This bowl is a bit of an adventure, inspired by a vegetarian cookbook gifted to me (thank you Elke!). It starts with a base of quinoa, and is topped with flavorful and spicy black beans, earthy sautéed mushrooms and leeks, creamy avocado and lime and fried plantains! Be sure to buy ripe sweet plantains that are yellow and brown, not the green ones that are very starchy. Make sure to serve with lots of lime wedges, and some salt to sprinkle on top. The lime brings it all together!
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Thai Curry Raamen Bowl

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I love a good Raamen bowl, especially on a winter evening. This homemade version with the warm flavors of coconut milk, curry paste and shitake mushrooms, the crunch of bok choy and snow peas along and their bright colors, makes for a both delicious and beautiful dinner. You can pick your favorite protein for this bowl: for a vegan version, use tofu, or add shredded leftover chicken or thinly sliced beef.

Homestyle Meatloaf

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When I was growing up, I never liked meatloaf. Then I married a guy who loves meatloaf – and as luck would have it, my mother in law pointed me to a recipe that became the starting point for my reimagined meatloaf. Now, I’m now a meatloaf lover too. This one has loads of veggies, all ground up to look like meat. They mix into the meat seamlessly and add amazing flavor – and of course veggie goodness. Topped with a sweet glaze, even your kids will love this one… To round it out, you can go traditional and serve it with mashed potatoes and a green salad – or you can try my salt and vinegar smashed potatoes. Note: This recipe makes two meatloaves – if you don’t finish them both, you can make mealoaf sandwiches for lunch or put one in the freezer! To freeze, just wrap the meatloaf tightly in parchment and then foil, once it has cooled completely.

Mom’s Spaghetti and Meatsauce

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My mother made the best meat sauce. I am biased, but in this case, I have confirmation from all those who have eaten it and then turn it into their own family staple. The secret ingredient here is cinnamon –not too much that it tastes like breakfast, but just enough that it gives it a special taste. My innovation in this is that I throw all of the veggies into the food processor and grind them up to the size of ground meat. In the end, there are equal parts meat and veggies, which adds great flavor, nutrition and lightens it up. This recipe makes enough for a family dinner and then some more to freeze – which I think you’ll want to have on hand… I like to serve this with my favorite cucumber salad.