Minestrone

Chock-full of fresh veggies, this Italian classic has made it into our short list of winter staples. It’s particularly well suited to the holiday season as a healthy counterpoint to all the cookies.

Source improved upon public domain Difficulty trivial Time 20 min preparation, 35 min cooking Serves 2

Minestrone, the mother of all vegetable soups.

Minestrone, the mother of all vegetable soups.

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Aglio, olio, et al. (-io)

In its simplest form, this Italian classic consists merely of spaghetti dressed in garlic (aglio) and olive oil (olio), though chili flakes and parsley are a common addition. We’ve replaced the flakes with fresh chili, reinforced the olive taste with actual olives, and heightened the addiction factor with toasted pine nuts. One of our more sinful creations — be sure to combine it with some lazy veggies to balance it out!

Source improved upon public domain Difficulty trivial Time 25 min Serves 2

Mmmm…

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Vegetable tajine, the way we like it

This might not be a particularly traditional recipe for tajine, but frankly, the changes are for the better. Rich and tasty, sweet and comforting, this new discovery is sure to become one of our staples.

Source improved and simplified version of a recipe from Vegetarisch Kochen Difficulty trivial Time 45 min Serves 2

Vegetable tajine, here with quinoa instead of the usual couscous.

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Tomato and pine-nut risotto

Among the many delicious options for enriching the basic risotto recipe, tomatoes are a classic choice, and pine nuts round out their taste just perfectly. With its built-in portion of vegetables, this risotto can easily stand on its own as a dinner meal, but also works nicely as a sophisticated side dish.

Source improved on public domain Difficulty easy Time 35 min Serves 2 as a main dish, 3–4 as a side dish

Tomato and pine-nut risotto.

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Milchriis: Swiss-style comfort food

Rich and soul-warming, milk rice (or Milchriis in Schwiizertüütsch, pronounced [ˈmilχˌriːs]) is a traditional Swiss dinner with a high addiction potential. We rarely go ten days without cooking it.

For some reason, however, it is highly polarizing — people either love it or hate it. Most likely, the main reason for the latter demography is simply the astounding proliferation of bad recipes. In the wrong hands, milk rice ends up bland and unsatisfying, and no amount of vanilla will change that. The secret to good milk rice is as simple as it is effective: Salt, very little sugar, and most importantly, lemon zest.

Of course, some people just dislike sweetish dinners for reasons unfathomable. If you are one of those, perhaps you can try this recipe as part of a Sunday brunch instead.

Source family recipe plus some subtle improvement of our own Difficulty trivial Time 25 min Serves 2

Milchriis with applesauce and lemon tea… mmm. ;o)

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Red lentil dal

Here’s one of our all-time favorites: healthy, satisfying, chock-full of complex warming flavors, this Indian-style spicy lentil stew has proven an effective antidote against Dutch weather. Its stress-free preparation makes it an ideal way of unwinding after day’s work.

Source improvement over a recipe from Vegetarisch Kochen Difficulty trivial Time 20 min for preparation; ~20 min for simmering Serves 2

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Red lentil dal with basmati rice, here further served with homemade paratha bread and mint-coriander chutney (not included in this recipe).

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Summer couscous

This light yet satisfyingly filling dish really shines on swelteringly hot summer days where the mere thought of eating is exhausting, but makes a refreshing and healthy lunch all year round. It can be prepared in large quantities with negligible effort and feels at home in tupperware, which makes it an ideal bring-along dish for a grill party.

Source improved upon various public sources Difficulty trivial Time 30 min for preparation; benefits from an hour or two of soaking in the fridge Serves 2, but can easily be scaled to fill a large salad bowl

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It’s never too hot for a bowl of summer couscous!

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