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Cooking columnist Ben Mims’ ‘Week of Meals’

These Swiss chard and Swiss cheese toasts are part of the first 'Week of Meals' series by our cooking columnist.
These Swiss chard and Swiss cheese toasts are part of the first ‘Week of Meals’ series by our cooking columnist. Prop styling by Kate Parisian. Food styling by Leah Choi.
(Silvia Razgova/For The Times)

This is the first in a new series called “Week of Meals,” which brings you five easy-to-prepare weeknight dinners from one shopping trip and which come together in less than an hour.

I’m kicking off the first set of recipes in the series so you’ll get a feel for the types of dinners I like to make during the week. I buy all the ingredients from my local Albertsons.

As you’ll notice, vegetables usually make up 50% to 75% of the plate, and they’re either simply roasted or tossed in an acidic dressing to keep everything from feeling too heavy. When it comes to proteins, I love seafood the most, so you’ll see that I use one batch of cooked fish, prepared on a Sunday, to use in two meals during the week. Same deal with a loaf of bread: I use it as a foundation for cheesy greens one day, breadcrumbs in fish cakes for another and as spiced croutons to cover roasted veggies at the end of the week.

I like to have at least one or two vegan or vegetarian meals a week, but if you need meat-based protein with every meal, it’s easy to add it to any of the vegetarian meals. Likewise, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, I offer easy substitutions, where applicable, below each recipe to adapt the meal to your diet.

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These meals show how I like to eat but my hope with these recipes — and with this series — is that with each successive developer, you’ll get a sense of their “meal personality” too. New perspectives and tastes, packaged in simple recipes that are easy for cooks of all skill levels to execute — that’s the best part of cooking.

My neighborhood grocery store:
Albertsons in Los Feliz, 2035 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 660-0687

Get the recipes:

Spiced Rice and Fish With Minty Peas

Time 50 minutes
Yields Serves 4

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Swiss & Swiss Toasts With Spiked Radishes

Time 40 minutes
Yields Serves 4

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