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Ask the Dietitian: Easy Anti-Inflammatory Weeknight Meal Ideas

Living Well

June 12, 2023

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by Laura Krebs-Holm, MS RD LD

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Medically Reviewed by:

Kim Chin, RD

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by Laura Krebs-Holm, MS RD LD

•••••

Medically Reviewed by:

Kim Chin, RD

•••••

•••••

Weeknight rush? These quick and easy, healthy meals have got you covered.

We’ve all been there. At the end of a long day, when you just want to relax, the question emerges: What’s for dinner? It’s easy to reach for the takeout menu or pick up a pizza on the way home, but over time that can wreak havoc on our body and ramp up inflammation.

Having an arsenal of healthy anti-inflammatory meals that take about 20–30 minutes to prepare can be an important tool in your toolbox. The meals below are quick, easy, nourishing, and delicious!

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Salmon with roasted red pepper quinoa salad

Salmon is a great source of protein that has a good dose of Omega 3 fatty acids. These “good fats” have been connected to reducing inflammation in the body.

Quinoa is full of fiber which can aid with digestion and regularity, as well as help you feel full. It can also feed the “good bacteria” in your gut. Having a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut microbiome is now seen as part of managing PsO and PsA. Any leftover quinoa red pepper salad is also great for lunch the next day!

Recipe: Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa Salad by Eating Well

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Lemon Greek chicken soup

Chicken soup is universally comforting, and this Lemon Greek chicken soup has a bright, flavorful twist. This recipe is a great way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken and uses anti-inflammatory stars onion, garlic, and spinach.

Whole-wheat orzo offers the benefits of whole grains, which a survey from The National Psoriasis Foundation found may contribute to improvements in PsO. Vitamin C, which is present in all citrus fruit, is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C is degraded by heat, so don’t forget to add a squeeze of lemon to your bowl right before digging in!

Recipe: Lemon Greek Chicken Soup by Eating Well

Greek turkey burgers

Take burger night to an elevated level and reap the health benefits! Swapping beef for lean ground turkey keeps saturated fats, which research indicates increase inflammatory activity, to a minimum. Oregano and cumin add delicious flavor and antioxidants.

Top with fiber-rich arugula instead of butter lettuce, plus red onion and cucumber for a refreshing twist on a classic.

Recipe: Greek Turkey Burgers by BigOven

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Instant Pot Mongolian beef

Let that Instant Pot do the heavy lifting tonight! Lean flank steak is cooked with anti-inflammatory spices ginger and garlic, plus soy sauce or coconut aminos. This dish gets a touch of sweetness from honey, which research shows may reduce chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.

Served with steamed rice and fiber-rich broccoli, this meal is satisfying and delicious. You may be throwing away your take-out menus!

Recipe: Instant Pot Mongolian Beef by What Molly Made

Cauliflower chicken soup

Talk about comfort in a bowl! You may want to feature this easy yet filling soup heavily in your meal-planning rotation. This soup is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients, including onions, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and turmeric. Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound. Carotenoid-rich carrots and vitamin C-packed cauliflower are then added and paired with shredded chicken.

Recipe: Cauliflower Chicken Soup by Beauty Bites

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Chinese chicken salad

Shredded cabbage and carrots are combined with edamame and chicken in this classic yet delicious recipe. I find myself serving this salad regularly during the summer months! Cruciferous vegetables are linked with decreased cancer risk and lower inflammation. Studies find that edamame may improve pain in joints. Garlic and ginger are also featured in the dressing.

Recipe: Chinese Chicken Salad by Pain Doctor

Grape grilled cheese

Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! This twist on a childhood classic, the grilled cheese sandwich, is amped up with resveratrol-rich grapes. The grapes are paired with low fat cheese, and the recipe is made with whole-grain bread. Some research suggests dairy may help decrease inflammation.

Recipe: Grape Grilled Cheese by American Institute for Cancer Research

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Baked fish tacos with avocado

Here’s your next Taco Tuesday recipe! Fish is a great source of lean protein and healthy fats. This recipe serves seasoned fish on corn tortillas with healthy pico de gallo and avocado. Avocados are full of fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help with inflammation.

Recipe: Baked Fish Tacos with Avocado by Eating Well

White bean and tomato bruschetta salad

If you’re looking to reduce the amount of meat in your diet, this quick recipe will leave you feeling satisfied. Plus, you don’t have to turn on the stove, so it’s great for those dog days of summer.

White beans are full of fiber and vitamins. Tomatoes boast vitamin C, lycopene, and other antioxidants that have been linked to reducing inflammation. Many people with PsO or PsA worry about consuming nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplant), but this appears to be very unique to some and not all people with psoriatic disease.

Recipe: White Bean and Tomato Bruschetta Salad by American Heart Association

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Sweet potato nachos

Who says that nachos have to be unhealthy? Swap out chips for slices of sweet potato, then layer on black beans, avocado, cheese, and tomatoes with savory and smoky spices like paprika, chili powder, and garlic. The combination of sweet, salty, and savory really makes this recipe unique. This dish is full of fiber, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory benefits, and is on the table in 30 minutes.

Recipe: Sweet Potato Nachos by American Heart Association

The takeaway

Don’t let a busy schedule keep you from nourishing your body with delicious, healthy meals. There are plenty of anti-inflammatory foods that can be cooked quickly and easily. You can whip up a filling, nourishing meal in 30 minutes or less. Hopefully, these recipes make your meal planning a breeze.

Medically reviewed on June 12, 2023

9 Sources


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About the author

Laura Krebs-Holm, MS RD LD

Laura Krebs-Holm, MS, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian who believes that good nutrition can make a huge difference in your health. She earned her Masters of Science in Human Nutrition and completed her dietetic internship at Texas State University in San Marcos. Ever since, she has been helping people feel their best through the power of food. Her own diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis has shaped her view of using food as medicine. For nutrition tips and anti-inflammatory recipe ideas, you can follow her on Instagram.

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