Have you ever stood in the kitchen without one solid idea of what to cook? Me, too.
Have you ever lost your inspiration and find yourself cooking the same recipes over and over? Me, too. It doesn’t happen to me often, but I have to be straight with you. I cook and bake so much…and I love it.
But every now and then, I lose my inspiration; throw up my hands and want to order take-out. The problem is, there’s no take-out worth ordering, so I hike up my skirt (as the saying goes) and get into the kitchen and cook.
It happened to me just recently which got me to thinking. I cook for a living. If I lose my spark once in a while, does everyone? So then I really got to thinking and decided to give you a week’s worth of summer recipes so all you have to do is shop and cook.
The first recipe for your week (of course, you can cook these in any order you desire, but this is how I’d do it) comes from my new book (out in September) is Sesame Noodle Salad. It draws from my macrobiotic roots and makes for great leftovers for lunch the next day. But I don’t think that’s all you should cook in one day. It’d be great if you could knock out this yummy Daikon-Shiitake Consommé to go with your noodles (and help you digest). And a salad would make for the perfect feast.
For Tuesday night, why not knock out a big batch of Hot, Hot, Hot Black Bean Soup ever and serve it with avocado toast topped with cherry tomatoes and drizzled with fabulous extra virgin olive oil? Let the leftovers develop overnight in the fridge, then reheat it for dinner on Wednesday night with warm organic corn tortillas, sliced avocado drizzled with great olive oil, and this corn dish Corn and Chanterelle Salad.
Thursday is a tough day no matter how you look at it. More than halfway through the work week and you’re beginning to wear down a bit from life’s little adventures. While your instinct may be screaming “Take out” try to resist and serve up this satisfying and delicious pasta dish Asparagus and Artichoke Heart Pasta with this protein packed soup as the starter course Italian Vegetable Soup. Served up with a glass of wine and you’re feeling like royalty. And you’ve put it all together faster than that pizza and breadstick order can get to your door.
Welcome the weekend with a chilled out Friday night feast of French Onion Soup and Spicy Tofu with Pineapple and Baby Bok Choy. It’s deeply, deeply satisfying and will fuel you for your end of the week play time (or work).
Saturday and Sunday are my days to really cook and bake so that we swoon with pleasure on our days off but I also get a jump on the week to come. I may make an extra soup and freeze it in portions. I love having Red Lentil-Corn Chowder and Split Pea Cauliflower Bisque on hand for quick, protein-rich dinners. I’ll make a pot of brown rice that can nourish at several meals made and re-made in various ways from salads to stir-fry dishes. I definitely bake cookies or a miniature cakes since not having dessert in our house is not an option. A batch of The Best Chocolate Chunk Cookies or Baci di Damas or Almond Joyfuls helps us to enjoy treats, but not over-indulge. Just a wee little sweet to end the day makes life (at least mine…) all that much happier.
Happy cooking this week…and all weeks to come.