These recipes are part of Bon Appetit’s December Holiday issue. Catch up on all the recipes, articles, and more here.
We live for gingerbread, hot toddies, and all the other festive foods and drinks this time of year brings, but we also crave a bit of balance—especially around dinnertime. That’s why we’re taking our cooking queues from chef and wellness advocate Sophia Roe. When Roe cooks dinner at home, it’s always streamlined for speed. Based in Brooklyn, Roe has been busy producing and hosting Counter Space, a new Vice show. Each episode explores the global evolution of food through the context of current events, like Hong Kong’s protest food and Yemen’s crisis-plagued coffee fields. When she’s not doing that, she’s teaching her devoted Instagram followers how to preserve lemons and braise cabbage while also engaging them in candid conversations about subjects such as anti-racism and how to cope with trauma.
So when Roe needs to get dinner on the table for herself and her family, she prizes healthyish plant-based dishes with minimal prep or fuss. “Some people think elevated food needs to take a long time, but that’s not true,” she says. “You just need to put purpose and thought into it.” Instead of relying on too many ingredients or high-tech equipment, Roe deploys practical techniques (preheat your baking sheet for the crispiest roasted sweet potatoes!) to create meals with instant appeal. Her recipes below are all designed to come together quickly from start to finish but will go even faster if you prep a few things, like a pot of black lentils or brown rice, ahead of time. Cooking dinner has never felt better.