asked, "What recipes do you default to?"
This varies by season. Right now I'm in the middle of a month of travel (holidays followed by conferences), so I'm not cooking much. On a slightly wider timescale, my defaults have been changing because I'm avoiding cheese and glasseye
wants lots of protein.
My improvisation-for-lunch standards involve a lot of eggs: frittata with whatever vegetables are around, soy sauce eggs from Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East
(boil eggs briefly, peel them and cut slashes in them, cook smashed garlic in oil, add soy sauce and brown or palm sugar, simmer the eggs in the sauce until brown), fried rice with a scrambled egg or two, fried egg with rice and stir-fried spinach or mushrooms with lots of hot pepper, maybe scrambled-egg tacos. This quinoa gratin
makes a nice template, though I like it more with greens and something savory like sun-dried tomatoes, olives, or bacon than with the rather plain zucchini and cheese in the base recipe. If I've got smoked trout-- there's very nice smoked trout available in Wisconsin-- I'll make something inspired by kedgeree, with leftover rice, a splash of fish sauce, and a bit of almond milk.
Last winter, I bought lots of frozen spinach and peas, canned tomatoes, potatoes and carrots, cucumbers, celery, and the occasional expensive bell pepper or avocado. The regular rotation included soy sauce eggs or egg curry, Madhur Jaffrey's ground lamb with peas
(I've been skipping the yoghurt), ginger chicken (dreamwidth locked recipe
/ lj locked
), "Send the rice down"
ground beef with celery (scaled up in quantity, because Fuchsia Dunlop's accounting assumes the number of dishes is the number of people plus one), and the Pok Pok Thai salad with canned tuna
, which you can easily make more substantial by adding another can of tuna and whatever crunchy vegetables you've got handy.
This sounds a bit more carnivorous than I actually am, but the vegetarian dinners tend to be prompted more by things like finding some nice fennel in the market, so they don't get repeated as often. Lately I've been excited about chickpea soup with lots of parsley and lemon or preserved lemon, and about wild rice with spinach.