During the holiday season and into January, many of us are hosting get-togethers for family and friends. The grocery stores have been extremely busy with customers buying ingredients for a multitude of different dishes.

With so many people focused on cooking, I’ve been getting many questions on what to use to season dishes. Below I have listed a few simple ingredients that can be used for various dishes to pack in a lot of flavor and also potentially provide additional health benefits.

Turmericis a flavorful addition to sauces, stir-fries and casseroles. It also goes well on chicken. Turmeric contains curcumin, which contributes to its bright orange color. Curcumin may help reduce levels of inflammation and lower risk of heart disease.

Garlicis a versatile way to flavor meals because it can be chopped, minced, blended or eaten as a powder. It is good in really almost any savory dish. It is healthful in that it may help fight off colon cancer and stomach cancer, and may also help ward off colds and the flu.

Gingeris great in salad dressings, desserts, stir-fries and soups. It has a very potent flavor, so a little goes a long way. It has been said that ginger may be used to treat stomach problems, such as nausea, morning sickness, irritable bowel syndrome and upset stomach. It may also be effective in treating migraines.

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Cinnamonis one of the most popular spices in the world. It has a mild-mannered spicy flavor and can be used in drinks, oatmeal and baked goods. Cinnamon may be helpful as an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and lipid-lowering agent.

Peppersbring a spicy flavor and can be used in a variety of dishes. Hot peppers contain a compound known as capsaicin, which is intensely spicy; some people can tolerate it only in small amounts. Peppers that contain this compound may aid digestion, lower levels of chronic inflammation, and help fight obesity.

I have included a recipe that uses both turmeric and garlic. This would be perfect to take as an entrée to any of your festive get-togethers!

8 wooden skewers

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons fresh garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Pinch of salt

4 (5-6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut lengthwise into strips

1 cup (8 ounces) green beans, trimmed, thawed if frozen

1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1 cup (8 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon orange marmalade

1 tablespoon coconut spread

Combine honey, soy sauce, garlic, turmeric and salt in a resealable plastic bag. Add chicken strips; seal bag. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour, turning once. Drain chicken; discard marinade. Thread chicken onto skewers. If using bamboo skewers, soak skewers in water for 30 minutes before using.

Cook green beans in boiling salted water in a large saucepan for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Remove beans and keep warm; reserve water. Cook sweet potatoes in reserved water in same saucepan for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain; return vegetables to saucepan. Toss with tomatoes, orange marmalade and coconut spread.

Cook chicken in a grill pan over medium-high heat for 8 minutes or until fully cooked and grill marks form, turning once.

Serve chicken with vegetables.

Nutrition facts (per serving): 290 calories, 7g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 70mg cholesterol, 750mg sodium, 26g total carbohydrates, 4g dietary fiber, 17g total sugars, 31g protein

Recipe from hy-vee.com.