I keep a running list of topics I want to cover in this newsletter, and I had two in mind for this week. Breakfasts that get me out of bed in the morning! Vibrant recipes for spring are creeping into farmers markets!

But the truth is, I was sad – mozzarella sticks at lunch, cereal at dinner were sad. Maybe you recognize it, maybe you’re experiencing it now. However, one can only eat this way for so long. Either your depleted stock of frozen foods or the siren song of fiber will get you out of the funk. However, you will need meals that require the absolute minimum from you.

a sheet pan The recipe is the obvious place to start because it’s easily accessible. You’d be hard-pressed to find a home kitchen without a frying pan. It’s a key tool in many easy recipes that take less than 40 minutes and require more than just throwing a few ingredients together and putting them in the oven.

With only five ingredients* and one pan, you can prepare Ali Slagle’s Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Spinach with Feta Cheese, an unexpected but delicious combination of healthy ingredients. Pickled jalapeño brine is used as a kind of seasoning vinegar for vegetables, and it’s the kind of genius trick you appreciate when you’re feeling down.

With just five ingredients and two paper plates (well, and a small cup), make Hetty McKinnon’s Vegetarian Tofu and Brussels Sprouts with Hoisin Sauce and Tahini. Using a sheet pan ensures that the tofu and Brussels sprouts are cooked evenly, but if you’re cooking for only one or two people, halve the recipe and use a single pan. It’s a filling recipe, and you’ll probably still have leftovers.

With only eight ingredients and two pansYou can mix Susan Spungen’s gnocchi with asparagus, leeks and peas. It’s a forgiving recipe: Use mini pierogi or large butter beans instead of gnocchi, or substitute green beans, broccolini or scallions for any of the vegetables. Whatever you have will be good enough.

Not only can you cook an entire meal with a paper pan, but you can eat from it too. Light a taper candle in the center of the table, or perhaps break out a cloth napkin to lift your spirits, but the effort can stop there. After all, you’re comfortable in your home, and life is hard enough.

*I don’t count salt, pepper or olive oil when combining ingredients, and you shouldn’t either.

Last week, I asked you all to share which vegetables you like to use in desserts. You’re all rhubarb fans as much as I am! Gillian loves making rhubarb meringue pie, and Jessica is a fan of Deborah Madison’s recipe for cooked rhubarb soup, which she enjoys with yogurt or scones (and she’s eyeing the toasted rhubarb scones in Claudia Fleming’s latest cookbook, “Delicious”).

Ruth was making a strawberry and rhubarb dessert (with a little spice!) from a long-misplaced copy of Bon Appétit from the 1980s. Silje makes a modern version of her mother’s cold Norwegian rhubarb soup, enjoyed with scoops of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

But wait there’s more! Nadia loves baking with parsnips, and swears by Dorie Greenspan’s three-layer parsnip and cranberry cake. Leslie makes a kind of mousse using whipped sweet potatoes, vanilla, chocolate chips, vegan sour cream and soy powder, while Bev prepares a “tried, loved and shared” recipe for vegan chocolate and sweet potato chip scones.

Thank you all for participating, and see you next week.

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