Reduce Time, Re-use Ingredients

The only thing more gratifying than creating a sumptuous, inspired mid-week meal, is to spend less time doing it. As someone who craves change, (a telltale trait you'd notice upon reading my resume), I have a tough time with leftovers. Whenever I make a big batch of something, I often find my taste buds tired after a day or two. 


Unfortunately, as much as I'd love to come up with something exciting and tasty every day, my New York City lifestyle doesn't always allow for such luxuries. Thankfully, creative repurposing-- taking components of one night's dish and splicing it with new ingredients and flavors-- has come to my culinary rescue.


Consider these recipes a starting point to get your own creativity cranking. Because with meals, as with many things in life, sometimes more is better. 


Menu 1:

Spiced Lentils with

Brown Rice and

Herbed Yogurt


Menu 2:

Seared Scallops with

Tomato, Fennel and Olives

Brown Rice


Menu 3:

Seared Swordfish with

Herbed Yogurt

Lentils, Tomato, Fennel and Olives and sautéed Kale




Spiced Lentils

2 cups lentils, rinsed

6 cups water

1/4 C olive oil or virgin coconut oil

1 Shallot, minced

1 inch fresh ginger, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 T Turmeric

1 T cumin power

1/2 T fennel seed

1/2 T coriander seed

1/2 T Marash Pepper

1 T salt

Handful of cilantro, chopped


In a large pot, bring water and lentils to a boil, cover partially, lower to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender.


In a separate sauté pan, heat oil over medium/high heat, shallot, garlic, ginger, spices and salt until the onion is cooked through and even a little caramelized on the edges, and the spices are fragrant and toasted.


Add the spice blend to the cooked lentils. Finish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves.


Herbed Yogurt

1 Cup whole milk yogurt (goat or sheep's milk proffered)

1 handful of cilantro leaves

1 handful parsley leaves

1 clove garlic

1 t salt

1 splash water, for desired consistency


Blend ingredients in a vitamix or high-speed blender. Add more water if needed, to make it saucy.


Brown Rice

Make according to package instructions. Enough for 4 servings.


 To serve Meal 1:

At the bottom of a bowl, put a generous mound of brown rice. Layer on the lentils. Splash the yogurt sauce on top. Garnish with a cilantro sprig and some chopped almonds. Done!


Seared Scallops with

Tomatoes, Fennel and Olives

4 large wild caught sea scallops

2 T grapeseed oil

1 16 oz. can whole Italian tomatoes, crushed by hand (or 6 - 10 fresh Romas in the summer. chopped)

1 bulb fennel, halved and sliced vertically along the ridges

2 shallots

4 cloves garlic

3 T olive oil

1 splash white wine (optional)

1/4 cup pitted olives, chopped


For the veggies: In a large sauté pan, put the olive oil, fennel, and shallots. Cook over medium heat until they begin to caramelize slightly (about 10 minutes). Add the garlic; cook another two minutes until soft. If using, add a splash of white wine and use it to scrape off any golden bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the crushed tomatoes and their liquid and cook until some of the tomato liquid evaporates and everything is bubbling. Add chopped olives. Taste for seasoning. Set aside.


For the scallops: Quickly rinse the scallops under cold water and pat completely dry. Sprinkle with good sea salt and a crack of black pepper. In a sauté pan, heat the grapeseed oil until almost smoking. Add scallops to the pan and then LEAVE 'EM ALONE. 3 minutes. Once that lovely crust forms, flip them; cook 30 seconds to a minute more, depending on size of scallops.


To serve meal 2:

Warm last night's brown rice in a small saucepot with a splash of water and a tight fitting lid. Once warm, place a generous mound of rice on the plate. Put veggies down along side the rice, and serve the seared scallops on top.



Seared Swordfish

2 3- 4 oz. filets of swordfish

1 T cumin

Salt and Pepper

3 T grapeseed oil


Season the swordfish with cumin, salt and pepper. Heat the grapeseed oil over high heat until almost smoking. Place swordfish in the pan skin side down (even if the skin is removed) and let it ride for 4 minutes. Once it has a nice crust on that side, turn it over. Cook for about two minutes more. It should be just cooked in the center with a nice hint of pale pink. 


Sautéed Kale

1 bunch lacinato kale, thinly sliced, rough stems removed

1 shallot

1 clove garlic

1 t chili flake

1 T olive oil

1 T preserved lemon, minced

Salt and Pepper


In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and shallots until translucent. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes, until it softens. Add the chili flake and the kale and cook quickly over high heat, keeping the leaves bright green and just barely soft. Finish with preserved lemon, salt and pepper.


To serve meal 3:

Heat the fennel and tomato mixture from the night before and add the kale once warm. Place the veggie mixture on the plate, top with the swordfish, and pour some herbed yogurt goodness on top.



Write a comment

Comments: 4
  • #1

    Juicers Reviews (Friday, 12 April 2013 21:34)

    I just shared this upon Twitter! My buddies will definitely enjoy it!

  • #2

    konteyner fiyatları (Thursday, 01 August 2013 10:34)

    eşleri fikri kendi yastık üzerine başlarını döşeme; ostim <br />ly: 'soruları yanıtlayın size koymak ve hiçbir açıklama yapmak nedir <br />Bir adına yüz Herhangi güçlü işaretlenmiş ifade ankara firmaları <br />yeniden kendilerini, hatta Rabbimin kendisi ortaya çıktı ise sultanbeyli

  • #3

    probiotic yogurt (Wednesday, 18 March 2015 17:33)

    wow this good but ,I like your post and good pics may be any peoples not like because defrent mind all poeple ,

  • #4

    psychic readings (Wednesday, 14 December 2016 17:23)