Inflammation is one of the leading causes of systemic, physical problems.
In other words, you should be thinking about anti-inflammatory foods and recipes even if your joints don’t hurt!
Which is why we’ve designed an anti-inflammatory cookbook, with some general guidelines and very specific recipes for every meal of the day.
Use the recipes as they are, tweak them to suit your tastes, or just draw from the general section and create your own anti-inflammatory cookbook! The choice is yours.
General Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Building an anti-inflammatory pantry is easier than you may think.
Start with your proteins. Fatty fish, beans, nuts and seeds, and soy are all excellent sources of protein that have proven anti-inflammatory properties.
Then add your side dishes. For carbohydrates, choose whole grains every time. Dark leafy greens and beets are excellent choices for your vegetables.
And be sure to stock up on cherries and berries to satisfy your sweet tooth while fighting inflammation. If you want to mix it up a bit, avocado is a well-known anti-inflammatory food as well.
Finally, no recipe would be interesting without spices and flavors. Be sure to make choices that will taste good AND fight inflammation. Try ginger, turmeric, garlic, and onions.
When it comes to fat for cooking and flavor, olive oil should be front and center in any anti-inflammatory cookbook.
But be aware of the on-the-fence foods. There are some foods that help people struggling with the pain of inflammation, but can exacerbate inflammation for others.
Specifically dairy, bell peppers, and tomatoes. If you’re eating these foods and still dealing with inflammation issues, try taking them out of your diet for a few weeks and see if it helps.
If you’re sensitive to them, leave them out. There are plenty of other foods in the anti-inflammatory cookbook that will help.
Start your day off right, with any one of these anti-inflammatory breakfasts.
Raspberry Avocado Smoothie – serves 1
- 1 avocado (peeled and pitted)
- ¾ cup orange juice
- ¾ cup raspberry juice
- ½ cup raspberries
Blend with ice until smooth and enjoy.
Before you turn up your nose at this one, try it. The avocado replaces yogurt or dairy in this smoothie, while taming the tartness of the raspberries.
Spinach Mushroom Frittata - serves 4 to 6
- 12 large organic eggs
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ tsp. sea salt, or more to taste
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small red onion, small chop
- ½ cup sautéed mushrooms
- 1 cup spinach or arugula
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Whisk the eggs and coconut milk with 2 pinches of salt. Set aside.
3. Prepare pan with coconut oil and medium-high heat and sauté onions until translucent, about 3 min.
4. Add mushroom and sauté until soft.
5. Toss in spinach and fold into veggie mixture just until wilted.
6. Remove vegetables from pan; set aside.
7. Turn down the heat to low, adding a little more coconut oil if needed. Using the same skillet, add the eggs, shaking to distribute the mixture evenly.
8. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 min. using a spatula to spread the eggs from the edges to the center until the edges are no longer runny.
9. Arrange the vegetable mixture over the top evenly.
10. Transfer to a 375-degree oven and cook for 5 minutes until set and slightly browned.
11. Remove from oven.
12. Be very aware of the hot handle!
13. To finish, slide partially cooked frittata onto a large plate; wearing oven mitts, place a plate over the pan and, holding the two together, invert them so the frittata drops onto the plate.
14. Slide the frittata back into the pan so partially cooked side is up.
15. Place back in oven to cook 3-4 min. more.
Gingerbread Oatmeal – serves 4
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup steel cut oats (not instant)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Maple syrup to taste
1. Cook the oats to package directions but include the spices when you add the oats to the water.
2. When finished cooking, add maple syrup to taste.
You don’t need a special event to have a special lunch. Enjoy these any day of the week.
Mediterranean Tuna Salad – serves 2
- 2, 5oz cans tuna packed in water, drained
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise or vegenaise
- 1/4 cup chopped kalamata or mixed olives
- 2 Tablespoons minced red onion
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fire roasted red peppers
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tablespoon capers
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper
1. Combine all ingredients into large bowl.
2. Mix gently until combined.
3. Serve in tomato “bowls”, in whole grain pita, or on whole grain crackers.
If salt is an issue for you, use low-sodium tuna and reduce or eliminate the olives.
Kale Caesar Salad and Grilled Chicken Wrap – serves 2
- 8 ounces grilled chicken, thinly sliced
- 6 cups curly kale, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 3/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- ½ coddled egg (cooked about 1 minute)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave
- 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Lavash flat breads or two large whole wheat tortillas
1. In a bowl, mix together the half of a coddled egg, minced garlic, mustard, honey, lemon juice and olive oil. Whisk until you have formed a dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Add the kale, chicken and cherry tomatoes and toss to coat with the dressing and ¼ cup of the shredded parmesan.
3. Spread out the two lavash flatbreads. Evenly distribute the salad over the two wraps and sprinkle each with ¼ cup of parmesan.
4. Roll up the wraps and slice in half. Eat immediately.
Don’t be intimidated by the coddled egg. All that means is an egg that’s been barely boiled in its shell. To coddle an egg, place it in boiling water for exactly one minute. At one minute, remove it from the boiling water and put it into a bowl of ice water for one minute. Use as directed.
Tropical Quinoa Salad with Cashews – serves 4
- 1 cup dried quinoa, rinsed well
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup apple or carrot, finely chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large mango, chopped (not overly ripe)
- ¼ cup mint, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½-inch-piece ginger, finely chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped or thinly sliced
- 1 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
- 3 cups Romaine lettuce (or greens of choice), roughly chopped
1. Cook the quinoa: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add the quinoa and simmer, covered 15-20 minutes. Set aside and let cool (spread out for best results).
2. In a large bowl toss the chopped red onion and apple/carrot.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey and olive oil.
4. Add to the lime, honey, and olive oil.
5. Add the cooked, cooled quinoa and mango to the bowl and toss well.
6. Mix in mint, cilantro, ginger and salt and pepper, to taste.
7. Scoop mixture over greens and serve chilled or at room temperature.
8. Garnish with sliced avocado and cashews.
Finally, dinner. Because no anti-inflammatory cookbook would be complete without dinner!
Lemon Salmon with Zucchini – serves 4
- 4 zucchini, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the salmon
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 (5-ounce) salmon fillets
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, dill, oregano, thyme and rosemary; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
3. Place zucchini in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add salmon in a single layer and brush each salmon filet with herb mixture.
4. Place into oven and cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 16-18 minutes.
5. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers – serves 6
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons spicy cajun seasoning
- 1/4 c oat flour or oat bran
- salt and pepper, to taste
- olive oil or coconut oil, for cooking
1. To cook quinoa: Rinse quinoa with cold water in mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add in quinoa and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with fork; place in large bowl and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of quinoa.
2. Poke sweet potato several times with a fork and place in microwave for about 3-4 minutes or until it is soft and cooked thoroughly. Do not overcook or the sweet potato will harden. Alternatively you can roast the sweet potatoes in the oven at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes or until fork tender. Remove skin when done cooking and cooled.
3. Using a food processor or blender, add beans, cooked sweet potato, red onion, cilantro, garlic, cumin, cajun seasoning, and pulse until almost smooth, scraping down the sides when necessary.
4. Transfer mixture to bowl and combine with cooked quinoa. Add salt and pepper to taste - and possibly more cajun seasoning if you'd like.
5. Mix in oat bran/oat flour, but only enough so that you are able to shape patties. (You shouldn't need more than 1/3 cup).
6. Divide into 6 patties (about 1/2 cup each) and place on parchment paper on baking sheet; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to help patties bind together.
7. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Spray pan with coconut/olive/canola oil cooking spray. Place in skillet and pan-fry about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
Stuffed Peppers – serves 3 to 6
- 3 large yellow peppers
- 25lb extra lean ground turkey
- 1 C diced mushrooms
- 1/4 C diced sweet onion
- 1 C chopped fresh spinach
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 C (1 8oz can) tomato sauce
- 1 C chicken broth
- 1 C dry quinoa
1. In a small saucepan, start the quinoa and cook according to package directions (usually about 15 minutes).
2. While the quinoa cooks, sauté the vegetables in a pan with a little butter or olive oil.
3. After about 5 minutes, add the ground turkey and garlic to the vegetables. Cook over medium heat. Once the turkey is mostly cooked though, add in the tomato sauce and half of the chicken broth. Let simmer until the turkey is fully cooked and some of the excess liquid has cooked off.
4. Preheat the oven to 400.
5. While the turkey mixture simmers, prep the bell peppers. Wash the peppers, cut them in half, and remove the stem and seeds. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray and place the cut bell peppers in the pan (open side up).
6. Once the quinoa is done cooking, add it into the pan with the turkey and vegetables. Stir together.
7. Fill each bell pepper with the mixture. Pour the rest of the chicken broth into the base of the pan, around the peppers, not over them.
8. Cover with foil and bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes.
If peppers trigger your inflammation, you can use halved avocadoes in place of the peppers. Just be sure to leave the skins on.
And there you have your anti-inflammatory cookbook! Save it to your favorites, print out the whole thing, or only the few recipes that caught your eye.
Anyway you cook from it, this anti-inflammatory cookbook will help you be a healthier, happier you.