Serves 6.

Note: From "Feel Good Food," by Giada De Laurentiis.

• 1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

• 1/2 c. diced jarred roasted red bell peppers

• 1 tbsp. tahini (sesame seed paste)

• 1 large garlic clove, peeled

• 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

• 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

• Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional

• 2 hothouse cucumbers, ends trimmed

Fresh flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, or mint leaves, for serving, optional


In a food processor, combine the beans, roasted peppers, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper, if using.

Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. Transfer the hummus to a small bowl.

Run the tines of a fork down the length of each cucumber several times, turning to make ridges about 1/8-inch deep in the skin all the way around. Cut the cucumbers crosswise into 1-inch rounds, for a total of at least 12.

Using the smaller end of a melon baller or a small round measuring spoon, scoop out part of the center of each cucumber round to form a hollow. Use a small spoon (or a pastry bag fitted with a star tip) to fill each cup with hummus, mounding it slightly over the top. Tuck a small fresh parsley, cilantro or mint leaf into the side of the filling as a garnish, if desired. Arrange the cups on a platter and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 87 Fat 2 g Sodium 280 mg

Carbohydrates 14 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 50 mg

Protein 5 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, ½ bread/starch, ½ fat.


Serves 6.

Note: From "Feel Good Food," by Giada De Laurentiis.

Roasted root vegetable vinaigrette:

• 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-in. pieces

• 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-in. pieces

• 1 large shallot, quartered

• 1/3 c. plus 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

• 1/4 c. frozen unsweetened apple juice concentrate, thawed

• 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

• 1 tsp. pure maple syrup

• 1 1/3 c. low-sodium chicken broth

• 3/4 tsp. kosher salt

• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Chicken salad:

• 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

• 1 head radicchio, chopped

• 1 Belgian endive, chopped

• 2 c. (1/2-in.) diced cooked skinless chicken breast


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

For the vinaigrette: On a baking sheet, toss the carrots, parsnips, and shallot with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Roast until the vegetables are tender, 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Combine the carrots, parsnips, shallot, remaining 1/3 cup oil, the apple juice concentrate, vinegar, maple syrup, broth, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

For the chicken salad: In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, radicchio, endive and chicken. Add about 1/2 cup of the vegetable vinaigrette and toss to coat (there will be leftover vinaigrette).

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 167 Fat 9 g Sodium 310 mg

Carbohydrates 7 g Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 60 mg

Protein 16 g Cholesterol 38 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat, ½ fat.


Serves 6.

Note: From Dr. Preston Maring of Kaiser Permanente.

• 1 parsnip, peeled and diced

• 1 rutabaga, peeled and diced

• 1 turnip, peeled and diced

• 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

• 1 celery root, peeled and diced

• 1 fennel bulb, green parts removed, cored and roughly chopped

• 1 tbsp. olive oil

• 4 shallots, thinly sliced

• 2 tbsp. grated fresh ginger

• 1 cinnamon stick

• About 6 c. reduced-sodium vegetable broth

• Red wine vinegar to taste

• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Spread out the parsnip, rutabaga, turnip, sweet potato, celery root and fennel on a baking sheet or pan with sides. If it looks like too many veggies for 6 people, save some of the diced veggies. There's no way to buy just 2/3 of a parsnip. You could also use all the vegetables and add more stock. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until some of the veggies darken.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a soup pot and cook the shallots and ginger until the shallots are soft. Add the rest of the roasted vegetables and the cinnamon stick. Add enough stock to cover the veggies. You can always add a little water if needed.

Bring to a boil. Cover and then simmer for about 20 minutes.

Find the cinnamon stick and remove it. Use a handheld blender or regular blender (only filling it halfway) to purée some of the soup, leaving chunks.

Season with red wine vinegar. Gradually add salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 144 Fat 3 g Sodium 432 mg

Carbohydrates 29 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 106 mg

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 6 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, ½ fat.

Stuffed red bell peppers with whole-wheat couscous and avocado sauce

Serves 6.

Note: If you don't want to roast the peppers yourself, buy them pre-roasted in the jar. From "Feel Good Food," by Giada De Laurentiis.

• 6 large red bell peppers (see Note)

• 1/2 c. whole-wheat couscous

• 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided

• Vegetable oil cooking spray

• 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 large shallot, diced (about 1/2 c.)

• 1 large shallot, diced (about 1/2 c.)

• 3 large garlic cloves, chopped

• 1/3 c. raisins

• 1/4 c. slivered almonds, coarsely chopped

• 10 pitted kalamata olives, chopped

• 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice (2 to 3 large limes)

• 3 tbsp. pure maple syrup

• 4 oz. coarsely grated low-fat white Cheddar cheese (1 c.)

Avocado sauce:

• 1 (12-oz.) avocado, chopped

• 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice (from 2 large limes)

• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt


For the peppers: Preheat a broiler. Arrange the peppers in a single layer on a heavy, rimmed baking sheet. Broil, turning the peppers every few minutes, until charred on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes. Put the peppers in a resealable plastic bag for 15 minutes. Gently scrape off the burnt skin, being careful not to tear the flesh. Lay each pepper on a cutting board.

Using a paring knife, remove a ½-inch-wide strip of flesh from the side of each pepper to create an opening. Chop the strips of pepper into ½-inch pieces to reserve for the filling. Using a small spoon, remove the seeds from inside each pepper.

In a medium saucepan, bring ¾ cup water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the couscous and ½ teaspoon salt. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the couscous with a fork.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In a small nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, garlic, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and the pepper. Cook until the shallots are soft, about 3 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the couscous, shallot mixture, the reserved chopped bell pepper pieces, the raisins, almonds, olives, lime juice, maple syrup, and half of the cheese.

Divide the filling among the peppers, packing it gently and mounding it at the top. Arrange peppers in the prepared dish, spaced slightly apart. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake until the peppers are heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.

For the avocado sauce: Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine avocado, 2 tablespoons water, lime juice and salt. Blend for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture is smooth.

Spoon the sauce on plates and top with the peppers.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 337 Fat 16 g Sodium 620 mg

Carbohydrates 40 g Saturated fat 3 g Calcium 194 mg

Protein 11 g Cholesterol 8 mg Dietary fiber 8 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, ½ fruit, 1 bread/starch, ½ other carb, ½ medium-fat meat, 2 ½ fat.