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Mango-Ginger "Ice Cream"

There's nary a drop of dairy in this fabulous frozen dessert. The lush "creaminess" comes from pureed tofu, and from the velvety texture of the mango itself. Be sure to use a really ripe mango (it should be fragrant and yield to gentle pressure) for best flavor.

Hot & Spicy Mussels

Beautiful blue-black mussels pan-steamed over a heady mixture of white wine, garlic, and onions is one of the best-and simplest-shellfish dishes you can make. As the mussels steam, they open up and release flavorful juices into the pan. A chunk of good peasant bread for sopping up the juices is an essential accompaniment to this dish.

Lemon Poppyseed Cake

This update on a classic cake is low in fat without sacrificing flavor. Buttermilk makes the cake especially tender.

Grilled Flank Steak with Sweet & Sour Sauce

The dried-apricot based basting sauce for this marvelous steak also makes a delicious sauce to serve with the steak. Just be sure that you do not dip the basting brush--which has been used to coat the uncooked meat--back into the mixture to be used for the sauce.

Spiced Glazed Carrots

How little it takes-warm spices, honey, orange and lemon juices, and a splash of olive oil-to transform carrots from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Hoppin' John with Porcini

According to Southern tradition, if you serve this dish on New Year's Day it will bring good luck for the rest of the year. We've taken the liberty of improving on hoppin' John by giving it a modest makeover: The bacon typically used in the dish has been replaced by porcini mushrooms (for deep flavor) and olive oil (for healthful fats).

Summer Squash Sauté

“Sautéed” in its own juices along with garlic, shallots, and spices, summer squash picks up a lot of flavor. A small amount of butter added at the end enhances the buttery texture of the squash. If you’ve got a farmers’ market near you, look for yellow squash that are bright and deeply colored; they are more flavorful and sweeter than their paler cousins.

Littleneck Clams with Carrot-Ginger Sauce

The smallest amount of butter added at the end of cooking gives the carrot-ginger sauce a silky texture. Serving suggestion: Serve the clams and the sauce over brown rice or linguine.

Indian-Spiced Buttermilk

A drink called <i>lhassi</i> is the East Indian version of a smoothie. It's usually made with soured milk or yogurt and can be sweet or savory, and often contains typically Indian spices, such as cumin and coriander.

Three-Pepper Rice

Three members of the pepper family-spicy dried red chili peppers, dried mild chili peppers (paprika), and fresh red bell peppers-add vitamin C and plenty of flavor to this colorful side dish.