Chickpeas are rich in both types of dietary fiber, which are important for maintaining heart health and for stabilizing blood sugar levels. Pam Anderson uses them as the base for this Indian-flavored creamy (though cream-free) soup, which she prepares by first pureeing it, then simmering it, to save time. "Pureed beans give you richness without having to enrich the soup," she says.
Goat's-milk cheeses are typically lower in cholesterol, calories and fat—and higher in calcium—than cow's-milk ones. Here, creamy chèvre is stuffed into antioxidant-rich mushrooms and topped with crispy herbed bread crumbs.
Alternative healers use star anise to fight cold and flu symptoms. Melissa Rubel Jacobson combines the licorice-scented spice with cinnamon and ginger—both stomach soothers—to flavor a restorative chicken-noodle soup.
The ricotta in these parfaits is full of calcium, and the pears are loaded with fiber. To add flavor, Marisa May poaches the pears in water infused with maple syrup and lemon juice. The poached pears can also be served separately with granola or yogurt.
Branzino, a European sea bass, is low in fat but has a wonderful richness when cooked on the bone. Barbara Lynch stuffs the fish with lemons and herbs, then grills it until the skin is browned and crispy to add even more flavor.