All About "dinner" and "vegetarian"

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Green Greens Rice Casserole

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Cheesy-green rice casserole makes a humble but delicious meal -- and a great way to showcase those enormous bunches of spinach, kale, or chard you may find at the farmer's market. Even if you usually use white rice, try short-grain brown rice here: whole grains are nutty and delicious, and they're a great, inexpensive way to add nutrients to your diet.

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Caprese Pasta Salad

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Named after the famous Italian tomato-mozzarella salad, this is a nearly instant, super-fresh recipe that's bursting with the summery flavors of juicy vine-ripened tomatoes and fragrant basil. Use as much of the fresh mozzarella as your budget will allow -- although if you're eating this as a side dish rather than a main course, you could skip the cheese altogether. And feel free to improvise: use halved cherry tomatoes, if that's what you've got, or add a few tablespoons of pesto, if you can't scare up any fresh basil.

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Asparagus Bread Pudding

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Here, stale bread gets new life as the world's easiest, cheesiest soufflé. Call it "savory French toast" if that will encourage your kids to eat it -- and make it in the spring, when asparagus is fresh and plentiful. You could also try using sauteed mushrooms, steamed broccoli florets, roasted zucchini, or whatever vegetables catch your eye at the market. Likewise, although the tarragon and chives go beautifully with asparagus, use whatever fresh herbs your family likes best. Serve the bread pudding with fruit for brunch or with a crisp salad for dinner.

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Smoky Veggie Quesadillas

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Vegetables, smoky-sweet from the grill and zingy with lime juice, transform simple cheesy tortillas -- comfortingly familiar to children -- into something sublime. Other fresh, seasonal, vegetables, such as eggplant or fennel, would make a lovely addition to the line-up here. And do try to hunt down the chipotle peppers, which add their own delicious hit of smokiness: they're available canned, in the Mexican foods aisle, and you can puree the entire can and store it in a jar in the refrigerator for instant flavor-boosting. (But if your kids are spice-shy, stick with the paprika.)

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Soy-Glazed Tofu

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Ah, tofu. We eat a lot of it. It's inexpensive, it's incredibly good for you, our kids love it, and you can treat it like a blank canvas. The trick is to use tofu's mild sponginess to your own advantage, preferably by impelling it to soak up a lot of salt and butter. Hence the following, which is our current go-to recipe, and we eat it at least once a week. Allowed to brown in a pan with soy sauce and lemon juice, the tofu gets crispy-edged and tangily addictive. Just be sure to buy extra-firm tofu, since any other style will fall all to pieces in the pan -- especially "silken tofu" which has the texture of jellied library paste.

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More About healthy, dinner, vegetarian

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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