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Aromatic Rice with Lentils & Black-Eyed Peas

Aromatic rices, such as basmati and jasmine, add dimension to simple bean and rice dishes, but you could certainly substitute regular long-grain white rice in this recipe.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

Though hothouse rhubarb is available much of the year, locally grown farmers’ market rhubarb is still a great way to celebrate the end of winter (rhubarb is one of the first plants up in the spring). Serve this compote by itself or over low-fat frozen yogurt.

Pumpkin-Apricot Muffins

Canned pumpkin puree gives a wonderful golden glow (not to mention tons of beta carotene) to these delicious fruit-and-nut-studded muffins.

Banana-Nut Bread

Grinding the flaxseeds enables your body to get all the benefit of their fiber, lignans, and alpha-linolenic acid (a precursor to omega-3s). There's added fiber here from whole-wheat flour, and olive oil replaces butter for a healthier loaf.

Manhattan Shellfish Chowder

James Beard once called Manhattan clam chowder “a vegetable soup that accidentally had some clams dumped into it.” Indeed many Manhattan chowders seem to be just that. Here we start with fresh littleneck clams in the shell and sea scallops and let them dominate in an herbed tomato and white wine broth.

Toasted Oat Pancake Mix

This pancake mix recipe makes 4 cups. Each cup of the mix will make 6 pancakes. Store the mix in the freezer. To make 6 pancakes, measure out 1 cup of the mix and stir in 1/3 cup of dried fruit, such as raisins or dried cherries. In a small bowl, stir together 3/4 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of extra-light olive oil, and 1 large egg white. Stir the water mixture into the pancake mix until combined. Drop by 1/3 cup fulls onto a nonstick greased griddle or skillet and cook 1 minute per side or until done.

Penne with Ratatouille Sauce

The famous vegetable stew of Provence, ratatouille, redolent of fresh herbs and plenty of garlic, serves as an ideal topping for pasta. Pretty here over penne pasta, this ratatouille sauce can also be layered with cooked lasagna noodles, sprinkled with cheese, and baked.

Sesame Stir-Fried Asparagus

Using cornstarch to thicken sauces is an idea borrowed from Chinese cuisine. It's a good trick to remember when you want to give a low-fat sauce the "mouth feel" of a high-fat sauce.

Italian-Style Vegetables

Instead of serving the same old one-note vegetable dishes with dinner, try this medley of potatoes, peppers, carrots, green beans, and garlic. Each vegetable contributes its own nutritional assets, and the flavors add up nicely, too.

Sicilian-Style Broccoli Rabe

The slight bitterness of broccoli rabe is tempered here by the sweetness of raisins. If you prefer, substitute milder broccolini for the broccoli rabe. All of the broccoli rabe is edible, though it’s best to trim off the very ends, which may be tough.