When the weekend rolls around, it’s time to leave portable lunches and 15-minute dinners behind (same goes for work emails). Whether you’re brunching with best friends around the table, throwing a dinner party, or just taking the time to prepare your favorite meal—talk about self-care!—there’s nothing like a delicious home-cooked meal.
Just ask Daphne Oz. As the chef and bestselling cookbook author writes in her new tome,The Happy Cook, “Every meal is a chance to bond with the people I love over plates worth remembering. For me, cooking has always been a celebration, from start to glorious, edible finish.”
In other words, why waste time on food that’s just eh when you could be preparing something that you (and your tastebuds) love? If you spend the week grabbing a jar of overnight oats for breakfast as you rush out the door, breakfast tacos will add a different flavor to your Saturday morning and still have you out of the house in time to make the most of your day. Used to stopping for a slice on the way home from happy hour? A homemade Thai niçoise salad will be ready before you get too hangry. In other words, delicious doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated.
Ready to dig in to a savory home-cooked meal? Daphne Oz shares three of her favorite recipes from her new cookbook to make this weekend.
Breakfast: 10-Minute Breakfast Tacos
Makes 4 tacos
“These guys take 10 minutes, and offer layer upon layer of flavor—and they happen to be protein-and fiber-packed to keep you full all morning,” Oz explains. “They also travel well, if you leave the salsa off and roll them up tight in foil. (And shh, they’re also vegan and can easily go gluten-free if you choose the right tortilla.)”
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small sweet onion, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 small jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
1 medium garlic clove, minced or grated
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
One 15-oz. can cooked black beans (drained and rinsed if canned)
4 small corn tortillas, warmed*
1/2 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced
1 lime, cut into wedges
1. To make the salsa, in a blender, combine the jalapeño, onion, orange juice, sugar, and salt and blend on high until smooth and frothy, about 30 seconds. Reserve until ready to use.
2. To make the tacos, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion starts to soften and darken, about 4 minutes. Stir in the jalapeño, garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook until the garlic is fragrant, stirring often, about 1 minute. Stir in the black beans and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.
3. Place the warmed tortillas on a platter or individual plates and divide the bean mixture among them. Top with the avocado and a spoonful of salsa. Serve with the lime wedges.
*Heat the tortillas in the microwave for 10 seconds or by giving them a quick toss in a dry skillet over medium heat. If you’re serving a crowd, spread the tortillas on a baking sheet and pop in a 350°F oven for a few minutes to heat.
Lunch: Shredded Root Vegetable Pancakes
Makes 8 pancakes, or 4 servings
“In the hope of having my (pan)cake and eating it too, I’ve subbed in some veggies with less of that sugar hit—rutabagas and parsnips—that offer a similar texture and slightly lighter flavor,” says Oz. “These root vegetable pancakes are a gift to eggs everywhere for brunch, served under a little crème fraîche and smoked salmon for a party app, or simply paired with sour cream and applesauce for an ideal sweet-savory combo anytime.”
2 cups of shredded rutabaga, parsnips, or sweet potato (from about 2 medium vegetables), shredded on the medium holes of a box grater
1 medium yellow onion, grated on the medium holes of a box grater
3 large egg whites, beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed so mixture holds together
1 tsp kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup coconut or grapeseed oil
Flaky sea salt
1/4 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
2 scallions, finely chopped
1. Place the grated root veggies and onion in a large kitchen towel and wring out any liquid, then add them to a medium bowl.
2. Stir in the egg whites. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper to taste.
3. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil over medium-high heat. Use a scant 1/4 cup measure to scoop pancakes into the skillet, using the bottom of the measuring cup to spread the mixture into 1/2-inch-thick patties. Cook until the first side is deeply golden brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes, then turn the pancakes over and brown the other side, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer the pancakes to a wire rack to cool slightly. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
4. Serve the pancakes topped with a few pinches of flaky sea salt, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of scallions.
Dinner: Thai Niçoise Salad
Makes 4 servings
“I know I wrote this book, and I should love all my recipes equally, but this is my salad queen,” Oz admits. “Overflowing with a variety of colorful veggies—crisp romaine lettuce, crunchy bean sprouts and cabbage, juicy cucumbers and tomatoes, creamy fingerling potatoes, peppery paper-thin radishes—all doused in a vibrant, gently spicy peanut-lime dressing with a shower of fresh herbs, it just feels like total abundance and pure opulence. How many salads can you say that about? Long live the queen.”
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (3 to 4 limes)
2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/2 Fresno chile (red jalapeño; optional), roughly chopped
1/2 cup roasted peanuts (if salted, reduce the amount of salt in the dressing)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup fingerling potatoes, halved, or 1 medium red potato, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
2 medium carrots, grated (about 1 cup)
1 English (seedless) cucumber, peeled (optional) and finely chopped
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/2 cup roughly chopped or hand-torn fresh mint or cilantro leaves, plus extra for serving
1. To make the dressing, in a food processor, combine everything but the peanuts and blend until combined. Add the peanuts and pulse until they are roughly chopped.
2. To make the salad, place the eggs in a medium saucepan and fill with water to cover. Bring the water to a boil, cover, remove from the heat, and set aside for 9 minutes. Scoop the eggs out of the saucepan and transfer to a bowl of ice water.
3. Return the pan of water to a boil and add the potatoes and salt. Boil the potatoes until they’re tender, about 10 minutes, then add them to the ice water. Drain, peel the eggs, and cut them into quarters. Set the eggs and potatoes aside.
4. Arrange the lettuce on a platter and scatter the carrots, cucumber, bean sprouts, cabbage, tomatoes, radishes, and herbs over the top. Add the potatoes and the egg. Drizzle with the peanut-lime dressing.
From THE HAPPY COOK by Daphne Oz. Copyright © 2016 by Daphne Oz. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.