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75 Vegetarian Lunch Ideas

Kick your boring salad to the curb, because these vegetarian lunch ideas are calling your name! With soups, sandwiches, wraps and more, these filling recipes will have you looking forward to lunch.

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Apple-White Cheddar Grilled Cheese

On rainy days when we need comfort food in a hurry, I toast sandwiches of cinnamon-raisin bread with white cheddar, apple and red onion. They also are totally tasty made with vegan cheese and olive oil instead of butter! —Kathy Patalsky, New York, New York

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Tomato Garlic Lentil Bowls Exps Sdon16 136664 D06 09 6b 2

Tomato-Garlic Lentil Bowls

An Ethiopian recipe inspired this feel-good dinner that's tangy, creamy and packed with hearty comfort. —Rachael Cushing, Portland, Oregon
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Quick Bean And Rice Burritos Exps Srbz16 34918 B09 02 5b 3

Quick Bean and Rice Burritos

These hearty and zippy burritos can be whipped up in a jiffy. —Kimberly Hardison, Maitland, Florida
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Quickpea Curry

This colorful curry is a nice change of pace for a busy weeknight. I like to substitute fresh peas for frozen when they're in season. —Beth Fleming, Downers Grove, Illinois
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Sweet Potato Panzanella Exps Hca18 89192 D09 29 4b 1

Sweet Potato Panzanella

This is my favorite lunch dish during the fall season. Every bite is filled with flavor and texture, but it isn't too high in calories. —Mary M. Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina
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Grilled Eggplant Panini With Basil Aioli  Exps Sdjj18 215151 B02 13 4b 2

Grilled Eggplant Panini with Basil Aioli

I love being able to use the bounty of fresh vegetables and herbs from my garden for summer meals. This sandwich is loaded with veggies and has such a satisfying crunch. The melty provolone finishes things off perfectly. —Joseph A. Sciascia, San Mateo, California
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Asparagus Soup With Lemon Creme Fraiche Exps167357 Cw2852793d01 10 5bc Rms 2

Asparagus Soup with Lemon Creme Fraiche

A fresh and easy asparagus soup, pureed until it's smooth, is a definite winner. Serve it warm or chilled depending on the weather.—Fern Vitense, Tipton, Iowa
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Summer Bounty Ratatouille Exps Hcka19 67211 C10 13 3b 8

Summer Bounty Ratatouille

Make use of your garden's surplus with this comforting dish from the Provence region of France. It's a vegetable dish traditionally made with eggplant, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, garlic, bell peppers and various herbs. I highly recommend accompanying it with some freshly baked bread. —Phyllis Jacques, Venice, Florida
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General Tso S Cauliflower Exps Thcom17 207457 D09 12 1b 10

General Tso's Cauliflower

Cauliflower florets are deep-fried to a crispy golden brown, then coated in a sauce with just the right amount of kick. This is a fun alternative to the classic chicken dish.—Nick Iverson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Tofu Chow Mein

This is an easy recipe for a "tofu beginner," as it teaches people how to use it. If you have time, one way to prepare it is to cut the tofu block in half and wrap well in a terry kitchen towel. Let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour to absorb excess water. For a complete meal, serve with Chinese soup and egg rolls! — Autumn SinClaire, Gold Beach, Oregon
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Chard White Bean Pasta Exps Hck17 89317 D08 23 2b 7

Chard & White Bean Pasta

I love to prepare dishes without gluten or dairy products, and this recipe meets the criteria when you use gluten-free pasta. It's proof you can use delicious, healthy products to create a crowd-pleasing meal. It's also soy-free, nut-free and vegetarian. —Amie Valpone, New York, New York
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Farmers Market Orzo Salad

Orzo is a tiny pasta shaped like rice. We use it as a base for veggies, lemony vinaigrette and cheeses such as mozzarella, feta or smoked Gouda. —Heather Dezzutto, Raleigh, North Carolina
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Italian Herb-Lentil Patties with Mozzarella

My family has requested this meatless recipe over and over again. It is simple to prepare and even meat lovers like it. —Geri Lucas, Oldsmar, Florida
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Spicy Peanut Soup Exps70479 Thrra2874593d01 30 2bc Rms 5

Spicy Peanut Soup

After enjoying a spicy peanut soup at a little cafe, I knew I had to try to duplicate it at home. I think my version comes pretty close. It's the best way I know to chase away winter's chill. —Lisa Meredith, Eagan, Minnesota
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Better Than Egg Salad Exps Hcka19 30922 C10 13 1b 4

Better than Egg Salad

Tofu takes on the taste and texture of egg salad in this quick-fixing sandwich from Lisa Renshaw of Kansas City, Missouri.
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Strawberry Salad With Poppy Seed Dressing Exps Sdam17 43225 D12 07 5b 9

Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

My family is always happy to see this fruit and veggie salad on the table. If strawberries aren’t available, substitute mandarin oranges and dried cranberries. —Irene Keller, Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Spinach And Tortellini Soup Exps Ssmz20 110589 B10 08 5b 16

Spinach and Tortellini Soup

A simple tomato-enhanced broth is perfect for cheese tortellini and fresh spinach. Increase the garlic and add Italian seasoning to suit your taste. —Debbie Wilson, Burlington, North Carolina
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Vegetarian Linguine

Looking for a tasty alternative to the usual meat-and-potatoes meals? Try this colorful pasta dish. My oldest son came up with the scrumptious supper that takes advantage of fresh mushrooms, zucchini and other vegetables as well as basil and provolone. —Jane Bone, Cape Coral, Florida
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Kale Slaw Spring Salad Exps Bmz19 197793 E11 30 8b 7

Kale Slaw Spring Salad

My parents and in-laws are retired and like to spend winters in Florida. This tangy spring salad welcomes the snowbirds back for our Easter celebration! —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
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Black Bean Burritos

My neighbor and I discovered these delicious low-fat burritos a few years ago. On nights my husband or I have a meeting, we can have a satisfying supper on the table in minutes. —Angela Studebaker, Goshen, Indiana
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Stir-Fry Rice Bowl

My meatless version of Korean bibimbap is tasty, pretty and easy to tweak for different spice levels. —Devon Delaney, Westport, Connecticut
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Three Green Salad Exps Hca18 1595 C06 08 7b 6

Three-Green Salad

For a crisp, refreshing side dish, this tasty salad can't be beat. It's the perfect salad to go with lasagna. —Gina Squires, Salem, Oregon
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Market Basket Soup Exps Thn16 141020 07b 19 3b 3

Market Basket Soup

I use kohlrabi in this soothing veggie soup. The vegetable has a mellow broccoli-cabbage flavor and can be served raw, but this is my favorite way to eat it. —Kellie Foglio, Salem, Wisconsin
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Exps194576 Sd163617d02 04 2b 7

Basil & Heirloom Tomato Toss

I came up with this garden-fresh salad to showcase the heirloom tomatoes and peppers we raised for our stall at the farmers market. Try out other types of basil like lemon, lime, licorice and cinnamon. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Lemony Garbanzo Salad

Everybody goes for this super fresh salad with the cumin-coriander dressing, especially on warm days. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Mushroom Pear Melts

I really like mushrooms with cheese. Add pears, broil away and you have got a scrumptious open-faced sandwich. Serve with a salad and fruity tea. —Marla Hyatt, St. Paul, Minnesota
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Coconut Curry Vegetable Soup

I've been a vegetarian since high school, so modifying recipes to fit my meatless requirements is a challenge I enjoy. This soup tastes rich and creamy and is packed with nutrients! —Carissa Sumner, Washington, DC
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Black Bean Sweet Potato Rice Bowls Exps Sddj17 195354 D08 03 3b 13

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Rice Bowls

With three hungry boys in my house, dinners need to be quick and filling—it helps to get in some veggies, too. This meal is a favorite because it's hearty and fun to tweak with different ingredients. —Kim Van Dunk, Caldwell, New Jersey
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Chipotle Lime Avocado Salad

I use my music to promote a healthy lifestyle, like eating your veggies. This bright salad is loaded with avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes and a little heat factor. —DJ Cavem, Denver, Colorado
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Mushroom-Bean Bourguignon

In our family, boeuf bourguignon has been a staple for generations. I wanted a meatless alternative. All this dish needs is a French baguette. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Coconut Ginger Chickpeas Tomatoes Exps91124 Sd143203b10 15 7bc Rms 4

Coconut-Ginger Chickpeas & Tomatoes

This is my go-to quick dish. When you add tomatoes, you can also toss in some chopped green peppers (jalapenos, if you like heat) to make it even more colorful. —Mala Udayamurthy, San Jose, California
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Layered Garden Bean Salad Exps165754 Hck143243d09 17 5b1 Rms

Layered Garden Bean Salad

For easy entertaining, cover and refrigerate the salad a few hours before guests arrive so you don't have to bother with last-minute assembly. Turn it into a light lunch by adding sliced rotisserie chicken, salmon or tuna. —Melissa Wharton, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Mint-Cucumber Tomato Sandwiches

I jazzed up the quintessential teatime cucumber sandwich to suit my family's tastes. This was my absolute go-to sandwich last summer when I was pregnant. It hit all the right spots! —Namrata Telugu, Terre Haute, Indiana
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Vegetable Lentil Soup Exps Cwdj18 32216 D08 18 2b 3

Vegetable Lentil Soup

Here’s a healthy slow-cooker soup that's ideal for vegetarians and those watching their weight. Butternut squash and lentils make it hearty, while herbs and other veggies round out the flavor. —Mark Morgan, Waterford, Wisconsin
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Avocado Quesadillas

Avocados give quesadillas some nutritional value and, fortunately, my son likes them. Thinly slice the avocado, and add chicken or beef for extra protein. —Debbie Limas, North Andover, Massachusetts
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Fiesta Chopped Salad

"We serve this colorful garden feast when we find vegetables that are bursting with flavor," writes Merwyn Garbini from her home in Tuscon, Arizona. The dressing makes the fresh salad a welcome companion for most any entree.
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Exps34908 Ff163882c01 14 4b 2

Wheely-Good Pasta Salad

Red pepper pieces accent this yummy side dish, and the pasta wheels really drive the theme home. —Amber Kimmich, Powhatan, Virginia
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Nectarine Arugula Salad

Here's a summer salad that brightens any supper. The homemade dressing with a hint of berries is perfect with arugula, nectarines and blue cheese. —Christine Laba, Arlington, Virginia
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Cheesy Cream of Asparagus Soup

Kids may not want to try a vegetable soup, but once they spoon up a mouthful of this cheesy variety, the flavor will keep them coming back for more. —Muriel Lerdal, Humboldt, Iowa
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Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Honey-Maple Vinaigrette

This salad makes a beautiful presentation for the holidays with the bright colors of the sweet potatoes, cranberries and spinach. —Susan Bickta, Kutztown, Pennsylvania
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Tomato Baguette Pizza Exps Sddj17 40299 C08 25 7b 4

Tomato Baguette Pizza

When my tomatoes ripen all at once, I use them up in simple recipes like this one. Cheesy baguette pizzas, served with a salad, make an ideal lunch. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Garden Chickpea Salad

Looking for a summer dish with a difference? Combine colorful crunchy veggies with soft feta cheese and good-for-you garbanzos. If you like, add sliced, cooked chicken or lamb. —Sally Sibthorpe, Shelby Township, Michigan
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Curried Egg Salad Exps Sdam17 245 B12 08 2b 1

Curried Egg Salad

A curry kick gives this egg salad big appeal. We love it when the weather gets warm. —Joyce McDowell, West Union, Ohio
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Satisfying Tomato Soup Exps Ssbz18 87249 B04 11  1b 2

Satisfying Tomato Soup

After craving tomato soup, I decided to make my own. My sister Joan likes it chunky-style, so she doesn't puree. Serve it with a grilled cheese sandwich. —Marian Brown, Mississauga, Ontario
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Garden Bounty Panzanella Salad

My sister gave me fresh tomatoes and basil, so I made a bread salad known as Panzanella. The longer it sits, the more the bread soaks up the seasonings. —Jannine Fisk, Malden, Massachusetts
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Grilled Goat Cheese Arugula Sandwiches Exps138752 Sd132778b04 16 3bc Rms 5

Grilled Goat Cheese & Arugula Sandwiches

To create a more “grown-up” grilled cheese sandwich, I threw in tangy goat cheese and peppery arugula. I enjoy a similar combination on pizza, and it worked here, too! —Jess Apfe, Berkeley, California
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Thai Pasta With Spicy Peanut Sauce Exps111152 Sd143204b12 05 1bc Rms 2

Thai Pasta with Spicy Peanut Sauce

We love how the whole wheat pasta and crisp, raw vegetables blend with the rich and creamy peanut sauce. The addition of fresh lime juice really brightens the flavor of the dish. Some eat it hot, but my husband and I prefer to wait until it's closer to room temperature. —Donna McCallie, Lake Park, Florida
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Almond Strawberry Salad Exps Sdam17 31859 B12 02 2b 7

Almond Strawberry Salad

It's easy to love this pretty salad topped with strawberries and sliced almonds. With just a few ingredients, it's loaded with flavor. —Renae Rossow, Union, Kentucky
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Colorful Quinoa Salad Exps174640 Sd143204c12 03 2b Rms 2

Colorful Quinoa Salad

My youngest daughter recently learned she has to avoid gluten, dairy and eggs, which gave me a new challenge in the kitchen. I put this quinoa salad together as a side we could all share. We love it for leftovers, too. —Catherine Turnbull, Burlington, Ontario
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Indian Spiced Chickpea Wraps Exps Sdam17 161897 D12 09 5b 1

Indian Spiced Chickpea Wraps

Raita, an Indian condiment made with yogurt, elevates this vegetarian dish to a satisfying gourmet wrap. If you're in the mood to experiment, try diced mango or cucumber for the pineapple and add fresh herbs like cilantro or mint. —Jennifer Beckman, Falls Church, Virginia
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Asian Veggie Glass Noodles Exps141029 Thraa2874593c01 31 3bc Rms 2

Asian Veggie Glass Noodles

My mom immigrated from the Philippines, so we would often eat Filipino pancit, a well-known glass noodles dish. I took her version and added my own touches to make it easier and a little healthier. —Jasmin Baron, Livonia, New York
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Roasted Pepper Potato Soup Exps25255 Hws133216b06 19 1b Rms 3

Roasted Pepper Potato Soup

I really enjoy potato soup, and this rich creamy version is different than most I've tried. I like its lemon and cilantro flavors, but you can adjust the ingredients to best suit your family's taste buds. --Hollie Powell of St. Louis, Missouri
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Mexican Layered Salad Exps Cpbz19 43129 B11 06 1b 5

Mexican Layered Salad

Here’s another popular dish I like to prepare in advance, adding the cheese and chips just before serving. It’s a slightly different version of the traditional layered salad.—Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

These gooey grilled cheese sandwiches taste great for lunch with sliced apples. And they're really fast to whip up, too. Here's how to make grilled cheese the right way. —Kathy Norris, Streator, Illinois
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Hearty Vegetarian Chili Exps Ssbz18 50373 D03 09 4b 6

Hearty Vegetarian Chili

Rich and flavorful, this chili is absolutely packed with fun veggies like mushrooms, beans and sun-dried tomatoes. It's so filling, you'll win over any meat lover. —Pam Ivbuls, Omaha, Nebraska
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Garden Cucumber Salad

If you like cucumber salad like I do, this one’s a cool pick. It’s a mix of fresh veggies, feta and Greek seasoning and so refreshing when the sun’s beating down. —Katie Stanczak, Hoover, Alabama
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Vibrant Black-Eyed Pea Salad

My black-eyed pea salad reminds me of a Southern cooking class my husband and I took while visiting Savannah, Georgia. People go nuts for it at picnics and potlucks. —Danielle Lee, Sewickley, Pennsylvania
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Hummus Veggie Wrap Up Exps Cwas18 106657 B04 05  4b 3

Hummus & Veggie Wrap-Up

I had a vegan wrap that was similar to this once when I stopped at a diner while on a long and arduous walk. I enjoyed it so much that I modified it to my own taste and now have it for lunch on a regular basis. Everyone at work wants to know how to make it. —Michael Steffens, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Hearty Italian White Bean Soup Exps Ssbz18 175005 B04 10  6b 2

Hearty Italian White Bean Soup

A bowlful of this soup is so satisfying, it's hard to believe it's actually good for you, too. I crave it all the time. With lots of beans and potatoes, it's filling and even hits the spot with meat lovers. —Kristina Krummel, Elkins, Arkansas
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Veggie Calzones Exps Mtcbbz17 21693 D02 24 1b 3

Veggie Calzones

Bread dough makes it a breeze to assemble these savory turnovers. If you have a favorite pizza dough, use it instead. These freeze well and once they are frozen, they can be heated in half an hour. —Lee Ann Lowe, Gray, Maine
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Avocado & Artichoke Pasta Salad

A squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of cilantro and a little avocado make this a creamy and zingy pasta salad. —Carrie Farias, Oak Ridge, New Jersey
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Arborio Rice And White Bean Soup Exps Sdfm18 190100 D10 06 4b

Arborio Rice and White Bean Soup

Soup is the ultimate comfort food. This hearty, satisfying soup with arborio rice is low in fat and comes together in less than 30 minutes. —Deanna McDonald, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Tomato Avocado Sandwiches Exps144054 Sd143205a01 31 4bc Rms 6

Tomato & Avocado Sandwiches

I'm a vegetarian, and this is a tasty, quick and healthy lunch I could eat for every meal. At my house, we call these sandwiches HATS: hummus, avocado, tomato and shallots. These are ingredients I almost always have on hand. —Sarah Jaraha, Moorestown, New Jersey
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Black Bean-Tomato Chili

My daughter Kayla saw a black bean chili while watching a cooking show and called me about it because it looked so good. We messed with our own recipe until we got this easy winner. —Lisa Belcastro, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
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Favorite Fruit Salad Exps Mtbz18 6628 B03 13 4b 1

Favorite Fruit Salad

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, especially when our four children and nine grandchildren come to visit. They always ask for this salad when they're here for dinner. —Doris Dion, Lake Ozark, Missouri
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Winter Squash & Blue Cheese Pasta

Even though I can throw together this supper in record time, it impresses our guests because it looks so elaborate. The luscious, creamy sauce makes everybody feel cozy. —Amy Tlockowski, Roanoke, Virginia
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Grilled Lebanese Salad Exps111604 Cw1996974a01 28 3bc Rms 1

Grilled Lebanese Salad

Amazingly, even our kids eat their greens, herbs and garden veggies when they’re prepared this way. Fresh and healthy never tasted more delicious. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Marty's Bean Burger Chili

My husband and I met while working the dinner shift at a homeless shelter that served my chili. I’ve revised the chili using bean veggie burgers. —Marty Nickerson, Ellington, Connecticut
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Strawberry-Quinoa Spinach Salad

We make quinoa with spinach and strawberries year-round, but it's most fun when we go to the farmers market to get the season’s first berries. —Sarah Johnson, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Lemony Chickpeas

These saucy chickpeas add just a little heat to meatless Mondays. They're especially good over hot, fluffy brown rice. —April Strevell, Red Bank, New Jersey
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Mushroom Broccoli Soup Exps Hck17 81065 B08 24 1b 4

Mushroom & Broccoli Soup

One of my girls won’t eat meat and the other struggles to get enough fiber. This recipe is a perfect way to give them what they need in a dish they love to eat. I save my broccoli stems in the freezer until I have about two small bags, and then I make soup. —Maria Davis, Flower Mound, Texas
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Sweet Potato Curry

One of my favorite vegetarian dishes, this curry packs a lot of flavor and nutrition. It can be served over rice or on its own. —Aubrei Weigand, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
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Avocado & Garbanzo Bean Quinoa Salad

This delicious quinoa avocado salad is high in protein and holds well in the fridge for a few days. If you make it ahead, add avocados and tomatoes right before serving. —Elizabeth Bennett, Seattle, Washington
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Coconut Lentils with Rice

Years ago I made this recipe for my kids, and they loved it. One of my daughter's friends would always request this dish when she came over to visit. I recommend basmati rice for this dish. —Diane Donato, Columbus, Ohio
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Easy Chana Masala Exps Sdon17 175124 B06 30 3b 3

Easy Chana Masala

I love this quick and healthy Indian-inspired dish so much I always make sure to have the ingredients stocked in my pantry. It makes weeknight dinners feel a little more special. —Janeen Judah, Houston, Texas

Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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