This spring vegetable tart looks like a work of art, but it’s so easy to accomplish. Puff pastry isn’t the healthiest item in the world, but for special occasions, it transforms simple ingredients into something fun and festive. Use a name brand (these are most often vegan, though it doesn’t hurt to check the ingredients), and make sure to give it a good 45 minutes to an hour to thaw out—not less, and ideally, not much more. This makes two rectangular tarts that are easy on the cook and gorgeous to behold. Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photos by Susan Voisin.
I almost named this “The World’s Easiest Lasagna” because this dish is super easy to make. Using no-boil noodles and pre-made sauce cuts prep time down so much that you can throw this together pretty quickly and your dinner guests will think you slaved away in the kitchen for hours. I served this at a party once and it was a huge hit, so I can attest to it’s omnivore friendliness. It’s also cat friendly, as I caught Archie sitting on the counter nibbling on it after I turned my back. I guess that cliché about orange cats and lasagna is true! Also, this tastes even better reheated the next day. Contributed by Dianne Wenz, from VeggieGirl. more→
Spinach and mushrooms are nicely flavored with vegan cheddar-style cheese in these delectable wraps. For an easy meal, serve with baked or microwaved potatoes or sweet potatoes and a colorful salad. Adapted from The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet. Photos by Rachael Braun. more→
A feast of color and texture, this salad of baby spinach, embellished with other colorful veggies, is quick to prepare and a pleasure to serve. Serve it in larger portions as a main-dish salad, or in smaller portions as a substantial side salad. Delicious served with a pureed vegetable soup and some fresh bread. Photos by Rachael Braun.
Prepared polenta provides an easy way to add variety to the dinner repertoire. I often use it sliced and sautéed as a side dish, but occasionally, it will become an intrinsic part of a recipe, as it is here, topped with a simple combination of black beans and spinach. Look for this kind of polenta in natural foods stores, as well as in supermarket Italian or gluten-free foods sections. This is also nice as a change-of-pace hot appetizer. Adapted from Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. Photos by Rachael Braun. more→
Since my family loves lentils, I keep a few cans of organic canned lentils on hand to use when we want a meal with this nourishing legume in a hurry. If you prefer to cook your own, the dish will also come together in a snap if you have them cooked ahead of time. To make this dish a little fancier, try using beluga lentils. There diminutive, gleaming black lentils contrast attractively with the greens and dried tomatoes. Green or brown lentils will taste just as good, though they’re not as pretty. This is great served with Cauliflower Rice Pilaf, Quinoa with Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Nuts, or another grain dish, plus a simple salad.
Here’s a simple brown rice dish that incorporates lots of fresh spinach. Using organic baby spinach is convenient, because it’s already cleaned and ready to go (though I usually give it a good rinse nonetheless). Scallions, fresh dill, and lemon juice add the finishing touch. more→
Spinach and lentils often paired Indian cuisine. Here, they are given an unusual context when combined with pasta. For a delicious meal, serve with a fresh flatbread and sliced cucumbers in coconut yogurt, embellished with cilantro. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.