To offer non-meat eaters something more than mashed potatoes, try a multitasking recipe that works as both a tasty side and a satisfying entree.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH CUMIN COUSCOUS

hands-on time: 20 minutes

total time: 50 minutes

serves 6 to 8

1 butternut squash (2 pounds)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup canned diced tomatoes

1/3 cup dark or golden raisins

1 32-ounce container vegetable broth

1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained

2 teaspoons kosher salt

11/2 cups couscous

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/4 cup (1 ounce) almonds, chopped

Halve and peel the squash. Remove the seeds and cut the squash into 1-inch chunks. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the squash, tomatoes, raisins, broth, chickpeas, and 11/2 teaspoons of the salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook until the squash is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring 11/2 cups water and the remaining cumin and salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Divide the couscous among individual bowls and ladle the squash over the top. Sprinkle with the parsley and almonds.

BAKED POLENTA WITH MUSHROOMS AND GORGONZOLA

hands-on time: 30 minutes

total time: 45 minutes

serves 6 to 8

11/2 cups instant polenta

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for the dish

1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese

1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola

4 tablespoons olive oil

11/2 pounds cremini or button mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Heat oven to 350deg F. Bring 41/2 cups water to a boil. Whisking constantly, slowly add the polenta. Add 11/2 teaspoons of the salt and the butter. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the Gorgonzola. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add half the mushrooms and cook for 6 minutes. Add half the shallot and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining oil, mushrooms, and shallot. Season the mushrooms with the pepper, thyme, and the remaining salt. Butter an 8- or 9-inch baking dish or eight 6-ounce ramekins. Stir 2/3 of the mushrooms into the polenta and transfer to the prepared dish or ramekins. Top with the remaining mushrooms and Gorgonzola. Bake, uncovered, until the Gorgonzola has melted, about 15 minutes.

STEWY WHITE BEANS

hands-on time: 20 minutes

total time: 40 minutes

serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 small shallots, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 pound mustard greens or kale, stems removed and leaves sliced into 1-inch strips Juice from 1 lemon

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 14.5-ounce can vegetable broth

1 28-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes, undrained

1 15-ounce can white beans, drained

11/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and greens and cook, stirring frequently, until the greens begin to wilt, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, the brown sugar, bay leaf, red pepper, broth, and tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently until the greens are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season with the salt, black pepper, and (if desired) the remaining lemon juice.

VEGETABLE SHEPHERD’S PIE

hands-on time: 30 minutes

total time: 50 minutes

serves 6 to 8

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 parsnips, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 stalks celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 medium fennel bulbs, cut into a 1/2-inch dice

2 cups Brussels sprouts, halved

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 14.5-ounce can vegetable broth

3 cups fresh spinach or torn Swiss chard leaves (optional) Pinch ground nutmeg

Place the sweet potatoes and 1 tablespoon of the salt in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes. Add the parsnips, celery, fennel, Brussels sprouts, parsley, pepper, and the remaining salt and toss. Add the broth, increase heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the spinach or Swiss chard (if using) and stir until wilted. Remove from heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a casserole or 9-inch pie plate. Drain the potatoes and return to pot. Add the remaining butter and mash until smooth. Spread the mashed potatoes over the vegetables. Set broiler on high. Broil until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the nutmeg.