My culinary philosophy is all about cooking and eating real food. Of course, pulling together a piping-hot dinner every night is easier said than done. But plenty of dishes are just as delicious at room temperature or even cold, so you can whip them up ahead of time, pop them in the fridge, and serve without stressing. My favorite simple meal is the frittata, the omelet's low-key cousin. I pair fresh spinach and asparagus with tangy goat cheese and eggs; fluffy cooked quinoa gives it extra heartiness.

asparagus frittata
Photo: Linda Xiao
Get the recipe: Asparagus, Quinoa and Goat Cheese Frittata

And refreshing lettuce cups filled with shrimp—mixed with my spicy, citrusy take on cocktail sauce—make a fantastic light lunch or dinner. shrimp lettuce wraps
Photo: voloshyna/iStock
Get the recipe: Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Cannellini beans and roasted red peppers dressed with bright lime juice, cumin, and fresh herbs are a classic example of how a few simple ingredients can lead to a killer dish. cannellini bean salad
Photo: Fudio/iStock
Get the recipe: Cannellini Bean Salad

And I'm always in the mood for black rice (a nuttier, more flavorful version of the pantry staple), especially tossed with veggies, luscious avocado, and my gingery, Asian-inspired dressing. At the end of a hectic day, it's an enticing way to chill out. black rice salad
Photo: Rick Grant/iStock
Get the recipe: Black Rice Salad With Sesame Dressing


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