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Warm Curried Chicken & Sweet Potato Salad

The creamy dressing for this warm salad is laced with fresh mint and cilantro. If fresh mint is not easy to come by, substitute 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried mint.

Strawberry Mousse

You can make this dessert year round because it uses frozen strawberries. But you can make the mousse with fresh strawberries when they are in season. You make need to taste the puree and add extra sugar, because some fresh strawberries can be pretty tart.

Cold Carrot Soup with Red Pepper & Mint

Extra low in fat and magnificent in both color and texture, this soup has yet another attribute to recommend itself: It is best if made in advance.

Powerhouse Hot Chocolate Mix

Instead of just your garden-variety cocoa, this comforting drink mix is boosted with calcium (from the nonfat milk powder) and high-quality protein from the soy protein powder (which you can buy at health-food stores and many supermarkets. The amount of fat and calories in the hot cocoa will depend on what type of milk you use, ranging from 167 calories and 1.1 grams of fat for fat-free (skim) milk, to 215 calories and 6.7 grams of fat for whole milk. appetizers

Baked Fusilli with Mushrooms

You can use all cremini mushrooms, or all button mushrooms. The broccoli can be replaced with small cauliflower florets.

Cranberry-Tomato Barbecue Sauce

Use this sweet and tangy barbecue sauce as you would any other, brushing it on during the final few minutes of cooking. For a spicier sauce, increase the cayenne.

Maple Cream

Use this as a sweet topping for pancakes, bananas, or grilled fruit. If you have access to a farmers’ market look for grade B maple syrup as it has a deep, maple flavor.

Pumpkin Ravioli with Sweet Pepper Sauce

Both pumpkin- and spinach-filled ravioli are available at many supermarkets as well as Italian markets and specialty foods stores. This recipe can be prepared with other types of ravioli, preferably one not filled with cheese or meat, as they can be quite high in fat. The bell pepper sauce can be prepared almost entirely in advance, making this a quick and easy main course. A crisp green salad--Romaine, endive and fresh fennel--would make a fine accompaniment.

Black Bean & Cabbage Salad

Tomato-vegetable juice has enough texture to be the basis for an easy low-fat salad dressing. For an extra kick, try the spicy version of tomato-vegetable juice in the dressing.

Lemony Mushrooms

These mushrooms can be served hot as a side dish, or chilled as a fine salad. Or if you drain the cooked mushrooms and chop them up a bit, they make a great sandwich topping.