Dana Jacobi, author of the 12 Best Foods Cookbook and a contributor to the New American Plate Cookbook: Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life, provided yesterday’s recipe for Egg and Vegetable Salad Sandwich. Here, she talks about how to be a good houseguest.  

“When you write about food, even good friends hesitate to ask you over for a meal. Inviting me to stay for a summer weekend is even more fraught, no matter how much I assure them I’m content to munch on burgers or canned tuna with carrot sticks in exchange for the chance to soak up the sun by their pool. 

“When you write about food, even good friends hesitate to ask you over for a meal. Inviting me to stay for a summer weekend is even more fraught, no matter how much I assure them I’m content to munch on burgers or canned tuna with carrot sticks in exchange for the chance to soak up the sun by their pool. 

“To show my gratitude, I make it a point to give my hosts a break and prepare at least one meal a day. As a way of ensuring I get plenty of time pool-side, I have perfected the art of making dishes that impress while requiring minimal time and effort. Some are deliberately creative, like pork strips stir-fried with sliced plums, ginger and hoisin sauce. I might follow this with a dessert of pears, quartered and warmed in honey with a dab of butter, then seasoned with black pepper and served with a dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt. But sometimes I simply try to provide a new twist to an old favorite. 

“Egg salad is particularly easy to vary in appealing ways. If the weekend brings a cool or cloudy day, I make a hearty version by adding chopped mushrooms and onions, sautéed until well-browned. In between slices of whole-wheat toast, it goes especially well with a warming bowl of leek or onion soup. 

“For an elegant lunch, I spoon ordinary mayonnaise-dressed egg salad into whole romaine lettuce leaves, line up red pepper rings and a couple of cold shrimp along the top of these filled boats, and toss the whole thing with bottled Italian salad dressing.” 

Here are some past recipes we love from Jacobi, all of which can be prepared with organic ingredients: