Anti-Inflammatory Orange Chicken and Spinach Salad
Salad allows you to take whatever food items you like, toss them in a bowl, and voilà, you have a meal! While I am always selecting foods that are great for the brain, I also try to consume anti-inflammatory foods to keep down the inflammation from my lime disease. The salad selected for this week’s recipe focuses on getting you a good dose of antioxidants and protein, while also bringing in anti-inflammatory foods to fight inflammation.
Baby spinach is used as the base in this healthy combo. Spinach and other dark leafy greens are rich in muscle-relaxing magnesium, relieving pain from exercise, fibromyalgia and migraines (for a good therapeutic dose, eat 500 mg per day). The carotenoids and flavonoids in spinach contribute not only to its anti-inflammatory properties, but also its antioxidant benefits. Combining spinach with a food high in vitamin C, such as oranges in this case, enhances the absorption of calcium and iron in spinach. The last main ingredient in this recipe is chicken breast. Lean proteins like chicken prompt the brain to produce norepinephrine and dopamine, neurochemicals that promote brain alertness and keep you energized. Give this anti-inflammatory, antioxidant rich recipe a try for a total brain and body boost!
- 4 large navel oranges
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar or cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
- 4 6oz each boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed
- 1 small red onion halved and sliced
- 1 bag baby spinach (5-6oz)
- garnish: toasted sliced almonds, optional
- Squeeze juice from 1 orange (you should have 1/2 cup). Whisk orange juice, 3 Tbsp oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in small bowl. Place 5 Tbsp juice mixture into a large ziptop bag. Add chicken, seal bag and marinate at room temperature 15 minutes or in refrigerator 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, remove peel and white pith from remaining 3 oranges. Cut into segments; place in medium bowl.
- Heat stovetop grill pan over medium heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard bag and marinade. Grill chicken 4 to 5 minutes per side until cooked through; remove to plate and cover to keep warm.
- Heat remaining Tbsp oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion 1 minute, add remaining juice mixture and cook 1 minute more. Remove skillet from heat; add orange segments.
- Place spinach in large bowl; toss with half the orange mixture. Evenly divide spinach onto serving plates; place a chicken breast on top of each. Spoon remaining orange mixture on top; sprinkle with almonds.