Amanda tested. Matt approved.
Beef Biryani from A Pinch of Yum. Beef stew meat is simmered until falling apart in a sauce of onion, cilantro, ginger, yogurt, and buttloads of all my favorite spices (including a whole tablespoon of cumin!). Then you dump rice, caramelized onions, and golden raisins on top and simmer it some more in the oven. I served this with my beloved chapatis and an overload of roasted veggies. It has all the features I look for in a recipe: cheapness, distinction from other recipes already in my collection, and flavor out the ass. This is definitely a snow-bound-nothing-better-to-do-all-day recipe, though: it’s not difficult and it’s only about 25% hands-on, but it did take me about 2 and 1/4 hours to make this.
Egg, Avocado, and Crispy Prosciutto Pitas from Sunset. The latest and greatest of my weekday lunches. So many tasty flavors that go together so well: bright red pepper, tangy yogurt, buttery avocado, salty prosciutto, umami egg, peppery arugula. If you blitz the roasted pepper and yogurt spread and hardboil the eggs ahead of time these go together quite quickly. (Which is great, because you’ll be thinking about them alllllll morning and when lunchtime finally comes you won’t want to dilly-dally.) This would also make a great breakfast.
Whole Wheat Pocket Pitas from Veg Recipes of India. The only problem with the delicious sandwiches above is the pitas. In theory they are the perfect bread for sandwiches. In practice they leak. Every time. Every. Time. So I decided to make my own. And, as I hoped, they are so much better than the stale ones in the back of the deli. Thick, tender, flavorful, and totally leakproof. You can really stuff these bad boys. Plus: wicked easy to make. They puff up like magic in the oven. Read the recipe carefully, though — not only are the temperatures in Celsius, but some of the directions are actually for a convection microwave, which is the big countertop oven they use to nuke your breakfast sandwich at Starbucks, not your typical electric/gas range.