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Broiled Steak with Chimichurri

Scientists at UC Berkeley recently determined that cilantro may have potent antibacterial properties. Researchers identified 13 compounds in cilantro leaves, one of which--dodecenal--was found to be particularly effective against certain bacteria, such as Salmonella. Luckily, cilantro also tastes wonderful (although the world does divide into cilantro lovers and haters). Try it in this recipe for simple broiled flank steak served with a chimichurri sauce. Chimichurri, which is Argentina's answer to ketchup, is basically a thick vinaigrette rounded out with herbs, spices, garlic, and hot chilies. It would also be delicious over simple grilled chicken or fish.

Chicken Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh--the Middle Eastern salad of bulgur (cracked wheat), tomatoes, fresh parsley, and mint--is made more substantial in this variation by the addition of chicken, carrots, and dried apricots.

Chocolate Cheesecake

Silken tofu and low-fat cottage cheese make a surprisingly rich-tasting cheesecake. Although silken tofu has the smoothest texture, you could also make this with regular tofu. Timing alert: The cheesecake needs to chill for at least 4 hours.

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

This interesting twist on traditional cranberry sauce is spiked with hot spices: ground ginger, cloves, and black pepper.

Banana Chutney

This spicy banana chutney would work well as an accompaniment to simple grilled poultry or pork, or with any curried main dish. If you like chutney extra hot, add a finely chopped canned or bottled jalapeño.

Spicy Sweet & Sour Pumpkin Seed Dip

Serve this dip with crisp vegetables or use a spoonful to serve over a bowl of chili.

Oranges with Caramel Syrup

A simple caramelized sugar syrup can elevate fresh oranges to a memorable finale for almost any meal. This variation on a classic Neapolitan dessert, the orange liqueur adds an extra dimension to this dessert, although it will still be delicious without it. This recipe can be easily doubled or quadrupled as the oranges will intensify in flavor over a week or two in the refrigerator. Experiment by adding spices such as a cinnamon stick, nutmeg or a few black peppercorns to the syrup, or perhaps add an herb such as a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Fudgy Pecan Brownies

Prune butter (pureed dried plums) helps to make these brownies especially fudgy. Look for prune butter (also called lekvar) in the jams and jelly aisle of the supermarket.

Deviled Caribbean Chicken Strips

The Caribbean influence in this spicy chicken appetizer is in the form of dark rum, underscored by the dark brown sugar. The “deviled” aspect comes from the Dijon mustard, whose spiciness is emphasized by cayenne and fresh ginger juice. You can easily make fresh ginger juice, as we do here, but if you can find bottled ginger juice in the supermarket, use 1 tablespoon of it instead. Serving suggestion: Serve as part of a buffet with a variety of salsas or dipping sauces.

Wheatberry Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

Wheatberries, whole grains of wheat, can be found in health food stores and some specialty food shops. They are generally soaked overnight before cooking to reduce the cooking time, but if you have time to tend them on the stove, you can start them from scratch with no soaking. Depending on the age of the wheatberries, they can take 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours to soften. The cooked wheatberries remain slightly chewy and give this salad a nice bite. Brazil nuts were used in this recipe because they have a lot of selenium, but if you can't find them, use another nut. Toss with fresh watercress or arugula if you like. For a main-course salad, add crumbled feta cheese.