In this (post-holiday) season’s jargon of diets and elimination fads, we spurn the notion that better-for-you eating means restriction. We prefer more sustainable habits that can become part of our daily—or weekly—routines. In search of lighter meals, we love what plant-based recipes offer: They ensure we get our daily vegetable intake (arguably a challenge in the colder months), it keeps the grocery bill low (that beef is pricey!), and plant-based meals take less of a toll on the environment.
But, don’t think our barbecue, mac and cheese-loving selves will settle for boring salads or black bean burgers. These plant-based recipes yield flavorful comfort foods and elegant main dishes that command the dinner table.
PLANT-BASED RECIPES WE ACTUALLY LOVE
Rosemary and Mushroom Quiche
For the record, not all plant-based recipes are vegan. Plant-based emphasizes vegetables, grains, and fruits along with limited meat, dairy, and seafood, whereas vegan completely eliminates all meat and animal byproducts. So, go ahead, reach for those eggs, cream, and gruyère to make this savory, veggie-loaded quiche.
The oft over-stewed collard greens get a crunchy update in this wintry salad. The molasses used in the tangy vinaigrette makes this recipe suitable for vegans, too.
We dig the whole-roasted cauliflower trend. The textural variation from the crisp, charred exterior and moist, tender interior makes the lone vegetable exciting enough for a main meal. The whipped feta and cranberry-almond relish adds richness and a sweet nutty flavor.
Louisiana communities traditionally enjoy this greens-laden gumbo during Lent. The recipe calls for eight different types of greens, but feel free to riff with what you have on hand, particularly anything starting to wilt in the fridge.
For a one-pot dinner with deep flavor, we reach for this thirty-minute curry. You won’t miss the meat in this dish thanks to the rich flavor from buttermilk and curry and the hearty texture. It can be vegan by subbing coconut milk.
For a vegetarian sauce that brings meaty heft, try this cauliflower-loaded ragu. Decidedly pescatarian, it pulls big flavor from anchovies and sheep’s milk cheeses. File this away for wintry nights when you crave a big bowl o’ carbs.
- by Erin Byers Murray