Besides the turkey cutlets, spinach is a star of this dish, so you’ll want to choose the freshest greens. Select small spinach leaves with good green color and a crisp, springy texture. They should smell sweet, never sour or musty. Look for stems that are fairly thin; coarse, thick ones indicate overgrown spinach, which may be leathery and bitter.
We’ve chosen to thicken this gumbo with okra, a good addition to any cholesterol-lowering diet because it’s especially rich in soluble fiber. In addition to its fiber (4 grams per cup, sliced and cooked), okra is a fair source of vitamins C and K, folate (and other B vitamins), magnesium, potassium, and carotenoids. It also provides small amounts of calcium and iron—all for just 35 calories per cup.
Look for an oft-overlooked yet surprisingly healthful vegetable in the purée that accompanies this turkey breast: the turnip. It’s rich in both insoluble and soluble fiber and also contains a decent amount of vitamin C. The vegetables cook alongside the turkey in this recipe, which makes for a surprisingly buttery-tasting sauce when they’re puréed.
Don’t feel guilty about using canned beans in this Mexican-inspired recipe: They provide the same nutrients as dried beans but are fully cooked, which saves a lot of time. The only potential drawback is their sodium content—so look for low-sodium canned beans, or drain regular canned beans in a strainer or colander and rinse under running water before using. This can lower the sodium content by as much as half.
Yogurt plays two roles in this Indian-inspired baked chicken: It’s used as a marinade and coating mixture for the chicken, and also a base for the accompanying sauce, called a raita. Save this recipe for a day when you have some extra time, since the chicken has to marinate for at least two hours before baking.
Combined with ginger, cayenne, pineapple juice, and maple syrup, the soy sauce in this recipe makes a simple yet complexly flavored basting sauce. We’ve recommended reduced-sodium soy sauce, but the finished recipe is still on the high side, with 630 milligrams of sodium per serving. So keep the salt low in any side dishes you serve it with, or if you’re on a low-sodium diet, use less soy sauce. Cooking note: The chicken has to marinate for two hours or more.
Mildly bitter and slightly spicy, deep-purple radicchio gives any dish a dash of color, plus it’s a good source of vitamin E and a modest source of the B vitamin folate. Though it looks like a cabbage, radicchio is actually a salad green, and its tender, fleshy leaves should be treated like lettuce for storage. Rather than chicken breast, this dish uses a small amount of chicken thigh; combined with the dish’s abundant vegetables, it makes for a rich, flavorful sauté.
Duck is a flavorful poultry that few American home cooks appreciate. When purchasing a fresh duck, check that the skin is clean, odor-free, feather-free, and off-white (not yellow). Frozen ducks should be plump-breasted and wrapped in airtight packages. If you buy the duck in a supermarket, check the “sell by” date. As with other poultry, keep duck in its original wrapping but overwrap it with aluminum foil to catch any leakage. Store fresh duck in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Wrap and store any giblets separately.
Soba noodles are made from whole-grain buckwheat flour, which gives them an earthy, nutty taste. Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to the wheat plant, though wheat flour is often added to soba. The higher the percentage of buckwheat, the higher the quality and price of the noodles. The long, thin, brown strands are a good source of protein and fiber. Buckwheat is also rich in flavonoids, a class of antioxidant.