Recipes

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Sunshine-Up Baked Eggs

Eggs deliver a nice dose of vitamin B12, which has been linked to improved memory and a lower risk of cognitive decline later in life. And there’s something about sunnyside-up eggs that make me smile. Here we bake the eggs in little ramekins filled with a sautéed mix of chard, onion, garlic, parsley, and olives, with tomatoes on top.

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Cozy Lentil Soup With Delicata Squash

Scientists have promised that someday little nanobots will act like tiny microprocessors in our brains, helping to make us smarter. Why wait? We already have a teensy legume that does that. Ounce for ounce, lentils pack an amazing quantity of brain boosters, including iron, which is essential to the function of the myelin that supports quick information gathering. It’s a myth that to prepare lentils you have to soak them overnight; just a quick rinse will do. You can substitute fennel, which is a good digestive aid, for the celery to add more depth to the flavor.

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Kale Quinoa Salad With Red Grapes

Packed with 45 varieties of antioxidant flavonoids, kale delivers outstanding amounts of brain-enhancing vitamin K (for memory), vitamin A (for learning), and vitamin C (for mood). The anthocyanins that give the sweet red grapes in this recipe their deep color are phenomenal antioxidants that may also enhance memory. The olive oil’s fat increases the bioavailability of kale’s fat-soluble nutrients.

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Baked Chicken With Minted Chimichurri

Chicken is absolutely loaded with tryptophan, which can boost mood and help sleep come easier. It’s also high in vitamin B3 (a.k.a. niacin), which the Chicago Health and Aging Project found may slow cognitive decline. Here we take chicken thighs and jazz ’em up with a tantalizing minted chimichurri. The scent of mint has been shown to increase alertness, and the taste is perfect for waking up chicken and other meats.

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Pan-Seared Scallops

Cooking delicate scallops quickly over high heat prevents moisture and flavor loss. By searing deeply on one side, you’ll allow the scallops to develop a crisp golden crust. Then all you have to do is flip them to allow the skillet to “kiss” the other side. Don’t be afraid to use a hot pan.

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Sautéed Cauliflower

Sautéing these sturdy vegetables over medium-high heat caramelizes their natural sugars, developing rich color and flavor. For additional pizzazz, toss and coat with various seasonings at the end, such as fresh lemon juice and herbs, or a tablespoon of butter and minced garlic.

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Braised Greens

Braising hearty greens helps make them tender, and finishing them with a splash of vinegar brightens their flavor. Play with different combinations by switching up your oils and acids: Instead of olive oil and vinegar, try coconut oil and brown-rice vinegar, or ghee and fresh lime juice. Other nice flavor additions include grated fresh ginger, crushed garlic, or minced jalapeños.

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Fret Free Fava

Scared or simply annoyed by fresh fava beans, which seem to require cracking open pod after pod before cooking? Don’t be, writes Kristen Miglore in Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook.

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Sautéed Fish With Sesame

You can use any firm white fish for this recipe, including corvina, Alaska pollock, catfish, or haddock. For an easy side dish, take advantage of the fragrant golden oil remaining in the pan: Add a handful of dark leafy greens to the oil after you have removed the fish, and sauté briefly to wilt.

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Yellow Split Pea Dal

Dal is a soup or creamy side dish made from dried peas or beans that is often served alongside Indian meals. This soup version is subtle in flavor and comforting. Add more or less jalapeño to adjust spiciness.

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Tandoori Chicken One-Pan Dinner

Tandoori chicken is a classic at most Indian restaurants. We wanted a recipe that would provide the signature bright red color without food coloring — or a special tandoor oven. Marinate the chicken beforehand and then roast all the ingredients together on one pan. Serve with brown rice and your favorite chutneys. This recipe has been adapted from Raghavan Iyer’s book Indian Cooking Unfolded.

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Sautéed Brussels Sprouts With Coconut

This dish is great alongside grilled meats or fish. Freshly grated coconut adds rich flavor, but if you don’t have fresh coconut, look for frozen grated coconut at Indian or health-food markets to use instead. If you have only dried coconut, soak it overnight in 1/4 cup coconut water.

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Balsamic Vinaigrette

On its own, balsamic vinegar can lack the acidic pop to make a good vinaigrette. I usually add a little red-wine vinegar to help balance the dressing. This dressing is incredibly versatile. Try using it as a marinade for chicken.