All About "dinner" and "vegetables"

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Summer Squash Frittata with Basil

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Veggie-filled frittatas are delightfully quick, versatile, and inexpensive. Here, cheerful summer squash is paired with the summery flavors of pesto -- basil, parmesan, and pine nuts -- though you could substitute a spoonful of prepared pesto if you have some handy. If your garden or market is spilling over with other vegetables, use them instead, cooked and added to the eggs with an herb and cheese of your choice.

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Dinner Beans

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This is a real workhorse of a recipe: a cheap, virtually instant supper that is yummy and nutritious. I have always felt profoundly nourished by an honest plate of beans and rice, but you may want to make the beans and scoop them up with warmed tortillas or wrap them up with cheese into plump little burritos. Of course, if you need to make these beans this minute and have no smoked anything in the house, you can add cumin or regular paprika or both, and they will still be very good.

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Carrot Salad

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This nearly-instant recipe for Carrot Salad is infinitely adaptable: you can substitute lemon juice or vinegar for the lime juice, sugar for the honey, and tamari for the fish sauce, you can omit the peanuts, you can use your favorite green herb (honestly, in the winter I often use celery leaves from the inside of the bunch, because that's what we have), and you can even add a splash of olive oil if the salad tastes too pickle-y to you, though I like the clean flavor of the oil-free version.

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Squash Packets

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Here is a recipe that might be useful even if you're not camping -- Squash Packets, which we like to call "hobo packets", and they make a fine accompaniment to Fish Wrapped In Foil. Try other vegetables, if you like, and consider adding whatever seasoning strikes your fancy, such as sliced onions, chopped tomatoes, or spices.

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Creamy Zuke Soup

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Summer squash are inexpensive and abundant, but little ones can be a little daunted by them. Here, they're whirred into an appealing, pale green soup that strikes the perfect balance between wholesome and yummy. The character of this soup will be determined by what you stir in at the end: buttermilk will make a light and zippy soup, milk a good, mild one, and half and half a rich and creamy one. Served with bread and a salad, it makes a perfect light dinner.

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