Beef Short Ribs With Lemon and Thyme

Serves 2.

Note: Start these ribs by searing them in a cast-iron skillet to create a crust and seal in the flavor. Then roast them for a long time until they’re so tender the meat just falls from the bone. They’re great with smashed potatoes and a tossed green salad. From Beth Dooley.

• 1 1/2 to 2 lb. beef short ribs

• 2 tsp. olive oil

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

• 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

Directions

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Pat the meat dry and drizzle with the oil; season with salt and pepper. Set a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and sear the ribs on all sides until they’ve developed a firm crust, about 5 minutes per side.

Put the skillet into the oven and roast the ribs, turning occasionally, until they are crusty brown and very tender, about 2 hours and 45 minutes to 3 hours.

Sprinkle the lemon zest, juice and thyme over the ribs, turning to coat, and season with more salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 310

Fat 23 g

Sodium 50 mg

Carbohydrates 2 g

Saturated fat 8 g

Total sugars 1 g

Protein 24 g

Cholesterol 90 mg

Dietary fiber 0 g

Exchanges per serving: 3 1/2 medium-fat protein, 1 fat.

Chicken Thighs With Blood Oranges and Green Olives

Serves 2.

Note: This is a no-fuss technique that pan-roasts the chicken low and slow so that the skin becomes wonderfully crisp and the chicken juicy and tender. A blood orange has a bright red flesh. The blood orange glaze is bright and tangy while the olives add a pop of color and salt. From Beth Dooley.

• 2 tsp. olive oil

• 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 2 tsp. grated zest from blood orange, or more to taste (see Note)

• Juice of 1 blood orange, or more to taste

• 1 tbsp. chopped green olives

• 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Lightly coat a medium heavy skillet with the oil and set over medium-low heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and set, skin side down, in the skillet. Cook without moving until the fat is rendered and the skin is a deep golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Turn the chicken over and stir in the orange zest and juice and continue cooking about 15 more minutes, until the chicken is tender and an instant-read meat thermometer reads 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. Serve the chicken with the pan juices over cooked farro or wild rice. Garnish with olives and parsley.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 460

Fat 27 g

Sodium 240 mg

Carbohydrates 6 g

Saturated fat 7 g

Total sugars 4 g

Protein 47 g

Cholesterol 150 mg

Dietary fiber 1 g

Exchanges per serving: 1/2 carb, 6 1/2 medium-fat protein.

Creamy Polenta Parmesan

Serves 2.

Note: Golden and cheesy, polenta is simple and satisfying comfort food. Top it with a poached egg and frizzled pancetta for a bit more heft. From Beth Dooley.

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/2 c. polenta

• 1/2 c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

• 2 tsp. unsalted butter, or more to taste

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a heavy, 1-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups water and salt to a boil. Slowly whisk in the polenta. Reduce the heat, whisking, for about 1 minute. Then cover, and simmer, stirring often, until the polenta is very thick and no longer tastes “raw,” about 30 to 40 minutes. Stir in the cheese and butter, and salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 290 Fat 12 g Sodium 990 mg

Carbohydrates 32 g Saturated fat 7 g Total sugars 0 g

Protein 13 g Cholesterol 30 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 1 medium-fat protein, 1 fat.

Curried Carrot Soup

Serves 2.

Note: This sweet spicy soup is colorful and rich without the addition of cream. The potato and a little coconut milk add body while the bright, sweet flavor of carrot shines through. From Beth Dooley.

• 2 tsp. coconut oil or unsalted butter

• 1/2 c. diced onion

• 2 1/2 c. vegetable stock

• 3/4 lb. to 1 lb. carrots, chopped

• 1 small potato, cut into chunks

• 1 tsp. good quality curry powder, or more to taste

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1/4 c. coconut milk

• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Warm the oil or butter in a medium pot over medium heat, and sauté the onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, carrots, potato and curry powder, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or, a blender, working in batches) purée the soup until smooth.

Return the pot to the heat and stir in the coconut milk. Serve garnished with the cilantro.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 250

Fat 11 g

Sodium 550 mg

Carbohydrates 37 g

Saturated fat 9 g

Total sugars 13 g

Protein 4 g

Cholesterol 0 mg

Dietary fiber 7 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 1/2 carb, 2 fat.

Dark Chocolate Mousse

Serves 2.

Note: Like your chocolate straight? This eggless yet airy mousse whips together melted chocolate and cream for a swift chocolate punch. From Beth Dooley.

• 1/4 c. heavy cream

• 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (at least 70 percent) broken into bits

• Dash of vanilla extract

• Whipped cream, for garnish

Directions

Pour the cream into a small saucepan and add the chocolate and set over medium-low heat. Whisk as it melts into a sauce.

Set the saucepan into a bowl of ice cubes, add vanilla extract and whisk the sauce briskly until it thickens and becomes airy. Spoon into ramekins or a pretty glass and place in the refrigerator to set. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 440 Fat 34 g Sodium 25 mg

Carbohydrates 28 g Saturated fat 20 g Total sugars 15 g

Protein 5 g Cholesterol 35 mg Dietary fiber 6 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 carb, 1 high-fat protein, 5 fat.