Slow Food is the Key to Great Quick Meals

Last weekend I made gravlax for the first time. That Swedish cured-salmon specialty is the epitome of slow food. But as I waited two days for the fish to cure in its salt-and-sugar rub it occurred to that I wasn’t the one “making” anything.

Time was doing most of the work. And there wasn’t even heat involved.

That’s just the way I like it these days. Over the last couple of years I’ve come to appreciate time as a lazy cook’s best friend. If you’re willing to put in a little (often very, very little) effort on the front end and patient enough to wait a bit, you’ll be rewarded with incredible flavor.

Time is a lazy cook’s best friend. If you put in a little (often very, very little) effort on the front end and are patient enough to wait a bit, you’ll be rewarded with incredible flavor.

It’s a different approach to quick-and-easy, dinner-in-15-minutes cooking, but one worth adding to your arsenal. In fact, you can use the take-your-time strategy one day to prepare components for stellar speedy meals another.

That gravlax is a perfect example. I unwrapped it, rinsed off the rub and and thinly sliced the fish. Then I served it alongside a simple butter-lettuce salad and our All-Purpose French Lentils. With a glass of rose Sancerre, it was a fast, light summer supper. The gravlax has since made other lunch and dinner appearances.

As Lia and I developed our new Nourish Weekly Menus (if you haven’t checked them out yet, here's a taste with our free e-cookbook), we realized that the Sunday cook-ahead is the heart of our strategy. That’s because we often find ourselves taking advantage of a leisurely weekend to  make a dish that takes a bit longer – roasting a chicken, perhaps, or braising a pork shoulder – that yields a fantastic Sunday supper plus great leftovers to spin into fantastic (and fast!) weeknight meals.

Want to give it try? Here are 3 things you can do this weekend:

  • Make some dough. Yeast dough is really easy, especially if you let time – and the yeast – do all the hard work. Make a batch of Long-Rise Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. Enjoy some one night and stash the extra in the fridge or freezer so you can make homemade pizza later in the week faster than Domino's can deliver.
  • “Dry braise” a pork shoulder. Lia's “dry braising” technique is one you'll want to try. Just rub the meat  with spices, pop it in a covered Dutch oven, and cook at 275 F for several hours. The result: succulent, fork-tender meat and incredible leftovers for other meals. I've got some leftover carnitas in my freezer that are scheduled to make a fast-dinner appearance this weekend.
  • Cure some fish. If it’s too hot to fire up the oven, give this no-cook Homemade Gravlax with Wild Alaskan Salmon a try this weekend. Start it on Saturday and it will be ready to slice and serve on crackers as a July 4th appetizer. It's a perfect low-effort/high-reward slow food.

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Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

My mission is to inspire and equip you to live a richer life through real food by becoming a more competent, confident home cook.

I’m the author of Nourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith, and Enduring Love, founder and CEO of Nourish Evolution, and the creator of Cook the Seasons, Home Cooking School, and the Real Food Reset, and I empower intentional women to cook in a way that brings them (and their families) joy, health, and ease.

Making the shift from processed food to real food doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an evolution that occurs over time, with effort, intention, and belief. And it will change the course of your life. Are you ready to take the first step? I’m so glad you’re here … and I’m honored to be with you on the journey to becoming nourished!

How to Plan, Prep, and Cook Easy (Nourishing) Weeknight Meals

3 steps to making simple, nourishing meals possible night after night so you spend less, enjoy more, and have time and energy to live a richer, more delicious life!


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