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Muhammara

Muhammara is a smoky, hot and sweet red pepper dip that originated in Syria. A staple in Middle Eastern cooking, pomegranate molasses (a dark red syrup made from tart pomegranate juice) adds just the right amount of sweetness and acidity to this healthy recipe. Turn this easy dip into a full-blown appetizer spread (or dinner, we won't judge!) with the addition of some crudités, grilled eggplant and crackers for scooping. Pair it with a bubbly cava or other sparkling wine for an instant party.

Chili con Carne

This chili con carne with ground beef is a serious crowd-pleaser, whether you're hosting a football-watching party or just feeding a hungry family. It has a nice, beefy, beany flavor and just enough spice. You'll be surprised that a chili that comes together in less than an hour has so much flavor. Three types of chile peppers (fresh poblanos, chili powder and chipotles in adobo) add depth and complexity. Poblanos also add some color to the chili--if you can't find them, you can sub bell peppers of any color, though they won't add heat. Using lean ground beef makes this chili healthier and also keeps it from being greasy. Be sure to brown the beef well for the best flavor: you want to stir to break up the chunks, but don't stir too much or the beef won't sear at all. Serve with cornbread a

Slow-Cooker Carne Picada Tacos with Avocado Salsa

Loosely translated as "minced meat," the traditional texture of carne picada ranges from finely chopped to ground. Here we start with brisket, which becomes nice and tender in the slow cooker, then shred and chop the meat before serving. The seasoning is flavorful but not too spicy. Blistered jalapeños added at the end will satisfy the heat-lovers in the family. Pile the brisket into warmed corn tortillas, with lettuce, the jalapeños, cheese and avocado salsa for a healthy dinner that'll wake up your taco night routine.