During my undergrad years, my roommate taught me how to cook vegetarian dishes like brown rice with pintos. It's so versatile; you can turn it into a wrap or casserole. —Natalie Van Apeldoorn, Vancouver, BC
Diners meet up with plenty of flavor when they dig into Marian Platt's meatless mainstay that's bursting with cheese, rice, onion and peppers. "These burritos are a fun change of pace from traditional sandwiches," she notes from Sequim, Washington.
Writes Merrie Fischer of Gen Arm, Maryland, "I love this dish because it's so quick to fix...and it's versatile, too. Sometime I'll dress it up by stirring in cooked shrimp, crab, chicken or turkey for an elegant company meal."
Writes John Aramanda of Beaufort, North Carolina, "I enjoy creating new recipes out of old ones—this is a variation on macaroni and cheese. My mother gets this credit for all my cooking successes. She started me out at age 5."
Spiced just right, These bean-based tacos have plenty of South-of-the-border appeal. Lynn Hamilton of Naperville, Illinois livens up her black bean filling with diced tomatoes, green chilies and a variety of seasonings, then garnishes each taco with a slice of avocado.
Chock-full of garden freshness, this colorful toss makes an excellent side dish or meatless entree. "Sometime I substitute penne pasta and add cooked chicken for a heartier main meal," says Rosemary Averkamp of Genoa, Wisconsin. "Using garlic-flavored feta cheese is a great touch."
Margaret Wilson of Hemet, California makes a Greek-style sandwich by spreading a loaf of bread with hummus, veggies, seasonings and feta cheese. With plenty of garden-fresh flavors and a hearty bean spread that packs protein, this stacked submarine makes a satisfying meal-in-one.
Pita bread is the crust for these single-serving pizzas that get Mediterranean flair from olives, spinach and feta cheese. Breadsticks and a wedge of iceberg lettuce drizzled with salad dressing (pictured above right) make fine pizza partners. Or serve an appetizer of fresh vegetables with dip, then cap off the meal with lemon Italian ice.