Recipe report: Plant-forward dishes

plant-based food

Vegetables, grains and nuts are increasingly moving to the center of the plate as plant-based cooking continues to trend. In these six recipes, plant foods are complemented with flavorful ingredients and, in some cases, small amounts of protein.

1. Marinated Eggplant Sandwich with Tomato Relish

marinated eggplant

Here’s a bold take on a plant-based sandwich from chef Tom Colicchio, founder of the ‘Wichcraft chain of sandwich shops. He marinates eggplant in herbs and jalapenos before grilling the slices, then sandwiches them with mozzarella on thin multigrain rolls. A housemade tomato relish adds another layer of bold flavor.

Click here for the recipe.

2. Dhansak

dhansak

At Mango Pickle, an Indian bistro in Chicago, chef-owner Marisa Paolillo puts a modern spin on traditional dishes, focusing on menu items that highlight vegetables and legumes. Here, she pairs autumn vegetables such as acorn squash and eggplant with several varieties of dal or lentils and a small amount of lamb. The ingredients are combined in a clay pot or braiser, seasoned with savory spices and cooked low and slow until everything is tender and infused with flavor.

Click here for the recipe.

3. Quinoa Salad with Vegan Green Goddess Dressing

quinoa

As summer turns to fall, bushels of apples in many varieties come onto the market. This vegan salad takes full advantage of the bounty. It has a base of quinoa—a complete protein and superfood grain rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium and potassium—and is topped with chopped apples and candied walnuts. An avocado green goddess dressing adds contrasting color and creamy texture.

Click here for the recipe.

4. Thai Rice Bowl with Sweet Pickles and Chili-Lime Dressing

thai tuna bowl

September is Whole Grains Month, the appropriate time to celebrate grain bowls. Natural foods chef Robin Asbell chooses brown rice for this bowl, but other grains can be substituted, including farro, bulgur wheat or barley. Small amounts of tuna round out the dish, and a bright chili-lime dressing, shredded cabbage and sweet pickles add a punch of heat, crunch and tang.

Click here for the recipe.

5. Peanut Kale Salad

peanut kale salad

Looking for something new to do with kale? At Cypress Street Pint & Plate in Atlanta, the kitchen menus a kale salad with peanut dressing. Not only do the ingredients change up the usual kale salad with an Asian accent, but the peanuts also add nutritious plant proteins to the mix.

Click here for the recipe.

6. Pear-Sweet Potato Bake

pear sweet potato bake

In this recipe, vegetables pair with fruit—specifically, sweet potatoes with pears—for a colorful vegetarian small plate or side dish. Crystallized ginger and garlic reinforce the sweet-savory flavors of the dish, while goat cheese adds a creamy counterpoint.

Click here for the recipe.

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