This year my husband and I are spending time with both our families over the holidays, which means traveling from Los Angeles to Seattle to Boston and back again. Needless to say, we'll be spending a lot of time on airplanes, and not one of the flights includes a meal. Instead of relying on sad bags of mini pretzels or soggy airport sandwiches, I'll be packing a few of these whole wheat pockets. Stuffed with spiced lentils, kale and mashed roasted sweet potato, these sturdy vegan pastries freeze well and taste great hot or at room temperature, so whether you're sitting in your cubicle or cruising at 30,000 feet, you can have a wholesome meal ready whenever you are.
Everyone has a favorite chili recipe. Mine will always be my mother's, complete with ground beef and a packet of taco seasoning. It may not be gourmet, but it's pure comfort food to me. It's also never quite tasted the same when I've tried to make it—there's something about eating it at my parents' home, wrapped up in a blanket while sitting around the fire that just makes it that much better.
This is the time of year when Dutch ovens come into their own. Even if you use your big, heavy Dutch oven year-round, as I do, it still seems to come down off its shelf a little more often in the fall. Today I want to show you my favorite Dutch oven — and a soup to cook in it. This soup is one of those magical recipes with just a few ingredients, and all the usual suspects — carrot, onion, beans, chicken broth — that nevertheless turns out to have such a deep, wonderful flavor you don't mind that it makes enough to feed you for a week. And a Dutch oven is really the best vessel for it, because this soup is cooked just a little differently.
When I was a kid, we lived in Miami, and we had a Cuban neighbor whom I now only remember as "Mrs. Garcia." She had arrived in Miami via boat from Cuba, and I don't know where she is now, but she gave my mother her recipe for black bean soup, which I still use to this day. So wherever you are, Mrs. Garcia, thank you for this recipe. It has ruined me for all other black bean soups; nothing I've had in Cuban restaurants matches up to this.
Where would we be without hearty, healthy beans and legumes? They're an essential part of the following 10 soups, offering flavor, texture, and a good dose of fiber. We've got chicken stew with kale and cannellini beans, black-eyed pea soup with collards, lentil soup with lemon yogurt, and more!
Smoky, hearty bean and bacon soup is a classic, but soups in my house never feel complete without a few vegetables. In this rendition of bean and bacon soup, soft cubes of butternut squash and silky shreds of chard add a little freshness, transforming this soup into a comforting and nutritious one-pot meal.
Beans and grains, we love you in veggie burgers, but we're asking you to take a backseat for this one. Like their namesake, the star ingredients in these 10 recipes are all vegetables. From beets to micro sprouts, broccoli to corn, your veggie burger just got a lot more colorful and garden-friendly.
My stepdad brought Indian home cooking into my life. He and my mother had been high school sweethearts, American students at an international school in the foothills of the Himalayas where my stepdad had grown up, stuffing himself on dal and pappadums throughout childhood and cultivating a lifelong craving for fragrant vegetarian curries. Thanks to him and to recipes like this mixed bean masala, it's a craving I now share. Quick, healthy and economical, it's an easy recipe to double and freeze in preparation for chilly winter nights, when the scent of onion, ginger and spices bubbling on the stove will warm up the whole house.
I love beans. They're an inexpensive, healthy and tasty protein that I eat at least a couple times a week. But I don't love canned beans, which I find flavorless and mushy compared to beans cooked from scratch. So instead of relying on canned beans for quick weeknight meals, I've started cooking big batches of from-scratch beans and freezing them, so I always have perfectly cooked beans on hand and ready to thaw for dinner.
Even though I work from home about ten steps away from the kitchen, I have a terrible habit of not breaking for food. Fortunately I've gotten a bit better since setting pop-up alerts on my computer ("eat breakfast!" "lunch time!") and planning for meals like these vegetarian chickpea pitas. They're refreshing, filling, best made ahead of time, and easy to eat. No excuses!