Cook’s notes: I found a wonderful recipe online for a spice blend to use in homemade turkey sausage. I omitted the brown sugar but left in the red pepper flakes.
On its own, the turkey sausage had a bite, but we used it in several dishes and found it delicious: scrambled eggs with cheese, on top of pizza with red and yellow bell peppers, and on spiralized zucchini with red sauce and mushrooms.
In a small bowl, combine all spices and set aside:
1.5 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or equal parts dried basil, oregano, and thyme)
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground or whole fennel seeds
When you’re ready to use it, brown 1 lb. (16 oz.) ground turkey in a large pan on stovetop. Add 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar and stir. Add spice mix and stir to combine.
Cook’s notes: Adapted from several recipes to make a quick weeknight dinner. You could increase the vegetable content by adding baby spinach to the zucchini. Top with Feta cheese, if desired.
3 zucchinis, spiralized (or cut into thin strips)
Olive oil for sautéing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 can (6 ounces) light tuna, packed in oil
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 large lemon (zest and juice [3 Tablespoons])
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Heat a large skillet over a medium-high burner. Gently cook the zucchini noodles until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked zucchini, tuna, chickpeas, parsley, lemon juice and zest, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Serve immediately, or cover tightly and refrigerate up to 2 days.
Cook’s notes: This recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz is simply divine. One weekend we were out of eggs, and I had a pancake craving. This vegan recipe fit the bill in a lovely way. The pancakes are tall and fluffy — and don’t require any eggs.
Cook’s notes: I saw some lovely bento box photos on Pinterest and started jotting notes. All of the lunches had 5 common elements, which means they could easily go into a table. Each row represents the original meal. Mix and match to create new lunches.
(“Five by five” is a phrase I first heard on the show Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It comes from radio communications and means “the best possible quality and strength.”)
There are several vegetarian options, and all of the lunches are nut-free.
Cook’s notes: Here is a list of snacks that are balanced with carbs and protein but don’t rely on nuts. I’m not allergic to nuts, but it’s nice to have nut-free snacks. I put nuts in my morning smoothie and don’t always want to eat them again in the same day. Hard-boiled eggs are also high in protein, but I can’t stand their texture, so they are not listed here.
Cook’s notes: There’s a reason this recipe on allrecipes has more than 8,300 positive reviews. Follow the recipe as written, but reduce the sugar to 1 Tablespoon.
Then, following advice from King Arthur Flour, add 1 Tablespoon frozen blueberries to each pancake after you pour the batter on the hot skillet. Flip gently.
Updated 31-Jul-2016: We had a pancake emergency this morning. I woke up with a craving for these pancakes, but the allrecipes site was under maintenance, and we didn’t have any eggs in the house. I got a backup version of the recipe from a cache on allrecipes, and then found a lovely vegan pancake recipe on cookie and kate that used the same amount of flour. Revised and combined recipe below.
Makes about 8 pancakes – no egg required!
1 cup milk (almond milk or 2%) and 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Frozen or fresh blueberries
Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Whisk oil and vanilla into vinegared milk. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until combined, so only a few lumps remain (don’t over-mix or your pancakes will be tough).
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat generously with cooking spray.
Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, add blueberries to each one, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.