Herbs

Recipe: The Easiest Cheese and Vegetable Frittata — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

If I had a summer cooking motto it might be "frittatas forever" because frittatas are the real sweethearts of the kitchen. You always have the main ingredient — eggs — on hand, you can throw any vegetables and cheese you want into frittatas, and they cook up in a flash to be served hot and bubbly from the oven or at room temp with good bread and a salad.

This one is particularly great at using up all those farmers market vegetables that you bought with the best of intentions. Frittatas forgive you for forgetting about basil and onions in the fridge and welcome your half a bell pepper and zucchini (that's going soft) with enthusiasm, all while helping you make a summer supper that can do double duty as breakfast or lunch too. Here's the magic formula to this fridge-clearing wunderkind.

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Recipe: No-Chop Cold Veggie Noodle Bowls with Soy Lime Vinaigrette — Quick and Easy Vegetarian Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

There are two summer supper situations where you'll want to know this summer-sauté-meets-noodle-bowl method by heart. The first are those muggy evenings where after a long day outside you're ravenous, but the idea of chopping anything seems arduous. It's too hot to cook, you think, but you've also got a fridge full of vegetables and an empty belly. You could probably muster up cooking, as long as you didn't have to chop anything.

Likewise, you may find yourself in a friend's summer cabin or in a high-traffic vacation rental in which the knives have all but disappeared. There's a paring knife with a broken handle that you'd rather not use, but there is a decent peeler. That means you can pull off this hat-trick of a summer supper in that situation as well.

This summer sauté served over rice noodles is everything you'll crave in a cold noodle bowl: vegetables quickly cooked with plenty of bite left in them and one of the best soy vinaigrettes I know.

Here's the summer sauté that doesn't require a knife, only requires a teensy bit of cooking, and has enough variables that you can make it over and over again all summer long.

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Recipe: Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Grain Bowls — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I am a big fan of cooking out when friends stop by for dinner, whether it's a weeknight or a Friday night. My favorite trick for making this possible is to have guests build their own dinners. Grilled grain bowls are an easy way to pull this off.

Think of grilled grain bowls as the grown-up version of the hobo packets you might have made at sleep-away camp. Essentially everyone builds their own packet of uncooked quinoa, chopped vegetables, and shrimp, and then the packets are wrapped up and cooked on the grill. It's pure summer comfort food by way of the grill. Drizzled with a creamy herb sauce and prepped in just a few minutes, you'll be making these regularly — guests or not.

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Recipe: Make-Ahead Chicken and Veggie Chopped Salad — Salad Recipes

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This is my favorite summer meal prep salad — the kind of thing I crave after a weekend of heavy barbecued foods, cold beers, and rich ice cream. On the tail-end of a quick summer getaway I had an epiphany: This is just the kind of salad to make right after coming home from vacation. The rhythm of preparing everything — from the soothing chop, chop of all the fresh vegetables to the zen whisking of the dressing — gives me my kitchen groove back every time.

If that all sounds a little too frou-frou for you, let me tell it this way: This salad is perfect for meal prepping, as it holds up really well in the fridge. It's got tons of fresh raw vegetables, making it a crunchy delight of flavors and texture, and it will make you feel ready to face the work week post-vacation.

Open up your favorite grocery delivery app and get ready to order all the ingredients so you can make this as soon as you get home.

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The Easiest (Annual) Herb You Can Grow Indoors — Simple Gardens

You know all those grow-your-own basil kits sold online and in novelty stores? I do not understand them! For starters, they almost never work (or they do ... until they don't). And secondly, they're just totally unnecessary. Basil is actually not hard to grow, and you'll have a lot more success if you just do it sans kit.

Here's what you need to know about growing basil in your kitchen without a kit. Armed with this info, you won't ever have to buy one of those overpriced packs of basil at the grocery store ever again.

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Recipe: One-Skillet Salsa Pork Chops — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The only thing better than having fast-cooking pork chops in my midweek meal plan is when they're extra juicy from simmering in salsa, and the whole dinner hits the table in a single skillet. If you are a fan of saucy foods, be prepared to swoon over these pork chops. They're cooked on the stovetop in a chunky salsa that's punched up with a splash of balsamic, so each bite has just the right balance of sweet, spicy, and tangy.

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