Gymnastics Edition: 10 Vegetarian Recipes We'd Give a 10 for Balance, Poise, and Flexibility

Gymnastics Edition: 10 Vegetarian Recipes We'd Give a 10 for Balance, Poise, and Flexibility

Meghan Splawn
Aug 9, 2016
(Image credit: Sara Kate Gillingham)

Balance, poise, and flexibility are not descriptions we often give recipes — even though many of us are looking for these exact things for meals throughout the week. Consider how useful a recipe is when it maintains a beautiful balance of sustenance and flavor, and the ability to adapt from vegetarian to omnivorous at a moment's notice. Here are 10 vegetarian recipes that "stick" a landing into your dinner rotation, thanks to their flexibility, balance, and poise.

1. Succotash Salad

Succotash is a one-dish wonder that manages to please almost every diner at the table. With both corn and beans, succotash delivers complete protein as a main dish, but is scrumptious topped with grilled shrimp, too.

(Image credit: Megan Gordon)

2. Fresh Herb, Potato, and Goat Cheese Frittata

A frittatas is essentially a less fussy quiche and vehicle for all kinds of vegetables, cheeses, and herbs. It is equally delicious for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

3.3-Bean Israeli Couscous Salad

This riff on three-bean salad is both beautiful and filling. Add a can of drained chickpeas to upgrade this stunning side to main-dish status.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

4. Tomato, Broccoli & Mozzarella Pasta Casserole

Pasta often gets high praise for its flexibility, and this casserole is no exception. While delicious on its own for a meatless Monday, you could easy add cooked and crumbled Italian sausage for a robust Sunday supper.

(Image credit: Nick Evans)

5. Crunchy Black Bean Tacos

Let's admire the ability of tacos to hold equal amounts of vegetables and cheese like very few dishes can do. Black bean tacos are great on their own, but we love to throw roasted sweet potatoes or leftover pulled pork into weeknight tacos as often as we can, too.

(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

6. Creamy Polenta Bowl with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Zucchini

Bowl foods epitomize balance, poise, and flexibility because while they tend to be vegetable-heavy, there is plenty of room for adding cheese, beans, or other proteins.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

7. How To Stir-Fry Noodles

Noodles and stir-fries are ultra flexible. Put them together for a perfect 10 of filling flavor. This recipe uses a simple combination of red peppers and spinach, but throw some sliced mushrooms into the wok for a meaty variation that is still vegetarian.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

8. Spicy Panzanella Salad

Panzanella salad is an essential lesson in turning stale leftovers into an amazing dinner. While we tend to think of them as tomato-based, almost any vegetables (even fruits) can be used. The real secret is in making a flavorful vinaigrette to dress the whole dish.

(Image credit: Erin Alderson)

9. Ricotta Gnocchi with Peas and Herbed Lemon Butter

Gnocchi is one of easiest pastas to make at home; it hardly requires rolling and can be adapted to a ton of different flavors. Once cooked, gnocchi pairs well with fresh vegetables and it's lovely with sautéed shrimp or scallops.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

10. Sautéed Zucchini and Squash with Thyme and Feta

Here's a simple side that can easily be adapted to a main dish with a can of beans or some cooked grains (couscous or farro work well here). It can also become a bed for meaty ragu or grilled sliced steak.

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