Tanya Sichynsky — a senior staff editor you might know from The Veggie — has written a friendly “start here” guide for common cooking resolutions. It’s worth a read, especially for this encouraging suggestion: “Try to become just a little bit better at something, rather than change your habits wholesale.” If one of your resolutions is to eat less red meat, we have plenty of inspiring recipes for you, including this new one by Ali Slagle for fresh spring rolls. They’re light yet filling, especially if eaten with a limey, chile-spiked peanut sauce.
It’s a recipe that helps you improve and fine-tune all sorts of cooking skills: assembling a pleasing mix of simple proteins, crunchy vegetables and fresh herbs; striking the right balance of lime juice and fish sauce in your nước chấm; and, of course, rolling your rolls. This dexterity will come in handy for all sorts of delicious and fun meatless meals, like bean and cheese burritos, rolexes, cabbage rolls and hand rolls.
If you’d like to get better at stir-frying, start with Vivian Chan-Tam’s moo goo gai pan. As Vivian notes, the basic components of this classic Chinese American dish have remained relatively unchanged over the years: tender slices of chicken breast and an assortment of vegetables coated in a light, savory sauce. Those canned bamboo shoots and water chestnuts kicking around in your cabinets will shine here.
Mastering an array of skillet chicken dinners — that is, dinners that are cooked from start to finish in one big shallow pan — is crucial to getting delicious meals on the table on busy weeknights. This pan-seared chicken with harissa, dates and citrus from Yewande Komolafe is a terrific recipe to keep up your sleeve, as it’s a perfect mix of shelf-stable staples (a tube of harissa, dried dates) and bright, winter-dread-defying ingredients (oranges, limes and Greek yogurt). “Before we were finished eating, my partner asked when I’d make it again,” Eleanor, a reader, writes. “Total keeper!”
While not made in a skillet, Ali Slagle’s one-pot rice and beans dish is — you guessed it — a one-pot affair. Make this 30-minute recipe over and over to serve with whatever protein you like (michelada chicken? Baked tilapia?), or on its own as a simple and satisfying meal.
If you’d like to eat more leafy greens in 2024, these salt and vinegar kale chips from Hetty Lui McKinnon make that resolution a snap. The roasted leaves become shatteringly crisp in the oven, and Hetty pairs them with pan-fried chickpeas for even more golden crispy goodness. With a lacy fried egg and slices of avocado, these kale chips become a hearty dinner; by themselves, they’re an excellent snack.
And if you want to get better at fortifying breakfasts, Genevieve Ko’s overnight oats are here to help. The recipe is highly customizable — use milk or your favorite dairy alternative; add whichever nuts, seeds and dried fruits you like; and sweeten things up (or not) with maple syrup, brown sugar or honey. New year, new breakfast.