On evenings when I come home from cooking all day in the Test Kitchen, I rarely want to think about what to make for dinner.
Some people looking for easy, healthy meals start with the protein (maybe chicken or fish or, for vegetarians, eggs or tofu). Others, the starch-such as pasta or rice. Not me.
I always open the veggie drawer. I'm not vegetarian, but it is my favorite base when it comes to easy dinners that are also super-healthy. In fact, my new favorite go-to meal, the veggie hash, works pretty well for anybody-vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. At the most basic level, a hash is shredded potatoes cooked in a skillet with fat-oil, butter or lard-until crispy. But my hashes are a little different.
Quick Meal Staples: There are two things I've learned to always have in my house: eggs and frozen hash browns.
Tip: When buying, look for hash browns that don't have added salt to help keep sodium in check.
Eggs and frozen hash browns are grocery must-haves, both with respectable shelf lives, and they play a supporting role to any vegetable in a hash.
Dark leafy greens, mushrooms, carrots and scallions - any vegetable at all is on its way into the skillet along with shredded potatoes to become a vegetable hash. My favorites are kale and Brussels sprouts, but any vegetable, you name it, I'll hash-ify it. Then to top it off, I'll fry an egg. Because, really, there are few meals that aren't better with an egg on top.
Perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch but especially handy and delightful for dinner, with hash I'm only moments away from a healthy veggie-filled, satisfying meal.
The Healthier Hash: Get images of that greasy diner hash out of your head. These recipes are healthy veggie- and protein-packed meals made flavorful with herbs and spices. Here is a collection of our favorite healthy vegetable hash recipes, most ready in 40 minutes or less. Just don't forget your favorite hot sauce.
Potato-Kale Hash with Eggs
This potato and kale hash uses a rimmed baking sheet instead of a skillet.
Good for Multitaskers:
Because I'm using the oven instead of the stove, I don't have to tend to the hash as often, allowing for me to multitask while dinner cooks.
To keep the prep work to a minimum, use pre-chopped kale, found near other prepared cooking greens. If you'd rather chop your own, start with about 1 bunch and strip the leaves off the stems before chopping.
Brussels Sprout & Potato Hash
I could eat Brussels sprouts every day, and this rosemary-scented hash is one of my favorite recipes.
This one's made on the stovetop: resist the urge to stir it too much! Cooking the hash undisturbed allows a crispy caramelized crust to form on the potatoes at the bottom of the pan.
Chickpea & Potato Hash
Ready in just 25 minutes, this spinach- and zucchini-filled hash is flavored with ginger and curry powder.
Along with the sunny-side-up eggs, chickpeas provide a little extra protein boost.
Potato, Mushroom & Asparagus Hash
Homemade Hash Browns:
If you don't have frozen hash browns, this veggie hash with asparagus, shiitake mushrooms and roasted red peppers is for you. Flavored with sage and garlic, this hash starts with new or baby potatoes and is topped with a fried egg.
Sweet Potato, Corn & Black Bean Hash
You don't have to have hash browns to make a delicious veggie hash.
You don't even need eggs to hash! This Southwestern-style hash has a sweet potato base and corn, black beans, onions and a jalape¤o pepper for vegetables.
As a Party Side:
Seasoned with cumin, cilantro and lime, this Tex-Mex hash could also be a fun addition to a taco party.