Two Easy Upgrades for a Better Dinner

One of my favourite kitchen tools takes up no extra storage space, but definitely pulls its weight in terms of getting dinner on the table quickly, minimizing food waste, and helping me make sure that we’re eating a well-rounded diet. Can you guess what it is?
Food52’s fill-in-the-blank baked pasta recipe sheet

It’s a recipe sheet! Specifically, these fill-in-the-blank recipe sheets by Food52. There are five recipe sheets available for download on their site (PDF):

  • Multi-Bean Chili
  • Fried Rice
  • Grain Bowl
  • Lentil Soup
  • Baked Pasta

I’ve been using these recipe sheets for a few months now and I love the concept. It’s great for nights when you’re staring at a bunch of disparate ingredients in the fridge without a clue as to how to bring them together.

Cooking this way has taught me to think creatively about leftovers and craft meals in a way that creates as little waste as possible. It has also taught me to stock the pantry with a variety of grains, oils, and spices to make sure that I’ve always got a few basics on hand to throw one of these recipes together at the last minute.

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Grilled chicken salad with spinach, radicchio, strawberries, walnuts, and feta in a balsamic vinaigrette

We also recently invested in some large, shallow bowls (I bought these bowls from Pier 1, but most home decor stores with carry similar open-stock bowls, including Crate & Barrel and IKEA). Who knew that new dishes could make such a difference? Every fill-in-the-blank recipe looks great when it’s served in a huge bowl:

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Roasted butternut and acorn squash, brown rice, spinach, beets, cucumber, radishes, and feta in a tahini-lemon dressing

The best part is that we eat tons of colourful vegetables this way, which helps ensure that we’re getting all the right vitamins and nutrients (as well as our daily quota of cheese, naturally).

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Slow cooker chicken burrito bowl (recipe here) topped with tomatoes, guacamole, salsa, homemade refried black beans, sour cream, cheese, radishes, and scallions

What are some of your favourite easy tricks to make it easier to eat well at home?

One thought on “Two Easy Upgrades for a Better Dinner

  1. Thanks for the tip on the recipe sheets–I give out something similar in some of my cooking workshops, but I love the Mad Lib style and may need to revise mine. As for favorite easy tricks, my blog’s loaded with them, and you’re on the right track with the well-stocked pantry. I also keep a well-stocked freezer and large collection of home-canned goods. By saving what’s in season, you get the best flavor out of it. Some of my favorites are freezing homemade stocks and freezing herbs in cubes (pestos, purees, etc.). Whether you’re gardening or buying local fresh produce, you might like my post on planning the season too:

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