Now that winter’s over, I say goodbye to slow-cooked, rich dishes in favor of lighter, brighter, quicker meals. That means not only using the freshest produce, but also finding handy substitutions that speed up cooking time. When the flavor of roast chicken is what I’m after, Iroast Cornish game hens instead, which only take half an hour in the oven. And Ifind that quick-cooking barley makes a tasty “risotto” without all the extra stirring. If you’re really pressed for time, try dishes that already have the sides built in, like the chicken ragoût with fresh shiitake mushrooms and creamy new potatoes, or the flaky sautéed tilapia over Swiss chard on these pages.