Butternut Squash Red Curry

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 1 hour

This veggie-centric, warming, hearty dish is perfect for cold winter evenings.

Recipe from Little Spice Jar.

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Brownie Cookies

Total time: 1 hour

I love brownies but always feel like I over- or under-bake them. These cookies always come out perfect.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

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Southern Collard Greens

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

While trying to learn how to make collard greens I found a vegan recipe from Divas Can Cook. I had every intention of making the recipe vegan, until I realized I didn’t have any smoked salt. After looking for a good substitute (liquid smoke, Bragg’s liquid aminos, etc.) and coming up short, I realized that the best substitute I had was…bacon.

The collard greens were delicious, and someday I plan to make the vegan version, as well.

Recipe adapted from Divas Can Cook.

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Chinese Fried Cabbage

Yield: 3 servings Total time: 20 minutes

We’ve been trying to widen our range of green vegetables as well as looking for any excuse to use Sichuan peppercorns, so this recipe has become a favorite. It’s really fast and easy, and cabbage keeps in the refrigerator forever, making it a good recipe to have on hand.

Recipe from Omnivore’s Cookbook.

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Sautéed Yellow Squash

Yield: 3 servings Total time: 30 minutes

My family has roots in the South and dinner at my grandmother’s house always included platters of butter beans, fried okra, and yellow squash. As a kid I wasn’t very adventurous when it came to veggies, and squash was no exception, partially due to the amount of liquid the cooked squash gave off.

While making squash recently I started with Tanya’s recipe and then added butter and blasted the squash with heat, resulting in a thicker dish that was really delicious. I’m now looking forward to making squash again!

Recipe adapted from My Forking Life.

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Savory Breakfast Oats

Yield: 1 serving Total time: 5 minutes

Mornings during the pandemic are a scramble to get everyone up, in front of laptops, and ready for a day of remote learning and work. I usually realize at some point mid-morning that I never ate anything, and I’m now starving.

Sugary breakfasts aren’t helpful, so lately I’ve been craving something more savory. This filling bowl of oatmeal is ready in minutes, keeps me going for hours, and is delicious, once you get used to the idea that oatmeal doesn’t have to be sweet.

I’ll use name-brand ingredients here, since the directions for preparing oatmeal are specific to the brand and style of oats, and because the saltiness of the dish depends on the type of broth and salt used. If you’re using different brands, follow the oatmeal’s package directions (adding the egg two minutes before the end), and season according to your own taste.

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Pumpkin Lentil Curry

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 30 minutes

This quick, cozy, satisfying vegetarian meal made mostly of pantry staples is perfect for New Year’s week.

Adapted from Marisa Moore.

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Sweet Potato-Coconut Curry with Black-Eyed Peas & Collard Greens

Yield: 3 servings Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

We usually celebrate New Year’s Day with friends at the Salt Lick Barbecue, with the traditional cabbage (cole slaw) and pork (ribs), but this was my first year to have black-eyed peas. They symbolize coins, which along with collard greens to symbolize bills, are thought to bring prosperity throughout the year. We can use all the help we can get this year!

Serve with white rice.

Recipe from Food 52.

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Baby Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 15 minutes

This super-fast side is delicious alongside most Asian dishes.

Recipe from NY Times Cooking.

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Spatchcocked Turkey Stock

Yield: 7 to 8 cups Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes

For Thanksgiving this year we spatchcocked a turkey two days in advance and brined it in buttermilk. It was delicious, and had the added benefit of giving us time to make this homemade turkey stock in advance, which we then used in Day-Before Gravy (trying to simultaneously make gravy and get the meal on the table is quite stressful for me, so making it in advance is key!).

This recipe includes instructions for browning the raw turkey parts, unlike most recipes that assume you’ve already roasted your turkey.

Recipe from Cuisine at Home.

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