Right now the cold winter nights have us craving ultra-comforting dinners, and coming off the holiday season we also want meals that feel a little healthy-ish. That’s why this week we’re turning to Marisa Moore for meal-planning inspiration. The Atlanta-based food blogger and registered dietitian nutritionist gets lots of questions about what to eat this time of the year. And while it’s common to think about what to take away, Marisa is more focused on what she can add to the plate (usually some sort of vegetable) to create a meal that’s both healthy and comforting.
Here she shares a weekly meal plan with us, and tells us how she does it.
5 Comforting, Vegetable-Forward Dinners
I’ll be honest: In January I turn to warm and comforting meals. Bring on the soups, stews, chilis, and pastas! And if they have a healthy spin, that’s a big win. So this week I’m sharing easy, satisfying meals that deliver comfort with a healthy-ish twist in minutes.
Monday: Pumpkin Lentil Curry
My easy, vegan pumpkin lentil curry nourishes your body and soul. With red lentils that flaunt a sweet, nutty flavor and a quick cook time, this curry is ready in under 25 minutes. Use full-fat coconut milk to balance the spicy curry paste and create a luscious texture. I love making this curry as part of meal prep and it’s also a great way to use up any leftover pumpkin and extra spinach hanging out in the crisper. Serve it with rice and top with any fresh herbs (I like cilantro) and nuts you have on hand.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Lentil Curry
Tuesday: Roasted Broccoli and Walnut Pasta
This is for those nights when you want something green but also pasta — and it’s ready in only 20 minutes! While the broccoli roasts to perfection in the oven, I boil the pasta.
I love using orecchiette for this but have tried it with all shapes with success, including linguini and the casarecce in the photo. No matter the shape you choose, be sure to save some pasta water. It’s critical for the garlicky olive oil sauce. This recipe is a great way to repurpose leftover broccoli. The Parmesan adds a nutty, salty flavor to the meal that I love. But you can skip it or swap in vegan parmesan for a completely vegan meal.
Get the recipe: Roasted Broccoli and Walnut Pasta
Wednesday: Vegetarian Lasagna Soup
Lasagna on a Wednesday? Absolutely! I started tinkering with this recipe last month. I was seeing lasagna soup everywhere. But since I’m not a big meat eater, I wanted to try one with mushrooms swapped in. And I’m so happy with how it turned out.
This one-pot, veggie-packed soup has all of the flavors and comfort of lasagna — yet is on the table in a fraction of the time. I used chopped mushrooms for a hearty, savory base that plays well with the rich tomato broth. Adding a dollop of herbed ricotta takes this from basic tomato pasta soup to lasagna soup!
Tip: Use almond milk ricotta and vegetable broth for a completely vegan recipe.
Thursday: Instant Pot Butternut Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is the epitome of comfort food. And this one gets a little help from pre-cut butternut squash. The squash blends seamlessly with the cheese for a silky, creamy sauce that has just a hint of sweetness. This recipe takes just 20 minutes from start to finish. So I like to prep a pan of roasted green beans to serve alongside it while the pressure cooker works its magic.
Get the recipe: Instant Pot Butternut Mac and Cheese
Friday: Black Bean and Rice Skillet
This one-pot dish is perfect for Friday night when I’m done with anything that feels like work for the week! Made with already cooked rice (from meal prep earlier in the week or from the freezer), it’s one of my favorite throw-it-together meals. To make it, I sauté red onions and chipotle pepper in oil then add in the rice and beans. I like to top it with cheese and broil for a golden, cheesy topping. Top with some extra cilantro and jalapeños to brighten it up and add more flavor.
This easy skillet is ready in about 15 minutes. Plus, there’s only one pan to clean up. Which I think we can all appreciate right now!
Get the recipe: Black Bean and Rice Skillet
Thanks so much, Marisa! Make sure to follow Marisa on Instagram and on the web for more of her delicious recipes.
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