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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.

Chili-Rubbed Snapper

Garlic powder is an extremely convenient ingredient for use in dry rubs. If you were to use chopped fresh garlic on the surface of this baked fish, you would run the risk of burning the garlic. Serve the fish with any of the salsas in the pantry section.

Orange-Balsamic Dressing

If you haven’t got honey mustard on hand, substitute 1 tablespoon of mustard and 1/2 teaspoon of honey.

Baked Ratatouille

This baked ratatouille is considerably less fussy than the traditional dish, which is cooked on the stovetop. Here you just throw all the ingredients in a baking dish. It's a good make-ahead dish and is good warm, at room temperature, or cold. If you can find canned diced tomatoes with basil and/or garlic, it would be a nice flavor addition to this dish.

Guacamole

A bowl of guacamole with a basket of chips can add up to quite a few calories and a hefty dose of fat. But substitute pureed frozen peas for some of the avocado, and you can serve a big bowl of this favorite Mexican dip with a clear conscience. The peas add a subtle sweetness and also contribute folate and soluble fiber. Serving suggestion: Serve the guacamole with storebought baked tortilla chips, or homemade chips.

Baked Polenta with Mushrooms & Spinach

The polenta is very soft. You can make the mushroom-spinach stuffing well ahead of time.

Spicy Beef & Lentil Stew

Wedges of a crusty whole wheat loaf are best for absorbing all the juices of this hearty and warming winter stew.