Year of the Vegetable

Optimism abounds this time of year, the temporal fresh start a necessary reminder of our own potential for improvement, for clarity, for fulfillment. Last week, I encouraged readers to share their resolutions for the new year. I was moved by their buoyancy, particularly this note, from Suzanne:

Let’s all resolve to wedge more joy into our lives! Cooking is a fabulous way to do so. Maybe you want to become a good enough baker to make a birthday cake for someone special. Or maybe you’re new to meatless cooking, and you’d like to share more meals with a loved one who’s vegetarian. (If either of those resolutions speak to you, I have recipes for you here!) Much like optimism, delicious recipes abound to help you reach your goals. Here are a few other ideas for 2024.

Learn to love veggies: Maybe your goals brought you to this very newsletter. If so, welcome! For those new to vegetarian cooking — or those who simply want to improve their relationship with good ol’ vegetables — Ali Slagle’s whole roasted squash with tomato-ginger chickpeas is a flavor-packed place to start. So, too, is her sweet potato hash with tofu. Each is low on effort and plenty hearty, ideal for those skeptical of meatless cooking.

Find more labors of love: In 2024, why not take a crack at a few fun cooking projects every month, starting with Lidey Heuck’s seasonally appropriate sauerkraut? But they don’t all have to be multiday affairs. Anything you can manage to impress yourself with, like perfecting Ham El-Waylly’s bean and cheese pupusas, counts.

Treat yourself: If you subscribe to the idea that completing the smallest task deserves a little reward, you probably spent a pretty penny on treats in 2023. Keep that same energy, but perhaps try making your own snacks (like Genevieve Ko’s energy bars, Kay Chun’s furikake snack mix or Yossy Arefi’s vegan peanut-butter chocolate-chip cookies) to toss in your tote bag.

Live a little luxuriously: In line with Suzanne and Jessica’s desire for more silly side quests is making each day a little more whimsical, a little more lush. Why not whip up Yewande Komolafe’s goat cheese and dill Dutch baby, which you might otherwise save for a holiday brunch, for no other reason than it’s a Thursday and you can?

Credit…Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.


View this recipe.

Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Whole Roasted Squash With Tomato-Ginger Chickpeas

View this recipe.

Credit…Kelly Marshall for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Roscoe Betsill. Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks.

Goat Cheese and Dill Dutch Baby

View this recipe.

One More Thing!

If you’re still in need of inspiration, here are a few additional reader resolutions that are too lovely not to share.

(We can help with that, Gail. Don’t sleep on this warm roasted carrot and barley salad or these chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies with ras el hanout.)

(That, too, we can help with!)

I’m going to hold you to that, Linda. Thank you all for writing in and for reading, and I’ll see you next week.

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