Leesa’s Mediterranean Buddha Bowls

Yield: 3 servings Total time: 25 minutes

This fresh and easy bowl of couscous, chopped cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, chicken, olives, and hummus, is an easy weeknight dinner that appeals to adults and kids alike.

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Roasted Red Cabbage & Rainbow Pepper Slaw

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 45 minutes

Roasting the red cabbage and using cilantro and Italian parsley as more than just seasoning (here they’re salad greens!) fills this side dish with satisfying flavor.

Recipe from The Kitchn.

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Thai Buddha Bowls with Peanut Sauce

Yield: 2 servings Total time: 45 minutes

After weeks of holiday indulgence, we’re always ready for some post-New Year’s clean eating. This simple bowl of red rice (an earthy whole grain), shredded carrots and cabbage, and edamame is kept interesting with homemade peanut sauce.

Recipe adapted from leelalicious.

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Mom’s Rum Balls

When I was little, I remember mom making these rum balls for holiday parties. Made from crushed Nilla wafers, chopped nuts, cocoa, and light rum, they’re not for kids (but that didn’t stop us from sneaking one when the adults weren’t looking).

Recipe from my mom, Barbara.

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Candy Cane Blossoms

Yield: 3 dozen cookies Total time: 3 hours

Bake these soft sugar cookies, rolled in red or green sugar sprinkles until just done, and then press a peppermint-striped Hershey kiss into the top of each cookie. They’re the perfect holiday project for a child eagerly awaiting Santa’s visit.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.

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Grammy’s Porcupine Balls

My grandmother had her hands full raising six kids in the 1950s and ’60s, so a lot of her cooking was very simple. (Though her spaghetti sauce recipe is a family favorite.) Dad also remembers her making these meatballs, studded with rice and served with a simple tomato sauce.

Recipe from my grandmother Susan.

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Mom’s Cranberry-Avocado Salsa

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 20 minutes

Salsa is standard party fare, but this fresh, holiday-themed version with chopped jalapeño, red onion, avocado, cranberries, and cilantro is a delightful surprise. It went quickly when mom took it to a recent holiday get-together.

Recipe from Martha Stewart.

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One-Pan Ham & Cheese Melts

Yield: 12 sliders

Guy loves his cooking magazines, and recently picked up a copy of a Better Homes and Gardens’ One-Pan Recipes in the check-out lane. The cover of the magazine featured this pan of ham and cheese melts, made with Hawaiian rolls, brushed with melted butter, chopped shallots, parsley, and garlic, and browned until melty and delicious. We made them for a weeknight dinner and then spotted them at the book club holiday party – they’re really great for any occasion.

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens.

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Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash & Ham

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 1 hour

This recipe was a bit ambitious for a weeknight in our house, but is a winning combination of creamy farro and Parmesan cheese, grated butternut squash, and (perfect for holiday leftovers) diced ham. Farro contains the same amount of calories as rice, but more fiber and protein, so it’s a great nutritional choice.

Recipe from Serious Eats.

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Butternut Lasagna

Yield: 10 to 12 servings Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes

If you’re looking for a nice, fall- or holiday-inspired main dish, try this vegetarian lasagna. Layers of sliced butternut squash, puréed pumpkin, crème fraîche, fontina, noodles, and sage make this a decadent dish worthy of Thanksgiving or dinner for friends.

Recipe from The Kitchn.

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