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Recipes for Better Brain Health

What you consume can help your mind and memory at any age

Orecchiette with Spinach, Shrimp and Garlic Chips, Think Food Recipes for Brain Fitness

Want to improve your cognitive health? The shrimp in this dish offers vitamin B12 and DHAs. — Jason Whalen

Orecchiette With Spinach, Shrimp and Garlic Chips

By blogger Jennifer Bartoli

From: ThinkFood: Recipes for Brain Fitness

Serves 2

  • 1/2 pound orecchiette (or your favorite small pasta)
  • 12 uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil for sautéing
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.

2. Meanwhile, put a good drizzle of olive oil in a pan on medium low heat. Add the garlic slices. Cook until the garlic flavors the oil and turns a light shade of golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Remove garlic from pan with a slotted spoon and reserve.

3. Add the shrimp to the pan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium. As soon as the shrimp turns opaque and pink, add the spinach leaves and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Season again with salt and pepper.

4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan with about a teaspoon of the pasta water and gently stir everything together. Add the lemon juice and zest, garlic chips and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

Chicken and Pecan Enchiladas, Think Food Recipes for Brain Fitness

Choline and B vitamins in chicken can boost your brain health. — Jason Whalen

Chicken and Pecan Enchiladas

By blogger Pam Thuman-Commike

From: ThinkFood: Recipes for Brain Fitness

Serves 6

  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 2 bunches spinach, washed and trimmed (about 12 cups)
  • 2 onions, sliced (about 2 cups), divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 15 1/2-ounce can garbanzo beans, with liquid
  • 2 tablespoons pecans
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cumin, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in strips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
  • 6 10-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for sautéing

1. Char whole poblano peppers under broiler until skin is blackened. Remove from broiler and put in sealed plastic zip bag. Let sit for 15 minutes, then peel, seed and cut peppers into 1/2-inch strips. Set aside.

2. Boil water in a large pot. Add spinach and blanch for 30-60 seconds in boiling water. Drain and rinse with cold water. Let cool. Squeeze out excess water and set aside.

3. Heat a bit of oil in a pan and sauté 1 cup of onions until golden, 5-10 minutes. Add half of the minced garlic and cook 1 more minute.

4. Add half of the poblano pepper strips and all of the spinach. Sauté for 1 or 2 minutes to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

5. Place garbanzo beans and liquid in a blender. Add pecans, poblano-onion-spinach mixture, chicken broth, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Set sauce aside.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While oven is heating, grill chicken breasts approximately 4 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove from grill, shred chicken with a fork, and set aside.

7. While chicken is grilling, sauté remaining cup of onions in a bit of oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining half of the minced garlic and cook 1 minute. Add mushrooms and sauté until the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat.

8. Add remaining poblano pepper strips, red bell pepper strips, shredded chicken breast, remaining teaspoon of cumin and chopped cilantro to onion-mushroom mixture and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

9. Working one tortilla at a time, heat a tortilla in the microwave for 15 seconds to soften. Place one-sixth of the filling in the center of the tortilla and top with 1/4 cup of sauce. Fold in both sides of the tortilla to enclose the filling, and place seam-side down in an individual-serving-size oval gratin dish. (Alternatively, place all six wrapped tortillas in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.)

10. Top each tortilla with 1/2 cup of sauce. Place dishes or baking pan in the preheated oven and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.

11. Remove from oven and top each enchilada with 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella (optional) and garnish with cilantro before serving.

Next page: Slow roast stuffed chicken. »

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