Sure, working late or taking an evening spin class might mean sacrificing your nightly Netflix time, but there's no reason why you also need to give up your lofty healthy eating expectations.
New York Times staff writer (and mom) Melissa Clark has perfected the quickly prepped dinner hustle. (Hey, typing up her James Beard Award-winning "A Good Appetite" column takes serious time.) Her new book, Dinner, includes more than 200 recipes, all of which you only need one pan to make. But even though the meals are essentially thrown together, they look pretty gourmet on the plate.
So what's her biggest secret to making a satisfying meal in a hurry? Condiments. "Things like olive oil, good vinegars, Sriracha, and chili pastes make everything more interesting—that's your flavor palate," she says. "Then, all you need to do is pick up your protein or vegetable on the way home from work. Everything you need to dress it up, you have."
"Eggs are such a good meal because they're nutritious, inexpensive, and full of flavor."
Clark uses her condiments stash to give leftovers new life too, like when she's completely over the food she meal-prepped for the week. "Little things like lemon juice and cilantro can make a dish feel new and fresh," she says.
Here, Clark shares the recipe for one of her favorite weeknight go-tos: a Japanese omelet with edamame rice. "Eggs are such a good meal because they're nutritious, inexpensive, and full of flavor," she explains. "Here in North America, we tend to think of eggs as a breakfast food only—but everywhere else in the world, people eat them all day, which I think we can learn from because they're so easy to prepare."
While a legit tamago takes a lot of skill, here she uses the same flavors but with a shortcut technique. And okay, the Sriracha is a completely American twist. She ups the protein by pairing it with edamame rice and voila—your go-to omelet dinner just got a lot fancier.
Here's how to make Melissa Clark's Japanese omelet recipe.
Japanese Omelet with Edamame Rice
3 large eggs
2 tsp light brown sugar (or an all-natural sugar substitute)
1 tsp soy sauce, plus more for serving
1 tsp mirin
Pinch of kosher salt
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Cooked shelled edamame, for serving
Salmon roe or Sriracha for serving (optional)
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, soy sauce, mirin, and salt.
2. Heat the sesame oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the egg mixture and cook until the underside is just set. Swirl the pan gently so the uncooked eggs in the center move to the outer edges of the skillet.
3. When the top of the omelet is almost dry, slide it onto a plate. Then, flip the plate over the skillet so the omelet lands back in the skillet top-side down. Cook for one minute more.
4. Slide the omelet onto a plate and roll it up into a tight cylinder. Slice the cylinder into rings. Stir the edamame into the rice, and serve the omelet rings over the edamame rice, garnished with salmon roe if using, and drizzle with a little soy sauce.
Each week we spotlight a healthy-delish recipe that’s truly genius (and easy to make) from someone who’s wowed us in the food world. We’re talking buzzy cookbook authors and Instagram foodies to brilliant chefs. Get more must-try, mind-blowing ideas from the Recipe of the Week archive.
If Clark has inspired you to stock up on condiments, here's a roundup of ones that are both healthy and delicious. And because you can't have eggs every night, bookmark this list of 15-minute dinners.
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