The 13 Best Bang-for-Your Buck Items from Whole Foods on Amazon

The 13 Best Bang-for-Your Buck Items from Whole Foods on Amazon

whole-foods-groceries-chaey-rosenstrach.jpg

The Amazon-Whole Foods merger is the gift that keeps on giving. Earlier this week, the online giant’s $13.7 billion acquisition caused prices to drop significantly at Whole Foods—up to 40 percent!—on items like avocados, kale, almond butter, and eggs. But what if you’re too lazy to go to the store and still want to reap the benefits? Now you can get hundreds of Whole Foods products delivered with your Prime membership—including wine.

Amazon Prime Now (included with Prime membership in a few dozen major cities like NYC and Chicago) and Amazon Fresh ($14.99/month) are selling Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value products, ranging from tons of canned beans to frozen raw meat to olive oil. We’ve selected 13 of the best Whole Foods deals on Amazon to stock up on that’ll save you from schlepping groceries home and help your wallet at the same time.

1. Beans

whole foods cannellini beans

Our favorite canned beans are black beans, and cannellini beans are both $0.79 per can, so you can stock up for a big batch of chicken chorizo chili.

2. Rice

There are at least 10 varieties of rice on Amazon Prime Now and Amazon Fresh. You can snag 2 lbs. of long grain white rice for $3.99. That’ll make a lot of fried rice.

3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

whole foods olive oil

Right now the only Extra Virgin Olive Oil available is 16.9 oz ($7.99), but hopefully soon there will be bigger sizes.

4. Crushed Tomatoes

We love to use whole peeled tomatoes, but in a pinch, crushed tomatoes ($2.29 for a 28 oz. can) will do. Try it for pizza sauce!

5. Jug O’Canola Oil

whole foods canola oil

If you want to buy oil in bulk, you can get a 3L jug of canola oil for $8.99, perfect for making fried chicken.

6. Butter

For all of your baking needs, unsalted butter is only $3.49 per pound on Amazon. (Psst, maybe make these biscuits.)

7. Coconut Milk

whole foods coconut milk

Craving some weeknight curry? Buy a bunch of coconut milk ($1.99 for 13.5 oz.) to keep on hand.

8. Coconut Water

whole foods coconut water

Rehydrate with 1L containers of coconut water for $3.29 each.

9. Coconut Oil

The trifecta is complete with coconut oil, which costs $5.99 for 14 oz.

10. Soy Milk

whole foods soy milk

Soy milk ($2.99 for half gallon) was the only alternative milk online right now, but we bet almond and cashew will follow suit.

11. Sea Salt

Coarse sea salt for everyday seasoning is $1.99 for 25 oz.

12. Frozen Chicken Wings

Store raw frozen chicken wings ($8.99 for 2 lbs.) in the freezer for when that random baked peppercorn wing craving hits.

13. Spices

whole foods turmeric

There are tons of Whole Foods spices at fair prices, from basics like thyme and garlic powder to usually-pricey-but-not-essential cardamom ($4.99) to turmeric ($3.99). Tonight’s the night you finally try a Golden Milk latte. And you’ll basically be Scrooge McDuck with all the money you saved, too.

The 13 Best Bang-for-Your Buck Items from Whole Foods on Amazon

The 13 Best Bang-for-Your Buck Items from Whole Foods on Amazon

whole-foods-groceries-chaey-rosenstrach.jpg

The Amazon-Whole Foods merger is the gift that keeps on giving. Earlier this week, the online giant’s $13.7 billion acquisition caused prices to drop significantly at Whole Foods—up to 40 percent!—on items like avocados, kale, almond butter, and eggs. But what if you’re too lazy to go to the store and still want to reap the benefits? Now you can get hundreds of Whole Foods products delivered with your Prime membership—including wine.

Amazon Prime Now (included with Prime membership in a few dozen major cities like NYC and Chicago) and Amazon Fresh ($14.99/month) are selling Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value products, ranging from tons of canned beans to frozen raw meat to olive oil. We’ve selected 13 of the best Whole Foods deals on Amazon to stock up on that’ll save you from schlepping groceries home and help your wallet at the same time.

1. Beans

whole foods cannellini beans

Our favorite canned beans are black beans, and cannellini beans are both $0.79 per can, so you can stock up for a big batch of chicken chorizo chili.

2. Rice

There are at least 10 varieties of rice on Amazon Prime Now and Amazon Fresh. You can snag 2 lbs. of long grain white rice for $3.99. That’ll make a lot of fried rice.

3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

whole foods olive oil

Right now the only Extra Virgin Olive Oil available is 16.9 oz ($7.99), but hopefully soon there will be bigger sizes.

4. Crushed Tomatoes

We love to use whole peeled tomatoes, but in a pinch, crushed tomatoes ($2.29 for a 28 oz. can) will do. Try it for pizza sauce!

5. Jug O’Canola Oil

whole foods canola oil

If you want to buy oil in bulk, you can get a 3L jug of canola oil for $8.99, perfect for making fried chicken.

6. Butter

For all of your baking needs, unsalted butter is only $3.49 per pound on Amazon. (Psst, maybe make these biscuits.)

7. Coconut Milk

whole foods coconut milk

Craving some weeknight curry? Buy a bunch of coconut milk ($1.99 for 13.5 oz.) to keep on hand.

8. Coconut Water

whole foods coconut water

Rehydrate with 1L containers of coconut water for $3.29 each.

9. Coconut Oil

The trifecta is complete with coconut oil, which costs $5.99 for 14 oz.

10. Soy Milk

whole foods soy milk

Soy milk ($2.99 for half gallon) was the only alternative milk online right now, but we bet almond and cashew will follow suit.

11. Sea Salt

Coarse sea salt for everyday seasoning is $1.99 for 25 oz.

12. Frozen Chicken Wings

Store raw frozen chicken wings ($8.99 for 2 lbs.) in the freezer for when that random baked peppercorn wing craving hits.

13. Spices

whole foods turmeric

There are tons of Whole Foods spices at fair prices, from basics like thyme and garlic powder to usually-pricey-but-not-essential cardamom ($4.99) to turmeric ($3.99). Tonight’s the night you finally try a Golden Milk latte. And you’ll basically be Scrooge McDuck with all the money you saved, too.

We’re Sprinkling Fried Mustard Seeds On Everything

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We’ve become obsessed with the fried mustard seeds that top the potato and fennel salad at Kismet in LA (one of Bon Appétit‘s best new restaurants in the country). They’re crunchy, spicy, and super aromatic. Often found in Indian cuisine, mustard seeds lend flavor to sauces and curries. Frying the seeds first makes the mustard taste more subtle and brings out a more complex flavor, which Kismet chef Sara Kramer describes as “a floral, vanilla undertone.”

To fry mustard seeds at home, bring up your oil in a skillet so that it’s really, really hot. Pour in the mustard seeds and wait for them all to pop. It’s a bit like popcorn—everything will start popping very quickly and, within 5-10 seconds, it’ll start slowing down. Don’t leave them in too long, as they’ll get bitter if burned. Pour them out through a metal sieve, and drain on a paper towel before using in one of these five delicious ways:

Toast

For breakfast, sprinkle them over an open-face sandwich to give creamy avocado slices or hard-boiled eggs some crunch.

Stew

Impart a deep flavor to beef stew and curry by stirring in the seeds with their oil before portioning into bowls.

Tomato Salad

Just before serving, use the seeds to garnish fresh beefsteaks. Their spicy kick complements the fruit’s tanginess and adds great texture.

Creamy Dressing

Whisk them into yogurt or coconut sauce to balance the fat. An added bonus: The dark speckles look cool swirled into milky liquid.

This Civil Rights Activist Is the Reason I’ve Been Vegan for 30 Years

View of African American activist Dick Gregory, holding a bouquet of flowers, during a civil rights rally in New York, 1968. (Photo by Anthony Barboza/Getty Images)

 

These Asian-Inspired Dishes Are Perfect for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner

These Asian-Inspired Dishes Are Perfect for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner

Folgers

Whether you are a fan of Chinese, Japanese, or Vietnamese dishes you may have noticed a common thread appearing across these unique cuisines. Basting, glazing, or caramelizing meats, veggies, and other ingredients is a great way to increase the depth of flavor and bring the mouthwatering combinations of sweet and savory to the forefront. We partnered with Folgers® Simply Gourmet™ to share our favorite recipe ideas for Asian-inspired dishes that take all kinds of caramel to the next level.

Yes, Everything Is Better with Pork Belly

Folgers_082117_BON_Flgrs_CARAMEL-Prk-053
Heami Lee

There’s nothing better than the treacly flavor of sticky and slightly sweet ribs. Switch in a trend-forward ingredient and use the same candied technique to make caramelized pork belly. The pork gets cooked with sugar until the fat has rendered and the burnt-sugar caramel base has formed. Then the caramelized pork gets a coat of toasted and coarsely ground aromatic spices like fennel, coriander, and cumin. It’s perfect with a side of rice to soak into the sauce, or even on a bao bun for the ultimate handheld snack.

A Rice Porridge by Any Other Name Would Taste as Sweet

Folgers_082117_BON_Flgrs_CARAMEL-Nut-146
Heami Lee

A breakfast staple all over Asia, congee (or rice porridge) is having a moment. Whether you prefer yours sweet or savory, it’s always a good idea to play with textures to make each spoonful unique. For a seriously delicious mix of both flavor profiles, top a delicate congee with freshly cracked pieces of sweet and salty caramelized nut brittle that’s spiked with a little Sichuan pepper. The spicy nut caramel adds the perfect crunch, while a sprinkle of green onions or fresh herbs will amp up the umami and create a truly memorable breakfast at home.

The Secret-Weapon Side Dish You’ll Want to Bring to Every Dinner Party

Folgers_082117_BON_Flgrs_CARAMEL-SwtPtt-186
Heami Lee

Caramel doesn’t always have to sit in the “sweet” category. Mixed with soy and sesame, it takes on a beautiful depth that’s perfect for glazing a variety of root vegetables. For a standout side dish next time you’re whipping up an Asian recipe at home, toss roasted Japanese sweet potatoes in the savory, sticky caramel sauce and then sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. The menagerie of flavors strikes a perfect balance with a cup of rich and buttery Folgers® Simply Gourmet™ Natural Caramel Coffee.

September Horoscopes: Back-to-School Snacks Edition!

September Horoscopes: Back-to-School Snacks Edition!

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It’s the end of summer, the final days of beach weather, and full-on back-to-school season for millions of kiddos out there. And whether you’re packing a Star Treklunchbox or some kind of modernist bento box, you need to fill that thing with snacks. So for this month’s food horoscopes, find the snack that fits your sign and purchase in BULK.

september horoscopes snacks aries
Illustration by May van Millingen

Aries
We know how important your freedom is, so whether you’re going back to school or work after a summer vacation, now is an optimal time to design a new routine. Gym class was your favorite, so make sure to incorporate fitness into your day. But leave room in your schedule to play and bust out some Fruit-Roll-Ups at lunchtime. The tie-dye stretchy snack doesn’t take itself too seriously, and neither should you.

september horoscopes snacks taurus
Illustration by May van Millingen

Taurus
You’ve been a homebody this summer, but luckily all the redecorating has inspired your artistic side! Find your back-to school groove by signing up for that painting class. There could be some changes in your professional world, so funnel that creativity into your new business cards. While you’re networking and charming potential new employers, don’t forget to eat lunch. In it, pack some Ants-on-a-Logbecause you appreciate a snack that doubles as modern art sculpture (plus peanut butter is really, really good).

september horoscopes snacks gemini
Illustration by May van Millingen

Gemini
Your interests are vast, and you love learning new things, but this month you’ll turn inward. You might reconnect with a friend you’ve lost touch with, or remember how much you used to love skateboarding. Nostalgia reminds you how important friends and family are, so you are ready to deepen relationships this month and pay attention to them—one might lead to an exciting opportunity. Bond with your friends by smashing some Dunkaroos (which you might have to buy imported from Canada but whatever!)—the ideal sugar high for binge-watching cartoons.

september horoscopes snacks cancer
Illustration by May van Millingen

Cancer
You’ve felt pulled in two different directions lately. You’ve been busting your hump to make your dreams come true, but now you’re ready to rebalance your life and focus more on your relationships. Big changes are happening in the lives of your loved ones and you want to make the time to show up and share it with them, but at the same time, you’re reluctant to step back and say no at work. What you need is a snack that gives you courage. Snag a pack of chocolate Pocky so that no matter where you show up, you’re looking sharp. These chocolate-coated cookie sticks are perfect for crunching an entire box of, one by one, as you cross things off your to-do list.

september horoscopes snacks leo
Illustration by May van Millingen

Leo
Your favorite part of back-to-school season is shopping for new clothes. You always made sure that you’d turn heads on the first day of school (and every day after). Prosperity is on your side this month, so you’ll be tempted to splurge more than usual. This is a great time to tie up all of the loose ends in your life. Clean out the junk drawer, schedule a dentist appointment already, and update your IOS. When the snack craving strikes, turn to your cherished friend, Goldfish, who’s been there your entire life—consistent, like a Leo. And it probably matches those new silk patterned pants just perfectly.

september horoscopes snacks virgo
Illustration by May van Millingen

Virgo
Few people appreciate a freshly organized pencil box as much as you, but your favorite part of back-to-school season is being the first to celebrate your birthday! Who to invite? Right now, you’re wearing rose-colored glasses, so everyone is on your good side (for once). Take advantage of your extra magnetism and voice your ideas; you’ll be happy you did as the rewards trickle down. One of those rewards might be a pack of some Handi-Snacks, the crackers with bright orange cheese spread, complete with a little red spatula to ensure that each bite meets your standard of perfection.

september horoscopes snacks libra
Illustration by May van Millingen

Libra
For you, the highlight of going back to school is meeting new classmates. You scope out who your close friends will be, but you’re good at convincing the entire class to like you. There may be some exciting changes in the realm of home and family this month, and it will be a challenge to stay on task, but you must! You carry a renewed optimism and are feeling more creative than usual. With so much to be joyful about, you suddenly have a sweet tooth. Satisfy it with some Gushers, the gel-filled snack that will stain your mouth blue. Sharing is optional but necessary if you have one more heart to win over.

september horoscopes snacks scorpio
Illustration by May van Millingen

Scorpio
You don’t give in easily, not even to yourself, but sometimes it’s okay to change your mind! If you have to redo something at work and it seems annoying, know that your endurance and focus will pay off in the long run. Because there is bountiful potential in your career this month. Expand your reach and join a poker group, volunteer organization, or book club, where you’ll munch on Famous Amos. These cookies are as hard as a rock, but you love a challenge.

september horoscopes snacks sagittarius
Illustration by May van Millingen

Sagittarius
Whether you’ve been remodeling the kitchen or caring for a loved one, you’ve been giving much of your energy to your home life these days. Stick it out because recognition may be just around the corner. It looks as though there may be some changes in the realm of finances, so now is a great time to ask for a raise—if you’ve earned it—or plan your next move. Since you love keeping your options open, Chex-Mix will be your favorite back-to-school snack. The infinite combinations will make you feel full of possibility.

september horoscopes snacks capricorn
Illustration by May van Millingen

Capricorn
You always try to have the highest GPA in the class, and back-to-school season is time to begin the climb to the top once more. In fact, you already feel like you’ve reached the summit; this is going to be an excellent month for your career. Your excitement for the next adventure may inspire you to book your next vacation. It’s time to expand your horizons and there’s no better time to trade in that Chewy bar you somehow eat every single day for a pack of Oreos. You’ll finally experience the sweet exhilaration of change everyone’s been telling you about.

september horoscopes snacks aquarius
Illustration by May van Millingen

Aquarius
While you don’t normally take anything too seriously, this month you are ready to commit yourself to something long-term. Meditation helps you see a clearer picture of what you’d like to attract, and it will also help you stay cool if a bill from the past comes back to haunt you. You are especially busy this month, so make sure to arm yourself with a big box of Ritz Bitz peanut butter sandwiches. (Enough to toss in the air to try to catch with your mouth and a few to throw at your friends in the lunchroom.)

september horoscopes snacks pisces
Illustration by May van Millingen

Pisces
With the extra responsibility you’ve been handed, work has been busy, and you’ve been caught up in the routine. Now you realize how much you miss your friends! You’ll be surprised how casual hangouts can alleviate some of the pressure on you, and all you have to do is show up! This is an excellent time to reprioritize so that you can simply enjoy more. And nothing will help you enjoy more than a nostalgic snack shared with friends: How about Keebler cheese and cheddar sandwich crackers? If your fingers aren’t stained orange by the time you’re done, you’re not doing it right.

Julie Klausner Really, Really Loves This Cream Cheese

Julie Klausner Really, Really Loves This Cream Cheese

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In The Grocery List, Bon Appétit invites some of our favorite people to share what they bought and cooked in a week. Below, Difficult People star Julie Klausner shares what’s on her list. Season three of the Hulu comedy is streaming now.

I buy most of my groceries online. Sometimes it’s because I’m lazy, but sometimes I have a hard time getting out of the house. I’m first and foremost a writer, and I have a cat. I know it’s a stereotype, but we are kind of introverted and like to have our little space. I have a very cozy apartment and so sometimes, especially when I’m on a roll or I hit some sort of a flow, I’m not gonna break it up by going to the grocery store and waiting in line at Whole Foods.

My only holdup to grocery shopping online is my intense love of fruit. It’s in my DNA! My grandpa was a fruit vendor and my grandmother had very specific rules about picking out a cantaloupe. Here’s the secret: You have to smell it. I mean, you reallyhave to smell it, you have to hold it in your hands. It can’t be too firm, and the smell has to be really fragrant and attractive, but not cloying. So the problem with buying groceries online is that you’re not getting your hands on the fruit. My grandmother would have no idea what to do with that information if I told her, “Oh yeah, no, I order my fruit from the internet.” My family would look at me like I was insane, saying, “What’s next? You’re gonna order shoes from the internet?” Well, yeah, grandma… but, you know what, nevermind. I’m still gonna use FreshDirect, or expensive-but-fast Max Delivery here in New York. Because of them, I never have to leave my apartment. That’s the dream.

julie klausner grocery list
Illustration by Alaina Sullivan

It’s actually harder than you’d think to avoid impulse purchases online. I saw these little single servings of chocolate-covered cranberries from Dylan’s Candy Bar and was like, “Oh, helloooo.” But then it was a very satisfying experience. They’ve got that fabulous waxy consistency on the outside, where you bite into them and you really feel like you’re getting your chocolate on. It’s better than when I end up with Sour Patch Kids and I’m like, “What’s wrong with me? I’m 40!” For me, it’s either gummy candies or frozen dinners. I think it’s a good idea to have a Weight Watchers Chicken Parmesan dinner in my freezer, but I never eat it. Anything that’s frozen and savory is not gonna get eaten, and I should know that by now.

I feel guilty about eating meat, so I keep things mostly vegetarian for “cooking”—I put that loosely, because I mostly mix things together—at home and rely on the important things, like Kozy Shack rice pudding. It’s fantastic. It’s from God above! The extent of my cooking is probably eggs (when I have the energy), pasta, and putting cinnamon applesauce when I reheat meat and it’s dry. Try it!

Here’s what I bought and “cooked” this week.

Sunday

I grocery-shopped today, which means then I’ll end up eating out instead afterward. I had brunch at The Smile, which has a really great ricotta on toast with tomatoes and the best chocolate chip scones in New York City. They’re just layered chocolate and biscuitty texture and it’s unbelievable how good their scones are. I had scrambled eggs and bacon, too. Life’s simple pleasures.

Monday

My one true love is Temp Tee whipped cream cheese. I wake up craving it. I go to bed craving it. I think of it in the shower sometimes. I have to stop. I have to rein myself in. But I’m just a Jewish girl who really appreciates whipped cream cheese and its flavor and consistency and spreadability! I eat it with everything but it’s better with starches, obviously. But have I dipped baby carrots into it? Yes. Yes, I have. Have I tried to dip Carr’s water crackers in it? I sure have. The crackers break, and that’s completely fine because I will recover them and I will make sure they have the right proportion of cream cheese on them. Even when I’ve been either sick physically or really depressed and can’t eat, I will always make room for a Carr’s cracker with cream cheese on it. That will be something that even when I’m on death’s door, I’ll still eat it.

But the best thing in the world is Temp Tee on challah, whether a roll or a thick slice, with a little bit of jam. That will cure anything that ails you that day. It’s better than any stupid danish or apple turnover. And that’s what I had for breakfast. So the rest of the week can’t be so bad.

julie klausner fridge
Everything you need in life is in my fridge: Temp Tee, champagne, challah, La Croix, Kozy Shack.

Julie Klausner

Tuesday

I don’t cook, but I do prepare food by combining things. I made myself a Caprese-ish snack of mozzarella balls, cut up tomatoes, and basil and ate it off the cutting board. I had some melon and prosciutto off of the same board. It’s a fancy snack that makes me feel like I’m in Florence in August.

Later that night, I went to a premiere for Fun Mom Dinner, so I had a bunch of hors d’oeuvres, which is also my favorite dinner. They had one of my favorites: potato pancakes with smoked salmon and a dollop of creme fraiche. That’s heavenly to me. We also had those little pouches with chicken inside of them that are kind of like dumplings. Those were a goddamn delight.

Wednesday

During the day, I was doing color-correct and sound mixing for Difficult People, which meant midday takeout. I got a yellowtail scallion roll, a cucumber roll, a piece of salmon, a piece of shrimp, and a few other random ones from a spot I love called Mottsu on Mott Street.

From there, I went to see Groundhog Day on Broadway and knew I wouldn’t have time to grab dinner. So I put a string cheese and a Balance Bar in my bag to eat during intermission. Let’s be honest with ourselves: cookie dough Balance Bars are candy. They have a milk chocolate outside and the inside is obviously vitamin-enhanced cookie dough-like substance. It’s starchy and it’s got those little crunchies instead of chips.

When I got home that night, I had cereal. I let Grape-Nuts sit in milk so they get mushy for as long as I can bear it, and then put some DIY trail mix on top (pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries). Even though I’m not lactose intolerant, I buy Lactaid. It’s sweet and lasts at least a week longer than regular milk!

Thursday

Another day of takeout. I got a chicken quesadilla from the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, but really I was there to go to town on the free candy around the studio. My weakness is a Twix. The crunch and the chewiness is wonderful, then there’s the integrity of the milk chocolate wrapper. If I had a choice, baked goods are my favorite kinds of dessert. I want a Blondie and a Rice Krispie Treat. I grew up with Duncan Hines box cakes and brownies and cookies, so to me, a Twix candy bar is the closest thing to something that you get at a bake sale.

Friday

One of my favorite easy meals is spaghetti with cottage cheese and salt and pepper. I don’t care if that sounds disgusting to you—growing up, that was my family’s Cacio e Pepe! It’s cheese and noodles and it made me very happy as a little girl, so I eat it when I want some comfort. It’s usually between that or some random pasta salad with chopped vegetables, gemelli pasta, olive oil, salt and pepper. Sometimes lime or vinegar for acidity plus scallions and dill for more flavor. Sometimes I add tuna. But today it was single-serving cup of Breakstone’s cottage cheese mixed into spaghetti with a lot of pepper, and that’s fine by me.

 

A Fish Spatula Is the Only Spatula You Need

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If my spatulas could talk, they’d be pretty mad at each other (and me, honestly) right now. I’ve already written an ode to my mini-spatula, and here I am trying to tell you why you should actually buy a fish spatula instead.

So let’s be clear about the stakes of the situation. In a dream world, you can all the many spatulas that your heart desires. (What, you don’t have dreams about kitchen equipment and storage?) But in reality, your utensil crock has limited space. So if you had to choose just one to take with you to a desert island, it should be a fish spatula—and not just because you’ll probably be cooking and eating a lot of fish on said island. Allow me to explain.

browned meat ground beef process 2
PHOTO BY ALEX LAU

No salmon in sight! That sharp, sturdy fish spatula is just the thing for breaking up ground meat.

While most spatulas are only good for flipping or cutting or stirring, the fish spatula is the unicorn of kitchen utensils in that it’s actually quite multi-purpose. It has a thin, almost-sharp edge, which makes it great for sliding under delicate pancakes without messing them up, but also has enough heft to flip them over easily—the same goes for latkes, all kinds of fritters, and even hefty, American-style omelets. The thick handle helps you get a good grip, allowing you better dexterity when you’re trying to, say, flip burgers in a slightly-too-small skillet. It’s also great for cutlets, bigger vegetables, and anything that needs a little more effort to flip.

But wait, there’s more! Because of it’s slotted shape, a fish spatula can work in a pinch if you’re frying and don’t have a slotted spoon or spatula. AND it’s sturdy and sharp enough to scrape up whatever crusty bits that end up stuck to your cast-iron or sheet pan. Did we mention that it’s a lot easier to clean than most plastic spatulas?

You know that cheap (often black) plastic spatula that comes in those all-in-one utensil kits? Yeah, I don’t even think I own that anymore. Just throw it out and buy a fish spatula already—you’ll thank me later.

How to Brown Meat So It’s Actually, You Know, Brown

browned ground beef

For the record, when you brown ground meat in a pan, it should be, well, brown and crispy. If it’s gray and mealy like mom’s taco meat used to be, you’re not really browning your meat. Those are just the facts. Learning how to brown meat the right way will leave you with a crispier, juicier, more interesting protein. Here’s how to show that ground beef, pork, or lamb the respect it deserves.

browned meat ground beef comparison
PHOTO BY ALEX LAU

We want what’s on the left, not the right.

1) Dry the raw meat on paper towels and let it come up to room temperature. This prevents it from steaming in the pan and moving from cool to hot too quickly. It basically ensures that it cooks more evenly.

browned meat ground beef process 1
PHOTO BY ALEX LAU

2) Add the meat to a hot, lightly oiled cast-iron pan and smash it into an even layer—then don’t touch it. You don’t want to break up your ground meat before it has time to gain some texture.

browned meat ground beef process 2
PHOTO BY ALEX LAU

3) Once you see crisp edges, use a spatula to divide the patty and flip it in pieces. Brown the other side, then break into bits and season. Getting a full brown on both sides is what you’re aiming for. That will give you the flavor, texture, and juice factor that will take you straight to the top of the ground beef game.

Now it’s time to actually use the technique. Ground meat is extremely versatile, shining in salads, tacos, lettuce wraps, casseroles, and just about everything else. Well, maybe not smoothies. Here are a few dishes that benefit from perfectly browned ground meat:

lamb-larb.jpg
Recipes

Lamb Larb

We’re also big fans of this weeknight chicken larb.

Yup. The classic ground beef application. Getting those crispy edges really will change you as a person. They bring a whole new meaning to the word “Taco Tuesday.”

This Thai inspired salad highlights the crispy fatty pork with clean cucumbers and lettuce. Basically, it’s a way to tell you’re body that eating all of this ground meat is actually healthy. Maybe.

More Ground Meat Recipes, Right This Way:

6 Food Additives You Can Stop Worrying About

Scientists examining produce in greenhouse Processed with VSCO with c8 preset

There was a time, before any of us can remember, when you didn’t have to think twice about what was in your food. An apple was an apple that you picked off your tree. The bread you baked had a handful of ingredients, all with pronounceable names. Now, food science allows us to bend the rules. Our bread doesn’t have to have gluten and our apples can be turned into chips. But trading simplicity for novelty has meant longer ingredient lists, more unfamiliar words to decipher, and more uncertainty about what we’re eating and whether it’s actually, well, food.

It’s good to question what’s going in your body, and choosing fresh, whole foods over the processed stuff is certainly a worthy goal. But, it’s also a relief to know that not all additives are evil. “Just because a word is unfamiliar, doesn’t mean it’s always bad,” says Lisa Lefferts, senior scientist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “There are a few additives that we caution against such as synthetic food dyes, but the biggest risk for consumers actually comes from added sugars and salts. Ironically, these are ingredients we do recognize.”

So, in the interest of helping you chill out, here are a few of the additives you can probably stop stressing about.

Inulin

Find it in: Protein bars, dairy, frozen desserts

What’s the deal: Usually derived from the chicory root plant, inulin is a fiber substitute that gives food a smooth and creamy texture. It’s harmless and even helps maintain good bacteria in the gut. The only thing to keep track of is how much you’re getting. “Inulin is in a lot of products, so it’s easy to go overboard, especially since it doesn’t have the texture or taste of fiber,” says Michael Roizen, MD, chief wellness officer at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. “And, like any fiber, too much can bring on constipation, gas, and bloating.”

Lecithin

Find it in: Baked goods, chocolate

What’s the deal: Lecithin is an emulsifier that comes from soybeans or egg yolks. It helps make cakes and muffins more pillow-y and prevents oil and water from separating. Though most varieties currently come from soy, “it’s generally considered safe, even for people with soy allergies,” says Robin Foroutan, MS, RD, an NYC-based integrative dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Cellulose

Find it in: Bread, grated cheese, sauces

What’s the deal: Remember reading headlines about sawdust in grated Parmesan cheese? Cellulose is the ingredient everyone was calling out as shredded wood. But, even though some types of cellulose do come from wood—others from cotton or corn husks or even produce—experts aren’t concerned about it. “Cellulose is a type of fiber used to prevent caking, modify texture, and can be used as a filler. It’s not only in food, but some supplement capsules as well,” says Foroutan. “The thing to keep in mind is that, unlike fiber from whole foods or inulin, cellulose doesn’t fill you up.”

Riboflavin

Find it in: Flour, breakfast cereals

What’s the deal: It’s just a fancy name for vitamin B2, which is added to fortify foods. “Riboflavin used to be chemically synthesized, but more manufacturers are testing alternative methods like producing it through fermentation or with microbes,” says Lefferts. Riboflavin is one of eight B vitamins that help the body metabolize fats and protein and keep the nervous system running in top shape. You’ll find it in whole foods too: almonds, mushrooms, eggs, and spinach.

Natamycin

Find it in: Cheese, yogurt

What’s the deal: This antimicrobial additive kills off mold in certain dairy products. While some of our favorite cheeses thrive on funk and spores, there are a few types of mold that can make cheese spoil—natamycin tackles those.

Ascorbyl palmitate

Find it in: Oil, chips, sauces, frozen meals, vitamins

What’s the deal: An antioxidant that prevents oils from turning rancid, ascrobyl palmitate comes from combining vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and palmitic acid from fat. “When you eat it, it breaks down into vitamin C and fat, which can be converted into energy,” says Lefferts. “But the amount of fat is very small, so you don’t have to worry about it impacting your cholesterol.”