Dried pasta and canned beans are vegetarian pantry staples for a reason: They are often the backbone of quick, tasty and satisfying meatless cooking. But if the sight of another box of rigatoni makes your eye twitch, or the thought of strolling down an aisle of cannellini beans triggers your fight-or-flight response, maybe it’s time to mix things up. Below are a baker’s dozen of vegetarian recipes that are light and filling all at once, featuring plenty of vegetables as well as the occasional tofu and whole grain — and they’re all worthy of a spot in your rotation. And if you’re looking for more recipes like these, sign up for The Veggie, New York Times Cooking’s new weekly newsletter dedicated to the expansive and delicious world of vegetarian cooking.
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Eric Kim’s critically acclaimed eggplant recipe — just look at that five-star average rating! — makes the most of pantry staples and just two ingredients from the produce aisle. Salty, spicy and sweet, these tender vegetables pack more flavor than the simple ingredients list would suggest. Just grab some tissues before you dig in: “I’m weeping, this is so good,” commented one reader.
Tejal Rao is always asking smart questions, like, “How does grating tomato make it taste so much more delicious?” and “Can you swap cheese in for the bread in pan con tomate?” The answers are: “magic” and “yes.” In her recipe, lightly fried paneer takes a