As the summer comes to an end, we want you to spend more time with friends and family and less time in the kitchen. Here are a few healthy, quick cooking methods that we count on to produce delicious meals that take less time, little prep, and virtually no clean up.
Easy “en papillote”: Creating a pouch with parchment paper is a great way to preserve moisture and flavor of proteins and vegetables, but it can be hard to do. Keep it simple by starting with foil, which is easier to manage. Place a sheet of parchment paper on aluminum foil and fill with protein + quick-cook vegetables like tomatoes, zucchini, thinly-slice fennel or onions. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs, plus one or two flavor boosters, like capers and thinly-sliced lemons. Pull the sides of the foil up and cinch to create pocket. The package can be roasted or, our favorite method, tossed on the grill for a pan-free dinner. Try our Simple Cod with Tomatoes and Capers for a prep-free, delicious meal.
Instant Pot Pressure Cooking: We have officially joined the community of Instant Pot fans. It’s hard not to when you can make dinner in 15 minutes, start to finish, and produce perfect hard boiled eggs that peel with ease. This equipment’s viral success can be attributed to its ease of use and multi-function properties. You can steam, slow-cook, pressure cook, and sauté your way into meal-prep bliss. Here is a video of our Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore, which left us plenty of time to prepare the other 75% of our plate – a quick salad and sautéed broccoli rabe with garlic.
Grill-Roasting: When it gets hot outside, we want to keep it cool inside. Give your kitchen appliances a rest and head outdoors, using your grill as an oven to roast proteins and vegetables. By not placing your food directly over the heat source, you can reduce the amount of time you spend standing over the hot grill. Bring your grill to an appropriate roasting temperature – about 350°F-400°F – which is usually medium-low setting for most grills. The temperature of a grill can be harder to regulate than an oven, so using a thermometer is the best way to ensure you get it right.
For proteins: You can gently sear your protein first, but be careful not to create dark char marks – read more about careful grilling here. Place protein on a parchment paper-lined aluminum pan on grill [or parchment on a piece of foil] to limit direct contact with heat. Close lid and continue roasting until protein’s appropriate internal temperature is reached. For thin cuts of fish or whole fish, we recommend en papillote method outlined above.
For vegetables: Wash, trim, and cut vegetables to uniform size. In a bowl, toss with a tablespoon or two of oil – we love avocado oil, but olive oil and coconut oil work well too, depending on flavor desired. Season with salt and pepper. Place on parchment paper-lined aluminum pan, close lid and roast. Toss vegetables with fresh herbs and a bit of lemon juice if desired.