Minimizing grocery trips is key. Her strategy includes keeping a running list of staples on the notes app of her cellphone, mapping out meals for the week on a lazy Saturday, and hitting the store early to beat the crowds. Her personal list of pantry, refrigerator and freezer essentials features a broad range of grains, legumes, international condiments (mail-ordered if need be), and shelf-stable liquids that go a long way in ensuring meals never have to be dull.
Thai Basil Beef with Peanut Salsa has convinced me to keep a jar of Thai sweet chile sauce in my cupboard at all times. Everything Bagel Salad with White Beans and Pesto makes the case for keeping a bagel stashed in the freezer for emergency croutons. The secret weapon in Five-Ingredient Hazelnut Brownies is a cup of chocolate hazelnut spread, such as Nutella. They turned out so well, she claims, she decided to write a whole book around the super-simple theme.