10 Dinner Ideas for April

Oh goodness, a lot can change in a month, can’t it? I started the “10 Dinner Ideas” series earlier this year, thinking it’d be all about easy dinner recipes made with ingredients that are in season. But as we all know, many ingredients are hard to come by these days. Around here – and maybe it’s the same everywhere, I’m not sure – dried beans and yeast are really tough to find. I’ve also heard that rice, flour, eggs, and even garlic are in short supply.

This article from The New York Times suggests “There’s No Need for Recipes Right Now,” and it’s kind of true, isn’t it? I mean, it is and it isn’t. I think a lot of us are having to improvise so much that we’re using recipes as guides more than gospel more than ever. 

So this time around, I thought that along with some favorite pantry recipes, I’d also share a couple of tutorials that can be a jumping off point for a great meal (or several), along with a few ideas for substituting ingredients.

Oh, and as you’re cooking this week, be sure and save your veggie scraps! Before you know it, you’ll be able to make a big ol’ delicious batch of homemade vegetable broth from them

Supremely Delicious Black Beans from Scratch

upremely Delicious Black Beans from Scratch - My favorite way to enjoy black beans is straight out of the pot after they've simmered with this simple list of heady aromatics. So easy and truly "supremely delicious."

If you were lucky enough to score dried black beans, this is my very favorite way to cook up a big ol’ pot of them. 

Get the recipe for Supremely Delicious Black Beans from Scratch here

Simple Instant Pot Vegan Black Bean Chili

Simple Instant Pot Vegan Black Bean Chili

Now that you have black beans, here’s the simplest, easiest chili recipe around. And it cooks up right in your Instant Pot! 

Get the recipe for Simple Instant Pot Vegan Black Bean Chili here

Cherry Tomato White Bean Bruschetta

Cherry Tomato and White Bean Bruschetta - Fresh tomatoes and creamy white beans tossed with basil, balsamic, and loads of garlic, then loaded onto crunchy golden toasts. So pretty much the tastiest appetizer recipe in the history of the land.

Things-on-toast are super comforting to me right now, and cherry tomatoes have been easy to find. So I thought I’d share this deliciousness that makes as good a dinner as it does an appetizer. If you can’t get basil, parsley will work in a pinch!

Get the recipe for Cherry Tomato White Bean Bruschetta here

Instant Pot Curried Carrot Red Lentil Soup

We’ve got lentils for protein and carrots for Easter. Perfect! With sweet carrots, aromatic curry spices, and ginger, this one’s full of flavor and easy to make too. 

Get the recipe for Instant Pot Curried Carrot Red Lentil Soup here

Hearty Bean & Lentil Vegan Bolognese

Legume My Marinara (Hearty Marinara Sauce with Lentils and Beans) - Marinara simmered together with lentils and beans for a thick, hearty, and protein-rich take on classic marinara. We love this over whole-wheat spaghetti, stirred into spaghetti squash, or stuffed in baked sweet potatoes. Vegan, gluten-free, and freezer-friendly!

This hearty pasta sauce boasts lentils AND beans! Mix it up and use whatever lentils and beans you have on hand. If you sub in brown lentils, keep in mind they might take a bit longer to cook up. And if you don’t have any garlic on hand, you can sub in garlic powder – about 1/4 teaspoon per clove is a good rule of thumb. 

Get the recipe for Hearty Bean & Lentil Vegan Bolognese here

Instant Pot Lentil Vegetable Soup

A recent comment from reader Jennie said, “Excellent recipe, Kare! Only thing I’d change next time is to double the batch! 😁 Thumbs up & five lip licking stars from 3 satisfied COVID shut-ins. Thank you. 🙂” 

Get the recipe for Instant Pot Lentil Vegetable Soup here

Greek-ish Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Olives, & Capers

As the days grow warmer, cooler dinners might just hit the spot. This pasta salad makes for a light, yet satisfying meal. The leftovers make an excellent lunch, too!

Get the recipe for Greek-ish Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Olives, & Capers here

Vegan Creamy Lemon Pasta

This springy meal makes use of the pasta you may have stocked up on, and uses frozen peas. And if you still do ham for Easter, the carnivores can even add leftover ham to their portions. 

Get the recipe for Vegan Creamy Lemon Pasta here

Creamy Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup

Another carrot soup recipe? Yep! We’ve been loving this one lately because of how satisfying it is with such a short list of ingredients: Just carrots, onion, ginger, broth, and coconut milk (or cream). Okay, plus olive oil/salt/pepper!

Get the recipe for Creamy Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup here

Massaged Kale Salad with Avocado & Chickpeas

Massaged Kale Salad with Avocado & Chickpeas

I’m not sure if it’s the same everywhere, but kale, avocados, and chickpeas have been pretty easy to get. Perfect – this salad makes for a super satisfying dinner. I love the zingy dijon dressing. 

Get the recipe for Massaged Kale Salad with Avocado & Chickpeas here

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Kare

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.