Vegetarian Chili with Roasted Squash

A robust chili is an excellent candidate for a vegetarian entre because the beans provide both protein and fiber, while the spice blend contributes a complex flavor. We serve this hearty chili in an edible bowl of roasted squash. Not only does this make an attractive presentation, the squash tastes great with the chili and packs even more nutrient-rich produce into your dinner. (If you are pressed for time, omit the squash; the chili makes a satisfying meal all on its own and leftovers taste even better the next day.)

Summer Time Bubble Tea

Ah summer…time to relax on the porch with a cool beverage. But after reading the Special Report in this newsletter, you are certainly aware that sodas and prepared ice tea drinks are loaded with sugar and calories. To help you to kick the soda and sugar habit, here are some refreshing low-calorie drink recipes. They have all been designed to taste good with very little or no added sweetener. Cheers!

Wheat Berry Salad with Dried Apricots & Spiced Citrus Dressing

Whole grains shine in sturdy salads that are perfect for summer barbecues, picnics and potlucks. This multi-colored salad features delightfully chewy wheat berries and sun-kissed dried apricots in a lively dressing. You are probably most familiar with wheat in the form of flour, but wheat berries, which are the whole, unprocessed kernels of wheat, are also a tasty and highly nutritious ingredient for cooking. Wheat berries can be found in natural foods stores and large supermarkets.

Provencal Seafood Soup with Red Pepper Sauce

A hearty meal-in-a-bowl soup is the perfect antidote to a chilly winter evening. This classic soup from the south of France may seem complicated, but it is actually very simple to make. Although there are some aromatic ingredients to chop, many of the ingredients are basic pantry seasonings. You will be rewarded with a meal that is low in calories and saturated fat, but rich in flavor-a delicious way to include more fish in your diet (The USDAs Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 recommends eating 2 servings of fish per week.) A simple sauce made from pureed roasted red peppers, seasoned with a little garlic, chile pepper and olive oil, gives the soup a remarkable depth of flavor.

Fudge Brownies

If you love decadent, fuggy brownies, but dont want to spend an entire days fat-and-calorie budget on one chocolate treat, put aside your skepticism about the surprising ingredient in this recipe and give it a try. Pured canned beans are the magic ingredient. They replace half of the butter, with canola oil standing in for the remainder. Additional fat-trimming techniques include: substituting cocoa for some of the chocolate, two egg whites for one of the eggs and switching to whole-wheat flour. The result: a brownie with fewer than 100 calories and one-forth of the saturated fat of the traditional recipe. And, the best part: no one will guess that this is a healthy brownie!

Oatmeal Walnut Crisps

It is hard to imagine the holidays without cookies! Sadly, it is hard to find healthy options in the cookie jar. But, here is an exception. These delicate, thin cookies are made with whole grains, contain minimal saturated fat, and (for a cookie) are relatively low in calories-as long as stop after one or two. This simple batter is versatile. Use the recipe as a base and add variety to your holiday treats by trying the variations below.

Whole-Wheat Pasta With Spinach-Walnut Pesto & Zucchini Ribbons

Nothing beats pesto for a simple and satisfying pasta sauce. Classic pesto is made with basil and pine nuts, but it is a very flexible recipe. You can substitute other herbs and even tender leafy greens, such as spinach and arugula, for basil. Various different types of nuts also work well; walnuts are an easy way to boost omega 3s and antioxidants. The trick to creating a generous-looking portion of pasta without piling on the calories is to stretch the pasta with pasta-like strands of zucchini. 1 oz whole-wheat spaghetti has 100 calories, while 1 oz zucchini has just 5 calories!

Eat Sardines!

There are plenty of good reasons for eating sardines. They are one of the best sources of omega 3s, which are so important for brain and heart health. Sardines also supply calcium and are one of the few foods that are naturally high in Vitamin D. They are considered one of the most sustainable seafood choices, and of course, you cant beat inexpensive canned sardines for convenience. So, stock up and enjoy sardines often. Here are some appealing ways to embellish a humble can of sardines.

Vegetable Ragout with Eggs

This simple yet satisfying brunch or supper dish pairs eggs with a flavorful vegetable ragout. It makes a healthful alternative to traditional egg dishes, which typically include fatty bacon, sausage, cheese, or caloric potatoes. If you would like to make this dish ahead, prepare the ragout the day before and refrigerate. Just before serving time, reheat the stew and drop in the eggs. Or if you are cooking for one or two, you can reserve a portion the vegetable ragout to reheat and finish with eggs on subsequent days.

Almond-Sesame Energy Bars

With Spring around the corner, it's a great time to get outside and re-energize your exercise routine. As you take to the trails to walk, run or bike, tuck one of these bars into your pocket for an energy-boosting treat. They provide slow-burning carbohydrates for refueling your body, as well as protein for muscle repair. The bars are easy to make-they dont even require baking-and taste so much better than any bars you can buy!