spiced chickpea and feta sandwiches

Serves 4–6 / For easy transport, wrap sandwiches in biodegradable waxed paper, or spear each half with a toothpick and pack in an airtight container. Prep tip: Purchase grated carrots from the salad bar for quick assembly. View recipe.

smoked turkey and avocado club

You can substitute a variety of cheeses on this flavor-packed version of a classic, including Monterey Jack, sharp cheddar or Swiss. View recipe.

artichoke tapenade on crostini

Makes 12 / An easy appetizer. Prep tips: The crostini and tapenade can be made a day or two ahead. Keep crostini in an airtight container at room temperature. Wait until the last minute to assemble so the toast doesn't get soggy. View recipe.

two-cabbage coleslaw with lemon-cilantro vinaigrette

Serves 6 / After I found out that cabbage has more vitamin C than oranges, I started eating it at least once per week. Cabbage also contains essential minerals, including iodine, sulfur, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, so this tasty slaw really packs a nutritional punch. View recipe.

tomato-stuffed portobellos

Serves 6 / These taste like a bread-free bruschetta. Serving tip: As an appetizer, slice into squares for easier eating. View recipe.

chicken nugget dippers

Makes about 24 / These make perfect lunchbox stuffers or a high-protein after-school snack. Serving tip: Any dip will do; try Thai peanut sauce, ketchup and mayo, Asian dipping sauce, or even fruit preserves. View recipe.

spicy serrano guacamole

Makes about 2 cups / The word guacamole comes from the Nahuatl ahuacamolli, which is ahuacatl (avocado) plus molli (mixture or sauce). Guacamole combines the richness of avocados with fresh, flavorful ingredients like citrus, chile, and cilantro for a unique and satisfying treat to enjoy with tortilla chips or as a condiment. For a spicier guacamole, chop some of the seeds and membranes of the chiles and add them to the mix. View recipe.

herbed cucumber dip with borage blossoms

Makes 3 cups / Serve with crackers, chips, or fresh vegetables. It's also a good condiment with baked or grilled fish or slices of steamed new potato. View recipe.

southwestern quinoa and edamame salad

Serves 4–6 / Prep tip: Add crumbled queso cotija or feta cheese for a more indulgent dish. Serving tips: For best flavor, let the salad come to room temperature before serving. It’s delicious wrapped in butter-lettuce leaves or tortillas; you can also serve it with roasted vegetables drizzled with vinaigrette or a garlic-yogurt sauce. View recipe.

grilled chicken and vegetable pita sandwiches

Serves 4 / Looking for a new way to dress up grilled chicken? This is it—a wonderfully balanced meal that both adults and kids enjoy. We often use traditional basil pesto with this, but it is also great with cilantro-based pesto and even artichoke pesto. View recipe.

quinoa with mixed vegetables

Serves 8. Quinoa, a staple of the Incas, is a gluten-free whole protein and a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and fiber. View recipe.

kale chips

Serves 8 / These mineral-rich, pop-in-your-mouth crunchies are a low-carb alternative to popcorn, potato chips, or french fries. The winning formula? Salty, sour, and sweet. View recipe.

world's simplest salad dressing

Food Editor Elisa Bosley shows how to make the perfect healthy summer dressing in minutes. View recipe.

melon and berry salad

Serves 4 / This simple, colorful, and kid-friendly dish bursts with antioxidant-rich fruits. Serving tip: For a fun presentation, serve in hollowed-out melon halves (leave about 1/3 inch flesh attached to the rind). View recipe.

green lentils and seasoned walnut

Serves 4 / Ingredient tip: Lentils are low in fat and high in protein and fiber. The best, most delicate lentils are the lovely peppery French green lentils used here; because they take a bit longer to cook than other lentils (about 30 minutes) but hold their shape well, cook them in advance and chill, adding salt at the end of cooking. Use ¾ cup dried lentils to yield 1½ cups cooked. View recipe.

grilled flatbread

Serves 6 / Similar to but healthier than traditional naan, this is grilled over a charcoal, gas, or stovetop grill. Prep tip: For flavor and flair, top with sesame seeds, green onions, or sautéed shallots and garlic. View recipe.

chive pancakes

Makes 6 / An unusual and easy side dish; serve with protein to make it a meal. This makes about six 3-inch pancakes. View recipe.

zucchini with lemon and mint

Serves 6 / Light and tangy, this meza recipe is extremely easy to make and bursts with the flavor of its fresh ingredients. Prep Time: 5 Minutes Cooking Time: 10 Minutes. View recipe.

walnut brownie energy bites

ecadent and rich, these are made with good-fat almonds and antioxidant-laden cacao and sweetened with fiber-rich Medjool dates. They provide whole-food nutrition, so enjoy as a snack or treat. These can be kept at room temperature for a couple of days or will keep for at least a week refrigerated. Ingredient tips: Bob’s Red Mill makes almond meal (flour), but if you can’t find it, just use whole raw almonds and process them into a powder using your food processor. View recipe.

peanut butter granola chewies

Peanut Butter Granola Chewies Yields 30 Naturally sweetened with dates, these confections are a peanut butter lover's dream come true. A bit sticky and gooey to make, but definitely worth it! View recipe.

fruit salad with orange-yogurt dressing

Serves 3 / A tasty snack or dessert that’s loaded with calcium, vitamin C, and folate. Adjust the fruit to suit the season. View recipe.

watermelon ginger salad

Serves 4 / This unique dish is a cool and refreshing way to celebrate the 4th of July, or any summer day! View recipe.

mediterranean pasta salad

Serves 6–8 / Pack with: an apple. Drink: bottled iced tea. Prep tip: To speed prep, use store-bought dressing (we like Newman's Own Lighten Up Italian Dressing); simply add 3 tablespoons to the pasta mixture and refrigerate. View recipe.

tuna nicoise on sourdough

Serves 4 / A traditional niçoise, but without the egg. This is perfect for a picnic because the flavors actually improve if the sandwich is left tightly wrapped and kept in a cooler for an hour or two. View recipe.

cajun oyster po’boy

2008 Delicious Living Reader Recipe Contest: RUNNER UP, Entrees Serves 6 / With an excellent mix of flavors and textures, this unique but easy sandwich would be great for a picnic or summer dinner. View recipe.

mandarin orange spice chicken

Mandarin Orange Spice Chicken These chicken pieces make nice hors d’oeuvres at a cocktail party, or you can bring them along on a family picnic. You can always tell the kids these are chicken nuggets. View recipe.

penne with baby cauliflower, olives and capers

Serves 6 / This light and refreshing dish is equally good cold and makes a fine take-along dish for a picnic. View recipe.

tropical seafood salad

Serves 8–10 / This nourishing salad, rich with carotenes and vitamins B and C, is also refreshing and easy to digest—perfect for a hot day spent swimming at the beach. It can be prepared the night before your picnic; add the vinaigrette just before you go. View recipe.

oregano, dill, and spinach pesto with potatoes and grilled chicken

Serves 4 / This pesto’s strong flavors meld nicely to create a perfect dressing for mild potatoes. Prep tips: Once made, the pesto keeps in the refrigerator for several days. Bring to room temperature before using. Serving tip:This meal is just as good cold and makes a nice picnic lunch. View recipe.

corn-zucchini salad

Serves 6–8 / Take advantage of incomparably sweet fresh corn and zucchini, widely available at this time of year. Cook more than you think you’ll need for one evening and serve this salad the next day. View recipe.

creamy crenshaw melon pudding

A light summer dessert, great for cooling down a summer dinner. View recipe.

summer berry trifle

Serves 12 / Chambord (black raspberry liqueur) adds a wonderful depth of flavor to this sweet summer treat. Try mixing tart berries such as red huckleberries or raspberries with sweeter berries for this elegant dessert. You can make the pudding up to a day ahead of time for quick assembly. View recipe.

fresh strawberries with balsamic vinegar

Serves 4 / Although this combination may seem strange at first, it's simple to prepare and the result is sublime. View recipe.

fresh cherry tart with cocoa crust

Serves 12 / A fruit-filled treat for chocolate lovers. Prep tips: Try this with ripe, fresh, sliced plums, too. Use canola instead of coconut oil if you prefer. View recipe.

baby greens, heirloom tomato, and basil salad

Serves 4 / Ingredient tip: Heirloom tomatoes, usually grown by small-scale farmers, are eco-friendly and far more flavorful than a typical store-bought tomato. They’re definitely worth the extra money when available. View recipe.

shrimp, avocado, and tomato salad with potatoes vinaigrette

Serves 4 / Prep tip: For even quicker cooking, cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes. View recipe.

avocado and white bean salad with feta cheese

Serves 4 / Antioxidant-rich arugula provides a peppery backdrop for rich, creamy avocado and white beans. Serving tip: Accompany with whole-grain sourdough bread and grilled salmon for a simple, lovely lunch. View recipe.

roasted potato salad with rosemary

Roasted Potato Salad with Rosemary Serves 8 Roasting potatoes for potato salad is a delicious method for reducing the overall fat content. You can substitute diced larger red potatoes for the new potatoes. View recipe.

cherry tomato bruschetta

Serves 8 / In September there’s no such thing as too many tomatoes. Here’s a little switch for bruschetta: You don’t have to chop the tomatoes. Provide small dishes so each diner has his or her own olive-oil mixture for dipping. View recipe.

coriander and mint pesto with steamed sole

Serves 4 / Prep tips: Coriander and Mint Pesto with Steamed Sole If you enjoy spicy food, a few zigzags of Sriracha sauce across the top add both extra taste and eye appeal. Serving tip: You’ll have leftover pesto, so use it on pasta, swirled into veggie or bean soup, or spooned over your favorite protein. View recipe.

no-bake apple-butter pecan balls

Makes about 20 / Rich in protein, fiber, and complex carbs, these take-along treats are even healthy enough for breakfast. Ingredient tip: Find oat flour in the bulk or baking section of natural foods markets. View recipe.

sundance granola

Serves 15 / This sweet, crunchy granola also makes a great picnic snack. Stir regularly while baking in the oven to prevent sticking or burning. Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour. View recipe.

raw avocado and cucumber soup

Serves 4 / This creamy, satisfying soup preserves the heart-healthy oils found in avocados and almonds. To save time, use store-bought almond milk. Serve with raw-food flaxseed crackers and a salad of chopped kale, arugula, shredded beets, and carrots. View recipe.

savory serrano cornbread muffins

Makes 12 / These zesty muffins pair deliciously with soup, salad, or a breakfast scramble. This recipe packs a light kick; to turn up the heat, chop some of the seeds and membranes of the serrano chiles and add them to the batter. As always, either wear gloves while handling chiles, or take care to wash hands thoroughly afterwards. View recipe.

rainbow slaw with miso dressing

Serves 6 / Eating a “rainbow” of fruits and vegetables helps to ensure that you are getting the spectrum of nutrients and antioxidants that support vibrant health. Prep tips: If you’re not vegetarian, you might like to add shredded cooked chicken or pork; it’s also excellent with cooked lentils or toasted cashews. Keep a jar of the dressing on hand in the refrigerator for impromptu salads of just about anything. View recipe.

fava bean, pea, and edamame mash with oven-dried pita crisps

Makes 6 cups / The dip can be made less spicy by omitting the green chili, although the ginger and curry provide a bite. Prep tip: If you can’t find frozen fava, substitute frozen lima beans. Prep tip: Also makes a great dip for vegetable crudités, such as carrots, jicama, and celery. View recipe.

curried lentils

Serves 6 / I am a lentil evangelist. These are great with lamb or rice or just a spoon. They’ll keep for a week in the fridge. Serving tip: Serve warm or at room temperature. View recipe.

tandoori chicken sandwich

Serves 4 / As exotic as this sounds (and tastes), it's really quite easy to make, and the two spice mixtures are widely available. Prep tips: If you have time, marinate the chicken overnight. Chicken thighs offer the best results, but lower-fat breasts will also work; just cut three or four deep diagonal grooves in them first to allow the marinade to seep in. Serving tip: You can also make this as a wrap, using a whole-wheat tortilla. View recipe.

dilled shrimp salad pita

Serves 4 / Because this is made with perishable mayonnaise, take extra care to pack these sandwiches in plenty of ice in a well-insulated cooler. View recipe.

grilled snapper tacos with baby tomatoes and baby peppers

Serves 4 / Use a cast-iron skillet or broiler pan if you prepare this on the grill so that veggies don't fall through the grate. This dish can also be prepared on the stove using a frying pan and any mild-flavored fish. View recipe.