When cooking to reduce inflammation and manage pain related to arthritis, think fast dishes with loads of healthy and vibrant vegetables.

Colorful plates mean the foods on them are chock-full of inflammation-reducing antioxidants and nutrients. Vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower provide the body with potent compounds such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, and quercetin that promote health and vitality. Plus, eating lots of vegetables helps you achieve or maintain a healthy weight, which is critical for managing arthritis.

Substituting healthy oils, such as extra-virgin olive oil, for butter, margarine, or vegetable oil is another important nutritional step to take for managing inflammation and pain.

Easy dishes that don’t take long to prepare can be a lifesaver on days with painful flare-ups. Frozen vegetables, especially, offer nutritional benefits without the labor of preparing fresh produce.

Lemon Rosemary Chicken and Mediterranean Vegetables 

Ingredients:

Chicken

  • 4, 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free citrus-herb seasoning
  • 3 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 8 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic

Vegetables

  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables (Use your favorite: peppers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, or any other vegetable works perfectly)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Servings: 4

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brush both sides of the chicken pieces with olive oil. Sprinkle lemon-pepper seasoning and citrus-herb seasoning on top.
  3. Place lemon slices and several sprigs of rosemary on the bottom of a baking dish. Place the chicken breasts on top, and finish the dish off with another layer of lemon slices and rosemary sprigs.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the chicken reaches 165 degrees and is no longer pink.
  5. While the chicken is baking, place olive oil in a large skillet and heat on medium-high. Once the pan heats up, place the frozen vegetables inside and cook, stirring occasionally.
  6. Once the chicken is done, remove from the oven. Take four rosemary sprigs from the baking dish and place in a small saucepan. Add chicken broth and garlic.
  7. Boil over medium-high heat until the mixture reduces by half.
  8. Strain the mixture using a fine-mesh strainer to separate any solids from the juice. Pour juice over chicken and vegetables and serve.

What’s your favorite dish with pain-fighting properties?

Adapted from Arthritis Today

Image by Tom Ipri via Flickr

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