|arugula and chickpeas in mustard vinaigrette|
|eggs over basil-stewed tomatoes|
|deconstructed puttanesca with artichoke hearts|
|tofu and yu choi over brown rice|
|red quinoa salad|
- Most dishes are vegetarian, or have small amounts of easy meat or seafood. I'm lazy about buying, thawing, cooking meat, and don't really need it.
- Whole grains and legumes are king. These things cover you for fiber and often, plant-based protein -- both pretty key. Quinoa cooks fast and has lots of protein. Lentils, soba and whole grain pastas are also awesome. Explore bulgur and whole wheat couscous. Nuts, in reasonable portions, are good for you in a million ways.
- The pantry is your friend. (Think capers, olives, spices, dried herbs.) So is the freezer (for chopped spinach, nuts, artichoke hearts, and tons more).
- Fresh herbs are both awesome and annoying. They are expensive, and for me, I use a small fraction of a bunch, and the rest turns to mud. Growing fresh herbs is the best idea ever. It will enhance your life in ways you can't imagine (e.g., chicks will dig you. It's true).
- Variety is not a priority. I can't have a bajillion different fruits and vegetables on hand. So, I buy a couple things, and combine them in creative ways over the course of a week.
- Be stingy about equipment. My apartment has a dishwasher, and her name is Tannaz. She's kinda lazy. I see no reason to make a dressing in one bowl, then toss it into a salad in a separate bowl. Mise-en-place in cute little ramekins? Will never happen.
- Bread is minimal, again, because it doesn't last. I mostly stick with whole-wheat pita, and whatever whole-grain crackery product I have on hand.
- Olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper: your best friends. Often that's all it takes. (Try it on roasted broccoli. Insane.)
- Balance deliciousness and health. You gotta enjoy it. Figure out what you are willing to give up or substitute (for one, I always choose Greek yogurt over sour cream), what you can sneak in (but, I will never choose weird lowfat cheese over the real thing -- I'll just use tinier portions of better-quality cheeses with stronger flavors). Not that it's a choice: Good in-season produce and lots of the other ingredients mentioned above, thoughtfully prepared and well seasoned, can be absolutely delicious and should be eaten with no guilt.
|nothing like succotash: fresh corn, edamame, tomatoes and hearts of palm|