A Few More Smart Strategies
On harried weeknights, Anna aims to cook delicious meals as efficiently as possible. Here are five additional tactics to get dinner on the table.
1SPICE THINGS UP
Turn to your spice cabinet to change the personality of dishes you make all the time. Try one of Anna’s go-to combos: a Middle Eastern mix of cumin, coriander, cardamom, and chile (such as Aleppo or ancho). Rub onto chicken, season chickpeas or beans, or sprinkle on roasted veggies.
2 STOCK A GLOBAL PANTRY
Keep a mix of ingredients for bold weeknight flavors. Anna reaches for these: Thai curry pastes, coconut milk, gochujang (Korean fermented red chile paste), Indian pickled fruits and vegetables (she loves mango and carrot), chutneys, salsas, and mustards.
Before you toss those last little vegetable bits, think about how you might turn them into something that can add even more deliciousness to dinner. “I’ll grate the last quarter of a cucumber into a raita (an Indian yogurt condiment) or chop up the ends of a tomato I’ve sliced to make a quick salsa.”
4MAKE THE MOST OF OVEN TIME
While dinner roasts, Anna gets a head start on tomorrow’s meal. “I might throw in some mushrooms, onions, carrots, or cauliflower that I can use in a salad or grain bowl the next night, toast some nuts, or crisp up bread cubes for croutons.”
5SAVE A POT
Anna makes her pasta water do double duty. “While I’m cooking pasta, I’ll toss whatever vegetables I’m using, like peas or greens, right into the pasta water for the last 2 minutes. I’ll drain everything together and return to the pot with garlic, olive oil, and cheese.
One less pan to clean is a win.”