Photos by Leigh Beisch

Roasted Vegetables on Arugula and Basil
Serves 6 / This colorful dish makes a delightful first course or light lunch. Mix gold and red beets for additional color. Preparation tips: For easier cleanup, line baking sheets with aluminum foil. If presentation is key, cook beets on a separate pan to prevent bleeding. Serving tip: For a heartier meal, top with grilled salmon or chicken.

1/2 pound parsnips, scraped and cubed
2 large beets (gold or red), rinsed well, patted dry, and cubed
2 medium turnips, cubed
1 small rutabaga, peeled and cubed
1 small sweet potato, cubed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 small zucchini, cubed
4-6 cups baby arugula leaves, washed
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Place parsnips, beets, turnips, rutabaga, and sweet potatoes on two large baking sheets. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil (divide between pans); sprinkle each pan with rosemary, garlic, and pepper, and toss with hands to mix well. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 25 minutes.

2. Remove from oven and discard foil. Divide zucchini between two pans. Toss to coat and return to oven (uncovered). Cook for 10 minutes longer, or until vegetables are tender.

3. While vegetables are roasting, in a large bowl, combine arugula, basil, the remaining tablespoon olive oil, and vinegar. Toss to mix and divide among individual serving plates. Top with hot vegetables and serve.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 161 calories
% fat calories: 39
Fat: 7g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Protein: 3g
Carbohydrate: 23g
Fiber: 6g
Sodium: 79mg

Pot Pie with Carrots, Spinach, and Sugar Snap Peas
Serves 8 / Rich and satisfying, this grown-up approach to an American classic adds sugar snap peas, white wine, and lots of fresh basil, and even sneaks in a serving of cauliflower. Preparation tips: For the fastest fix, use leftover cauliflower, or microwave frozen cauliflower. If carrots are thicker than a pencil, halve lengthwise.

1 cup cooked cauliflower
1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup very thin baby carrots
2 small red potatoes, cut into large dice
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup reduced-fat (2 percent) milk
1/4 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 cup sugar snap peas, washed and trimmed
2 cups baby spinach leaves, firmly packed
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Salt (optional)
2 9-inch whole-wheat deep-dish pie crusts (fresh, or frozen and thawed)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a blender, purée cauliflower with broth. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté onion, carrots, and potatoes over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until onions are soft. Sprinkle flour into skillet and stir to coat vegetables; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and wine and cook for 2 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cauliflower mixture, garlic, sugar snap peas, spinach, basil, and white pepper. Season with salt, if desired.

3. Fit one pie crust into a 9-inch pie dish. Spoon mixture onto pie crust, gently pressing down and mounding slightly. Carefully place second pie crust on top of filling; trim overhang, flute edges, and make four steam slits in top crust. Bake for 35–40 minutes, until crust is golden. Remove and let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 299 calories
% fat calories: 53
Fat: 18g
Saturated Fat: 6g
Cholesterol: 1mg
Protein: 4g
Carbohydrate: 32g
Fiber: 4g
Sodium: 248mg

Grilled Chicken with Charred Tomatoes and Broccoli
Serves 4 / Bored with broccoli? You won't be after you try it grilled! Remember to soak wooden skewers in water before grilling. Preparation tip: Use frozen broccoli for even faster prep, or leftover steamed broccoli spears.

Juice of 2 medium limes, divided (plus more to taste)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
11/2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen and thawed
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 cups frozen and thawed broccoli spears
3 medium Roma tomatoes, quartered
8 cups baby spinach leaves

1. In a small bowl, whisk together juice from 1 lime, 1 tablespoon olive oil, honey, garlic, and black pepper. Place in zip-top bag; add chicken breasts and shake to coat. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

2. In a small bowl, combine remaining lime juice, corn kernels, red onion, chili pepper, bell pepper, and cilantro. Taste and add more lime juice, as desired. Stir to mix and set aside.

3. Preheat grill to medium-hot. Thread broccoli and tomatoes on 10- to 12-inch skewers. Remove chicken breasts from marinade and place on grill, 3 inches from medium flame. Cover and grill for about 10 minutes, turning chicken once, until chicken is opaque and tomatoes are charred.

4. During the last 5 minutes of grilling, in a large skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; add spinach and toss to coat. Cook for 1 minute, just until wilted. Divide greens among four plates. Top with chicken breast and a scoop of corn salsa. Place tomatoes and broccoli on skewers alongside chicken, and serve at once.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 344 calories
% fat calories: 23
Fat: 10g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 68mg
Protein: 37g
Carbohydrate: 33g
Fiber: 9g
Sodium: 183mg

Chinese Beans and Bok Choy with Peppered Shrimp
Serves 4 / A vegetable-packed variation on an Asian classic that you can make in minutes. Preparation tip: For a vegan version, substitute cubes of extra-firm tofu for the shrimp. Ingredient tip: Look for hot chili oil and black bean sauce in the Asian section of your natural market.

3/4-1 pound large shrimp, shells and tails removed
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon hot chili oil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound Chinese long beans, halved, or whole green beans, trimmed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/4-inch strips
2 large stalks bok choy, thinly sliced crosswise (including leaves)
1-2 tablespoons black bean sauce, or to taste
Hot, cooked soba noodles or brown rice

1. Rinse shrimp well, shake dry, and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with black pepper and hot chili oil; set aside.

2. In a large skillet or wok, heat olive oil and sauté onion for 2 minutes, until just tender. Add beans; toss to coat with oil and cook, tossing or stirring frequently, for 4 minutes. Add garlic, red bell pepper, and bok choy; cover and cook for an additional 4 minutes.

3. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes, until shrimp are opaque and vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in black bean sauce and cook for 1 minute longer to blend flavors. Serve hot over noodles or brown rice.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (with 1/2 cup low-sodium soba noodles):
Calories: 227calories
% fat calories: 24
Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 129mg
Protein: 22g
Carbohydrate: 22g
Fiber: 3g
Sodium: 246mg

Eggplant Ratatouille with Kale and Beans
Serves 6–8 / Preparation tips: For a heartier meal, increase the amount of beans and top this flavorful casserole with an additional half-cup of cheese—try shredded provolone or mozzarella. For a faster version, skip salting the eggplant.

1 medium eggplant, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Coarse kosher salt
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 medium yellow bell peppers, cored and sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick
2 medium zucchini, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 cup chopped kale
1 15-ounce can great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 Roma tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 cup grated Asiago cheese

1. Sprinkle both sides of eggplant slices liberally with coarse salt; let drain in a colander for 1 hour. Rinse off excess salt and squeeze out water between layers of paper towels.

2. Preheat oven to 375°. Coat a 2 1/2–quart casserole with cooking spray. Layer half of the eggplant, onions, peppers, and zucchini in casserole dish. Cover with all of the kale and beans, and spread with half of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with half of the garlic and half of the dried herbs. Repeat layering process (omitting kale and beans). Press down gently and drizzle with olive oil. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour, or until vegetables are very tender.

3. Remove foil. Combine parsley and cheese in a small bowl and sprinkle over vegetables. Return to oven and cook for 5 minutes longer, until cheese is melted. Serve hot.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 240 calories
% fat calories: 40
Fat: 11g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Protein: 11g
Carbohydrate: 27g
Fiber: 9g
Sodium: 367mg

Lisa Turner is a health and nutrition writer. Her three-year-old loves veggie pot pie, but still won’t go near spinach.