Meatballs don't always evoke thoughts of a quick, satisfying meal, but these ones should: no milk-soaked breadcrumbs, searing, or homemade tomato sauce necessary. Crumbled feta and one egg add plenty of moisture and flavor to ground chicken and quick-sautéed spinach, flavored simply with paprika and salt.
In thinking about make-ahead Thanksgiving and holiday leftovers, a strata is a veritable no-brainer. Once the dinner plates have been cleared, you can assemble this in 5 minutes flat. The following day, you'll have brunch waiting in your fridge ready to be baked off—once everyone's appetite has returned.
After hors d'oeuvres, appetizers, first, seconds, thirds, probably a midnight snack, and leftover pie for breakfast, chances are you may be craving some clean eating after Thanksgiving. This soup creates a lot of flavor in a short period of time, using ingredients most likely already purchased for the holiday.
If you think Waldorf salad connotes American culinary relic, a dish best forgotten alongside jellied salads, then this fresh take will forever change your mind. In lieu of sliced raw celery, I added fennel and chopped fronds for crunch and flavor, and toasted the walnuts with a quick homemade spice mix of cumin, paprika and cayenne for some kick. My favorite part of this dish is the roasted red grapes—alongside fresh green ones.
Harissa provides an undercurrent of gentle heat that complements sautéed kale (I cooked mine to the fried/crunchy level), seasoned with lemon juice and zest, which gets folded into a savory-and-sweet couscous along with bright, crunchy radishes and sweet pears.
What sets this soup apart from other tomato-bread varieties are two things: the welcome addition of mushrooms, cut into large pieces so they don't get lost in the crowd, and cinnamon, bringing an undercurrent of warm spice to the strong tomato flavor.
This week's Lunch Box ushers in fall with warm, nutty flavors. Fried hazelnuts serve double duty by acting as a crunchy topping when mixed with parsley and lemon zest, and infusing oil to be slicked on both the steak and the roasted cauliflower.
Stone fruits and melons bring to mind portable beach snacks, bubbling cobbler or juice dripping down your chin. But as we wrap up our leisurely summer weekends (and produce) and transition to fall, there's no need to leave the fruit behind—you can pack it in cold grain salads for an office lunch.
There are few sights more welcoming after a day in the sun than a tangle of cold noodles slicked with pesto, waiting to be eaten straight from the container. I recreated the pesto wheel here with arugula, Parmesan, walnuts and, stick with me, jalapeño.
Summer lunches always have me craving something spicy, something cold, or something with relatively few ingredients. This week's lunchbox just happens to be a combination of all three.
Zucchini and dill shine in this soup, with nothing else added but onions for sweetness and chicken broth for some full-bodied flavor.
This vegetarian riff on Chinese sweet and sour chicken uses warm, syrupy honey as a foil for acidic vinegar and salty soy sauce for a hearty and flavorful meal.
Heaps of fresh parsley, paprika, and coriander add tons of bright flavor to this hearty bulgur dish, stuffed into a pita and held together with some lemony tahini.
The key to a make-ahead sub is choosing toppings that won't wilt or dry out, and to choose a bread that won't quickly turn stale or soggy. This sandwich iteration of the classic beans 'n' greens pairing fits all the criteria, and takes less than 20 minutes to throw together.
This week's lunch box was borne out of a desire to make and eat my favorite potato salad for lunch, followed by the begrudging conclusion that just potato salad does not a responsible lunch make. So I added some things—handfuls of arugula and a base of black quinoa—to turn a side dish craving into a full-fledged meal.
Baked tofu won't dry out the next day, and it won't become sad and shriveled like fried tofu can. A trip under the broiler yields a crunchy, chewy crust; here it's bolstered by a thick coating of sesame seeds. A spicy green bean salad makes a straightforward, refreshing accompaniment, and can be mixed and matched with whatever's in your fridge.
I slather chimichurri on anything edible all year round, but corn is the perfect slatheree in the summer. Swathed in the bright, herbal sauce, sweet corn, fennel, roasted peppers, and shrimp are gently elevated, without being overwhelmed.
Inspired by cha ca la vong, a flavorful Vietnamese stir-fry, these mushrooms take on warm notes from turmeric, acidity from vinegar and lime, and sweet freshness from scallions and heaps of dill.
Not to be confused with the thick-as-fog, sits-in-your-stomach-like-a-brick winter-time version, this pea soup is light, subtle and fragrant with lemon and mint. No cream, no ham; this pea soup gets all the flavor it needs from blanched lemon peels, shallots, mint, and a bit of grated Parmesan.
Cucumbers and radishes are the perfect, refreshing candidates for a salad that can improve while sitting in dressing overnight. The tangy, shallot vinaigrette I used as a marinade—just shallots, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and a big pinch of salt—is my go-to, and it never lets me down. With the addition of shrimp, briefly sautéed in Old Bay, it makes a quick and easy lunch to take on the go.
If your office is anything like mine, which is to say, offensively freezing given the calendar date, then you likely share my affinity for soup in warm weather. Leeks, fennel, peas and spring onions make this something of a spring vegetable kitchen sink soup, so you can feel like spring while shivering at your desk.
A quick Google search revealed that kale and tahini are not such original bedfellows, but the first time I tried a kale tahini salad it was a mind-blowing revelation. I added almonds and apricots, sticking with the Mediterranean flavor profile, and added some chicken as well to make it a more complete meal.
Once you delve into the wonderfully complex world of homemade salsas, you'll never reach for the jarred stuff again, and sub-par pico de gallo will have you siesta-ing on the spot. Get started with these five great salsa recipes.
Sitting overnight gives the orange flavors time to permeate the dish, offset by salty, fatty prosciutto, bitter raddichio, and balsamic. Every nutty grain of farro absorbs the bitter, tart and sweet flavors.
If fattoush salad is not in your regular culinary vocabulary, add it now. This Mediterranean bread salad is crunchy, fresh, colorful, and, like most good Mediterranean foods, stunningly good in its simplicity. While fattoush almost always has cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, and pita, there are tons of variations out there that can be easily guided by what's in your fridge.
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