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.

Better Homes & Gardens - - Food Fast & Fresh -

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.

3WASTE NOT

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.”

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