This week’s dinners not only look appealing but are made with five ingredients or less for easy cooking!
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Having a meal is more than just eating and nourishing yourself—it’s also a sensory experience. That’s why I love to prepare visually attractive meals, even if they’re simple, because “you eat with your eyes first,” as the saying goes. This week’s dinners not only look appealing but are made with five ingredients or less (not including basics like salt, pepper and oil) for easy cooking. Plus, they are deliciously made with at least one anti-inflammatory food to help you feel your best all week long. Enjoy!
Your Meal Plan
When we hear the word “inflammation,” we automatically think of disease. But the truth is that some inflammation, called acute inflammation, is actually good and necessary. This type of inflammation is your body’s natural response to fight back against illness or injury, and it usually resolves once the threat is gone. That being said, chronic inflammation is low-grade inflammation that lingers without symptoms and can make us more prone to chronic disease. And while we can’t control all of the factors that contribute to chronic inflammation, some food choices can help reduce it. Foods that can provide anti-inflammatory effects in the body include those with vitamins C, E and D, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients do everything from supporting our immune system to preventing chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Tuesday’s Shredded Chicken & Avocado Nacho Salad is a delicious anti-inflammatory dinner. While I don’t usually eat salads for dinner, warmer weather has me craving some crunchiness and freshness. This recipe calls for ready-to-use ingredients like pico de gallo, multigrain tortilla chips and rotisserie chicken for minimal prep but great flavor! This dish obtains anti-inflammatory properties from different foods. Veggies like tomatoes, onions, cilantro and peppers—found in pico de gallo—are packed with nutrients that can help quell inflammation, such as vitamin C, capsaicin, lycopene, polyphenols and quercetin. And avocado is rich in lutein, an essential compound for your brain health, that is believed to provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Plus, it makes a delicious topping!
Sunday: Salmon with Potatoes & Horseradish Sauce with a side of Steamed Fresh Green Beans
Monday: Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach & Feta Penne Pasta
Tuesday: Shredded Chicken & Avocado Nacho Salad
Wednesday: Spinach & Feta Scrambled Egg Pitas
Thursday: Chicken Curry Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Friday: Grilled Pizza with Summer Squash, Feta & Basil
Something to Sip On
Sunny days call for refreshing drinks, and lately, I’ve been craving fruity iced teas. This week, I’m excited to try this No-Sugar-Added Raspberry Iced Tea. You’ve probably heard that berries are one of the best foods for inflammation, and raspberries are no exception. These beautiful red guys are rich in polyphenols, one of the most-known anti-inflammatory compounds. If you prefer your drinks on the sweeter side, a touch of honey or agave syrup pairs perfectly with this iced tea.
What’s Inspiring Me This Week
Avocados are one of my family’s favorite foods and for good reasons. Avocados are good for your heart and brain and can help improve your gut bacteria. I firmly believe that they make everything taste better, but having overripened avocados hanging in my kitchen can really bug me.