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Baby Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce

This super-fast side is delicious alongside most Asian dishes.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 15 minutes

Spatchcocked Turkey Stock

For Thanksgiving this year we spatchcocked a turkey two days in advance and brined it in buttermilk. It was delicious, and had the added benefit of giving us time to make this homemade turkey stock in advance, which we then used in Day-Before Gravy (trying to simultaneously make gravy and get the meal on the table is quite stressful for me, so making it in advance is key!).

This recipe includes instructions for browning the raw turkey parts, unlike most recipes that assume you’ve already roasted your turkey.

Yield: 7 to 8 cups Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower, with or without Parmesan cheese, is a great quick veggie for a weeknight meal. For a fancier version with garlicky breadcrumbs, try Dianna’s Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower.

Yield: 3 servings Total time: 45 minutes

Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie

This is an intensely flavored pie, from the gingersnap crust to the well-spiced, concentrated pumpkin filling. It’s so much more than the recipe found on the canned pumpkin.

Yield: 8 servings Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Crunchy Microwave Shallots

This microwave method of making crispy fried shallots to use as a garnish caught my eye just after I first tried to make mujadera, which was a bit too complex for a weekday lunch. The mujadera calls for caramelized onions, which take time, but Chrissy Teigen’s microwave shallots are done in under 10 minutes. They’re great on khichdi, and I can’t wait to try a similar method for making crispy garlic.

Total time: 10 minutes

Pressure Cooker Brown Rice

Cooking rice in the pressure cooker has consistently good results and lets you focus on preparing other dishes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can easily cook brown rice on the stove.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 45 minutes
Cold Desserts

Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles

Full-fat, wholesome popsicles are a delicious treat, especially if you’re trying to help a kid put on a little weight.

Yield: 6 popsicles


With pantry cooking on the rise, and needing simple dishes we can make for lunch on a work-from-home workday, this one-pot dish of rice and lentils became a favorite. We even prepped “khichdi kits” of pre-measured ingredients to make it easier to get lunch on the table.

The toppings are the real star – don’t skip them!

Yield: 3 servings Total time: 40 minutes

Buttermilk Back-to-School Cake

School is virtual this year, so instead of anticipating packing new school supplies, finding a new classroom, and meeting new friends, we’re navigating online class passwords, connectivity challenges, and learning how to avoid accidentally un-muting at the wrong time.

Back-to-school cake is needed now more than ever. It’s been chocolate in prior years, but this moist, delicious buttermilk cake is more to Leo’s taste. Next time we’ll try it with whipped cream frosting, perhaps with crushed freeze-dried raspberries for color.

Yield: 9 generous servings Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Crab Rolls / Crab Melts

Unable to eat out, we began to look for easy meals that were still a bit of a treat. This crab salad, perfumed with lemon zest and a tiny punch of minced shallot, is a small luxury we can prepare either as crab rolls or crab melts and enjoy in minutes.

Yield: 2 servings Total time: 15 minutes