While regular couscous is one of our household staples since it cooks so quickly, I love the chewy texture of Israeli couscous just as much. It's great warm and cooked like a pilaf, but it works just as well in a salad. Dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and shallot, the salad is rounded out with white beans, crunchy cucumber, and lots of fresh dill. I like to mix in smoked salmon since it plays so nicely with dill, but tuna would be a tasty, inexpensive substitute. This salad comes together in less than 30 minutes and keeps well, making it a perfect thing to pack for a picnic, barbecue, or satisfying lunch. (Click "Read More" below for the full recipe.)
I've really come to appreciate curries lately - I can cook protein, vegetables, and sauce together, serve it over rice from a rice cooker that I turn on before I leave the house in the morning, and clean only one pan after dinner. Who doesn't love that? As long as I have curry paste and coconut milk, what goes into it is flexible. For me, it's usually determined by what's in season or needs to be used up in the fridge.
This easy, healthy curry recipe has a creamy sauce made of coconut milk and Thai green curry. Note that Thai curry pastes vary greatly in salt and spice level. In my testing, Mae Ploy was dry, salty, and super-spicy (completely blowing out my palate when I used too much the first time around), whereas Thai Kitchen was mild and more paste-like. Whatever paste you have will work, just err on using less in the beginning knowing you can add more later in the cooking after you've had a chance to taste it. Seared tofu, shrimp, and baby bok choy simmer for just a few minutes in the spicy sauce, making this a dish you can cook in the same amount of time it takes to steam the rice you'll serve it over. (Click "Read More" below for the full recipe.)
One of the first things I proudly learned to "cook" in my teens was the hamburger or tuna meals in a box. I was amazed that I could brown some meat, add noodles, a packet of seasoning, and water or milk, then watch turn into a salty, creamy, satisfying meal. And all made in one pan!
I've been on a mission to recreate these casseroles, starting with a hamburger stroganoff. In that recipe, I learned to use a flavorful cooking liquid, a bit of flour for thickening, and egg noodles for quick cooking. This recipe is a grownup creamy stovetop tuna casserole, with a from-scratch sauce and good-quality tuna. Simmer seared mushrooms, onion, and egg noodles in milk flavored with a bit of Dijon mustard. Stir in peas, cheddar cheese, tuna, and sour cream at the end, and if you feel a little nostalgic, sprinkle on some toasted breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs when serving. I love that this homey dish comes together in one pot quickly and that I usually have most of the ingredients in my pantry! (Click "Read More" below for the full recipe.)
I'm a food editor and professionally trained recipe developer and food stylist. You'll usually find me in the kitchen tinkering with new ideas and recipes to share with others.