Turning dinner-making into a dance

 Quinoa egg bowl

Home cooks often put a lot of pressure on themselves to cook a "proper" dinner. Making sure the meal is balanced and that all of the elements are work together can be a chore, adding stress to what should be a pleasurable experience. This doesn't have to be the case, says Melissa Clark in her new cookbook Dinner: Changing the Game. In an excerpt from the books, she explains how cooking dinner can be a dance

For most cooks, dinner still encompasses a traditional "meat and two sides" approach. This can make mealtime challenging "because it ignores our evolution as a food culture," Clark explains. "That's not how most of us eat - or want to eat - on a daily basis. Today's dinner can take a lot of different forms. But the conundrum for cooks is that we haven't defined what those forms are. So it has left many of us struggling in a void between what we think a proper meal should be, and what we actually want to cook and eat for dinner," she continues.

There are many ways to change up the mealtime cooking experience. Making a salad topped with burrata, a hearty grain bowl, or turning the traditional meat-and-sides into a simpler, single-sheet-pan affair are all ways to reduce self-imposed dinnertime stress. In her book, Clark offers more strategies to change dinner-making "from a dreaded chore into a beautiful dance". 

Jenny profiled Clark's new book in today's cookbook preview, and will be doing a more in-depth review soon. Watch the blog for a promotion of Dinner: Changing the Game in the next week or so.

Photo of Quinoa egg bowl with pecorino from Food & Wine Magazine by Melissa Clark

2 Comments

  • vickster  on  3/9/2017 at 9:32 AM

    I got this book and have already cooked from it - Braised Turkey Legs with Cranberries, Star Anise and Sweet Potatoes. I am sure it is a book that I will use a lot!

  • Rinshin  on  3/10/2017 at 5:47 PM

    Until maybe 10 years ago, I defined my meal planning as protein, carb, vegetable and side of salad. Even when I still worked. But, that has certainly changed for us. I may still do that 2 times a week, but that vegetable is often replaced with more substantial style salad. I also like one dish meals more now such as domburi (rice bowls), noodle or pasta dishes, soups, and savory pies with some protein and vegetable but not always carb. Our dinners are more casual reflecting the change in restaurant habits here.

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