Lemony Artichoke Spaghetti


This dish comes together as quickly as it takes to boil the water for the pasta. It was inspired by a trip to Seattle’s Pike Place Market. I came upon a fantastic marinated artichoke bar there, and the thought just struck me how tasty marinated artichokes might be in a pasta. And believe me, they are—you don’t even need a protein in this dish because the effect is so meaty. This dish works well with either canned or jarred artichoke hearts.

White Bean Chicken Soup


What I love most about this soup is its simplicity. The simple flavors of chicken and beans are easy comfort. And this soup is light on labor, so much so that I’ll be frank: It’s less about cooking and more about heating up good ingredients. Convenience is always key when you are pressed for time. This one is great as a quick lunch or snack when you are in a pinch.

Asian Chicken and Mint Salad


This is a lovely, simple, clean-tasting assembly of Asian ingredients – and something I could very likely eat every night. Because of its simple freshness and the lightness of the mint, this salad can make you feel downright saintly while you are eating it. I like to change it up sometimes by substituting grilled steak for the chicken and rice noodles for the cabbage. Try it!

Lemon Chili Avocado Toast


In California, we always have access to great avocados. And when life gives you an abundance of avocados, you make avocado toast, of course! There are several varieties of avocado, and any of them would work for this recipe. However, I prefer using the Hass variety—the small type with the dark, bumpy skin—as they have more natural fat and are less watery than the larger, smooth-skinned sort. Hass avocados add a wonderfully smooth, creamy texture. The lemon and chili act as the perfect eye-openers.

Pan Seared Cod with Succotash


This recipe is so easy you can cook it in the dark with one hand. Literally. I know because I did exactly that when I made this recipe for a charity dinner. It was a “Dining in the Dark” event…and I had a broken arm from a motorcycle accident. Thankfully, I had a sous-chef to prep the onion, garlic, tomatoes, and basil. But I was able to do the rest with one arm.