Kale Salad with Red Quinoa and Carrots

Photo: Thomas J. Story

A Healthy-Body Kale Salad for Skeptics

Popular leafy green kale is a major source of vitamin K, which plays a role in improving bone health—great news for anyone looking to lower her risk of osteoporosis. If you're not feeling the kale love, though, this salad will win you over. It starts with red quinoa, which provides a nutty crunch; then there are diagonally sliced carrot coins (they're a bit larger than circles and make the plate more eye-catching); and baby kale leaves, which are more tender than the regular-sized but just as healthy. You toss the leaves in a pomegranate-molasses-sherry vinegar dressing, for a bit of sweetness; and as a finishing touch, sprinkle on hefty doses of crumbled goat cheese and toasted, sliced almonds.

Get the recipe: Kale Salad with Red Quinoa and Carrots
Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Enchiladas with Mole

Photo: Mike Garten

A Youthful Upgrade to Enchiladas

Here's another reason to load up on sweet red bell peppers: they contain roughly 60 percent more vitamin C than their green counterpart. The powerful vitamin's benefits are many, but one that you may not be aware of: It's a hallmark of healthy skin (normal skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C). This enchiladas recipe uses the vegetable in a chunky sauce that's delicious when you combine it with tortillas, goat cheese and a rich Mexican mole sauce.

Get the recipe: Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Enchiladas with Mole
Stuffed Tomatoes with Sausage

Photo: Johnny Miller

The Cancer-Fighting Summer Supper

With just five ingredients (plus oil), it's easy to put this stuffed tomato dish into your regular dinner rotation—especially when tomatoes are in season. You fill hollowed-out tomatoes with sautéed sausage, corn and the chopped insides of the tomatoes; along with baguette cubes and shredded mozzarella. Then, just bake and enjoy. The tomatoes are high in lycopene, an antioxidant that can combat free radicals (molecules or ions that can damage healthy cells and suppress your immune system), and has been linked to a reduced risk for some cancers—and, as you may know, advancing age is the most important risk factor for cancer overall, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Get the recipe: Stuffed Tomatoes with Sausage
Tuna and Udon Noodle with Ginger Dressing

Photo: John Bedell

A Noodle Salad That Could Give Your Skin a Boost

The building blocks of youthful-looking skin are collagen and elastin, yet as we age, our bodies produce less of both—which is why we begin to see wrinkles and sagging in the mirror. Protein-rich meals can help boost collagen and elastic production; a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women with a wrinkled appearance had significantly lower intakes of protein than their unwrinkled counterparts. And if you're looking for a great protein source, it's hard to beat tuna. This fresh and simple Asian dish combines the fish with udon noodles, scallions, mint and cilantro and makes for a terrific lunch or dinner.

Get the recipe: Tuna and Udon Noodle with Ginger Dressing