Have you ever been in a cooking rut? When days go by and you just can’t bring yourself to make an honest meal, instead ordering in or eating out or cobbling together odds and ends and calling it dinner? I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been there. I certainly have. Thankfully these ruts don’t last very long before I’m inspired by a perfect roast chicken or eager to try the internet’s latest viral recipe. And when I’m ready to get back into the swing of things, I jump straight into the kitchen.
For me, that's where everything begins, from whipping up a hearty breakfast to get me out the door or prepping lunch for the week, to wrapping up the day over a quiet dinner. My time in the kitchen doesn’t mean elaborate or complicated feasts (not always, at least!). Most nights, I just want an approachable meal that requires as little effort—and as few ingredients—as possible. Which is where these recipes come in. They’re simple without feeling uninspired, they only need a handful of ingredients (five or less— not counting salt, pepper, and cooking fat), and they help get me back into tip-top cooking shape.
Go ahead and give 'em a whirl, and revisit them the next time you find yourself in a cooking rut.
An easy-as-heck soup to keep on repeat all fall and winter. Roast root vegetables (in this case, carrots) with celery and onion. Then blend the charred results with water and lots of mellow white miso. That’s it.
An extremely untraditional riff on the Italian aglio e olio. Instead of garlic, we’re using scallions. Once you start treating scallions like a leafy green—from charring in a skillet to roasting on a sheet pan—it’s hard to stop.
The superlative version of everyone's favorite anytime meal. This template is wonderful as is, or you could build up from there. Consider: watery-crisp ribbons of veg, nutty and seedy sprinkles, fluffy herbs, an oozy egg.
What's your best post-holiday recipe? Share your tips in the comments section below.
One More Winner
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).