So what if you’re tired of cooking? There are 10 meals ahead of you in the next week, and it’s time to man up! (At least that’s what I’m telling myself as I dawdle at my computer, avoiding my kitchen on a Saturday night.)

Lucky for all of us, I’m not getting up until I’ve planned 5 ways to making this cooking yom tov thing easier. Let’s do this.

  1. Start with the farmers’ market. Sunday mornings feature farmers’ markets in most cities, including my own. Skokie’s is huge (7:30-12:45) and Rogers Park’s (9-2)is adorable. Start there tomorrow morning and buy everything they’ve got. Seasonal fruits and veggies, just picked will make everything taste, well, like fresh picked produce. Trust me, you’ll taste the difference.

    This tastes even better than it looks.
  2. Roast the lot of it. Ladies, forget the kugels! They’re a pain to make, use too much oil and sugar and can’t compare in taste to well-prepared veggies. Turn your oven on 425 degrees, chop every one of those veggies, drizzle on some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put them all in the oven at once and check on them every 30 minutes or so to turn them. Remove when they’re browning to your liking. Want to be fancy? Add some sprigs of herbs.

    Roasted carrots, whole onion bulbs and brussel sprouts
    Roasted carrots, whole onion bulbs and brussel sprouts
  3. Start with soup. Aside from gefilte fish, which we don’t eat, soup is just about the easiest and cheapest first course. After the pumpkin soup in its shell, this pesto soup is the biggest hit. Serve it in a bread bowl, and you’ve got a whole meal.

    Pumpkin soup in its shell
    Pumpkin soup in its shell
  4. Put your leftovers to good use. Got extra rice or meat? Make a stir fry. Extra challah? Try these croutons. Even your veggie scraps can make an incredible homemade stock.

    Homemade croutons
    Homemade croutons
  5. Fall for squash. The best part of eating fruits and vegetables in their seasons is the taste. There’s nothing like spring strawberries, summer peaches and fall squash. The second best part? Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Try any one of these recipes this yom tov. There’s squash aplenty at every produce store and farmers’ market (see #1!) right now.


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