WV Farm2Fork: No meat? No matter! | Food & Dining

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Plenty of people are getting on the plant-based bandwagon these days. And with Ash Wednesday behind us, there are others who are looking at a few weeks of meatless Fridays. Over the years, we’ve all come up with our own meatless menus, some of which are now popular family favorites.

Every once in a while, though, we like to try something that’s a little different and gives us the opportunity to try a food we haven’t ever or don’t often buy in a new way.

This week, we’re offering some international meatless recipes that we think you’ll enjoy now and in weeks to come when you want something out of the ordinary.

When it comes to menu planning, meatless meals should get all of the thought that you give to your other meal menus. Be sure that you are thinking about aesthetics, nutrition and flavor. You want that dinner plate to look inviting, smell delicious and give your palate a run for its money. You want to make sure that the flavors are complementary so that one thing doesn’t completely drown out the other or that you don’t have a plate full of competing big flavors.

Consider the recipe for Greek Hand Pies. It’s a pretty quick-to-make and tasty sandwich for dinner. Served with tangy Greek yogurt tzatziki and a colorful chopped vegetable salad, it looks and tastes bright. Make the salad with lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, Kalamata olives and simple herb vinaigrette.

A good hearty soup can be just the ticket for a still-chilly winter day. Try a twist on tomato soup with the Lentil Tomato Soup. It needs to simmer on the stove for a couple of hours and the smell of the vegetables and herbs will fill your kitchen with a comforting aroma. Go ahead and serve it with a traditional grilled cheese sandwich and bright-green apple slices.

Another day, go for thick and creamy with Root Vegetable Bisque. We like it with a warm, crusty loaf of bread or even cornbread. A simple salad of romaine lettuce or escarole topped with sliced oranges, toasted nuts and dried cranberries would be a cheerful add here.

If Chinese is a favorite in your house, try the Curried Fried Rice. It’s easy to make and quicker to get on the table if you have leftover cooked rice from a previous meal or that takeout order from earlier in the week.

Serve with roasted vegetables like carrots, cauliflower and red onion.

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