When simplest is best

Calling all caregivers: what do you cook when the person you care for (including you!) is not that hungry? When your energy is low. When you just don’t have it in you to do anything the least bit fancy? When you really need the nourishment, but all that washing and prepping just is not going to happen? We know better than to disconnect from healthy food; but how do we stay connected during busy or challenging times?

This is when simplest is best. And when friendships are especially treasured.

I added a segment to my blog this year that often appears in posts called “Beyond Recipes,” when a simple technique or two can get you there. This whole post is about a Beyond Recipes menu that worked so well for me on a recent weekday evening that I wanted to share it with you.

I just didn’t have it in me to get a meal together (you know the feeling?), so I texted my dear friend, neighbor, and fellow cook Julie Burford our code: “What’s for dinner?” She responded, “Salmon. Why? What’s up?” That means, of course you can come for dinner. And whatever’s going on, I’m here for you. The beauty of friendship, cooking and community. What a great combo! Help when help is needed. :)

Beyond Recipes

I walked up the street to her house and lent a hand to crafting our simple, unfussy, delicious meal: A piece of fresh-grilled salmon spritzed with lemon. The first green beans of the season from the market, prepared with fresh oregano and olive oil. Steamed purple potatoes, drizzled with olive oil and fresh chives, salt and pepper. A light salad with chopped jicama, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and greens (tender Little Gem lettuce and arugula) with a lemon vinaigrette. 

Perfect! Light, fresh, and nutritious—seasoned by warm conversation with my friend. :)

WHAT ARE YOUR SIMPLE, UNFUSSY, GO-TO MENUS? DO YOU HAVE A CULINARY CO-CONSPIRATOR, A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER WHO’S COMPANY IS AS UNCOMPLICATED AND COZY AS A LIGHT SPRING MEAL?