June 19, 2012 at 12:25 PM ET
I love food. Unapologetically so. With long shooting hours for season two of USA’s Suits, it's important to balance the decadent treats that make my heart go pitter pat, and the nourishment that fuels my body. My favorite foods run the gamut from healthy to indulgent, but rest assured, they are always delicious. Just like my character, Rachel Zane, I'm a foodie, so if I'm going to eat it, it has to be good.
Watermelon with cinnamon
I have always loved watermelon and relish any opportunity to eat it, whether plain or diced up with feta and mint and tossed with a little olive oil. It makes me think of summertime. On set and at home, I try to always have a container of watermelon sprinkled with cinnamon because it elevates the flavor just a notch, and makes it feel special.
Seasoned veggie quinoa
This is my go-to meal on set. At the start of each week, I generally cook a box of quinoa, and while it's simmering, I saute onions, garlic and any veggies I have on hand in a separate pan. I season the vegetables with Spike, a seasoning blend my mom always used when I was growing up, or a little Bragg Liquid Aminos. I always add crushed red pepper and chopped fresh herbs. Toss this veggie mixture into the finished quinoa and eat it as a side dish, poured on top of a kale salad, or as an easy snack. It stores for days in your fridge.
I'm a California girl, and being from Los Angeles, I was conditioned to like Baja-style food from the womb. You think I'm joking. I'm not. Here's how I make fish tacos: Grill some peppers and onions and a couple filets of fish (a flaky white fish works best). Season everything with salt and pepper, a little lime and stuff it all inside of a warm corn tortilla. Few bites of food make me happier than that. If you ever find yourself in LA, go to Fresh Corn Grill and order salmon tacos. It sounds a little strange at first, but trust me, they are insanely good! I dream about those tacos, and they are not paying me to say that.
For an easy pick me up, I always lean towards a juice—specifically a green juice. It's easy to fall into the trap of rushing for a coffee when you hit that 4 p.m. slump, but if I blend some apple, kale, spinach, lemon and ginger in my Vitamix in the morning and bring it to work, I always find that sipping on that is a much better boost than a cup of espresso. Play with the recipe—toss in berries or use almond milk—at the end of the day, your body will thank you for nourishing it with so much fresh goodness.
Crackers, hummus and carrots
This is my trifecta snack. I love hummus. In fact, I love garbanzo beans in any iteration, but for the purpose of this article let's stick to hummus. I like to assemble a small plate of crackers (like Mary's Gone Crackers gluten-free herb crackers), hummus (try to make it yourself; it's so easy) and some baby carrots. This sounds so simple, but truly, it satisfies so many senses—the savory taste, the textural crunch, the unctuousness of the hummus.
I am a big fan of Sunday suppers. Whether we're eating lamb tagine, pot roast or a hearty soup, the idea of gathering for a hearty meal with friends and family on a Sunday makes me feel comforted. I enjoy making slow-cooked food on Sundays, like Filipino-style chicken adobo. It's so easy—combine garlic, soy (or Bragg Liquid Aminos), vinegar, maybe some lemon and let the chicken swim in that sauce until it falls off the bone in a Crock Pot. I have a beautiful Le Creuset that could also do the trick, but the Sunday supper "Americana" of it all calls for a Crock Pot. Set it and forget it and serve with brown rice and salad.
Mom cooked a lot of turkey when I was growing up. Turkey meatloaf, turkey burgers, ground turkey shepherd's pie—my childhood was the Bubba Gump of turkey. You'd think I would be sick of it, but when I find gems like Gwyneth Paltrow's turkey meatball recipe, it's as though the fowl is no longer foul to me. The hint of lemon zest in her recipe elevates the dish to another level. It's amazing and definitely worth trying.
I love seafood. For that reason, I have become fairly savvy at making easy seafood dishes that please most palates. It's all about the quality of the fish (fresh, fresh, fresh), and keeping the ingredients simple and clean. For dinner parties, I love making an easy cioppino using shrimp, mussels, clams and a hearty fish that won't fall apart easily. You can play around with your seafood stew recipe (maybe add some saffron if you're feeling adventurous). Serve with a warm baguette and a crisp salad.
Making kale chips can be a little time consuming, mostly from washing the kale and patting it dry, the bake time is minimal (about 25 minutes). When drizzled with good olive oil and sprinkled with Maldon or himalayan pink sea salt, they become your healthy potato chip alternative that you can reach for when you want to munch on something.
A beautiful glass of wine
This requires no recipe or hippie dippie ingredients. At the end of a long day, there is nothing I enjoy more than a glass of wine. I used to be of the "it doesn't matter, so long as it's red" persuasion, but then I grew up, and so did my palate. I recently campervanned through New Zealand with my husband, where we fell in love with so many off-the-beaten-path wineries. The exploration of finding a great wine is part of the fun -- only trumped by that first sip of a pour that is made with such care that you can't help but want to thank the winemaker personally. Flowers Winery and Jordan Winery are two Sonoma wineries I hope to explore soon. Buy a bottle of their pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon (respectively) and you'll see why.
For more recipe ideas and glimpses into the foods I love, follow me on Twitter: @meghanmarkle
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.