This vegetarian panini recipe—filled with layers of sautéed kale, garden-fresh tomatoes and melted cheese—makes for an extra-special grilled cheese sandwich. For the best flavor, we like the complexity of aged Gruyère or fontina, but you can use any cheese you have on hand.
• Chunky tomato bisque (3/4 cup each) - 98 calories
Asparagus adds a touch of spring to this overstuffed ham-and-cheese twice-baked potatoes recipe. Use another vegetable, such as broccoli, if you prefer
• Salad of mixed greens (1 1/2 cups each with 2 Tbsp. Italian dressing) - 119 calories
In this simple shepherd’s pie recipe, we call for flavorful lean ground lamb, which isn’t always easy to find. You can use lean ground beef or turkey instead. If you want to use lamb, ask your butcher to grind it for you or, to make your own ground lamb, start with a lean cut of lamb, such as leg or loin, trimmed of any excess fat and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Pulse briefly in a food processor just until uniformly ground
• Steamed kale (1 cup each with 1 1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil) - 96 calories
Here we pair pan-seared salmon with braised broccoli and make it special with a quick, Italian-inspired topping of sautéed onions, pine nuts and raisins.
• Mashed sweet potato (3/4 cup each) - 187 calories
In this healthy broccoli-Cheddar-chicken chowder recipe, heavy cream is replaced with milk and flour-thickened chicken broth and we keep sodium amounts reasonable with lower-sodium broth. By making your own homemade creamy broccoli, Cheddar and chicken chowder, you’ll save up to 300 calories, 20 grams of saturated fat and 500 milligrams of sodium per serving compared to many store-bought or restaurant chowders
• Small whole-wheat dinner roll (with 2 tsp. butter) - 142 calories
This healthy quinoa lasagna recipe has a layer of quinoa (rather than noodles) along with vegetables, cheese and herbs. Though it tastes like comfort food, don't worry, this quinoa lasagna recipe is not too heavy—you'll still have room for dessert. To save time, use your favorite jarred tomato sauce in this vegetarian lasagna. (Adapted from "Quinoa Revolution" by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming; Pintail Books, 2012.)
• Sautéed Pear Sundaes – 163 calories
We love the flavor of wild mushrooms with seared spice-rubbed steak, but any type of mushroom will work. Like the rub in this steak recipe? Make a double, triple or quadruple batch to keep on hand for chicken and firm fish (swordfish, tuna and salmon) too. Store the steak rub in a jar or sealable plastic bag in your spice drawer for an instant dinner seasoning.
• Garlic Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts – 204 calories