Eating to beat inflammation is all the rage these days, and for good reason. Inflammation that persists over a long period of time, called chronic inflammation can lead to joint stiffness, mental fog and even digestive distress. However, you don't need an expensive powder or supplement to get ahead of it. Several anti-inflammatory foods like canned fish, legumes and leafy greens can help tamp these pesky symptoms, and they can fit into any eating pattern. And as a dietitian on a budget, an added plus is that these foods are affordable and can make a range of delicious, balanced meals. When I want to get ahead of inflammation, recipes like Kale & Banana Smoothie or Salmon-Stuffed Avocados are at the top of my list.
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Bean & Veggie Taco Bowl
Simple brown rice and black beans serve as the backdrop for sautéed veggies and taco toppings!
25-Minute Sweet Potato & Bean Enchiladas
These quick sweet potato and bean enchiladas are diabetes-friendly thanks to egg wraps that are lower in carbs than traditional tortillas. The vegetarian filling is both sweet and savory, while the topping adds texture and freshness.
Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Kale
You can make these three-ingredient tomato-simmered eggs with things you probably already have on hand in your freezer and pantry. To make these baked eggs more like eggs in purgatory, look for a spicy tomato sauce and don't forget some whole-wheat bread for dipping.
Canned salmon is a valuable pantry staple and a practical way to include heart-healthy omega-3-rich fish in your diet. Here, we combine it with avocados in an easy no-cook meal.
Kale & Banana Smoothie
This simple and sweet kale and banana smoothie is also versatile: Use cow's milk for a milkshake-style smoothie, oat milk for more sweetness, or a nut milk for more protein.
Baked Asparagus & Cheese Frittata
Perfect for a spring brunch or light supper, this Italian-inspired omelet is baked so it is easy to serve to a group.
Turmeric-Ginger Tahini Dip
Flavored with turmeric, ginger and garlic, this tahini dip recipe is perfect for dipping vegetables or topping your next falafel.
Green Salad with Edamame & Beets
This big salad is a feast for the eyes and an everyday way to incorporate nutrient-rich beets and plant-based protein from edamame (green soybeans). If you're not a fan of cilantro, mix in freshly chopped basil or dill instead.
Easy Saag Paneer
The paneer cheese in this fast and easy dinner doesn't melt when it cooks. It browns instead, giving a toothsome texture to this Indian classic packed with spinach and spices. Serve over brown basmati rice to round out this healthy meal.
Instant Pot Lentil Soup
This Instant Pot lentil soup is quick enough to prepare when you get home from work for an easy weeknight dinner. This vegetarian soup recipe is full of aromatic vegetables, brown lentils and fresh spinach. A splash of balsamic vinegar brightens the flavor, and a garnish of radish and parsley gives this comforting soup a fresh finish.
Mediterranean Tuna-Spinach Salad
This tuna salad recipe gets an upgrade with olives, feta and a tahini dressing. Served over baby spinach, this is the perfect easy and light lunch or dinner salad.
Spinach, Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie
Peanut butter and banana is a classic combo that's even more delicious with the addition of tangy probiotic-rich kefir. Plus, this peanut butter banana smoothie helps you up your veggie servings for the day with a bit of mild-flavored spinach mixed in.
Quinoa Chili with Sweet Potatoes
This hearty vegetarian quinoa chili with sweet potatoes has mild spice from poblanos and green chiles. Chili powder, cumin and garlic provide classic chili flavor.
Chickpea Tuna Salad
This chickpea tuna salad with capers, feta and cucumber makes for the perfect lunch to pack for work or school. You can prep the salad the night before (just be sure to keep the spinach separate and dress the salad right before serving).
Chipotle-Orange Broccoli & Tofu
Chipotle peppers add kick to this tofu and broccoli stir-fry recipe. If you're shy about spice, cut back on the amount or leave them out completely. Serve over brown basmati rice.
Easy Cauliflower Fried Rice
This vegetarian faux fried rice uses riced cauliflower in place of white or brown rice to pack in extra veggies and cut down on carbs. Chile-garlic sauce pumps up the heat, and fresh ginger adds a bright, warm bite. If you don't like the heat of the chile-garlic sauce, leave it out and add a bit more tamari or soy sauce for a rich, fermented tang.
Easy Vegetarian Chili
Canned beans and tomatoes make this quick vegetarian chili recipe ready to go in just 30 minutes. Serve over rice or couscous, or with tortilla chips for added crunch, and add extra toppings as you see fit--sliced scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado and sliced jalapeños are all tasty choices.
Hearty Chickpea & Spinach Stew
This satisfying stew comes together in a snap. Mashed chickpeas add body to the broth, and tomato paste adds a savory note without piling on the sodium. To simplify the prep, look for chopped fresh onion and shredded carrot or a soup starter mix in the produce section.