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Dried Fruit & Bran Bread

Start with bran muffin mix, add some dried fruit and chopped nuts, and you can make a tasty loaf in no time. Using pineapple juice as the liquid adds a nice hint of natural sweetness and moisture to the loaf.

Hot & Spicy Cocktail Sauce

This sauce gets its heat from a smoky chipotle pepper and a healthy amount of cayenne. Chipotle peppers packed in adobo can be found at Mexican markets and many supermarkets. If you can’t find chipotles, substitute a canned or bottled jalapeño and increase the chili powder to 2-1/2 teaspoons.

Asparagus with Confetti Dressing

Most salad dressings have very little in the way of nutrients (and usually quite a bit of fat). In this asparagus side salad we take the opportunity to boost the fiber and nutrient content of the tomato-lemon vinaigrette by adding bell peppers, carrot, cucumber, and onion. Serving suggestion: In addition to serving this as a side salad, this would make a very nice starter for a multicourse meal.

Dried Plum & Toasted Oat Muffins

Dried plums (prunes) are always available, but in fresh plum season, you can make these with diced firm-ripe plums. The best type of fresh plum to use would be a so-called prune plum, because its flesh is quite dense and not too wet.

Toasted-Oat Banana Bread

Toasting heart-healthy oats brings out their nutty flavor, underscoring the flavor of the walnuts.

Tarragon Mushroom Salad

This is a great make-ahead salad and perfect for a brown-bag lunch.

Roasted Pear Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Roasting pears intensifies their flavor while making them soft and tender. Choose firm pears, such as Bosc, for this recipe. The pears can be roasted in advance and refrigerated. Bring them to room temperature before serving.

Banana-Peanut Smoothie

This can be whipped up in a minute and is great for a work-day or school-day breakfast.

Tomato & Cannellini Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing

Roasting mellows the garlic’s pungency, and the soft cooked garlic adds both texture and flavor to the herbed dressing for this bean and tomato salad.

Orange-Chili Oil

While this does have hot pepper flakes, it's heat is not the first thing that you taste. You're initial taste is orange, from the zest and the juice with a follow-up of heat from the red pepper flakes. If you like your oil hotter, add more red pepper flakes and use a hot chili powder. Use to drizzle over bread, grilled vegetables or to toss with pasta.