Maybe you're choosing to cut back on meat, maybe you're not. Either way, these plant-forward dishes are worth revisiting.
Each week, author and Star Tribune contributor Beth Dooley makes sure we're cooking with the best ingredients available to us at the time. Last winter she turned to chickpeas, a pantry staple, to build a meatless curry that also incorporates frozen vegetables. For the ultimate flavor, cook the chickpeas from dried beans. Find the recipe here.
Winter Vegetable Pot Pie
Chef, author and Star Tribune contributor Robin Asbell has been writing about and teaching the virtues of plant-based cooking for decades. In a past column, she turns her nostalgia for pot pies into a recipe for the epitome of comfort food, albeit one without meat. Winter vegetables shine in this recipe, which you can find here.
Black Bean, Poblano and Butternut Squash Chili
If you haven't made this spicy chili from Meredith Deeds, put it on your to-do list pronto. It's quick, hearty and uses ingredients you'll likely have on hand. It's delicious as is, but can be tailored to fit what's in your pantry or to suit your tastes: Make it spicy or keep it tame, switch out sweet potatoes for the squash or use pinto beans instead of black beans. The whole dish can be ready in 30 minutes, and be sure to make extra — it freezes well, too. Find the recipe here.
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Patties
Beth Dooley argues that when looking for a meatless alternative to burgers, don't try to mimic the flavor and texture of its beef-based counterpart — embrace the boldly spiced combinations of beans or grains, vegetables and herbs. Black beans and sweet potatoes are the star of these patties, which are as good on a bun as they are atop a bed of greens. Find the recipe here.
Cauliflower and Sun-Dried Tomato Calzones
If you think calzones have to be packed with meat and cheese, Robin Asbell has some news for you. Vegetables are sautéed and braised in a white wine, making them flavorful and tender, and instead of a pile of mozzarella, a swipe of goat cheese adds creaminess and holds everything together inside a pillowy crust. What's not to love? Find the recipe here.