Salad spikers. Think of lettuce as the backdrop. Sprinkle on some canned chickpeas; white, black, or kidney beans; toasted pine nuts, pecans, or walnuts; goat cheese; edamame; or canned tuna. Benefits: Adds good fats, variety, and protein. Replaces need for saturated-fat-loaded dressings.

Salsa chicken or fish. Chop fresh pineapple or mango, red onion, and cilantro and toss with a dash of coarse salt and some lime juice. Serve over chicken or fish. Benefits: Adds vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants to protein. Replaces fatty sauces.

Superior spaghetti. Add chopped fresh mushrooms, onion, squash, or bell pepper to your store-bought bolognese sauce. Cut back the portion of pasta, and top it off with a crumble of sautéed or plain tofu. Benefits: Adds protein, fiber, variety, and healthy carbs. Cuts refined carbs.

Smart smoothie. Keep frozen, precut tropical fruits on hand in the freezer (prepare fruits yourself or buy them prepackaged). Blend with low-fat yogurt and a banana. Benefits: Adds protein, antioxidants, and fiber.

RevVed-up rice. Add almonds, raisins, herbs, or banana slices to rice and couscous. Benefits: Adds variety, fiber, vitamins, and protein.

—D.S.B.