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En español | These recipes are colorful and flavorful, but they also include superfoods that can improve memory, lower blood pressure and boost your immune system.

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Fresh pomegranate and blueberries.

With very high levels of antioxidants, pomegranates can help keep the cardiovascular system healthy. — Getty Images

As warmer weather peeks over the horizon, we're ready to pack up the casserole dishes and slow cookers and get ready for lighter fare. But it's not too late to enjoy one last helping of a classic comfort food — with some healthy ingredients and a few new twists. Forget the ketchup-spiked, drab meat loaf of yore. Many of these eight recipes include international flavors, whole grains and lots of vegetables.

Pomegranate Glaze

Makes 1 cup

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/4 cup organic vegetable or chicken broth, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed blood orange juice (can substitute Valencia orange juice)

1. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, shallot and a pinch of salt and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the pomegranate molasses, broth, maple syrup, tomato paste and cinnamon stick. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the orange juice. Do a taste test; you may want to add a pinch more salt and more lemon juice to taste.

3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutrients per serving (2 tablespoons): 45 calories, 11g carbohydrates, 0g protein, 0g fiber, 0g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 5mg sodium

Kale, Orange, Grape Tomato and Carrot Salad With Rebecca Katz's Greener Than Green Goddess Dressing

Serves 4

  • 1 (12-ounce) bunch kale (preferably Tuscan or black kale), stems removed, leaves cut into thin strips
  • Greener Than Green Goddess Dressing (recipe follows)
  • 2 organic carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 10 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 very small orange or clementine, peeled and separated into sections and diced

1. Place the kale in a large bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of the dressing over it. Using your hands, gently massage the dressing into the kale for 2 to 3 minutes. Let rest for 30 minutes. (This will marinate the kale and help remove some of its bitterness.)

2. Just before serving, add the carrots, tomatoes and orange sections. Drizzle with a quarter to half a cup of the remaining dressing, toss to combine and serve immediately.

Nutrients per serving: 57 calories, 3g protein, 13g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 1g fat (0g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 43mg sodium

Greener Than Green Goddess Dressing

Makes about 2 cups

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup organic plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 avocado, halved, skin and pit removed and flesh scooped out
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1. Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Do a taste test; you may want to add a pinch more salt and more lemon juice to taste.

2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrients per serving (1/2 cup): 80 calories, 1g protein, 4g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 7g fat (1g saturated fat), 1mg cholesterol, 158mg sodium

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