Ideas for Plant Based Meals

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One of the best things you can do to lower cholesterol is to eat less (red) meat AND more greens…but for many of us a vegetarian or vegan diet is too large a shift. One small step that can pay big dividends is to incorporate more ‘plant-based’ (aka vegetarian or vegan) meals into your meal planning.

But I’m often at a loss for vegetarian meal ideas—it just feels so much easier to throw chicken on the grill. So when the New York Times recently launched a newsletter called THE VEGGIE I decided to give it a try.

The newsletter is written by Tejal Rao,

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushroom Curry

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My interest was piqued by David Tanis’ New York Times article, A Warming Curry for Fall— because this accomplished chef mentioned that he’d adapted a Madhur Jaffrey recipe. I find her recipes can be challenging, so I was thrilled at a Mr. Tanis modification.

This recipe was both heavenly and easy—one of the most delicious recipes I’ve made. Plus, it truly took only about 30 minutes (not including roasting time – and you can make it without roasting the butternut squash if you have 30 minutes max).

Not only that, but the resulting dinner is a great vegetarian option—not always my forte but one I am trying to tackle—and it was filling. 

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Easy and Delicious Coconut Pork Stew

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Melissa Clark is one of my favorite cookbook authors—I find her recipes well researched, easy-to-follow and consistently delicious. But the depth and complexity of flavor in her Coconut Pork Stew with Garam Masala make this recipe, hands down, the most delicious dish I’ve ever made.

And it wasn’t even difficult. (To be fair, two elements require day-before preparation, so planning is required. But making a list is about as complicated as this recipe gets.)

I decided to make this recipe because I found the enveloping NYT article, Pork Stew Gets A Chile Kick intriguing, and I like Indian flavors and coconut curries.

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Tangy, Healthy, Homemade Yogurt

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Two things happened mid-February that messed with my decade-long half-bagel with smidge of cream cheese and slice of lox breakfast habit.

  • My fabulous local delicatessen can no longer get the nirvana-like H&H bagels from NYC (yes, I know the real H&H closed years ago but the ‘other’ H&H bagels are great too). And I despise their CT-made replacement bagels. DESPISE.
  • In the NYT, I read a Melissa Clark article about making homemade yogurt and became obsessed – especially because there was a kitchen gadget I could buy.
  • I tried to be more open —

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    Hearty Mushroom-Spinach Soup

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    While I am not usually a fan of soup for dinner, my husband is, and this month I found two soup recipes that looked hearty enough to possibly satisfy. Plus they both had the alluring added bonus of “requiring” the purchase of a new kitchen gadget. Though there’s barely room in my ‘magic closet,’ I could not resist.

    So two weeks ago, I made New York Times “Recipes For Health” columnist Martha Rose Shulman’s Winter Vegetable Soup With Turnips, Carrots, Potatoes and Leeks – because it looked tasty and required a food mill, a kitchen implement I’ve often wondered about.

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