I want to share some of the “basic” recipes that I use when I need to figure out dinner on the fly.
Frittatas: I always have eggs on hand for these. You can put almost any vegetable in a frittata: sauteed greens, diced potatoes, zucchini. Just make sure that you get as much liquid out of the vegetables you add as possibly. Add some meat or cheese and you’re set. Leftovers also make a great breakfast or lunch.
Salads: I always keep a couple of jars of homemade dressing in the fridge during salad season. Do remember that salads aren’t just about lettuce. You can put anything in them – raw and cooked vegetables. Add grains, beans and/or protein to bulk them up. Make coleslaw – you can jazz it up with Thai basil and hot peppers. Make Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and feta cheese. Make a taco salad with chicken, black beans, sturdy greens, tomatoes, and corn.
Soups: Remember the story of stone soup? You don’t need to use a stone, but you can quickly throw together a soup. Always keep some stock on hand – homemade or purchased. If I’m out of stock, I keep a jar of Better than Bouillon in the fridge. It’s tasty and quick. Saute some onion, sweet pepper, and sweet potato. Use some Thai curry paste and add a can of coconut milk. Or saute summer squash, green beans and add elbow macaroni and diced fresh tomatoes. Swirl in some pistou. Another idea: Take some onion. Saute in butter and add chopped broccoli. As soon as it’s tender, puree with a blender, add stock and cream. (you can do a roux, but I like to just pack it with broccoli).
Stick it in a sandwich: Always keep a loaf of crusty bread in the house (slice it and put it in the freezer). I love this recipe. It’s very easy. Promise. Try hummus, tomatoes, grilled zucchini or cucumbers, and feta cheese. Go with the standard fresh mozzarella, ripe tomatoes, and basil. I love goat cheese with roasted red peppers. Try cream cheese, smoked salmon, cucumbers, tomatoes, and dill. Try a combo of cucumbers, olives, pepperoncini, tomatoes, radishes, greens, and feta with tzatziki sauce.
Roast it: I love roasting asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, beets, etc. Serve as a side and make extra to eat as snacks or toss with pasta for a meal later in the week.
Pasta: Just about anything is great with pasta. Toss sauteed greens or roasted vegetables with some chickpeas, a little of the pasta cooking water, chile flakes, olive oil and romano cheese and you have a meal. Use tomatoes and puree them slightly. Add a little cream and saute any vegetables you need to use up. Keep in mind that pasta doesn’t just mean Italian dishes. Use rice noodles or soba noodles, mix in some cooked vegetables and some kind of protein. Make a peanut sauce and you’ve got a great meal. Take wagon wheels, toss with tomatoes, black beans, peppers, and onions. Sprinkle with a little taco seasoning, sprinkle with cilantro and you have a tasty Mexican pasta salad. Lasagna is a pain to make, but you can use so many different vegetables in it. Make two and freeze one for later. Broccoli stems, garlic scapes, and arugula make a great pesto to serve with pasta.
Pizza: You can put anything on a pizza and it’s great. Onions, peppers, olives, tomato sauce and feta cheese make a great greek pizza. Sauteed greens or broccoli rabe with garlic and romano cheese is great. Roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, leftover chicken and a little bbq sauce is good.
Tacos: Everything is better in a taco. Chipotle black beans and sweet potatoes. Fish tacos with cabbage, kale and cilantro slaw. Mushrooms and grilled zucchini tacos with fresh corn salsa. Roasted butternut squash, sauteed kale and cranberry salsa. Chicken, roasted peppers and melon salsa. Grilled steak or tofu, grilled summer squash, onions and green peppers. Lentils, spicy roasted cauliflower and green salsa.
These are just a few suggestions! I’ll post some more at a later date.