Coconut Macaroons are a naturally sweet treat

As a growing number of retailers back away from high-fructose corn syrup, alternatives continue to crop up. Examples include cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, agave and stevia. In some parts of the world, coconut sugar is the natural sweetener of choice. The Star’s Coconut Macaroons are sure to satisfy your cravings for a sweet treat.

Add edamame to summer salad to get more fiber in diet

Soy health and nutrition claims might have been exaggerated, yet edamame as part of a balanced diet still offers plenty to recommend it at 9 grams of fiber per half-cup serving. The Star’s Edamame Brown Rice Salad combines edamame with brown rice, as well as corn and red bell pepper, to make a colorful and tasty summer salad.

Santa Fe Chicken recipe means no frying, no fuss

The Star’s Santa Fe Chicken is another way to get the delectable crispy crunch of fried chicken while skipping the fat (and mess) of frying. Multigrain tortilla chips provide a crumb crust while low-fat buttermilk helps the pieces adhere to lean, skinless, boneless chicken breasts.

Cabbage With Noodles

Many recipes for Cabbage and Noodles melt in a fair amount of butter, and some top the noodle nest off with a liberal sprinkling of bacon crumbles. The Star’s version uses just a tablespoon of olive oil and substitutes leaner turkey bacon.

Try pasta with a new wave of pestolike sauces

Until basil days are upon us once again, The Star’s alternative Red Pepper Pesto Pasta is a nutritious and delicious variation for the winter months. A new wave of pestolike sauces made from parsley, cilantro, mint, arugula and even olives or red peppers can easily be whirled up with the pulse of a food processor.

Classic pear desert gets a slimming makeover

Since the pear is the real star of the show, The Star’s updated version of Caramelized Pears With Dark Chocolate Sauce bumps up the cocoa content because dark chocolate has been found to contain more antioxidants than milk chocolate. It also replaces the cream with fat-free half-and-half.

Hot and Sour Soup is high in flavor, low in sodium

The Star’s Hot and Sour Soup uses a combination of low-sodium chicken broth and reduced-sodium soy sauce to whittle the sodium to a more moderate 310 milligrams. Yet there’s still plenty of flavor, thanks to the seasonings: ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, rice vinegar and sesame oil.

Chicken Cajun Pasta low in fat but still luxurious

Despite Center for Science in the Public Interest’s dire warnings, restaurant menus still offer plenty of rich pasta dishes for those who crave the smooth mouth feel of cream. If you share my weakness, The Star’s recipe for Chicken Cajun Pasta with a slightly spicy, Alfredo-type cream sauce has just 5 grams of total fat.

Taco Pepper Cups are a handy, vegetarian treat

Sure, you can also stuff zucchini, eggplant or mushroom, but the bottom “cup” of a bell pepper is the easiest to fill and one of the most nutritious, too. Taco-seasoned fillings are common. Most recipes call for stuffing the pepper with a beef mixture, then topping it with a sauce and cheese, but The Star’s Taco Pepper Cups are vegetarian.

Eating for Life | A leaner take on a Mexican classic

Posole is a Mexican soup from the Jalisco region that is traditionally served at Christmastime. But there is no reason to serve this hearty soup just once a year. The Star’s Lighter Chicken Posole With Spinach combines the flavors and textures of the classic while tweaking several ingredients to make them better fit a contemporary diet and lifestyle.