The old "bran muffin" is back. And just as good. Why did we ever shun it so? Bran cereal goes down much better when matched with brown sugar, buttermilk and cinnamon. For added nutrition try adding shredded carrots or zucchini, raisins or even pineapple. Pineapples are a great source of vitamin C and contain a group of digestive enzymes that have anti-inflammatory properties.
Recipe: Heart Smart Refrigerator Bran Muffins
Under-appreciated barley, now starring on all supermarket shelves, packs fiber and richness into this hearty flavorful stew. Barley is even approved by the FDA to be labeled as reducing the risk of heart disease. And don't forget the mushrooms which contain various antioxidants to include ergothioneine, known for its anticancer properties. Recipe: Mushroom and Barley Soup
Next stop Africa and a warm bowl of nutrient loaded stew complete with edamame, sweet potatoes, and spinach that combine to make a hearty and flavorful vegetarian meal. Edamame alone is rich in phytochemicals which help prevent different types of cancer, fight heart disease, and improve bone density. Not to mention all of the fantastic vitamins and benefits found in sweet potatoes and spinach. Recipe: African Peanut Stew
Salmon filets, rich in omega-3s, are whirled up in the processor with a bit of mustard and garlic for a change in your burger routine. Omega-3s are have heart health benefits and fight asthma, cancer, and even depression. You'll have nothing to be sad about after trying these burgers. Recipe: Panko-Crusted Salmon Sliders with Quick Ponzu Cucumbers
Dried peas, such as black-eyes, are loaded with fiber and devoid of fat. Travel to Asia with this deliciously good for you dish. Miso, made from soybeans, has its own heart healthy benefits, and provides these black-eyed peas with a salty/sweet flavor that’s sure to please. Recipe: East-West Black-Eyed Peas
Always a good choice, hummus is full of monounsaturated fats from the tahini, and fiber from the garbanzo beans. With about 4 ingredients, whirl this up for a quick dip. Recipe: Hummus
Fiber loaded wheat berries and kale occupy this tomato-ey minestrone soup made extra flavorful with the addition of a leftover Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese rind. Peasant food at its best. It welcomes any vegetable lurking in your fridge. Recipe: Winter Minestrone Soup
A parade of apricots, raisins and oranges traipses through a grapefruit juice simple syrup. Virtually free of fat, this bright, fresh compote belies it's remedial effects. Apricots are one of the best sources of vitamin A and beta-carotene as well as potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. Recipe: Six-Fruit Compote
If lentils aren't on your hit list, they should be. They don't require pre-soaking like other dried beans, are smaller and a bit more exotic. Plus they're full of fiber and meld perfectly with most any ingredient they're cooked with. This quick-cooking chili is perfect on a cold night. Recipe: Tomato Lentil Chili
For all the heat-seekers out there, here is a noodle dish that marries bright healthy vegetables, spices and shrimp without adding on the extra calories or fat. Recipe: Spicy Udon Noodles with Shrimp
Not a red chili fan? Toss the remains of last night's rotisserie chicken along with some cumin, turkey sausage, and barley into this white chili. Top with a handful of cheese, avocado and red onion. Recipe: Chicken Chili
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