Photo: Thomas J. Story; Styling: Janna Lufkin

From hearty kale soup and easy chicken broth to crispy Brussels sprouts and herby beans, these 22 recipes will start your year on a simple, refreshing note

Maya Wong  – January 2, 2020 | Updated January 6, 2020

It’s the start of the new year (and decade!), but you already knew that. This January, we’re focused on crunchy green salads, seasonal winter produce, craveable vegetable-heavy dishes, and undemanding but delicious soups. As much as we love hefty plates of prime rib, we’re admittedly excited to leave the overly extravagant holiday dinners in December and move onto simple meals that keep us warm and well-fed during this month’s chilly, crisp nights.

Salads

Fennel, Almond, and Pecorino Salad
Thomas J. Story

Fennel, Almond, and Pecorino Salad

For a bright, crunchy salad, use fennel, chopped almonds, parsely, and grated pecorino cheese with a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard. Make it even heartier by adding grilled shrimp or artichoke hearts.

Salmon Sesame Salad

This lemongrass chile dressing is a recipe you’ll use over and over again, but we especially love it on this salmon, cabbage, snow pea, avocado, orange, and cilantro salad

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Honey Salad

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A touch of honey in this warm salad brings out the natural sweetness in roasted onions, sweet potatoes, fennel, and bell peppers. (Of course, you can change up the vegetables to whatever you want.) For an extra layer of flavor, serve with shaved parmesan or asiago cheese.

Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Lemon Dressing

Combining mild, subtly bitter chicory greens with sweet shrimp is an easy win. A lemon juice- and zest-based dressing adds an extra zing that we just love.

Hearty Winter Salad

Salads aren’t just for lunch. This Hearty Winter Salad is filling enough to make for dinner thanks to a mix of radicchio, slightly smashed potatoes, chickpeas, and a sherry vinegar dressing.

Easy Soups

Butternut Squash and Corn Soup
Photo: Thomas J. Story; Styling: Janna Lufkin

Butternut Squash and Corn Soup

Make this silky squash soup on a particularly chilly January night. Corn adds a sweet note, while chicken broth makes it extra flavorful.

Bar Tartine Chicken Broth

At San Francisco’s Bar Tartine, they use the Japanese technique of adding kombu (sea kelp) to infuse the broth with a velvety texture and savoriness without a noticeable seaweed flavor. Chicken drumsticks, with their high ratio of bone and tendon to meat, give body to the broth as well.

Creamy Pumpkin Seed and Green Chile Posole

We remade the usual pork-based posole as a vegetarian version with toasted pumpkin seeds, green chile, zucchini, and vegetable broth. For a vegan version, just skip the final sprinkle of cotija cheese.

Red Russian Kale and Chorizo Soup

A little bit of heat sets this kale and chorizo soup apart from being another run-of-the-mill broth. When you’re at the farmers’ market, look for Red Russian kale, a mild-flavored heirloom variety with a purple and gray-green color.

Shiitake and Mushroom Tofu Soup

A clear broth soup packed with soft cabbage, mushrooms, tofu, and rice noodles is perfect for a night spent at home. Bonus: the entire soup only takes 30 minutes to make.

Toasted Bread, Bean and Vegetable Soup

Our lighter version of ribollita (a sturdy Tuscan bread and vegetable soup) has a ton of onions, carrots, celery, cannellini beans, tomatoes, Swiss chard, and just a bit of olive oil-toasted bread on top.

Healthy-ish Dinners

Sweet and Spicy Red Kuri Squash Bowl
Iain Bagwell

Sweet and Spicy Red Kuri Squash Bowl

Beautiful orange slices of roasted red kuri squash and scoops of coconut rice are topped with a sticky sweet and spicy sauce. You can use any Asian chile paste or sauce in your refrigerator to add a touch of heat, but we especially like Huy Fong Foods’ sambal oelek.

Miso-Marinated Black Cod

Created by chef Nobu Matsuhisa in New York more than 20 years ago, this delicate, buttery dish is the simple, healthy dinner we crave after all those extravagant holiday parties. Our version features green onions and ginger.

Flageolet Beans with Rosemary and Thyme

It takes just a few minutes to prep the ingredients for this herby pot of beans, then they simmer to tenderness in a slow-cooker. There’s no need to soak the beans beforehand; they cook to a tender finish straight from the package.

Garbanzo Tomato Curry

You probably have most of the ingredients to this comforting Garbanzo Tomato Curry in your pantry already. The base of this dish is canned beans and diced tomatoes plus a mix of spices, so there’s not much pre-planning necessary. 

Bengali Five-Spice Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Chicken legs and thighs, bell peppers, potatoes, and carrots are tossed in panch phoron — a five-spice blend of black mustard seeds, fennel seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, and cumin seeds — and roasted in a very hot oven to toast the spices. This dish brings almost as much comfort as your favorite oversized sweater.

Turmeric Cauliflower Rice

Riced cauliflower is sauteed with onion, garlic, and brightly colored, earthy-flavored turmeric for a vegan side dish that can be used in grain bowls, soups, and salads. Make it on a Monday and eat it throughout the week.

The Best of Seasonal Produce

Baked Eggs with Leeks and Mushrooms
Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Fanny Pan

Baked Eggs with Leeks and Mushrooms

Take advantage of leek season with this super easy one-pan supper. Roast mushrooms and leeks for 10 minutes, then add eggs and goat cheese and bake for another 10 minutes. We like it with crusty bread and runny yolks.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecorino and Tangerine

January is prime season for Brussels sprouts, so if you’ve never had raw Brussels before, now’s the time. This raw sprouts salad is very straightforward, which lets the sweet tangerines and sharp pecorino shine. 

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto Chips

Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski shares his favorite way to cook Brussels sprouts, which is to keep it simple: charred on the outside, a nice firm-tender bite in the center, and topped with prosciutto chips for a smoky, meaty bite.

Meyer Lemon Salsa Verde

Meyer lemons are still in full swing, which is enough of an excuse for us to make this Meyer Lemon Salsa Verde on repeat. Eat it on scrambled eggs, grilled bread, steaks, or roasted vegetables. There’s really no wrong answer.

Meyer Lemon Cake

And of course, meyer lemons aren’t designated to savory dishes only. This Meyer Lemon Cake is a Sunset classic. Just be sure to cook the lemons before adding them to the cake to mellow their flavor.

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