, frame your right foot and step back to down dog. Repeat on the other side.


Backbends unlock the energy of your spine, counteract too much time hunching at a desk, open the chest and send oxygen to your heart. It also stretches the fronts of your thighs and strengthens your back.

The move: Kneel on your mat so your hips are lifted off of your butt and hips and knees form one line. You may want to double up your mat or place a blanket under you if you have sensitive knees.

Press your palms into your low back so your fingers face the sky. Keep your elbows tucked into your sides. Use your hands to gently broaden your back.

As you inhale, roll your shoulders back, let your chest expand and arch back. Keep your head up and hips in line with your ankles.


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12 Top-Rated Vegetarian Casseroles for Breakfast and Dinner

Casseroles are perfect year round, at every meal. Whether you’re serving them as the main course or a side dish, these vegetarian casseroles will have your family coming back for more.

The Big Breakfast

Casseroles are more than just dinner. These fabulous dishes are perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch, especially when feeding a crowd

1. Bread Pudding II

Mix up the flavors by mixing up the type of bread you use in this warm and comforting bread pudding. Try cinnamon swirl bread, or use a combination of breads with different flavors and textures. “This bread pudding is the best I have ever tasted,” raves SWHEALTON.

Photo by Christina

2. French Toast Casserole

If you want to make French toast, but you also want to save time and energy, then this is the recipe for you. When you want to make it extra special for a holiday gathering, Feliciaann68 recommends using “eggnog in place of the milk…or add cubes of cream cheese or strawberry preserves for a stuffed French toast.”

Photo by Molly

3. Overnight Asparagus Mushroom Strata

Breakfast doesn’t get much easier than when you make it the night before! Packed with veggies, cheese, and English muffins, you can make this morning casserole even more substantial by adding vegetarian sausage.

4. Overnight Blueberry French Toast

When you’re looking for something sweet for brunch, but want to prepare it ahead of time, look no further. Plus, “any leftover sauce…would be great on waffles, pancakes, pound cake or ice cream,” says naples34102.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast

Photo by Melissa Goff

The Main Course

We often think of casseroles as something to go alongside the main course, but these dishes are hearty enough to feed the whole crowd.

5. Chili Rellenos Casserole

Perfect for a busy night, but tasty enough for company, this casserole is packed with cheese, eggs, and peppers. For even more flavor, swap out the tomato sauce with prepared enchilada sauce.

Photo by Share Photo

6. Portobello Penne Pasta Casserole

Portobello mushrooms, spinach, and mozzarella cheese make this pasta casserole rich and satisfying. Valleygirl was reluctant to add the soy sauce called for in the recipe, but advises “DON’T leave it out! It gives the dish its wonderful and different flavor.”

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

7. Baked Macaroni and Cheese

The ultimate in comfort food, baked macaroni and cheese is loved by kids and adults alike. We agree with cook Gwen Swanson who “put a layer of Italian breadcrumbs on top of the dish and covered it for 15 minutes while baking.” Remove the cover and brown the breadcrumbs during the last 15 minutes.

Photo by ~*MyHotSouthernMess*~

8. Spinach Enchiladas

A vegetarian dish the whole family will love, corn tortillas are stuffed with spinach, ricotta and Monterey Jack cheese, then smothered in enchilada sauce. If you want to add a little heat, chop a jalapeno pepper or two (with or without the seeds) and mix it in with the filling.

Spinach Enchiladas

Photo by Melissa Goff

The Perfect Side

Of course, casseroles do make the perfect side dish, whether it’s for a weeknight dinner or a special holiday meal.

9. Awesome and Easy Creamy Corn Casserole

Somewhere between a corn souffle and corn pudding, this side is simple to make and can be easily doubled for a large crowd. MommyFromSeattle “always add(s) something green, usually chopped green onions…chopped canned chilies, or green pimentos” for color and flavor.

Photo by Melissa Goff

10. Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

A classic French dish that is just at home alongside a special holiday main course or a weeknight dinner. “To avoid lumps in your sauce, add the milk just a little at a time as you stir the flour and butter,” recommends CathyM.

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

Photo by lutzflcat

11. Yellow Squash Casserole

It’s the combination of creamy squash and cheese and a crunchy cracker topping that have cooks coming back to this recipe again and again. And, if you don’t want to indulge too much, “this is a great dish that can be made with low-fat ingredients and is still just as good,” praises ROSECART.


12. Best Green Bean Casserole

The name says it all: this is the best of the classic holiday side dish centerpiece. For a bit of added crunch, add a can of drained water chestnuts into the mix.

Best Green Bean Casserole

Photo by Cynthia Ross

Hungry for more?

Explore our complete collection of Casserole Recipes
12 Weeknight Casseroles Your Kids Will Love
5 Super Cheesy Breakfast Casseroles

Get more cooking tips, trends, and inspiration on Allrecipes Dish.

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10 Tasty Ways to Start Eating More Lentils

Let’s face it, very few of us are dying to tuck into a big bowl of lentils. As food goes, lentils don’t get that much good attention — they’re not exactly the most instagrammable food out there. It’s a shame that lentils don’t get the love they deserve. They’re cheap, full of healthy fiber, high in protein, and make meatless meals a whole a lot ‘meatier’ in texture. They’re also easy to cook with — if you’re in any way intimidated by lentils read our ultimate guide to cooking lentils.

Recently there’s been a surge in demand for puy lentils because it was reported Prince George would be eating them in his new school. Well, if it’s good enough for the royal prince, perhaps it’s time to rethink lentils. Here are some top-rated recipes and easy ideas to help you appreciate and enjoy those humble lentils.

Add Them to Stews and Curries
Red Lentil Curry

Lentils make a cheap and healthy alternative to meat in stews and curries. This popular vegetarian curry has been made and loved by over 1,000 of our home cooks. Aboyd raves, “Loved it. Healthy, lots of flavor, easy, and cheap to boot.”

Red Lentil Curry

Photo by Lea Eats

Red Split Lentils (Masoor Dal)

This traditional Indian curry with red lentils and veggies is  full of flavor and really filling thanks to those lentils.

Red Split Lentils (Masoor Dal)

Photo by Buckwheat Queen

Add Them to Rice
Green Lentils and Rice Assyrian Style

This hearty rice dish is almost good enough to eat on its own. Shannon Berkbuegler raves, “Delicious and simple. I thought I’d eat one small side helping. Ended up filling up and eating two big bowls. Husband loved it, and I’m looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow.”

Green Lentils and Rice Assyrian Style

Photo by Buckwheat Queen

Lentils and Rice with Fried Onions (Mujadarrah)

This easy recipe with onion and yogurt might just change your mind about lentils like it did with Alice V. Williams, “I had only eaten lentils once before and didn’t like them. So, I tried this recipe to use up the lentils and this was great! Even my picky 18-month-old ate this dish. Another plus is that it is very simple to make.”

Lentils and Rice with Fried Onions (Mujadarrah)

Photo by ashleyenfrance

Make Salads More Substantial
French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese

To make this salad even easier you can use Trader Joe’s Steamed French Lentils, and save yourself some time.  Eddie Edward says, “I loved this recipe. I made it as written and my husband ate all the leftovers while I was at work the next day! I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for a new side dish!”

French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese

Photo by N B Angel

Cranberry Lentil and Quinoa Salad

For this recipe some home cooks used canned lentils to cut down on prep time. Buckwheat Queen raves, “A very nice salad that tasted better the longer I left it to sit in the fridge. It even pleased the pickiest eater in my family. You will find so many different flavors and textures in this salad — it really is a new discovery with every bite.”

Cranberry Lentil and Quinoa Salad

Photo by Buckwheat Queen

Lentil Salad with a Persian Twist

Serve with some bread, and you’ve got yourself a healthy and tasty work lunch. krimille says, “This is delicious! I have made it several times. It’s so light and fresh tasting, yet filling because of the lentils. Reminds me of fattoush salad, which is probably why it’s so good with toasted pita.”

Lentil Salad with a Persian Twist

Photo by LilSnoo

Minty Orzo Lentil and Feta Salad

This tasty combination of salty feta,  olives, red wine vinegar, and fresh mint is the perfect mix to complement lentils and orzo pasta. CJ McD says, “This is not just an excellent salad, it’s a complete meal if you wish it to be. This is an excellent recipe and is easily adapted to add additional ingredients as summer vegetables become prolific. Especially grilled vegetables. It is delicious as it is, but toss a few cherry tomatoes on top for some extra color just before serving.”

Make Soups Extra Nourishing
Slow Cooker Lentil and Ham Soup

This recipe is a great way to use up leftover ham, but it’s so good it might become a regular at your house.  Colleen says, “Mmmmm, this soup is so simple and satisfying. I originally tried this recipe to get rid of left-over ham, but now I am making it all the time! It is so healthy, extremely inexpensive to make, and the leftovers are very good.”

Slow Cooker Lentil and Ham Soup

Photo by TTV78

Greek Lentil Soup (Fakes)

We bet you’ve never had lentil soup that tasted this good. Vinegar is the secret special ingredient. RoseRover “Lovely! This is a great combination of flavors and the vinegar accents ties all of the flavors together wonderfully. Very easy to make.”


Browse our complete collection of  Lentil Recipes
13 High-Protein Recipes for Vegetarians
Bean Basics
How to Make Better Hummus

Get more cooking tips, trends, and inspiration on Allrecipes Dish.

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Apple Pie Donuts | Recipe

Celebrate apple-picking season with this healthy spin on the iconic apple cider donut. Each donut is drizzled with brown sugar glaze and at only 142 calories per donut, they’ve got all the taste of fall without the calories, saturated fat or the gluten.



3/4 cup gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup finely chopped apple
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
2 drops of almond extract
3 tablespoons crushed pecans, (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a donut pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice. Add the apples, milk, yogurt, egg and oil. Mix until a thick batter forms.

Using a small spoon carefully fill each donut shape 3/4 of the way full. Be careful not to overfill. Bake 10–12 minutes.

Carefully remove the donuts and let cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, milk, almond extract and 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice. If your mixture is too thick, add additional milk one teaspoon at a time until it reaches  the right consistency.

Drizzle the glaze onto the donuts and sprinkle crushed pecans on top, if using.


Serves: 12  |  Serving Size: 1 donut

Per serving: Calories: 142; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 17mg; Sodium: 91mg; Carbohydrate: 76g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 14g; Protein: 2g

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Unexpected Stone Fruit Salad

Everywhere you look, plums, apricots, peaches and tomatoes are popping up. And there’s only so many things you can do with them … or are there? The best part about this late-summer season is that all of these stone fruits (yes, tomatoes are fruits, too!) mix together to make sweet and savory dishes that shine. The following recipe is an easy, quick and delicious way to capture all of the flavors for a fresh lunch or side dish at your next backyard barbecue or picnic dinner.


2 pounds tomatoes (a mix of small heirlooms and cherry tomatoes), halved
1 pound ripe stone fruits (a mix of plums, apricots, pluots, peaches and/or nectarines), sliced
1/4 cup  high-quality olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
A few pinches of fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup toasted almonds, chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/3 cup chives, chopped
8 ounces ciliegine mozzarella, halved
A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
Zest of one lemon
Drizzle of olive or lemon oil, for finishing
Flaked sea salt (optional), for finishing


Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the oven rack in the top third of the oven. Halve (or slice) all of your tomatoes and stone fruits. Preferably, this will be a colorful mix of heirlooms, cherry tomatoes and other colorful fruits. You want all the pieces to be about the same size so use the cherry tomatoes as a guide for how small to slice them. You’re going to roast half of the fruits and tomatoes.

Toss half the tomatoes and stone fruits  gently (but well) in a bowl with the olive oil, sugar and salt. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Allow the fruits to bake, without stirring, for roughly 45–60 minutes or until they’ve shrunken a bit and started to caramelize around the edges. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, halve the mozzarella, zest the lemon, chop the chives and tear the basil.

When ready to serve, gently toss the roasted and raw fruits with a bit of olive or lemon oil and most of the almonds, chives and basil, as well as all the capers and mozzarella. Taste and season with a bit more salt if needed. Serve topped with the remaining almonds, chives, basil and flaked sea salt if using.

Recipe makes 8 servings at 3/4 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 282; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 18mg; Sodium: 88mg; Carbohydrate: 20g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 14g; Protein: 11g

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Feed-a-Crowd Healthy Beef and Bean Burritos

Bold but simple, Feed-a-Crowd Beef and Bean Burritos can be made ahead to satisfy big families (and create leftovers!)

baking dish of burritos

I love burritos, and so do my kids. But I rarely make them at home. Why? Because making burritos is a stand-around, hands-busy kind of activity. Like flipping pancakes.

And since I’m a working mama with two little kids, I don’t usually have time for that kind of cooking. (If you’re wondering, I throw my pancake batter into mini muffin pans and bake it. That’s right.)

But when I discovered that I could make ten burritos all at once, and line them up in a baking dish for a heat-on-my-time meal, I had to try it!

Not only was the prep easy, I also found that that I could get a solidly delicious and nutritious burrito using just SIX ingredients.

Feed-a-Crowd Beef and Bean Burritos are a totally do-able dinner you can feel good about serving your kids.

Feed a Crowd Healthy Beef and Bean Burritos Closeup of Inside of Burrito
A Healthy “Taco Tuesday”

In America, Mexican cuisine doesn’t have a reputation for being super healthy. But when you make it at home, it is!

Let’s break down what makes these beef and bean burritos healthy and nourishing for you and your kids:

Fiber-rich whole grain tortillas (look for 100% whole wheat at the store.)
Heart-healthy beans for a good source of plant protein.
Ground beef (we use grass-fed) for protein and easily absorbable iron.
Whole milk cheese for calcium, protein, and brain-building fats.
Zesty tomatoes and onions for a boost of vitamins and phytonutrients.

We like to pair these burritos with a simple veggie side like salad, coleslaw, or crunchy raw carrots. Or even some fresh fruit.

Feed a Crowd Healthy Beef and Bean Burritos in a Baking Pan
Easy Beef and Bean Burritos

Here’s the scoop on these burritos: They’ve got SIX main ingredients. Just six! Even so, they taste anything but basic.

Of course you can add extras if you like, like salsa, shredded cabbage, or avocado. But even with just the basic six, you’ll get lots of flavor. And the cooking and assembly is easy peasy, and can be done ahead. Here’s how:

Saute the beef and onions, add a half a can of zesty tomatoes with chiles, then pile it all inside warm whole wheat tortillas along with refried beans and cheddar.

Ingredients for beef and bean burritos read to assemble.

You could even mix and match your burritos to make some vegetarian, some with the beef, and some with leftover cooked chicken, if you’ve got it.

Then place the rolled-up burritos in a baking dish and top with the rest of the tomatoes, and more cheese. Bake until it’s all melty, throw down some chopped cilantro, and you’ve got healthy, tasty burritos for days!

Literally, days. Send the leftovers in a lunchbox, or wrap them individually in tin foil to freeze. Enjoy!

Closer look of baked pan of beef and bean burritos.

The post Feed-a-Crowd Healthy Beef and Bean Burritos appeared first on Super Healthy Kids.

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Great Gluten-Free Grains: Bring on the Buckwheat

Buckwheat is a healthy, nutty, and versatile grain that is high in fiber, a great source of minerals (especially iron), and loaded with B vitamins. It’s perfect for those on a gluten-free diet or looking to add more protein and whole grains to their meals. Buckwheat is most often used as flour, groats, and noodles. Here’s how to use this flavorful grain.

Buckwheat Flour

Though the name may make you think otherwise, buckwheat is not wheat, but is actually a protein-rich seed from a plant similar to rhubarb. After the seed is ground, it becomes a silky flour with a purple-gray color. It can be a little tricky to work with on its own, so is often mixed with other whole-grain flours and ingredients to make baked goods. When used in smaller amounts, or in combination with other flours, it makes baked goods moist and tender. If you’re avoiding gluten, mix it with your favorite gluten-free flour blend or brown rice flour. If you’re not worried about gluten, try substituting half the all-purpose flour with buckwheat for a rich, nutty flavor.

Best Buckwheat Pancakes

Photo by naples34102

Try this recipe: Best Buckwheat Pancakes

Traditionally used to make crepes, it works well in many other types of breakfast treats, like Tasty Buckwheat Pancakes and Gluten-Free Waffles. But, it’s also great for baking and can be used in breads, like Gluten-Free Beer Bread and cookies, such as Buckwheat Lavender Biscotti.

More: Get tips for baking with gluten-free flour.

Buckwheat Groats

The unground form of the seed is a hearty and healthy substitution for oatmeal to make breakfast porridge. It’s also great in cold grain salads, hot grain casseroles, and as a nutritious rice substitution. The groats are thick, chewy, and don’t turn to mush like other cooked cereals and grains.

Untoasted Groats

These hulled groats have not been toasted, and are a pale green color with a mild nutty flavor. Try them in cold salads, like Lentils and Buckwheat Salad To Go (Gluten-Free), a tasty meal packed with protein from both buckwheat and lentils that’s perfect for picnics or an on-the-go lunch.

 Lentils and Buckwheat Salad To Go (Gluten-Free)

Lentils and Buckwheat Salad To Go (Gluten-Free) | Photo by Buckwheat Queen


These groats have been roasted, giving them a reddish color and a more distinct flavor, almost like an earthy, hoppy beer. Kasha has been a popular grain in Russia for centuries, especially in dishes like Kasha Varnishkas (kasha and bowtie pasta), but is equally delicious mixed into other well-known dishes from around the globe. Instead of using bulgur wheat, try using buckwheat in Toasted Buckwheat Tabbouleh for a protein-rich and gluten-free dish.

Toasted Buckwheat Tabbouleh

Toasted Buckwheat Tabbouleh | Photo by Allrecipes Magazine


Similar to rolled oatmeal, the whole groats are rolled into a flake that cooks more quickly than whole groats and is ideal for hot breakfasts like Overnight Buckwheat Oats.

Overnight Buckwheat Oats

Overnight Buckwheat Oats | Photo by Buckwheat Queen


Known as soba, Japanese buckwheat noodles are a popular ingredient in many lunch and dinner recipes. These noodles tend to be thin, compared to the thicker udon noodles. Though they can be made entirely from buckwheat, they are often a combination of wheat flours. Making soba noodles from buckwheat is an art of its own, so better to leave it to the masters and purchase already prepared noodles at your grocery store. If you’re looking for a quick and easy lunch or dinner, grab some buckwheat noodles and make Soba Noodle Salad with Chicken and Sesame.

Tips for Cooking and Storing Buckwheat

To maximize the natural nutty flavor, dry-toast the groats in a pan before cooking. Add groats to a dry pan over medium heat, and stir frequently until toasted and browned, about 5 minutes.
Soak the groats in cold water overnight to soften them and shorten the cooking time. Make sure you rinse and drain them well before cooking.
Groats can be boiled, steamed, or simmered, depending on your recipe and desired end result.
Store buckwheat in a cool, dry place for a short amount of time, in the refrigerator for three months, or in the freezer for six months.

You Might Also Like…

Get more buckwheat recipes.
Ready to learn more about whole grains? Check out our handy Whole Grain’s Cheat Sheet, or start cooking with gluten-free teff and sweet sorghum.
If you’re going gluten-free, check out our complete collection of gluten-free recipes for every meal of the day.

Follow me to more recipe inspiration and how-to tips on Allrecipes Dish.

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How to Cook a Pork Shoulder Roast

Also known as “Boston butt” or “picnic shoulder,” pork shoulder is an inexpensive cut of well-marbled meat that comes from the top portion of the front leg of the hog (despite the name “butt”). You can choose boneless cuts, which cook in a shorter period of time, or bone-in cuts, which have a little more flavor. The “Boston butt” has a bit more fat, making it super tender, while the “picnic shoulder” has more connective tissue, requiring slightly longer cooking time. Either one can be used in any recipe.

Raw Pork Shoulder

Photo by Meredith

The shoulder is a heavily used muscle, so the meat is fairly tough. Cooking it low and slow melts the gelatin and softens the muscle fibers, resulting in falling-apart tender meat. Make sure to set aside enough time, as cooking a four- to seven-pound roast can take all day. But, a little time spent cooking this roast results in great leftovers you can easily freeze for future quick meals.

The Basic Steps

1. Warm it up: Remove the pork from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Get ready: Preheat the oven to 300 to 325 degrees F (with the rack in the center), prepare your smoker, or pull your slow cooker or favorite Dutch oven out from the cupboard.

3. Trim the fat: Trim the thick layer of fat from the outside of the roast (but make sure to leave a thin layer, as this will help the pork to baste as it cooks).

4. ‘Tis the Season: Season the pork with salt, pepper, and any other flavors you like. The seasoning choices will depend on what you want for the end result: if you’re making tacos, sprinkle it with cumin, chili powder, and oregano. If you want to use the pork for several different types of meals, keep it simple with just salt and pepper.

4a. Sear it good. This is an optional step, but if you have the time, adds a lot of flavor. Heat a little oil in a large skillet or your Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the pork heavily on all sides until golden brown.

5. Getting Saucy: If braising on the stove top, roasting in the oven, or cooking in a slow cooker, place the pork in the pan fat-side up. Add enough liquid to the bottom of the pot to come halfway up the pork. Use chicken or vegetable stock, beer or cider, vinegar, or apple juice for the most flavor.

6. Cover it up: Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover the pot, and transfer it to your oven or smoker (or keep it on the stove top). If using a slow cooker, simply put on the lid.

7. Cook away! Roast, braise, or smoke the shoulder until it is falling-apart tender. Depending on the size of your roast, and whether it’s bone-in or bone-out, this could take 2 to 6 hours in the oven, or up to 8 hours in a smoker. If using a slow cooker, cover and cook on High for 5 to 6 hours or Low for 8 to 10 hours.

Pork Shoulder Recipes

Pulled pork, slow-cooked and torn into shreds, is a favorite when tossed with barbecue sauce and piled onto sandwiches. However, you can also mix this shredded meat into pasta, casseroles, top pizza, toss it into a stir-fry, make enchiladas or tacos, and so much more. Here are our favorite recipes to get you started:


Pork shoulder is great beyond pulled pork for barbecue. In Pork and Shiitake Mushroom Ragu, the pork is cut into chunks, and then slowly braised with herbs, tomatoes, and spices.

Pork and Shiitake Mushroom Ragu

Pork and Shiitake Mushroom Ragu | Photo by Howard

If you like cooking on the stove top, you might also enjoy Faye’s Pulled Barbecue Pork and Chef John’s Pork al Latte.


Cooked low and slow in the oven, Dee’s Roast Pork for Tacos, has a bit of kick from green chilies, chili powder, and taco seasoning. Make sure you have plenty of tortillas and pico de gallo on hand for serving.

Dee's Roast Pork for Tacos

Dee’s Roast Pork for Tacos | Photo by bd.weld


If you’re looking for the “real thing,” look no further than Bob’s Pulled Pork on a Smoker. Brined, rubbed, and sauced, this pulled pork takes time, but is worth every minute.

Bob’s Pulled Pork on a Smoker

Bob’s Pulled Pork on a Smoker | Photo by BIG BOY

Slow Cooked

Perhaps the easiest way to cook a pork shoulder, using a slow cooker won’t diminish the flavor (just the clean up). Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork gets a bit of zing from cider vinegar, a touch of sweet with brown sugar, and a lot of flavor from traditional barbecue spices. Pile this tender shredded meat on a buttered roll and dinner is served!

Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

Photo by Allrecipes

Love your slow cooker? Then you’ll also love Barbeque Pork Two Ways, Slow Cooker Carolina BBQ, and Bourbon Mango Pulled Pork.


19 Delicious Ways the World Cooks Pork Shoulder
How to Braise Your Way to a Perfect Meal
Two Sure-Fire Barbecue Tips from the Pros

Check out our collection of Pork Shoulder Recipes.

Get more cooking tips, trends, and inspiration on Allrecipes Dish.

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World Cuisines Inspire 9 Healthyish Ground Chicken Recipes

These recipes are an exciting and different way to enjoy ground chicken. They’re inspired by world cuisines. And because most of these recipes are quick and easy, they’re terrific choices for busy weeknight meals.

1. Thai Chicken Balls

These ground chicken balls are flavored with green onion, coriander, and chili sauce for a uniquely Thai flavor. “Loved these,” says LKFITNESS. “I put them with Thai Noodles and they were delicious.” Mayorchooch says, “I like to buy ground chicken but don’t have many ideas or recipes for it, so this was a great find — I made a glaze with pan drippings, soy sauce and more chili sauce. Wow! These turned out great!”
Thai Chicken Balls

Photo by MomTo6

2. Chef John’s Chicken Satay Burger

This recipe takes the concept of the satay — spicy meat on a stick — and turns it into a flavorful ground-chicken burger seasoned with Southeast Asian flavorings. You’ll serve them on buns with a zesty peanut sauce and a quick-pickled Asian-style slaw. Watch Chef John in action:


3. Chicken Bacon “Sushi”

You’ll spread seasoned ground chicken over slices of bacon. Top with Havarti cheese, roll up into a log and bake until crispy! Then slice into bite-size bacon-y sushi. “Yum yum,” says Linda T. “Meat and cheese. What’s not to like? Easy and tasty.”
Chicken Bacon Sushi

Photo by Linda T

4. Authentic Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Nem Ran Hay Cha Gio)

Here’s an authentic recipe for Vietnamese Cha Gio. Roll a mixture of ground chicken, shrimp, and vegetables in rice paper wrappers and fry until beautifully golden brown. “These are fantastic and taste almost exactly like my Vietnemese mother in law makes them,” says Jason.
Authentic Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Photo by bd.weld

5. Tandoori Chicken Burgers

These ground chicken burgers get the traditional tandoori treatment. They’re spiced with ginger paste, tandoori paste, garlic paste, and garam masala. Enjoy on bread or burger buns with chutney.
Tandoori Chicken Burgers

Photo by Linda T

6. Light Pot Stickers

Here’s a crowd-pleasing party appetizer. You’ll stuff wonton wrappers with ground chicken, soy sauce, and scallions, and then steam them in chicken broth. “Quick & easy pot stickers that won’t disappoint,” says Howard. “Definitely will keep this one at the ready!”
Light Pot Stickers

Photo by Howard

7. Chicken Wonton Tacos

This recipe puts a fun fusion twist on tacos. You’ll use baked wonton wrappers instead of corn taco shells. Fill them up with ground chicken, red cabbage, and grated carrots cooked in sesame oil, soy sauce and teriyaki sauce. “This is a great recipe,” says Devin. “My wife and I love the chicken wonton tacos at Applebee’s, and this is the closest to it.”


8. Ground Chicken Taco Burgers

These ground-chicken burgers sizzle with South-of-the-Border flavors. You’ll mix the ground chicken with minced onion, garlic, and taco seasoning. Top your burgers with pepper Jack cheese, avocado, jalapenos, and salsa on wheat buns. “Totally great,” raves Stacey. “I did add bread crumbs as well. Very moist burger with lots of flavour from the taco seasoning. Great too with the avocado and salsa.”
Ground Chicken Taco Burgers

Photo by Linda T

9. Thai Ground Chicken Basil

Heaps of garlic, tons of hot chilies, and a big bunch of basil make this recipe extra flavorful. “How could something so simple and fast be so delicious?” asks Jenn. “This is now my weekday standby. I serve it on rice made in the rice cooker or as an Asian lettuce wrap.”

Check out our complete collection of Ground Chicken Recipes.


8 Light and Tasty Dinners Made With Ground Chicken
10 Chicken and Pasta Dinners, Ready In 30 Minutes
12 Delicious Chicken Thigh Dinners

Get more cooking tips and awesome food finds.

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Are You Eating Enough Protein?

When you hear the term “protein intake,” you might think just about building muscle, but it’s really much bigger than that. Protein is essential for our bodies to work properly from head to toe, as we are literally made of protein.

You can think of protein as the worker bees of your body. Each protein has a job and is doing that job pretty much all the time. Protein rarely just sits around idle in your body, nor is muscle simply “stored” protein. In fact, the body actually doesn’t store protein at all. The proteins of your body — made up of individual components called amino acids — are acting as the manpower of movement, the hard-working immune system and carriers of oxygen in your blood, just to name a few roles.

When it does come to muscle, dietary protein is essential for ensuring your body has the necessary building blocks (amino acids) to maintain and build lean body mass. Without a surplus of amino acids available to the muscles, they will not grow in strength or size. Of course, the existence of protein in the body is not enough to build muscle; adding resistance exercise to your daily routine will get you on the fast track to muscle growth.

Pick up Johnsonville Flame Grilled Chicken for an excellent source of lean protein in a convenient package. We season and grill the chicken for you, so you get fresh-off-the-grill flavor in about a minute — with nothing artificial.


Nine out of the 20 possible amino acids are essential, meaning the body cannot make them on its own and they must be ingested. Animal proteins are “complete” proteins because they contain all nine essential amino acids. Plant-based proteins (such a legumes) are not all complete proteins but can be paired together to easily meet your amino acid needs.


Protein has a Recommended Dietary Allowance level of 0.8 g/kg of body weight. However, this is technically the minimum daily average intake level to meet the requirements of 97–98% of Americans. So while this is a good starting place, there is certainly a lot of wiggle room based on individual lifestyle and personal goals.

Many eating styles suggest using a percentage of your total calories to determine your protein needs is sufficient. While this is a decent guideline, it doesn’t really account for your unique body and personal goals. Therefore, determining your general protein needs is best defined by using your weight.

Most formulas will use kilograms as the body weight measurement. You can easily convert your weight in pounds to kilograms with this formula:

Weight in pounds / 2.2 = weight in kilograms

For example:  150 lbs / 2.2 = 68.2 kg


The range of recommended protein varies for different populations. You should consider protein intake a range to experiment with, not a set in stone, never-miss number. Working with a range gives you flexibility based on activity levels that day, hunger, the way your body feels and desired outcomes.

These guidelines are based on several sources of expert associations in fitness and nutrition. While this is a good guide, it’s best to consult a physician or registered dietitian nutritionist to determine your ideal protein range.

Recommended Dietary Allowance by the Dietary Guidelines0.8 g/kg of body weight

Average healthy adults1.0–1.5 g/kg of body weight

Active adults who exercise regularly1.1–1.6 g/kg of body weight

Active adults trying to lose weight1.6–2.0 g/kg body weight

Weightlifters looking to gain muscle1.2–2.0 g/kg of body weight

Older adults over 501.0–1.5 g/kg of body weight

Endurance athletes1.3–1.6 g/kg of body weight


Newer research is beginning to look not just at how much protein is needed daily but also how and when it is consumed throughout the day. It seems to make a difference on body composition, satiety and even athletic performance when protein is spread throughout the day instead of eaten more heavily at one time of the day (e.g., dinnertime). Research has shown interesting results that spreading total protein needs over the day evenly (about 20–30 grams per meal) is more effective at stimulating muscle synthesis and may translate to an overall healthier body long term.

Written by Jenna Braddock, a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified specialist in sports nutrition. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

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