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Lunch

Falafel pitas

Falafel pitas

Falafel, the traditional Middle Eastern bean patties, are usually deep–fried. This updated version, delicately spiced and crunchy with grated carrot, is baked for a lower fat result, but is just as delicious. When served in pita pockets with salad and dressing, the falafel makes a filling meal.

Potato, corn and capsicum frittata

Potato, corn and capsicum frittata

Known in Italy as frittata, or in Spain as tortilla, flat omelettes can be served hot or cold with salad for brunch, lunch or supper, and they also make ideal picnic fare. The delicious version here can be kept for a day in the refrigerator, but remove it about 30 minutes before serving.

Radicchio and bean cups

Radicchio and bean cups

Crisp, richly coloured radicchio leaves make the perfect edible holders for this tangy bean and mustard salad that is bursting with vitamins, minerals and fibre. Serve these salad cups as a substantial first course or, with plenty of fresh crusty bread, as a satisfying lunch or supper.

Rustic bread and cheese salad

Rustic bread and cheese salad

Inspired by the Italian salad called panzanella, this combines crisp, garlic–flavoured bread cubes with sweet, juicy tomatoes and crunchy salad vegetables. Gruyère and parmesan add wonderful flavour as well as vital minerals. Try it for lunch or supper.

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Ciabatta with garlic mushrooms

Ciabatta with garlic mushrooms

Garlic mushrooms make a delightful starter, but classic recipes tend to use generous quantities of butter. This version, pepped up with mustard, is deliciously buttery without being over–indulgent. A simple salad of finely shredded white cabbage and spring onion would be a good accompaniment.

Eggplant rolls

Eggplant rolls

Unlike many eggplant recipes which swim in oil, this one has just enough extra virgin olive oil to enrich and enhance the vegetables in a dish that goes down well with both vegetarians and meat–eaters. This is a great cook–ahead dish.

Herbed cheese bagels

Herbed cheese bagels

A little parsley adds a hint of freshness and colour to dishes, but when used in quantity its unique flavour can really be appreciated. It also makes a healthy contribution along with the vegetables to this delicious filling for bagels, which is based on creamy reduced–fat cream cheese.

Rustic grilled vegetable and rigatoni salad

Rustic grilled vegetable and rigatoni salad

Mixed grilled vegetables, such as capsicum, tomato and eggplant, are delicious with chunky pasta in a tangy dressing. Serve this salad as a light lunch or offer it as an accompaniment for grilled poultry or meat, when it will serve 6 or 8.

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Spaghetti bolognese

Spaghetti bolognese

Here's a new lower–fat version of one of the pasta classics, a full–flavoured meat sauce tossed with spaghetti and served with parmesan. There's less beef than in traditional recipes, but low–fat chicken livers enrich the sauce. Serve with a spinach, tomato and onion salad and bread.

Spaghetti carbonara with roasted tomato salad

Spaghetti carbonara with roasted tomato salad

This version of an all–time favourite makes use of lower–fat dairy products and dry–cured ham instead of bacon to make a healthier dish with no compromise on flavour. To complete the meal, a salad suggestion is included, but you can always make your own favourite salad.

Hot conchiglie

Hot conchiglie

Grilling green capsicums gives them a slightly smoky taste and makes it easy to slip off their skins. They give a great flavour and vitamin boost to the diced tomato and kalamata olive dressing in this speedy dish. Serve it for a light lunch or supper, with a simple green salad accompaniment.

Leek and macaroni loaf with fresh tomato sauce

Leek and macaroni loaf with fresh tomato sauce

This is the perfect choice when you fancy a change from meat, and it will appeal to the whole family. For a well–balanced meal, start with a root vegetable soup, and serve the loaf with a mixed salad and crusty bread.

Pasta frittata

Pasta frittata

Pasta is a convenient and delicious alternative to potato in omelettes, especially if you have some left over from a previous meal. This version, flavoured with ham and packed with vegetables, is complemented by a zucchini and tomato salad. It makes a simple but satisfying lunch.

Turkey roulades

Turkey roulades

Fresh spinach, roast red capsicums, ricotta and a touch of parmesan together make a fantastic filling for tender turkey roulades – rolled–up breast steaks. Braised in stock and vermouth, and served with asparagus, this makes an elegant, attractive dish for a special occasion meal.

Chicken, pasta and leek crisp

Chicken, pasta and leek crisp

This warming dish appeals to children and adults alike, so it makes an ideal family meal. It is a good example of a dish in which vegetables, pasta and breadcrumbs extend a modest portion of a protein food, which means the dish is low in fat too. Serve with a salad.

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