What to Cook This Week

Good morning. We picked up an hour of morning sun when Daylight Saving Time came to an end overnight in the United States, and now it’s autumn for real. Time to rake leaves and trim hedges, if you live that sort of life; to store your air-conditioner for the winter; to haul out your sweaters; to set up the Thanksgiving group chat to see who has a new dietary restriction or to determine who’s bringing what to dinner. (First time doing that? We’re here to help.) I’m setting up for 20-plus guests this year, if negative testing allows it. Marked on my to-do list for today: “Rent folding tables and chairs?”

Also on today’s docket, unrelated to Thanksgiving: lamb meatballs with spiced tomato sauce (above), one of my favorite Sunday suppers. I like it with warm pita and, lately, yogurt thinned out with orange juice and flecked with mint.

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Is Spicy Food Good For You? Here’s What an RD Says

If you’ve ever experienced a bout of digestive distress or heartburn after eating a particularly fiery meal, your (albeit reasonable) instinct may be that whatever you ate should be avoided at all costs. It’s something you may have heard before: Oh, no spicy food for me thanks! 

The unpleasant symptoms are enough to make you wonder, is spicy food good for you? It’s a tricky question since the herbs used to season fiery dishes are full of anti-inflammatory benefits. How can you reap their benefits without succumbing to unpleasant side effects?

What is spicy food?

When asking the question, “is spicy food good for you,” registered dietitian Nour Zibdeh, RD, says it’s important to think about what “spicy food” even is. After all, technically any food seasoned with herbs from your pantry could be considered spicy. “A lot of people think of spicy food as hot foods, such

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