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24 Answers to the "What Do I Want for Dinner?" Question

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When I ask myself the question (and sometimes, if I'm very hungry and/or not careful, it's aloud, on the subway), "What do I want for dinner?", very rarely does an answer come easy.

But then I look at the latest recipe from Alexandra Stafford. A writer, photographer, cook, and mother of four, her sixth sense seems to be intuiting exactly what the rest of us feel like eating, no matter how amorphous that "feeling" might be. (Seven of our most popular recipes in 2016 came from her.)

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Ask yourself: Do I want ultra comfort or extreme ease? Do I want a sandwich or a salad? Or, did my quiet solo dinner turn into an accidental dinner party and I need something that leans toward impressive, and fast? One (and likely more than one) of these 24 recipes will be your answer.

Ultra Comfort

Pasta with Slow-Cooked Cauliflower, Anchovies, and Garlic
Pasta with Slow-Cooked Cauliflower, Anchovies, and Garlic
Baked Penne with Butternut-Sage Sauce
Baked Penne with Butternut-Sage Sauce
Baked Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash & Gruyère
Baked Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash & Gruyère
Curried Chickpeas with Cauliflower and Coconut Milk
Curried Chickpeas with Cauliflower and Coconut Milk
Roasted Mushrooms with Sherry + Creamy Polenta
Roasted Mushrooms with Sherry + Creamy Polenta
Curried Lentils with Coconut Milk
Curried Lentils with Coconut Milk
Braised Green Cabbage with Anchovies and Garlic
Braised Green Cabbage with Anchovies and Garlic

NO UTENSILS NECESSARY

Tofu Bánh Mì
Tofu Bánh Mì
Crispy Quinoa and Mustard Green Cakes
Crispy Quinoa and Mustard Green Cakes
Smoked Trout and Avocado Salad Toasts
Smoked Trout and Avocado Salad Toasts

Meets Daily Fruit/Veg/Salad Dressing Reqs

Beet, Orange, and Black Olive Salad
Beet, Orange, and Black Olive Salad
Spaghetti Squash with Chiles, Lime, and Cilantro
Spaghetti Squash with Chiles, Lime, and Cilantro
Roasted Butternut Squash with Sweet Spices, Lime, and Green Chile
Roasted Butternut Squash with Sweet Spices, Lime, and Green Chile
Cabbage Pad Thai with Baked Tofu
Cabbage Pad Thai with Baked Tofu
Chicken and Cabbage Salad with Sesame Seeds, Scallions & Almonds
Chicken and Cabbage Salad with Sesame Seeds, Scallions & Almonds

Extreme Ease

Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad with Coconut Dressing
Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad with Coconut Dressing
One-Pan Bucatini with Leeks and Lemon
One-Pan Bucatini with Leeks and Lemon
Weeknight Chili
Weeknight Chili
Skillet-Grilled Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema
Skillet-Grilled Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema

Saucy—and Errs on the Side of Impressive

Chimichurri Shrimp
Chimichurri Shrimp
Sheet Pan Roast Chicken and Cabbage
Sheet Pan Roast Chicken and Cabbage
Sesame Noodles with Swiss Chard and Chicken
Sesame Noodles with Swiss Chard and Chicken
Sheet Pan Chicken and Brussels Sprouts with Reduced Balsamic
Sheet Pan Chicken and Brussels Sprouts with Reduced Balsamic
Three Cup Chicken
Three Cup Chicken
Broiled Lemon-Honey Arctic Char with Citrus Sauce
Broiled Lemon-Honey Arctic Char with Citrus Sauce

Do you always know what you "feel like" eating—or is it more of a struggle? Tell us in the comments below.