Adding collard greens, bell pepper, corn and carrot to a rustic butternut squash soup is Mary Ellen Diaz’s clever way of making it even more healthy. Together these vegetables deliver vitamins A and C as well as fiber and powerful antioxidants.
For the Italian breakfast dish Eggs in Purgatory, eggs are baked in a spicy tomato sauce. In this Mexican-inspired take, Grace Parisi substitutes a vibrant, fresh green sauce made with tomatillos, cilantro and scallions.
New Orleans Red Beans and Rice with Pickled Peppers
In New Orleans, red beans and rice are traditionally served on Mondays because the dish uses up leftover Sunday ham. Grace Parisi likes making the recipe any day of the week, and she replaces the ham with smoky bacon.
To make this Italian-style salad, Joy Manning tosses cubes of bread with just a little B (bacon) and lots of healthy L (soft butter lettuce) and T (small yellow and red tomatoes). Instead of mayonnaise, she blends the basil-inflected dressing with protein-rich soft tofu.
“In 1994, when I enrolled at the Culinary Institute oh America in Hyde Park, I had to catch up on so much—it was like I had a virgin palate for food and wine,” says Rajat Parr. “For instance, I’d never had a scallop before; I didn’t even know what they were. I had never seen a chestnut before, either. So cooking school was an eye-opening experience.”
Grilled Chicken and Watercress Salad with Canadian Bacon
This dish offers a fitness-minded mix of lean chicken and calcium-packed watercress. Canadian bacon, with just a fraction of the calories and fat of bacon, gives the salad a slightly sweet and salty flavor.