Melissa Gray

Simple, saucy, and scrumptious—that’s the name of the game with this easy shrimp dinner. The rich, brothy base is made of tomatoes, vegetables, onions, and green beans; finish by cooking the shrimp until just tender. Topped with feta and fresh dill, the dish is reminiscent of a cool night at a restaurant on a Greek island. Hey, you can dream it, at least, and all from the comfort of your kitchen. Stay on theme and seek out a Greek wine made from grapes like Assyritiko or Malagousia. Serve with garlic- and oil-rubbed toasted bread for dipping in the sauce.
By Melissa Gray
Restaurant-worthy pizza in the comfort of your own home has never been easier—or more delicious—than with this sophisticated vegetarian rendition. You’ll sauté pleasantly bitter broccoli rabe in fragrant garlic, then pile it onto pillowy pizza dough with a dollop of crème fraîche and a generous amount of mozzarella and Parmesan—adding both layered flavor and ample cheesy coverage. After baking, a sprinkle of walnuts and crushed red pepper flakes brings richness and heat to each bite. To really take it over the top, drizzle each finished pie with olive oil and then shower with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
By Melissa Gray
Is there a recipe that shouts “fall” more than a chili made with turkey and pumpkin? Probably not, and this delicious dish has ample spices to draw out the savory side of the pumpkin and cannellini beans to add body to each hearty bowl. If you want a fresh herb to sprinkle on top, try cilantro, which comes from the same plant as the coriander seed, which infuses the base of the soup.
By Melissa Gray
Chicken noodle soup gets an upgrade in this curry-spiced version of the classic comfort food dish. Curry powder adds welcome depth of flavor, while baby spinach adds a fresh twist. The key to this recipe’s quickness is using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, which means that the meal comes together in around a half an hour. Psst… Don’t skip the step of toasting the curry powder before adding the broth—it’s essential to unlock the spice mixture’s flavor.
By Melissa Gray
This quick pork chop recipe is the perfect autumnal weeknight dinner. First, you’ll coat pork chops with a spicy maple-mustard glaze, then broil them to create a mouthwatering caramelized crust on each piece. These bake alongside savory-sweet parsnips, fennel, and apples, which play off the juicy meat. Fennel fronds are a fresh way to garnish this dish, but if you can’t find bulbs that have their stalks still intact, you can use chopped fresh parsley instead. Serve with a light, spicy red wine like pinot noir or Syrah, or a medium bodied white like Chardonnay or pinot gris.
By Melissa Gray
Already fermented sauerkraut brings a wallop of pickle-y flavor and beneficial microbes to this simple slaw. For many people, cutting the intensity of sauerkraut makes it more palatable, and here, it’s likely to even convert people, thanks to its clever pairing with apples and carrots, plus sweet pops of raisins, which are studded throughout the dish. Ginger adds just enough heat and spice without being overpowering, while the sauerkraut liquid works to lightly pickle the raw onion. This dish is perfect served alongside grilled sausages, seared steak, or pulled pork sandwiches.
By Melissa Gray
Why should you care about gut health? Well, for starters, the microbes contained in your large intestine—colloquially referred to as “the gut”—are the waystation to overall health. They train and interact with the immune system, and even influence mental health. So in a word, gut health is simply “health!” In this smoothie, a tablespoon of the liquid from a jar of sauerkraut brings live microbes from lacto-fermented sauerkraut, which are a type of probiotic. This means that these live organisms may have a health benefit for you! Consumed alongside dietary fiber, as here in this smoothie, might make these probiotics even more effective, as beneficial microbes like to eat plant fiber, and in doing so, produce health-promoting chemicals. Don’t worry, it doesn’t give a strange taste to this smoothie, in fact, it brings welcome tangy flavor.
By Melissa Gray
All the deliciousness of a classic Reuben sandwich and a cheesy quesadilla combine to make this intensely comforting dish. Between whole wheat flour tortillas, you’ll layer the standard Thousand Island dressing—a must for a real Reuben, natch—a few slices of corned beef, and a heap of sauerkraut, which not only brings welcome tang and crunch to this meal, it offers a benefit of live, probiotic microorganisms, a byproduct of the lacto-fermentation process. All this is held together with melted Swiss cheese, in what just might be the best quick lunch to enter your kitchen in a while. Shopping tip: Be sure to buy refrigerated sauerkraut, which ensures that the beneficial microbes will still be alive.
By Melissa Gray