There are two types of people: those who hang on to summer (and its tomatoes and corn and cucumbers) until it’s too brisk for Birkenstocks, and those who welcome spooky season with open, cable-knit-sweatered arms. We think both sides can agree on Lidey Heuck’s white chicken chili (above), a hearty meal that brings cozy vibes without too much heaviness. Helpful shortcuts and alterations abound: use rotisserie or leftover chicken; stir in some sour cream (and mash more of the white beans) for extra thickness; scale the chiles up or down to suit spice preferences. And we all agree that the best part of any chili is the toppings, so have tortilla chips and shredded cheese ready.
Yewande Komolafe’s crispy tofu with cashews and blistered snap peas is similarly satisfying without leaving you feeling sluggish. If the snap peas have disappeared from your market, use what you have, Yewande writes: “Snow peas, green beans, broccoli or asparagus? If it’s fresh and green, it’ll work just fine.”
Another brawny-but-bright dish: this za’atar and labneh spaghetti, a new recipe from Ham El-Waylly. Tangy labneh gives this 30-minute pasta dish the creamy texture of an Alfredo, but with decidedly more zing. Strained yogurts, like Greek yogurt or skyr, are good substitutes for labneh, but in any case you’ll want to add your dairy at the end to keep it from separating. Don’t worry if that sounds tricky — Ham’s here to help.
And to lift both lunches and any sagging back-to-school spirits, here’s Ali Slagle’s vegan green goddess dressing to use on all manner of desk salads (and to gussy up leftovers), and Samantha Seneviratne’s giant skillet chocolate chip cookie. If the words “giant chocolate chip cookie” have piqued your interest, you can watch Samantha cook her crowd-pleasing cookie here — because another thing we can all agree on is that the best chocolate chip cookie is one the size of your face.
For a limited time, you can now view all these recipes for free. Just download the New York Times Cooking app to start your free trial. Apple iOS users can download the app here, while Android users can use this link. Enjoy!