Mashed cauliflower

Photo: Юлия Атаева/iStock/Thinkstock

A Shockingly Tasty Sub
If you're skeptical, one bite will convince you: Whipped cauliflower is a ridiculously good stand-in for mashed potatoes. In fact, it's so delicious that we now prefer it to the traditional dish. That's because even when you puree the cruciferous vegetable, it retains a bit of texture, yet there's none of the gumminess that sometimes results if you overcook the potatoes. You feel a lot less stuffed after eating it, since it's low in calories and carbs. It cooks in half the time. And, any of the mix-ins you'd add to potatoes work just as well here, from roasted garlic to pesto.

Get the recipe: Whipped Cauliflower
Wilted Spinach with Golden Sesame-Garlic Crumbs

Photo: Christopher Baker

A Reinvention for Humble Spinach
Butter and heavy cream can take almost any food to a new level, and spinach is no exception. On the other hand, plain, sautéed spinach can be a bit of a letdown when you're craving an interesting side. Enter this inventive dish, which uses a topping of toasted panko bread crumbs and sesame seeds to add crunch, and sautéed garlic and chili powder to add a little spice. You won't miss the dairy, we promise.

Get the recipe: Wilted Spinach with Golden Sesame-Garlic Crumbs
Carrot fries

Photo: Hannah Whitaker

The Addictively Good Fries Makeover
It only takes 10 to 15 minutes for French-fry-size carrots to turn crisp-tender and lightly browned along the edges. And the finished dish is a whole lot better for you than classic potato fries. This recipe calls for seasoning the carrot sticks with an Indian spice blend that can include cinnamon, pepper, cumin and cloves, giving them major flavor you'll love.

Get the recipe: Carrot Fries
Healthy Mac 'n' Cheese

Photo: Thinkstock

A Bubbling Pasta with Some Ingenius Substitutions
Lightened up mac 'n' cheese need not include bland ingredients you wouldn't eat on their own. Instead, whole wheat pasta, Greek yogurt and butternut squash add rich and hearty flavor to this ooey, gooey bake—without the extra calories.

Get the recipe: Healthy Mac 'n' Cheese
Skinny Green Bean Casserole

Photo: Katie Farrell

A Green Bean Casserole You'll Eat All Year Long
Green beans in a cream sauce topped with fried onions are a holiday treat, but this slimmed-down take on the dish deserves to be on your table throughout the year. Greek yogurt and panko strike again, with a plain, low-fat version of the former creating a rich sauce, and the latter giving each forkful a satisfying crunch.

Get the recipe: Skinny Green Bean Casserole