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Good-for-You Gourmet Ingredients

Everyday Food, January/February 2011

Healthy food doesn't have to be bland, and delicious dishes don't have to include tons of fat or sugar. These 12 items add crave-worthy flavor to wholesome foods, such as vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, with fewer than 50 calories per serving.

Capers
Their salty flavor adds punch to high-protein tuna, or mix with black olives and roasted tomatoes for a quick pasta sauce. Rinse to reduce sodium.

Smoked Paprika
Add this smoky-sweet Spanish spice to vegetarian chili or roasted potatoes to give meat-free dishes an almost bacon-like flavor.

Fresh Ginger
Use finely grated ginger to punch up vegetable stir-fries or to top yogurt drizzled with honey.

Grainy Mustard
Whisk into a homemade salad dressing and drizzle on leafy greens, or brush onto salmon before broiling.

Instant Espresso Powder
Coffee flavor adds depth to light chocolate treats, so they taste even more indulgent.

Curry Paste
For a spicy stew, mix red or green curry paste with reduced-fat coconut milk, peas, tomatoes, and baked tofu.

Lemon Zest
Use this bright floral flavor on angel food cake, in soups, or with pasta and olive oil.

Anchovies
Puree fillets with olive oil, lemon juice, and rosemary, and use as a rich sauce on steamed vegetables.

Chili Sauce
Capsaicin, the compound that gives chiles their heat, also helps you feel satiated. Add to eggs for a filling breakfast.

Sherry Vinegar
Splash some in lentil soup, or drizzle on top of sauteed winter greens.

Fresh Herbs
Roast hardy herbs with chicken or mix leafy ones with grains.

Nutmeg
Stir this sweet, warm spice into low-fat cottage cheese with berries, or add a dash to steamed green beans.