We're Making These Comforting Vegetarian Recipes For Dinner Tonight

As soon as we see the word "vegetarian" on a chilly, winter day our comfort food-wired minds paint a pained picture of bowls filled with cold, boring greens — AKA salad. But the truth of the menu matter is, that despite our short-sighted assumptions, cold-weather veggies can be just as comforting as a big bowl of meaty chili. With just a little inspiration, it's actually the exact opposite: meals that are warm, inventive, and above all, vibrant.

Bringing the heat to your vegetarian dining game for the next few iced over months is as easy as picking up a copy of Anya Kassoff's Simply Vibrant. The bright, plant-based cookbook is overflowing with warm and imaginative seasonal recipe magic — from savory sweet potato dumplings to hearty black bean hummus burritos. We've got those dishes plus one more ahead to get you started on warming up this week's lunch and dinner plans.

Photo: Courtesy of MashaDavydova.
White Bean & Sweet Potato Dumplings
Makes about 50 dumplings

Dough Ingredients
1 1/2 cups whole or sprouted spelt flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp melted neutral coconut oil or olive oil
1/2 cup (plus 1 tbsp) boiling water

Filling Ingredients
1/2 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked in purified water overnight
2 bay leaves and/or one 2-inch piece of kombu (optional)
2 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed (optional)
2 tbsp neutral coconut oil
1 large red onion, chopped
Sea salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
2 cups baby spinach leaves
Juice of 1 lime
1 small sweet potato, baked and peeled
Freshly ground black pepper

Serving Ingredients
Melted ghee or neutral coconut oil, or other mild-tasting oil
Pesto sauce, Carrot Top Chimichurri (recipe below), plain Greek yogurt, or sour cream

Dough Instructions
1. Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and work it in with your hands until the oil is incorporated well and the mixture resembles sand.

2. Slowly add the boiling water to the bowl, stirring constantly until just combined. Scrape the dough onto a floured work surface and knead it until it is soft and elastic. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it with a damp kitchen towel or wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and let it rest while you prepare the filling.

Filling Instructions
1. Drain and rinse the beans. Place the beans in a medium pot and cover them with plenty of water. Add the bay leaves, kombu, and crushed garlic cloves, if using. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a strong simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the beans are soft but not mushy. Drain the beans in a colander set over a large heatproof bowl; reserve the cooking liquid. Discard the kombu and bay leaves.

2. Warm the coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and, sauté for 8 to 10 minutes or until it begins to brown. Reduce the heat to medium low, add a pinch or two of salt, and sauté for another 10 to 12 minutes, until the onion is caramelized. Add the minced garlic and chipotle powder in the last 3 minutes of cooking. Increase the heat back to medium and add the spinach and lime juice. Stir until the spinach is wilted and the lime juice is absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. In a food processor, combine the beans, sweet potato, sautéed vegetables, and salt and black pepper to taste. Process until the mixture is smooth and well combined.

Dumpling Instructions
1. Dust your work surface with flour. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough between your hands into an evenly sized rope, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Keep the other pieces of dough covered.

2. Cut the rope into small pieces, each about 1/2 inch wide; you should end up with 12 to 13 pieces per rope. Roll each piece in flour and press it into a round disk with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll each disc into a dumpling skin about 1/8 inch thick.

3. Place 1 heaping tsp of the filling in the center of each dumpling skin. Fold and pinch the edges together to enclose the filling, making sure to secure the seal. The traditional Russian pinched seal (pictured) is optional. If you are not pinching out your seals, make sure that your dough sticks together well so your dumplings do not fall apart as they cook. Keep all the small pieces of dough covered with a towel while you assemble each batch of dumplings. Lay the finished dumplings on a well-floured cutting board or a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough and filling. Cook the dumplings right away or place the cutting board or baking sheet into the refrigerator and cook them within a day. Or, freeze the dumplings on a tray and transfer them to freezer bags once hardened. They will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

4. To cook the dumplings, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add all the dumplings and stir gently to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes or until the dumplings float to the surface.

5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the dumplings to a bowl or platter and toss them gently with melted ghee or oil to prevent them from sticking together. Serve the dumplings hot with pesto, chimichurri, plain Greek yogurt, or the traditional Russian way—with sour cream.

Carrot Top Chimichurri
Makes about 1-1 ½ cups

Ingredients
Approximately 3 packed cups torn carrot top greens (most hard stems removed)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup olive oil

Instructions
Place carrot tops, garlic,red wine vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper into a food processor and pulse into a chunky puree. With the motor still running, slowly pour the olive oil through the tube on the lid until well combined. Transfer into a clean glass and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Excerpted from Simply Vibrant by Anya Kassoff © 2018 by Anya Kassoff. Photographs © 2018 by Masha Davydova. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Photo: Courtesy of MashaDavydova.
Smoky Cauliflower & Black Bean Hummus Burritos
Makes 6 to 8 burritos

Black Bean Hummus Ingredients
1 cup dried black beans, soaked in purified water overnight
2 bay leaves and/or 2-inch piece kombu (optional)
1 cup torn fresh cilantro leaves and stems
1/2 ripe but not mushy avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and freshly ground
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Smoky Cauliflower Ingredients
4 tbsp neutral coconut oil, divided
1 large yellow onion, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 jalapeño or other chili, finely chopped
1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
1 tsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice

Burrito Ingredients
6 to 8 homemade tortillas (recipe below) or large store-bought whole-grain tortillas or wraps
2 cups baby spinach, microgreens, or chopped lettuce
Fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 ripe avocado, cubed (optional)
Juice of 1 lime (optional)

Black Bean Hummus Instructions
1. Drain and rinse the beans and cover them with water in a medium pot. Add the bay leaves and/or kombu, if using, and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and cook the beans for about 30 minutes, until they are soft and buttery but not mushy inside. Drain the beans, reserving 2 tbsp

of the cooking liquid for this recipe and storing the rest for future use in a soup or stew, if desired. Let the beans cool and discard the bay leaves or kombu.

2. In a food processor, combine the beans, cilantro, avocado, jalapeño, garlic, lemon juice, ground cumin seeds, and salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth, adding some of the reserved bean cooking liquid as you go to achieve a smooth consistency. You’ll have more hummus than you need for this recipe. Leftover hummus is great as a dip and on tartines or sandwiches; store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Smoky Cauliflower Instructions
1. Warm 1 tbsp of the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, and pepper, and sauté for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden and caramelized. Remove the onion from the pan and set it aside.

2. Return the pan to medium heat and warm the remaining 3 tbsp of coconut oil. Add the cauliflower to the pan in a single layer, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned. Flip the florets and cook on the other side for another 3 to 5 minutes. Continue to cook for a couple more minutes to achieve even caramelization.

3. Add the jalapeño and paprika to the pan with the cauliflower and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until the cauliflower is golden brown. Drizzle with the maple syrup and lime or lemon juice. Sauté for a minute or two until the liquid reduces into a glaze. Stir in the caramelized onion and remove the pan from the heat.

Burrito Instructions
1. Place one tortilla on a serving plate and spread 2 tbsp of black bean hummus on top. Add about 2 spoonfuls of smoky cauliflower, followed by a small handful of spinach or other greens. Top with some cilantro, avocado, and lime juice.

2. Fold the lower end of the tortilla over the filling, followed by the sides, and then roll it tightly into a burrito. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and fillings. I prefer to make fresh burritos right before eating, but you can also make these in advance to take with you and enjoy for lunch or at an outing.

Sprouted/Whole Spelt Tortillas
Makes 16 tortillas

Ingredients
3 cups sprouted or whole spelt flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
⅓ cup soft neutral coconut oil or other neutral vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup purified warm water

Instructions
1. Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, add oil and water, and mix to combine, gradually incorporating flour into oil and water well. Knead into a soft dough. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.

2. Divide the dough in half and roll each piece into a thick rope. Cut each rope in half, continuing to cut in this manner, until you have 16 equally sized pieces. Make a ball out of each piece, flatten each with the palm of your hand and keep covered.

3. Thoroughly warm a medium pan over medium high heat.

4. Roll each piece at a time into a 6 to 7-in. circle on a well-floured working surface. Transfer one piece at a time into the hot pan and cook for about 1 minute on one side, until bubbles appear, and a few pale spots are visible on the underside. Flip and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and keep wrapped in a clean kitchen towel.

5. Continue with the rest of the tortillas, stacking them on top of each other and keeping them covered. They are at best when used right away.

Excerpted from Simply Vibrant by Anya Kassoff © 2018 by Anya Kassoff. Photographs © 2018 by Masha Davydova. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Photo: Courtesy of MashaDavydova.
Coconut Black Rice & Edamame Veggie Burger
Makes 8 to 9 burgers

Black Rice Ingredients
1 cup forbidden black rice
1 3/4 cups canned unsweetened Thai coconut milk
Handful of kaffir lime leaves, bruised with a knife (optional)
Pinch of salt

Veggie Burger Ingredients
2 cups shelled edamame, shelled fava beans, or green peas
1 cup raw pistachios or pumpkin seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 cup chia or flax meal
3 soft Medjool dates, pitted and mashed with a fork
2 tbsp sesame tahini
1 shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 small red chili, seeded and minced or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Large handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
Sea salt
8 or 9 burger buns or wraps, for serving
Cilantro Tahini Sauce (recipe below), for serving

Black Rice Instructions
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool.

Veggie Burger Instructions
1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set it nearby. If you’re using edamame, drop them into the boiling water and blanch for 3 to 4 minutes, then immediately drain and transfer them to the ice water to stop the cooking. If you’re using fresh fava beans, blanch them for 1 to 2 minutes in the boiling water, then drain and transfer them to the ice water bath; when they are completely chilled, squeeze each bean out of its outer skin and discard the skins. If you’re using peas, blanch them for 30 seconds in the boiling water, then drain and transfer them to the ice bath. When the beans are chilled through, drain them well in a colander.

2. Grind the pistachios or pumpkin seeds into a coarse meal in a food processor.

3. Grind the cumin, coriander, and mustard seeds in a mortar and pestle or in a designated coffee grinder.

4. In a large bowl, partially mash the edamame, fava beans, or peas with a potato masher or fork, leaving some bigger pieces and whole beans here and there.

5. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

6. Add 2 cups of the cooked rice, the ground pistachios or pumpkin seeds, ground spices, chia or flax meal, dates, tahini, shallot, garlic, lime zest and juice, chili or red pepper flakes, mint, and sea salt to the bowl with the mashed edamame, favas, or peas. You will have leftover coconut rice, which is delicious on its own and can be served warm as a side. Store it refrigerated in an airtight glass container. Mix everything together thoroughly with your hands. Form the mixture into 8 or 9 burger patties, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer the burgers to the oven and bake for 15 minutes until toasted and firm.

7. Remove the burgers from the oven and let them cool slightly, then serve them in the burger buns or wraps of your choice with Cilantro Tahini Sauce and Asparagus Fries. Leftover burgers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Cilantro Tahini Sauce
Makes about ¾ to 1 cup

Ingredients
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup purified water
Freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon
1 small garlic clove - roughly chopped
1 cup cilantro - roughly chopped
Pinch of sea salt

Instructions
Combine all the ingredients in an upright blender until smooth.

Excerpted from Simply Vibrant by Anya Kassoff © 2018 by Anya Kassoff. Photographs © 2018 by Masha Davydova. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Photo: Courtesy of MashaDavydova.
Simply Vibrant by Anya Kassoff, $22.48, available at Amazon.
Show More Comments...