Photo: Dan Shannon

The Rich and Creamy Risotto That Needs No Butter
With most vegetable risottos, you cube the mix-ins, but this recipe has you bake the veggies (in this case, sweet potatoes) until tender, and then mash them. When you stir the sweet potatoes into the rice, they add a velvety thickness—one not requiring tons of butter.

Get the recipe: Sweet Potato Risotto
Lentil soup

Photo: Marcus Nilsson

Creamy Lentil Soup (Minus Actual Cream)
This gorgeous, turmeric-accented soup tastes way more rich and luscious than it actually is, thanks to a coconut-milk base. Plus, the lentils are high in protein, which helps you feel satiated longer than carbohydrates do. Fried tofu cubes make for a delicious and crispy garnish.

Get the recipe: Red Lentil Soup with Fried Tofu and Chile Oil
"Dirty John" Quinoa

Photo: Thinkstock

An American Classic Gone Healthy
The Southern dish hoppin' John is a souped-up version of rice and beans, with black-eyed peas and rice getting a serious flavor boost from bacon or ham hock. This lighter version substitutes mushrooms for meat, and super-seed quinoa for rice—and also includes a sprinkling of smoked Spanish paprika for a woodsy flavor that makes the dish taste just as comforting as the original.

Get the recipe: "Dirty John" Quinoa
Lisa Oz's Cornmeal Crusted Tofu with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

A Crunchy and Sweet Oz Family Favorite
When Lisa Oz sets this platter of mashed sweet potatoes with cornmeal-crusted tofu on the family dinner table, her kids fight over the crispiest slices. We can't blame them: it is one of the tastiest ways to prepare the protein we've ever tried. (Hint: To get each piece of tofu perfectly golden with a just-hard-enough crust, make sure to coat the entire surface of each piece with cornmeal, but don't go too heavy overall or the coating will just fall off when frying).

Get the recipe: Lisa Oz's Cornmeal Crusted Tofu with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Peanut noodles

Photo: Food & Wine/Kana Okada

A Veggie-Packed Pasta Dish
Curried peanut noodles are a Chinese meal you can throw together faster than most restaurants can deliver. Mung bean sprouts and carrots add plenty of crunch, and you can also add water chestnuts and chopped red peppers. Red curry paste delivers a nice finishing kick (if you prefer things spicier, use green; if you prefer milder, use yellow).

Get the recipe: Red Curry Peanut Noodles

Photo: Ditte Isager

A Middle Eastern Fast-Food Classic
Falafel is, by definition, vegan; it's usually made from ground chickpeas, fava beans or both. But this version is lighter than most because the falafel balls are baked, not deep-fried. A hot oven turns them golden and crispy, and they make an easy supper when tucked into a pita with sliced cucumbers, chopped tomatoes and a drizzle of hot sauce.

Get the recipe: Baked Falafel Balls