It’s 2 p.m. – do you know what you’re making for dinner? That’s the struggle most of us face every day, and the more complicated life gets, the more stressful the simple act of deciding what to feed your family can feel. But if you love food and eating well, you’re more than up for the challenge! And Claire Tansey’s latest book is here to make it easy, fast, delicious and fun.
Dinner, Uncomplicated frees you from the pressure of the evening meal with simple and satisfying recipes for every night of the week: the ones with the luxury of 45 minutes and the ones when the whole family needs to eat right now. These 90 inspired and easy-to-follow recipes are simple to shop for, efficient to prep and quick to clean up, and the dinners they make are flavourful, nourishing and always crowd-pleasing. What’s more, the recipes and techniques in this invaluable book are designed to suit every type of meal planner, whether you like to schedule your week, batch and freeze, fly by the seat of your pants or discover some perfect place of your own in between.
Building on her celebrated first book, Uncomplicated: Taking the Stress Out of Home Cooking – which showed the world that food can be spectacular without being difficult, and special without being expensive – Claire Tansey’s follow-up release keeps a laser focus on dinner, with wall-to-wall meals and no filler, desserts or sides to wade through. With unfussy ingredients and simple approaches, this intuitive guide to dinner is organized in a way that lets you tackle that pressing daily question in any situation, in whatever way your day, your mood and your family demands.
Drawing on her years of experience as a chef, teacher, mom and food director at Chatelaine, Tansey also offers practical, tried-and-true strategies for getting ahead, stocking the freezer, meal planning and generally making that all-important meal more of a joy and less of a chore. You’ll also find innovative ways to give leftovers a delightful second act, and a whole chapter of smart tips for giving flavourful new life to the scraps of food we usually throw away – allowing you to “waste watch,” protect your budget and preserve the environment, all at the same time. There’s even a mouthwatering section on simple-but-impressive celebration dinners, for those weekends when you have a little extra time to surprise your family or wow your guests.
Save money, eat healthier, free up quality time, take care of the planet and take care of yourself, all by making dinner. It’s just dinner, but now it’s uncomplicated.
Sheet Pan Eggplant Parmesan
Prep time 10 minutes | Ready in about 1 hour | Serves 3 to 4
Confession: I’ve never made authentic eggplant Parmesan. Anything that needs to be salted, rinsed, dried, battered and fried in small batches loses me at the second step. But I adore all of its flavours, and since eggplant roasts into creamy deliciousness as long as it has the time it needs in the oven, a sheet pan preparation seemed perfectly suited to the concept. This works beautifully as a vegetarian main course, served with bread and a big salad.
I tend to use good quality, store-bought marinara sauce if I don’t have any of my own homemade sauce on hand. Look for ones with as few ingredients as possible. For this recipe, you’ll want eggplant that are roughly the same width from top to bottom. The ones that are very bottom-heavy tend to be more seedy. I love the skin, but you can peel the eggplant if you don’t. Finally, don’t be tempted to skimp on the oil—it’s the key to making the eggplant luxuriously tender.
2 large eggplant
½ cup canola oil, divided
3/4 tsp salt
1¼ cups marinara sauce
340-g ball mozzarella, thinly sliced
¼ cup grated Parmesan
Fresh basil leaves
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two large rimmed baking pans with parchment paper. Slice the eggplant into 1-inch rounds and divide between the two sheets (you should have about 15 slices). Using about 1/3 cup of the canola oil, brush both sides of each slice and sprinkle with salt.
- Roast for 30 minutes, each pan on its own oven rack, then flip the eggplant and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Switch the pans on the racks, then roast another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the eggplant is golden on both sides.
- Transferalltheeggplantslicestoonepan, snuggling them right up next to each other. Preheat the broiler to high. Spoon marinara sauce over top the eggplant, then top with sliced mozzarella. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Broil 2 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden. Garnish with fresh basil before serving.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Page Two Books.