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Treat your man -- or yourself -- to healthy, home-cooked comfort food.

Not to sound sexist, but most men I know really enjoy sitting down to a nice, home-cooked meal -- all the more so when it contains some of their all-time favorite dishes. And who can blame them? It probably goes back to when they were boys, and their mothers or grandmothers would cook up something special just for them.

When you make a man's favorite foods, it sends the message, "You are special" or "I love you" because you took the time to make a dish that you know he loves. Sounds simple, but this premeditated act of kindness can be very powerful.

So what exactly are these recipes that men love? Only each particular man knows the true answer to that question. It probably depends on what types of foods and dishes he was exposed to as a child.

For example, my guess would be that a man who was lucky enough to have an Italian grandmother would probably have a soft spot for all things pasta. My husband? His mother was part of a large family that lived on a farm in Idaho, so he tends to enjoy Midwestern casseroles and country-style desserts. I can work with that!

Some new research has borne out what many women already know: While men often prefer warm, hearty, meat-related comfort foods, such as steak, casseroles, and soup, women tend to prefer snack-related foods like chocolate or ice cream, according to a recent University of Illinois study.

That said, in this article on recipes men love, we will focus on lighter, healthier versions of just that -- steak, casseroles, and soup. I'm even going to throw in a healthier version of apple pie for good measure.

Dad's Favorite Flank Steak

Journal as: 1 serving of lean meat and moderate-fat meat with 1 teaspoon fat.

There's something about marinated flank steak -- it just looks, smells, and tastes spectacular. We have trimmed the sodium, fat, and calories in this recipe. There's a health bonus, too: a lower-fat marinade also helps decrease the amount of HCAs (heterocyclic amines, which are thought to work with fat in foods to promote cancer growth) that could form and deposit on the meat.

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