Chicken Noodle Soup with Dill
Chicken noodle soup is undeniably comfort food for many people (especially when they're not feeling well) and this version gets a healthful update. Whole-wheat egg noodles add fiber and nutrients and reduced-sodium chicken broth cuts the sodium. By all means use homemade chicken broth if you have it.
Lemony Lentil Salad with Salmon
Salmon and lentils are a familiar combo in French bistro cooking; here they combine in a quick and easy salad. For the best presentation, flake the salmon with a fork, then stir gently into the salad to keep it in chunks, not tiny bits.
Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding
Sweet caramelized pears are the highlight of this comforting, custardy, raisin-studded bread pudding. When turned out of its baking dish, the flanlike pudding sits in a pool of intense caramel syrup, making it worthy of any holiday table. Serve warm or chilled.
Red Onion & Goat Cheese Pancake
The technique for this pancake is similar to that for a Dutch baby or German pancake, but the savory onion and goat cheese combination is a surprise for those who think of pancakes as breakfast food only. Serve with a mixed green salad for a light supper or as a side dish with grilled or roasted meat.
Chard & Feta Tart
Fragrant lemon zest, briny olives and salty feta balance the bitterness of the dark leafy greens in this Greek-inspired tart. The crackerlike crust is quite sturdy so you can serve this as finger food at your next party or alongside a mixed green salad for a light supper.
Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew
Here's a dinnertime warmer with a hint of spring's sweetness, designed for that day when you'd rather be outside raking the leaves from the garden, getting it ready for what's ahead, than slaving over the stove.
Roasted Beet Crostini
The entire beet plant--roots, stems and greens--can be used in this stunning appetizer. The beets are roasted then pureed with goat cheese for a creamy ruby-red spread. The greens and stems are sautéed with olive oil and garlic for the topping.
Arugula & Pear Salad
Besides giving this salad a nutty crunch, walnuts are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins, minerals, protein and antioxidants. For an added flavor dimension, crumble some Gorgonzola cheese over each salad.
Barley & Wild Rice Pilaf with Pomegranate Seeds
This pilaf melds the chewy texture of barley and wild rice with the richness of toasted pine nuts and the sweet-sour crunch of pomegranate seeds. The elegant dish is perfect for entertaining.
Oven Barbecued Brisket
A relatively inexpensive cut of meat, a brisket needs to tenderize overnight before it's baked. Here we use a full-flavored, smoky barbecue dry rub, then it's slowly baked and basted. Brisket cuts are notoriously fatty, but the flat “first-cut” section is a far better choice for healthy eating than the fattier “point cut.” It may be worth calling ahead to make sure your supermarket or butcher has one on hand.
Farro with Pistachios & Herbs
Here we stir fresh parsley and crunchy pistachios into farro for a simple side dish. Serve this simple grain right in the same dish with a rich stew. The nutty flavors of farro and pistachios are the perfect complement to the rich broth of the stew.