Perk up potatoes: In place of sour cream or butter in your standard mashed potato recipe, use an equal amount of softened cream cheese. The flavor is less tart than sour cream, more present than butter, and the texture is full and velvety. Our favorite incarnation: The naturally buttery taste of Yukon gold potatoes pairs well with the tang of the cheese
Enliven a smoothie: Love a go-to fruit smoothie for breakfast? This variation feels like an indulgence (but really isn’t): a cheesecake–flavored drink. For each serving, add 1 tablespoon of softened 1/3-less-fat cream cheese to fruit mixture before blending (try it with blueberries or strawberries). You gain about 1 1/2 grams protein for only 35 calories.