ThePrep: Anti-inflammatory Dinners You Can Make in a Casserole Dish

Flavor-packed recipes that support your immune system and help reduce your risk for chronic conditions.

Skillet Tuna Noodle Casserole
Photo: Photography / Fred Hardy, Styling / Ruth Blackburn / Audrey Davis

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This week's flavorful dinners can be easily made in a casserole dish and deliver the comfort I crave in the winter months. Plus, they pack in plenty of anti-inflammatory benefits to help me stay healthy in the midst of cold and flu season.

Anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, anthocyanins and vitamin C, not only support your immune system, but their anti-inflammatory components can also help reduce the risk of chronic conditions by repairing and rebuilding your damaged cells. This week's flavorful dinners are easily made in your casserole dish and will help you get your fill of these beneficial nutrients.

Your Meal Plan

Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Even though all of these dinners are made in a casserole dish, they're not all casseroles (take Sunday's dinner, for instance), which helps to keep dinner interesting this week. Having grown up in Mexico, I enjoy familiar flavors like Sunday's five-star rating Cabbage Roll Chicken "Enchiladas". Though I like making sauces from scratch, this recipe uses store-bought enchilada sauce to make the prep much easier. Using cabbage leaves instead of tortillas ups your veggie intake, delivers a dose of anthocyanins, and adds some freshness to the dish. And topping it off with cilantro makes it extra bright.

Tuesday'sSkillet Tuna Noodle Casserole is a canned tuna lover's dream dinner. This recipe is a delicious, cozy and convenient way to add omega-3s to your diet. Plus, canned tuna is also a great source of selenium. Both selenium and omega 3-s help your body quell inflammation and positively impact your heart, brain, eyes and immune health. This dish also obtains anti-inflammatory qualities from onions and mushrooms. These two veggies are rich in antioxidants associated with decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer and cognitive decline.

Friday's Zucchini Pizza Casserole is a fun dinner to start off the weekend. With just 20 minutes of prep time, you can easily make a delectable pizza using your casserole dish. This recipe calls for plenty of delicious, anti-inflammatory ingredients. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a potent antioxidant that could help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Plus, bell peppers are one of the top vitamin C-rich foods. Vitamin C is another potent antioxidant that helps lower inflammation in the body and supports your vision and immune health. Enjoy!

Sunday: Cabbage Roll Chicken "Enchiladas"
Monday: Baked Tomato & Feta Pasta
Tuesday: Skillet Tuna Noodle Casserole
Wednesday: Creamy Turkey and Rice Bake
Thursday: Lemon-Garlic Dump Dinner with Chicken, Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts
Friday: Zucchini Pizza Casserole

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Something to Sip On

Red Drink for Juneteenth (sparkling strawberry ginger lemonade)
Cooks With Soul

One of my favorite refreshing drinks is this Sparkling Strawberry-Ginger Lemonade. And the fact that it's packed with healthy anti-inflammatory ingredients is a plus. Strawberries are not only the perfect balance between sweet and tart but are one of the best fruits for inflammation. Strawberries are packed with vitamin C—with 1 cup providing over 100% of your daily dose of this vitamin. And ginger beer has some anti-inflammatory benefits, too. With just three ingredients, plus ice and garnish, this lemonade will become one of your favorites too.

Get the Recipe: Sparkling Strawberry-Ginger Lemonade

What's Inspiring Me This Week

a collage of Africa with some African Heritage foods and families cooking together
Tambra Stevenson

We've been conditioned to think that cultural food is not nutritious, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Our recently published series, African Heritage Diet as Medicine: How Black Food Can Heal the Community, which explores some of the most nutrient-dense foods found on the African continent and treasured by the diaspora, proves that. Chances are, you're probably already eating many of these nutritious foods, just like me. Read on to read more about this healthy way of eating and try some of the delicious recipes that make it easy to put the principles into action.

Find Out More: African Heritage Diet as Medicine: How Black Food Can Heal the Community

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