[caption id="attachment_240" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="Donna Hay has solutions for the "No Time to Cook" dilemma."][/caption] On a recent afternoon style-maker Donna Hay took a few minutes to talk about her new book no time to cook, fresh & easy recipes for a fast forward world, (HarperCollinsCanada, $36.95). She was in Toronto from Australia on a whirlwind trip to promote the book, and help celebrate the opening of the very hip and happening Teatro Verde's flagship store in the very hip and historic Yorkville. Say "Donna Hay" and immediately there's a vision of uncluttered, light and fresh food photography and clean-to-the-bone recipes with inviting flavour twists. Her cookbooks and magazine have a style as distinctive as any in the culinary world. I just can't get the word "clean" or "white" out of my head when I think of Donna Hay food photography. So what inspired this star of the culinary world to focus in on quick meals? I'm afraid, the answer is no surprise. She now has two young boys, 3 and 6, and understands, like every other parent the need to feed her family well in spite of arriving home from work dead tired. The solutions she has found for this challenge define the chapters, and inspire the recipes. Her first solution is assembled dinners. Better than take-out, still with the cook's own touch but without all the chopping and prep that seems like an unscalable mountain when you get home with a bare 20 minutes to get supper on the table. Store-bought hummus is a favourite "cheat" ingredient, already marinated vegetables, couscous, deli roast beef and canned lentils and beans also figure in these recipes. And she's not embarassed to suggest sandwiches for supper! Nor is Donna Hay afraid to pick up a barbecued chicken on the way home from work. "It can make so many things", she added. And they don't have to be boring "things" as the cheat's chicken caesar salad and the chicken salad with coconut dressing attest. She's up to to maxxing the flavour of a dish with condiments - Thai, Indian, mustard, pickled ginger, onion jam - giving appealing flavour twists to simple ingredients like steak and chicken, grilled or broiled in the simplest way. So what's in Donna Hay's fridge at home. "More than most people", she conceded," a couple of cheeses, feta, parmesan and a good Cheddar. Lots of vegetables - broccoli, green beans and snow peas. And eggs - my boys love to bake." The Hay pantry includes the usual pasta, many of them Asian, jasmine and arborio rice, preserved lemon and tuna. Open the door to the freezer and there's frozen berries for the boys' muffin-making sessions, pizza dough, frozen peas and a whole selection of dishes like broccoli & bacon soup Hay makes to have "some now, some later". Donna Hay admits that she thought freezing meals was old-fashioned "best left to my mother's generation", but now relishes the night-off meals she's packed away. If you're like Donna Hay, get home, make dinner and sit together to enjoy the fellowship of family, the absolutely last thing you want to do is "the dishes". Solution? One pot meals, and thought-through recipes that pare out the excess bowls, skillets and utensils that fill the sink and plunge a cook into despair. From this section comes a vividly flavoured chicken dish made from very familiar ingredients. Donna Hay recommends this kind of one-pot dish to a fledgling cook who needs a few really tasty easy recipes on which to build a repertoire of quick suppers. Lemon-Feta Chicken When Donna Hay creates a new recipe, she works out core flavours that work hard together, like lemon and oregano, and never forgets textures so a recipe like this has mellow and crunchy. She likes to serve the chicken and pan juices on a bed of baby spinach leaves - the heat of the chicken wilts the spinach, and voila- an easy vegetable course at the same time. Double the ingredients for more servings. 2 chicken breasts, each about 200 g, trimmed 200 g feta, thickly sliced 5 sprigs fresh oregano 1 tbsp lemon zest 2 tbsp lemon juice olive oil, for sprinkling cracked black pepper green salad, optional . Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). . Place chicken, feta, oregano, lemon zest and juice in a baking dish. Sprinkle with olive oil and pepper. Bake for 18 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (juice run clear when pierced with a knife). . Serve with a simple green salad, or as Donna Hay suggested at our interview, on a bed of baby spinach. . Serves 2. [caption id="attachment_241" align="alignleft" width="449" caption="White on white background is often what Donna Hay picks for the food she styles, either for her cookbooks, or for her magazine. The food "pops" in an appetizing and interesting way."][/caption] www.teatroverde.com?