Recipes to Boost Your Iron Intake
This truly tasty half-hour vegetarian chili is made possible by using convenient canned beans and tomatoes (no pantry should be without them). Whole-grain bulgur adds another layer of toothsome texture and nutritional heft. This chili is relatively mild, so it's a good crowd-pleaser. If you like it spicy, add extra chili powder or serve with hot sauce.
Chicken with Creamy Braised Leeks
A touch of heavy cream, a few garlic cloves and thyme sprigs round out the flavor of tender braised leeks with chicken in this recipe. The rich, silky sauce is wonderful over whole-wheat egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Leeks grown in the garden and those that you find at the store can be vastly different in size. Garden leeks tend to be smaller, so if you're using leeks from the garden, make sure you pick enough to fill up the pan.
Curried Red Lentil Soup
This curried red lentil soup is inspired by the Indian side dish dal; the Hindi word means “split” and refers to the split peas or lentils used in its preparation. Fragrant ginger, curry, cinnamon and cumin add lots of rich flavor. Look for lentils and spices in bulk--you'll often get a better deal and you can buy just the amount you need.
Shrimp & Pea Risotto
This Spanish-inspired main-dish risotto is studded with plenty of shrimp and peas. If you happen to have fresh shelled peas on hand, feel free to use them in place of the frozen peas.
Salmon & Roasted Vegetable Salad
Toss roasted vegetables and salmon with a flavor-packed vinaigrette to serve on top of greens for a hearty dinner salad. For a twist, add a poached or fried egg on top. Serve with: Toasted whole-grain baguette and a glass of Riesling.
Spinach & Feta Souffle
This elegant spinach and feta soufflé gets its inspiration from spanakopita, the classic Greek pie made with phyllo pastry. While soufflés have a reputation for being tricky to make, they're actually quite easy. Serve with olive oil-roasted potatoes and a tomato-cucumber salad tossed in a lemony dressing.
Fettuccine with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Any variety of mushroom will work in this creamy vegetarian pasta sauce, but we particularly like a combination of shiitake, oyster and cremini. Adding a few wild varieties, such as chanterelle or lobster mushrooms, will make the sauce extra-special.
Sweet Potato Fritters with Smoky Pinto Beans
These easy sweet potato fritters have a crispy crust and a tender middle. The beans are flavored with smoked paprika, but sweet or hot would work well too. To give it a Mexican-inspired twist, use chili powder as the spice instead of the paprika.
Turkey & Squash Soup
This Southwestern-inspired turkey-and-squash soup gets a little kick from crushed red pepper and some zing from fresh lime juice. You can use leftover turkey or chicken (instead of the cutlets); dice it and add a few minutes before serving. Serve with cornbread.
Ragout of Pork & Prunes
Pork shoulder is an inexpensive and juicy cut that lends itself to roasting, grilling and braising. Here it's paired with prunes, which is a natural marriage of flavors, but you can also use butternut squash combined with a few dried apricots. Serve with polenta and roasted carrots.
Black Bean Nacho Pizza
Break out the napkins! This pie is an over-the-top, vegetarian concoction with black-bean spread, Jack cheese, tomatoes, scallions, olives and pickled jalapenos; it's part nacho, part pizza. For an even more decadent treat, serve with low-fat sour cream. Beer pairing: Spicy foods need spicy beers--go for an India Pale Ale (IPA). If you're not a hop-head, the malty sweetness of brown ales work well with the sweeter elements on the pizza.
In Greece, moussaka is made with beef or lamb, layers of sliced eggplant and a creamy béchamel sauce all baked together in the oven. This variation takes plenty of liberties to make it easy, quick and healthful. Serve over whole-wheat pasta or with potatoes.
Almond-&-Lemon-Crusted Fish with Spinach
Coating fish with nuts and baking it is an easy, foolproof way to cook it elegantly. And it is especially nice with a mild white fish like cod or halibut. The spinach turns a little yellowy because it's cooked with the acidic lemon juice, but what you lose in green color is more than made up for in great flavor.
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pies
These mini vegetarian shepherd's pies feature lentils, carrot and corn, crowned with a velvety mashed potato topping. The recipe can also be made in a broiler-safe casserole dish. Serve with a spinach salad with oranges, walnuts and red-wine vinaigrette.
Chorizo-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
This mouthwatering pork tenderloin is stuffed with chorizo, cheese and spinach. Once you master stuffing a pork tenderloin--you just cut the tenderloin almost in half lengthwise, pound it, fill it and tie it closed with kitchen string--you won't want it any other way. Serve with sautéed red peppers tossed with capers, parsley and sherry vinegar and roasted potatoes. To double this recipe, use 2 skillets or brown the tenderloins one at a time.
Basil, Shrimp & Zucchini Pasta
This quick-cooking, healthy dinner is a simple combination of zucchini, shrimp and pasta flecked with plenty of fresh basil. If you have leftover cooked pasta from another meal, use it and skip Step 2. Since the recipe combines a starch, vegetables and the shrimp, all you need is a fruit or vegetable salad to round out the menu. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Black Bean & Salmon Tostadas
Pickled jalapeños, cilantro and avocado perk up convenient canned salmon for a quick tostada topping. Skip store-bought and make your own crispy shells in the oven. Serve with: Brown rice cooked with diced tomatoes and onions or salsa.
Orange-Tomato Couscous with Chicken
This cinnamon- and cumin-spiked couscous with chicken takes its inspiration from Morocco. It's made mostly with pantry staples--all you have to pick up is some chicken thighs, a bunch of cilantro and an orange. The orange slices become tender after cooking--you can eat them skin and all. For a variation, substitute diced, boneless leg of lamb for the chicken. Serve with steamed green beans or a spinach salad.
Italian Mussels & Pasta
This combination of mussels with plenty of garlic, parsley, saffron and white wine was inspired by the Venetian soup zuppa de peoci, which is usually ladled over sliced crusty bread. Here we serve it over pasta. For a more elegant presentation you can remove the mussels from their shells before serving…but then again, who wants to be elegant? Enjoy!
Ravioli & Vegetable Soup
Fresh or frozen ravioli cook in minutes and turn this light vegetable soup into a main course. Look for whole-wheat or whole-grain ravioli in the refrigerated or frozen section of the supermarket. Tortellini can be used instead of ravioli as well. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Thai Chicken & Mango Stir-Fry
Both ripe and underripe mango work well in this chicken and vegetable stir-fry. If the mangoes you have are less ripe, use 2 teaspoons brown sugar. If they're ripe and sweet, just use 1 teaspoon or omit the brown sugar altogether.
Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans
In this one-skillet supper, we toss dark leafy greens, diced tomatoes and white beans with gnocchi and top it all with gooey mozzarella. Serve with a mixed green salad with vinaigrette.
Chile & Beer Braised Brisket
Brisket, a naturally tough cut, becomes meltingly tender braised in beer and chiles. Try this with corn tortillas or as a filling for enchiladas or tamales. Or serve simply with rice and a green salad.
Savory Orange-Roasted Tofu & Asparagus
If you've never had roasted tofu before, here's a great way to start. Toss tofu and asparagus in a tangy orange- and basil-scented sauce, made rich and savory with miso. Serve with brown rice or couscous and an orange-and-fennel salad.
Sofia's Chicken Paprikash
Brilliant red paprika, the main seasoning in Hungarian cooking, gives this light version of chicken paprikash its color. Vary the heat by using hot, sweet or a combination of paprikas. Serve over whole-wheat egg noodles with a side of steamed broccoli and a cool fruit salad for dessert.