“My life at home gives me absolute joy.
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There are some days when, as soon as you’ve finished cooking breakfast and cleaning up the kitchen, it’s time to start lunch, and by the time you’ve done that, you’re doing dinner and thinking ..
‘There has to be a menu we can order from'” ~ Julia Roberts
If one were to open our fridge on any given day, it wouldn’t be hard to find something healthy and tasty to eat. Between the CSA, sweet neighbors, parents with incredible gardens, we’re usually pretty well stocked with the basics: veggies and greens.
Couple this great fortune with a woman who loves to spend her free time cooking, styling, eating, and writing about food. (Not to mention the fact that there are more cookbooks on my nightstand than novels). If there isn’t something waiting to go into the oven, are always left-overs at the ready.
That is, until this week
Last weekend, the dishwasher hummed along, amongst a whirlwind of cake testing (4 different kinds!) With my husband heading out-of-town for work this week, I didn’t cook anything new.
No worries, I’ve thought as the days have passed by. I’ll find the motivation to cook. But with picture-perfect fall weather, I’ve found every excuse to be outside instead of in the kitchen. Come evening time, I think
“Nope, not happening.”
Certainly, it’s tempting to simply switch out the kitchen light, put the puppies in the car, and go for take-out. Instead, I’ve relied on some tried and true standbys; part of an ever-growing list of quick meals we’ve taped to the inside of our cabinet doors.
A few of my favorites?
Basic gluten-free pasta (I’m hooked on Explore Asia’s organic bean pasta).
In the summertime, I’ll stir into the still-warm pasta some torn basil, olive oil, quartered cherry tomatoes, and sprinkle a few shavings of parmesan on top.
Another easy twist? Cooked lentils + steamed spinach + capers + olives + tomato sauce
Grass-fed burger (again, skip the bun) + mashed avocado + side of veggies
(ps: Trader Joe’s has some great frozen veggie blends that we have on hand in the freezer. They’re easy and delicious)
Wraps – Choose a gluten-free whole grain wrap (I really like Ezekiel’s sprouted grains), add beans, sauce, and two or three colorful veggies
Pinto beans + salsa + greens + chopped red or yellow peppers
Black beans + hoisin sauce + cabbage kimchi + shredded carrots
Chickpeas + curry sauce + spinach + steamed broccoli
Baked Potato – Whether you choose white or sweet, cook them however you like, top with a protein, some veggies, and a sauce. A few ideas?
Sweet potato with pinto beans + peppers + spinach + salsa
Red-skinned potato + white beans + arugula + tomatoes + pesto
Sweet potato + split peas + steamed broccoli and chopped peppers + red sauce
A Big Salad – Start with a base of dark, leafy greens (no need to skimp; at least 3-4 cups). Add a handful of two or three colorful veggies, a serving of protein, and a tasty dressing. Add a small serving of whole grains, either mixed in, or on the side
Mixed greens + farro + sliced red onion + fennel + shredded carrots + baked halibut + balsamic vinaigrette
Mixed greens + black beans + chopped bell peppers + quartered cherry tomatoes + salsa + chopped avocado + a few baked tortilla chips for crunch
Arugula and spinach + sliced almonds or walnuts + grapes + broccoli + herbed vinaigrette + chopped chicken + barley
Beans .. Greens .. and Grains – Saute some aromatics (if you have them), and add your chopped greens. Saute until almost tender, season with salt and pepper, then stir in your pre-cooked beans and grains just enough to heat. Stir and top with hot sauce, nutritional yeast, or even some fancy mustard.
Black-eyed peas + collards + barley. Top with smoked paprika + hot sauce
Black beans + kale + quinoa. Top with salsa + chopped avocado
White beans + broccoli + farro. Top with sun-dried tomatoes + capers
Stir-fry – An easy, tasty, and fast combination of protein + veggies + grains on the side. Season however you’d like
Chicken + Veggies (in lots of colors) + soy-ginger sauce .. all over rice
Steak strips + carrots + peppers + broccoli + curry sauce + barley
Chickpeas + peppers + onions + cabbage + millet + bbq sauce
Grains and Veggies – A few ideas?
Farro + Italian veggies + pesto
Rice + broccoli + cauliflower + hot sauce (or salsa)
Quinoa + tomatoes (roasted are great) + mushrooms + smoked paprika
Tasting Plate – Fill a pretty plate with a handful of each of these: Veggies (2 or 3 that are colorful), nuts, fruit,whole-grain crackers. Serve with a small bowl of your favorite dip.
Celery + carrots + cucumbers + white bean hummus + sprouted-grain crackers + grapes + almonds
Peppers + cherry tomatoes + guacamole + segmented orange + baked tortilla chips + pecans
Eggs – Never to be forgotten are one of my favorite foods
A piece of toast + two fried eggs + hot sauce or ketchup
Scrambled egg tacos + avocado + Siggi’s plain yogurt
An omelet + veggies + a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan
We make a lot of frittatas.
They’re filling and let you put neglected ingredients to good use. No matter if it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, if you have a six-pack of eggs on hand, a simple and satisfying meal is never more than a few minutes away.
This particular frittata inspired by Chorizo Verde we picked up on a whim at our local meat locker. The nutty bite of the chickpeas infused with the oil of the chorizo gives it a substantial feel, making it casual or elegant, and it’s great for a full meal, not just a side.
I imagine any variety of greens would be great and play around with the flavors. It’s very forgiving.
~ Adapted from Food52
Chorizo Frittata with Chickpeas and Spinach
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- olive oil
- 1 red pepper, roasted if you're feeling ambitious
- ¾ cup cooked chickpeas
- ½ lb chorizo
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 big handfuls spinach
- 5 eggs, beaten
- fine-grain sea salt
- Finely chop the onion and garlic and saute in a frying pan in a good glug of olive oil until soft and fragrant.
- Dice the red pepper and chorizo into chickpea-sized chunks and add to the pan with the chickpeas and paprika.
- Saute everything together until the orangy paprika oils run from the chorizo.
- Add the spinach and keep stirring until it wilts and everything starts to meld together in the pan.
- Add the eggs and stir gently to incorporate the eggs into the whole mixture, then allow to set over medium heat.
- Preheat the grill then slide the whole pan under the grill to set the top of the frittata; it will only take a minute or two to become light gold and puffy.
- Remove from the grill, gently loosen from the edge of the frying pan with a knife then place a large plate over the pan and invert the frittata onto it. Then place another plate on top and invert once again, so the glossy grilled top of the frittata is on view.
- Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
- Let cool slightly before slicing into canape sized cubes or wedges. Serve hot or room temperature as a tapas or with a salad.