Cooks Exchange

Try these top home-cooked meals for 2018 and keep an eye on healthy eating for 2019

Slow-cooker Beef Stroganoff with mushrooms is one of the Top 50 home-cooked recipes for 2018.
Slow-cooker Beef Stroganoff with mushrooms is one of the Top 50 home-cooked recipes for 2018. Getty Images/iStockphoto

What’s in the fridge and pantry for 2019?

Do you have Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Powder or Zupa Noma Kale Avocado on hand? Nutritionists at selected these two along with 98 others. Readers may know this site from its books “Eat This! Not That.” These are two of the site’s 100 top picks for healthy eating in 2018 and continuing into 2019. Both products are available on

The avocado soup also has collagen in it.

Now, don’t think the site’s picks have to be ordered online. Some familiar brands made the list, such as the Jolly Green Giant with its Green Giant Vegetable Meal Bowl, Buddha Bowl. This one packs 170 calories per cup and contains sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli and topped with a tahini dressing.

Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter gets a nod for its taste, no hydrogenated oils and no added sugar. It’s just peanuts and salt.

Some three or four years ago, Ezekiel bread was touted as the best bread for those wanting more fiber and health benefits. Well, once again it is on the list of healthiest of 2018. Those wanting to start the year right might want to try a loaf, which is found in the refrigerated or frozen section. Ezekiel 4:9 Low Sodium is made with sprouted grains, which are easier on the digestive system. A quick breakfast of Ezekiel 4:9 avocado toast sounds good.

What else should we either continue or start eating this year? Well, some of the Greek yogurts are quick snacks or an on-the-go breakfast. Cauliflower, one of the hit veggies of 2018, is still gracing the healthy tables of 2019. I have loved cauliflower since I was a kid, and, no, I didn’t need it slathered in cheese or white sauce. Cauliflower pizza crust and crackers are tasty, too.

For those with a sweet tooth, Halo Top ice cream is still cool with only 60 calories per half-cup serving.

Pasta lovers, try sweet potato gnocchi that satisfies the need for pasta. It’s gluten-free and is OK for pooches, too.

Most Popular National Recipes for 2018

What did home cooks cook from the cookbooks of celeb authors or not-so-well known ones? A few of these may surprise you from

Instant Pots, slow cookers, chickpeas, chicken and pasta all play roles in these favorite dinner recipes. Sue Kreitzman’s Lemon Butter Angel Hair Pasta and a slow-cooker Beef Stroganoff with mushrooms are just two of the Top 50 home-cooked recipes. The angel hair pasta recipe reminds me of the late Irene Stevens’ burned spaghetti, my family’s all-time favorite pasta recipe.

Share your favorite home-cooked meals

Please tell us what your favorite home-cooked meals in 2018, and would you share the recipe? At the Yeagers, it was two soups. Elyssa made an Italian chicken and ravioli soup with spinach or kale. I did a flavorful chicken and wild rice. I could eat a bowl of either right now.

Your Favorite Restaurant Meal of 2018

OK, what did the professional chefs do that came on strong? Tell us your favorite restaurant meal on the Coast or elsewhere.


(Serves 1, but easily increased)

2 tablespoons butter

2 ounces angel hair pasta

1 cup hot chicken stock

1 pinch freshly ground pepper to taste

1 splash lemon juice to taste

Melt the butter in a small pot. Break up the pasta into more bite-sized lengths, about 1 to 2 inches each. Toss the pasta in the butter until it is well-coated.

Pour in the hot stock and grind in the pepper. Cover and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Squeeze in the lemon juice (Sue Kreitzman used the juice of 1 small lemon). Taste and, if your stock wasn’t very salty and you’d like more, add a little salt to taste. Serve at once.

– Recipe by Sue Kreitzman on


2 pounds beef chuck stew meat

1 red onion, diced

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

8 ounces sour cream

12 ounces egg noodles, cooked, for serving

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, roughly chopped, for garnish

Add the beef, onion, mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, water and Worcestershire sauce to a slow cooker (such as a Crock-Pot) and season with salt and pepper. Stir, cover and cook on high for 5 hours. Meanwhile, cook the egg noodles (or white rice, which I sometimes prefer). When the stroganoff is done cooking, stir in the sour cream. Serve over the egg noodles and garnish with the chopped parsley.

– Recipe Eric Kim from

Andrea Yeager can be reached at