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74 Contest-Winning Diabetic-Friendly Recipes

Feed your family some guaranteed favorites with these contest-winning diabetic-friendly recipes!

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Mushroom Bacon Turkey Burgers

If you ask me, a good burger needs mushrooms on top, but they tend to slide around and fall off. I decided to put mushrooms right into the patties—problem solved! —Melissa Obernesser, Utica, New York
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Curried Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is such a fantastic salad base—it's full of protein, it adds a nutty flavor, and it's the perfect vehicle to soak up any kind of dressing. If you like a little more heat, add more cayenne or curry to the dressing. —Shannon Dobos, Calgary, Alberta
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Turkey Salsa Bowls with Tortilla Wedges

Delicious and nutritious, this dish was a favorite of the kids who participated in the junior chef classes I taught at my church. The recipe encouraged creativity and healthy eating as students designed their own salsa bowls using whole grains, vegetables and lean protein. —Jean Gottfried, Upper Sandusky, Ohio
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Creamy Cauliflower Pakora Soup Exps Thfm17 198103 C09 22 2b 7

Creamy Cauliflower Pakora Soup

My husband and I often crave pakoras, deep-fried fritters from India. I wanted to get the same flavors but use a healthier cooking technique, so I made soup using all the classic spices and our favorite veggie, cauliflower! —Melody Johnson, DePere, Wisconsin
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Turkey Sausage Cabbage Rolls Exps Sddj17 197362 B08 11 6b 3

Turkey Sausage Cabbage Rolls

I practically grew up in my Polish grandmother's kitchen, watching Babci cook and listening to her stories. I made her cabbage roll recipe healthier with whole grains and turkey, but kept the same rich flavors I remember. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
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Feta Steak Tacos

I love tacos, and came up with this version to make them with Mediterranean flavors as opposed to Mexican. They went over big with my family!—Debbie Reid, Clearwater, Florida
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Thai Chicken & Slaw

This recipe is foolproof and well worth the prep time. Kids love the sweetness of the honey, and I serve the slaw on the side so my vegetarian friends can enjoy it, too.—Karen Norris, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Pear Waldorf Pitas

Here's a guaranteed table brightener for a shower, luncheon or party. Just stand back and watch these sandwiches vanish. For an eye-catching presentation, I tuck each one into a colorful folded napkin. —Roxann Parker, Dover, Delaware
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Easy Caribbean Chicken

This is a very simple recipe that uses easy-to-find ingredients. Serve with some steamed vegetables for a complete meal. Use cubes of pork or even shrimp instead of the chicken. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Simple Poached Salmon

I love this recipe because it's healthy and almost effortless. And the salmon always cooks to perfection! —Erin Chilcoat, Central Islip, New York
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Spicy Beef Salad

This recipe was inspired by my love of spicy flavors and light, nutritious entrees. The pretty salad has an appealing variety of textures. I make it year-round because it's fast and easy to prepare after a long day at work. —Peggy Allen, Pasadena, California
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Vibrant Black-Eyed Pea Salad

My black-eyed pea salad reminds me of a Southern cooking class my husband and I took while visiting Savannah, Georgia. People go nuts for it at picnics and potlucks. —Danielle Lee, Sewickley, Pennsylvania
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Maple-Dijon Chicken

Eating dinner as a family every night is really important to us, and this recipe is one that we all love. It's our favorite skillet chicken dish. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Grilled Steak Pinwheels

I've been serving this recipe to family and friends for 20 years and very seldom do I have any leftovers. We try to keep the house cool, so we grill out often. —Mary Hills, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Greek Breakfast Casserole

This is a great dish for a Sunday brunch, or you can cut it into six pieces and freeze it to have as a quick and easy breakfast any day of the week. I also like to make it with broccoli, carrots, green onions, Canadian bacon and sharp cheddar cheese; the variations are nearly endless! —Lauri Knox, Pine, Colorado
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Pork Tenderloin with Mango Relish

Colorful mango relish is a refreshing counterpoint to the “heat” in the meat rub I use to pep up a number of pork dishes. These roasted tenderloins are sure to turn out nice and juicy. —Gloria Bradley, Naperville, Illinois
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Italian Chicken Chardonnay

One day I needed to have dinner ready when we walked in the door after work and school. So I altered a skillet dish that my family likes into this delicious slow-cooker meal, and it was ready and waiting when we got home. It's perfect for an everyday meal but nice enough for company, too. —Judy Armstrong, Prairieville, Louisiana
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Slow-Cooked Rump Roast

I enjoy a good pot roast, but I was tired of the same old thing so I started experimenting. Cooking the beef in horseradish sauce gives it a tangy flavor. Even my young children love this rump roast recipe with its tender veggies and gravy. —Mimi Walker, Palmyra, Pennsylvania
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Beef Lentil Soup

You can prepare this soup as the main course in a hearty lunch or dinner. On cold winter evenings here in New England, I've often enjoyed sipping a steaming mugful in front of our fireplacel. —Guy Turnbull, Arlington, Massachusetts
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Roquefort Pear Salad

Guests at a barbecue we hosted one summer brought this cool, refreshing salad. Now it's a mainstay at many of our gatherings year-round. The mingling of zesty tastes and textures instantly wakes up the taste buds. —Sherry Duval, Baltimore, Maryland
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Cuban-Style Pork Chops

These are like Cuban sandwiches without the bread, so they’re a bit more elegant. Let your family customize the chops with pickles, mustard and other condiments. —Erica Allen, Tuckerton, New Jersey
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Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

In our new cookbook “The Kitchen Decoded,” we include tabbouleh salad because it's super simple and filling. Try red quinoa for a slightly earthier flavor. —Logan Levant, Los Angeles, California
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Blackened Tilapia With Zucchini Noodles Exps Sdam17 200349 C12 06 1b 5

Blackened Tilapia with Zucchini Noodles

I love quick and bright meals like this one-skillet wonder. The way it tastes, you'd think it takes a lot more effort, but it goes from prep to dinner table in half an hour. The recipe works well with any light fish, or even shrimp. —Tammy Brownlow, Dallas, Texas
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Mini Mediterranean Pizza

I was on a mini-pizza kick and had already served up Mexican and Italian variations, so I opted for a Mediterranean version and came up with these. —Jenny Dubinsky, Inwood, West Virginia
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Spinach And Shrimp Fra Diavolo Exps Sdam19 232951 B12 07 5b 11

Spinach and Shrimp Fra Diavolo

This quick shrimp fra diavolo is spicy, garlicky, saucy and loaded with delicious shrimp. Plus, with the addition of spinach, you’re also getting a serving of veggies. When you need a perfect low-fat weeknight meal that is easy to pull together, this is it. You can substitute arugula or kale for the spinach if you'd like. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Sesame Beef Asparagus Salad Exps Thfm17 2708 D09 27 7b

Sesame Beef & Asparagus Salad

Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies—especially when it comes to experimenting with fresh ingredients like these. This meaty salad is wonderful at the start of asparagus season. —Tamara Steeb, Issaquah, Washington
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Tangerine Tossed Salad

My mother taught me how to cook when I was a young girl. The sweet tangerines and crunchy caramelized almonds make this one of my favorite recipes. —Helen Musenbrock, O'Fallon, Missouri
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Southwest Hash With Adobo Lime Crema Exps175008 Sd143204c12 03 3bc Rms 1

Southwest Hash with Adobo-Lime Crema

Adobo sauce adds so much extra flavor that you won't even miss the smaller amounts of butter and egg yolks in this smoky hash. Here's a tip: Add a splash of white vinegar to the poaching water right before you drop in the eggs. It helps keep them from separating as they cook. —Brooke Keller, Lexington, Kentucky
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Haddock with Lime-Cilantro Butter

Here in Louisiana, the good times roll when we broil fish and serve it with lots of lime juice, cilantro and butter. —Darlene Morris, Franklinton, Louisiana
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Grilled Peach, Rice & Arugula Salad

This hearty salad was created when I needed to clear out some leftovers from the fridge—and it became an instant hit! The grilled peaches are the ultimate "tastes like summer" salad booster. —Lauren Wyler, Dripping Springs, Texas
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French Lentil And Carrot Soup Exps Thso18 219374 B04 19 8b

French Lentil and Carrot Soup

It's crazy how just a few ingredients can make such a difference. Using finely chopped rotisserie chicken in this recipe makes it perfect for a busy weeknight meal, but you can leave it out if you prefer. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Cashew-Curry Chicken Salad

My husband and I fell hard for the curried chicken salad from our grocery store deli, and I knew I could find a way to make something similar. This greek yogurt chicken salad has become one of our favorites to take on trips to the beach. —Janine Cooper-Moren, Portland, Oregon
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Peach Chili Sauce

I've been eating and serving this tasty chili sauce since my childhood—it's always been a favorite. —Barb Townsend-Batten, Blenheim, Ontario
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Layered Garden Bean Salad

For easy entertaining, cover and refrigerate the salad a few hours before guests arrive so you don't have to bother with last-minute assembly. Turn it into a light lunch by adding sliced rotisserie chicken, salmon or tuna. —Melissa Wharton, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Creamless Creamy Squash Soup Exps175504 Sd143204c12 05 1b Rms 1

Creamless Creamy Squash Soup

Here's my go-to recipe for family and friends' get-togethers. One time, my niece devoured three bowls of it and we had to stop her from a fourth so others could have one last spoonful! —Sharon Verea, Thomasville, Georgia
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Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa

I've made quite a few tacos in my day, but you can't beat the tender filling made in a slow cooker. These are by far the best pork tacos we've had—and we've tried plenty. Make the mango salsa from scratch if you have time! Yum. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
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Potato-Bean Salad with Herb Dressing

My veggie garden inspired this creamy combo of beans, potatoes and fresh herbs. I toss them with a ranch-style dressing sparked up with Creole mustard. —Chris Cummer, Bayonne, New Jersey
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Eggplant Salad with Tomato and Goat Cheese

Tender, grilled eggplant helps make this light summer salad feel like a meal. The balsamic dressing adds so much depth and a burst of bright flavor. —Susan Leiser, Hammonton, New Jersey
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Asparagus Spinach Salad With Chicken Exps Sdjj18 214083 B02 15 4b 7

Asparagus Spinach Salad with Chicken

We love all the fresh fruits and vegetables that are available in the summer. This salad is one of our favorite because it packs in so much great produce, plus it's quick and easy on a warm summer day. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Avocado Salsa

I was planning a party and thought it might be fun to try a different kind of avocado salsa. This recipe was an absolute success. Scoop it up with chips, spoon it over chicken or steak, or eat it on its own! —Susan Vandermeer, Ogden, Utah
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Lemon Roasted Fingerlings And Brussels Sprouts Exps172208 Sd143203d10 15 4bc Rms

Lemon Roasted Fingerlings and Brussels Sprouts

My trick to roasting veggies is to choose ones that cook in the same amount of time. Other combinations to try? Cauliflower florets with baby carrots or okra with cherry tomatoes. —Courtney Gaylord, Columbus, Indiana
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Prosciutto Pepper Pork Chops Exps Sdfm19 39898 B10 19 5b 7

Prosciutto-Pepper Pork Chops

Here's a dish that's easy, fast and most importantly, delicious. Serve these prosciutto-stuffed pork chops with pasta salad for a satisfying meal. —Donna Prisco, Randolph, New Jersey
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Lentil Sloppy Joes

When I experimented with making more vegetarian-friendly recipes, this was one of my biggest hits—we still eat it weekly! My preschooler will always eat every bite of these tangy lentil joes. —Christina Rock, Covington, Washington
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Chicken Chili with Black Beans

Because it looks different than traditional chili, my family was a little hesitant to try this dish at first. Thanks to the full, hearty flavor, it's become a real favorite around our house. I like to serve it with warm cornbread. —Jeanette Urbom, Louisburg, Kansas
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Bruschetta Chicken

We enjoy serving this tasty chicken bruschetta to both family and to company. It just might become your new favorite way to use up summer tomatoes and basil. —Carolin Cattoi-Demkiw, Lethbridge, Alberta
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General Tso's Stew

I love Asian food and wanted a chili-like soup with the distinctive flavors of General Tso’s chicken. The slow cooker makes this super easy, and you can use any meat you like. It’s a great with turkey, ground meats or leftover pork. —Lori McLain, Denton, Texas
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Bruschetta Chicken Wraps

As an Italian American, I love, love, love garlic, tomatoes and basil, all of which are musts for good bruschetta. This recipe was created in celebration of the first tomatoes to come out of our home garden this year. —Gina Rine, Canfield, Ohio
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Beef Cabbage Roll-Ups

Cooking up original recipes is a hobby of mine. My version of classic cabbage rolls is delicious served over rice or noodles. —Irma Finely, Lockwood, Missouri
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Tomato Balsamic Chicken

I came up with this saucy chicken during a particularly busy holiday season. As new parents, my husband and I both appreciate having a go-to dinner that's easy, homemade and delicious. —Anne Colvin, Chicago, Illinois
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Fabulous Fajitas

I've enjoyed cooking since I was a girl growing up in the Southwest. When friends call to ask me for new recipes to try, I suggest these flavorful fajitas. It's wonderful to put the beef in the slow cooker before church and come home to a hot delicious main dish. —Janie Reitz, Rochester, Minnesota
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Wintertime Braised Beef Stew

This easy beef stew is incredibly rich. Since it's even better a day or two later, you may want to make a double batch. —Michaela Rosenthal, Woodland Hills, California
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Zesty Grilled Chops

These pork chops make a quick company dish. Our family enjoys them on the grill, as the summer weather in our part of the country is hot and muggy. In the wintertime, they're wonderful prepared in the broiler. —Blanche Babinski, Minto, North Dakota
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Stuffed Vegetarian Shells

When my aunt first told me about these shells, they sounded like a lot of work—but the recipe whips up in no time. Sometimes I add a little cooked bacon to the ricotta filling. —Amelia Hopkin, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Summer Garden Fish Tacos

I like to serve fish tacos with quinoa and black beans for a complete and satisfying meal. If you’ve got them, add colorful summer toppings like bright peppers, green onions or purple carrots. —Camille Parker, Chicago, Illinois
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Chipotle-Lime Chicken Thighs

After plates are scraped clean, this stellar meal keeps on giving. Use the chicken bones to make your own stock, and freeze the remaining chipotle peppers and sauce for a smoky Sunday chili. — Nancy Brown, Dahinda, Illinois
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Egg Roll Noodle Bowl

We love Asian egg rolls, but they can be challenging to make. Simplify everything with this deconstructed egg roll made on the stovetop and served in a bowl. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Spicy Lemon Chicken Kabobs

When I see Meyer lemons in the store, it must be spring. I like using them for these easy chicken kabobs, but regular grilled lemons still add the signature smoky tang. —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada
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Andouille Sausage Soup

I make a soup every football Sunday. I came up with this recipe because I wanted to use lots of vegetables to keep it healthy, but wanted it to be interesting. My wife suggested adding the andouille and now it's one of my favorite andouille sausage recipes. —Steven Thurner, Janesville, Wisconsin
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Sesame Chicken Veggie Wraps Exps Sdam17 199378 C12 07 2b 1

Sesame Chicken Veggie Wraps

I'm always on the lookout for fast, nutritious recipes that will appeal to my three little kids. They happen to love edamame, so this is a smart choice for those on-the-go days. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Chicken Florentine Meatballs

Served over squash and a chunky, mushroom-tomato sauce, these tender meatballs are tops when it comes to great flavor. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan
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Golden Butternut Squash Soup

I created this soup for my vegan relatives for Christmas Eve, but everyone ended up loving it, too! It's so creamy and delicious. —Susan Sabia, Windsor, California
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Slow Cooked Caribbean Pot Roast Exps Scmbz17 46354 C01 18 4b

Slow-Cooked Caribbean Pot Roast

This dish is definitely a year-round recipe. Sweet potatoes, orange zest and baking cocoa are my surprise ingredients. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
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Garden Chicken Cacciatore Exps Thas21 133377 B04 13 8b

Garden Chicken Cacciatore

Here’s the perfect Italian meal to serve company. While simmering, it frees you up to visit with your guests and always receives rave reviews! I like to serve it with hot cooked pasta, a tossed salad and a dry red wine. Mangia! —Martha Schirmacher, Sterling Heights, Michigan
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Easy Crab Cakes

Ready-to-go crabmeat makes these delicate patties easier than other crab cake recipes. You can also form the crab mixture into four thick patties instead of eight crab cakes. —Charlene Spelock, Apollo, Pennsylvania
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Beefy Mushroom Soup

This is a tasty way to use leftover roast or steak and get a delicious supper on the table in about a half hour. The warm, rich taste of this mushroom soup is sure to please. —Ginger Ellsworth of Caldwell, Idaho
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Cod Delight

I used to make this in the oven, but then I discovered that microwave lets me enjoy it even faster. It's a pretty dish to serve company. In fact, many of my friends and family now cook this at home. —Nancy Daugherty, Cortland, Ohio
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Baked Chicken and Mushrooms

I made up this dish years ago, and it still remains the family's favorite healthy baked chicken recipes. It's a fast weeknight meal, but the fresh mushrooms and sherry make it special enough for a weekend dinner party. —Lise Prestine of South Bend, Indiana
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Contest Winning Mushroom Pot Roast Exps Sscbz18 119413 E08 24 2b 4

Contest-Winning Mushroom Pot Roast

Wow! The wine-warmed flavors in this recipe are amazing! Packed with wholesome veggies and tender beef, this is one company-special dish all ages will like. Serve with mashed potatoes to enjoy every last drop of the rich, beefy gravy. —Angie Stewart, Topeka, Kansas
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Hearty Beef Barley Soup

My entire family just loves this delicious and comforting soup. Loaded with chunks of tender beef, the rich broth also includes plenty of fresh mushrooms, sliced carrots and quick-cooking barley. —Barbara Beattie, Glen Allen, Virginia
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Chicken & Spanish Cauliflower "Rice"

I learned about the paleo diet from some friends who now have tons of energy and are super fit. Since then, I’ve changed my eating habits, too. Everyone from my dad to my little nephew loves this chicken in Spanish cauliflower rice. —Megan Schmoldt, Westminster, Colorado
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Curried Chicken Meatball Wraps

My strategy to get picky kids to eat healthy: Letting everyone assemble their dinner at the table. We love these easy meatball wraps, topped with crunchy veggies and peanuts, sweet raisins, and a creamy dollop of yogurt. —Jennifer Beckman, Falls Church, Virginia
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Italian Cabbage Soup

After doing yardwork on a windy day, we love to come in for a light but hearty soup like this one. It's brimming with cabbage, veggies and white beans. Pass the oven-warmed bread! —Jennifer Stowell, Deep River, Iowa
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Black Bean 'n' Pumpkin Chili

My family is crazy about this slow cooker chili because it uses ingredients you don't usually find in chili. Believe it or not, I discovered that pumpkin is what makes the dish so special. Cook up a big batch and freeze some for later; it tastes even better reheated. —Deborah Vliet, Holland, Michigan
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Mustard Turkey Cutlets

Grilled turkey cutlets are treated with a slightly sweet sauce that mustard-lovers will thoroughly enjoy. This recipe feels fancy, but it’s ideal for a weeknight. —Deborah Williams, Peoria, Arizona

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.
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