5 easy recipes to help a good mood – FashionTrends.it

So: we are slowly going to one new normal and for many this has translated into easy and complex recipes, kneading and cooking.

But the power of food on our moodand goes far beyond the calming effects of the kitchen itself. In fact, the importance of diet for our psychological health – studied by nutritional psychiatry – is finally taken seriously by psychiatrists mainstream: and never like now, as we face a post-quarantine anxiety tsunami. The microorganisms that live in our digestive system, which are conditioned by our diet, secrete and react to serotonin and dopamine, our “hormones of happiness“. In fact, about 90% of our serotonin is produced by stomach – there is more serotonin in microbiome of our stomach than in our brain.

Stress: how our body reacts when we lose control

As a person with a history of depression behind me, using food to improve mood has become an important tool in my personal wellness kit, so much so that I wrote a four-handed book with nutritionist therapist Alice Mackintosh, The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food. The book summarizes research in this important new field of well-being and also reports recipes for putting theory into practice.

Here 5 easy recipes that I hope will help your psychological well-being.

1. Meat salad

© Photography Laura Edwards

L’fatigue it can be one of the most powerful side effects of antidepressants. Alice says that, before treating theanxiety, the best purpose is to increase the energy level: “Once you feel more energetic, you will exercise more and your sleep will improve, both are key elements of psychological well-being “. The iron it is essential for your energy levels and it is essential for keeping blood oxygenated.

The marriage between the iron-rich meat, the colorful salad, the spicy horseradish and the creaminess of the feta is perfect. Make sure you don’t buy pickled artichokes because the flavor would outweigh that of the salad. If possible, use grass-fed beef, which contains more nutrients than intensive breeding.

If you are a vegetarian, replace the meat with vegetables with dark green leaves, such as black cabbage and watercress, or beans edamame – all excellent sources of iron. The ideal drink with this recipe is a glass of orange juice, given that vitamin C helps the absorption of iron.

Doses for two people

Ingredients

2 steaks of 250 g of beef rump, about 3 cm thick

For the dressing:

1 tablespoon of Worchestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of crème fraiche
1 teaspoon horseradish sauce
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon of olive oil

For the marinade:

1 bunch of chopped parsley
2 crushed cloves of garlic
6 kitchen spoons of extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of half a lemon
4 drops of tabasco (optional)

For the salad:

80 g of chopped parsley
6 dried tomatoes, cut into large pieces
4 artichoke hearts, cut into 4
100 g of rocket, washed and dried
8 radishes, thinly sliced
70 g of feta, crumbled
4 kitchen spoons of pomegranate seeds (optional)
2 kitchen spoons of toasted pine nuts (optional)

Preparation:

  1. 1

    Prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a container.

  2. 2

    Cut the hardest fat from the meat, brush it with oil and season with salt on both sides.

  3. 3

    Heat a thick plate or pan and lay the meat on it. Cook each side for 4 minutes. If you prefer steak well cooked, cook for 1 or 2 more minutes on each side.

  4. 4

    In the meantime, prepare the marinade. Blend all the ingredients on a plate large enough to hold the meat.

  5. 5

    Marinate the steaks for 8 minutes, turning them halfway through the marinade. Then put them on a cutting board and cut them diagonally into thin slices.

  6. 6

    7. To serve, place the slices of meat on a bed of salad and pour the rest of the dressing over it.

2. Chicken pie

© Photography Laura Edwards

Many of us are still suffering from the loss of loved ones or from a future that looks very different from before. Instead of deciding to abandon the comfort food, Alice taught me to redefine the comfort food, replacing some unhealthy foods with healthier options. The comfort food Classic tends to have high sugar and refined carbohydrate content, leading to those highs and lows of sugars that alter mood. Our chicken pie is a healthy version of a loved and familiar dish. Chicken is rich in protein, zinc and B vitamins, and sweet potatoes are an excellent source of fiber and beta carotene. If you prefer white potatoes, cook them with the skin to retain the fibers.

Doses for two

Ingredients:

500 g of sweet potatoes or white potatoes
5 tablespoons of oil
300 g of chicken legs or breast (without skin and bones), cut into 2 cm cubes
1 leek, cut into slices
10 diced champignon mushrooms
The zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour
50 ml of water
The juice of half a lemon
3 kitchen spoons of crème fraîche
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of mustard beans

Preparation:

  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 180 ° / number 4 for the gas oven

  2. 2

    If you use white potatoes, leave the skin on and cut them into small pieces. Boil them in salted water until they are soft. The time will depend on the size of the pieces but it shouldn’t take more than 15/20 minutes.

  3. 3

    If you use sweet potatoes, peel them and cut them into pieces, add olive oil and cook them in the oven for 15/20 minutes, until they are soft (with boiling they absorb too much water).

  4. 4

    In a pan, fry the chicken with the leek in two tablespoons of olive oil for 3 minutes, then add the mushrooms and lemon zest and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes. Chicken nuts should be cooked 80% at this point.

  5. 5

    Add the flour to thicken the sauce, stirring for about 2 minutes.

  6. 6

    Add the water and mix the lemon juice, the crème fraîche and the mustard, then remove from the heat.

  7. 7

    Once the potatoes are cooked, mash them with the rest of the olive oil.

  8. 8

    Spoon the chicken in a baking dish or two ceramic cups and cover it with the mashed potatoes.

  9. 9

    Bake for 10/15 minutes. If you like it, you can grill the potatoes with the grill before serving.

3. Cecilia risotto with goat cheese and beetroot

© Photography Laura Edwards

Mental lucidity can fall victim to concern. Our purple risotto with goat cheese and beetroot is meant for improve clarity. Purple foods can help make our mind clear, their pigmentation indicates that they contain many antioxidants. These help the body to produce nitric oxide, a compound that improves blood flow by relaxing the blood vessels. Walnuts provide Omega 3, a source of healthy fats that improve immune defenses.

This recipe was given to us by Cecilia, friend and expert cook, who helps develop healthy recipes for mothers with young children.

Doses for two

Ingredients:

300 g of cooked beetroot (fresh or pre-cooked)
2 cooking spoons of olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, cut thin
200 g of rice for risotto or brown rice
600 ml of vegetable broth, hot
60 g of soft goat cheese
100 g of walnuts, chopped

Preparation:

  1. 1

    If you are using fresh beetroots, wash and cut them, without peeling them. Put them in a large saucepan and cover them completely with water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat, put the lid on and simmer until they are tender. It should take between 30 and 40 minutes, depending on the size.

  2. 2

    Let the beets cool, then peel and slice them. If you use pre-cooked beetroot, simply cut it into small pieces.

  3. 3

    Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan and sauté the garlic and onion until they soften, then add the rice and toast it for another 2 or 3 minutes. The beans should become slightly translucent.

  4. 4

    Add a drop of water and stir, then lower the heat, add the hot broth with the ladle, stirring the rice regularly so as not to attack it – a pleasantly calming process, I find. Thus the rice releases the starch giving the risotto its creamy consistency.

  5. 5

    When the broth is almost finished and the rice is cooked – it should take 15 to 20 minutes – add the beetroot pieces and half of the goat cheese and mix. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.

  6. 6

    Toast the walnuts in a pan over moderate heat for 2 to 4 minutes, turning them regularly to prevent them from burning.

  7. 7

    Serve the risotto garnished with a handful of pieces of toasted walnuts, the rest of the goat cheese and a crunchy green salad.

4. The best cabbage in the world

© Photography Laura Edwards

This recipe draws the best from the virtues of red cabbage: it is full of anthocyaninsantioxidants which, as already mentioned, can have positive effects on the mental alertness. Eat it as a side dish to a roast, or as a sandwich filling.

Doses up to 8 people per side dish

Ingredients:

1 medium-sized red cabbage, peeled from the outer leaves and from the center (about 800 gr)
1 tablespoon of salted butter
2 apples to cook, peeled, cored, grated or cut into small pieces
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2 kitchen spoons of blueberry jam
1 kitchen spoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
2 cooking spoons of apple cider vinegar
1 glass of red wine (optional)

Preparation:

  1. 1

    Cut the red cabbage into thin strips, removing all the hard parts.

  2. 2

    Heat the butter in a large saucepan and sauté the onions for two minutes, then add the
    cabbage and apples.

  3. 3

    Cover with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes.

  4. 4

    Add the remaining ingredients and cook for another 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

5. Brownie with black chocolate and Brazilian nuts

© Photography Laura Edwards

We spent years perfecting our brownies, making sure they were soft, rich and dark in the center. Although the result can always be surprising, when you do it at home you have more control over the ingredients. Spelled flour is wholemeal, which means it won’t lead to sugar spikes like white flour, and Brazilian nuts contain selenium, which plays an important role in immune system. Cocoa is rich in magnesium and antioxidants which they reduce anxiety.

Doses for 15 squares c / a

Ingredients:

10 Brazilian nuts
125 g of black chocolate (the ideal would be 100% cocoa)
100 ml of almond milk
150 g of coconut oil, with an extra dose to oil the pan
250 ml of maple syrup
Vanilla bean seeds or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
50 g of raw cocoa powder, sieved
3 eggs
130 g spelled flour
1 teaspoon of yeast

Preparation:

  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 190 ° / number 5 for the gas oven.

  2. 2

    Roast the Brazilian nuts in the oven for 15 minutes, turning them once halfway through cooking.

  3. 3

    Put the chocolate, almond milk, coconut oil, maple syrup and seeds or vanilla extract in a pan on a very slow fire, stirring regularly, until a liquid mixture is obtained, a rich batter and creamy.

  4. 4

    Remove the pan from the heat and pour the cocoa powder over it.

  5. 5

    Leave to cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then beat the eggs. Add the flour, baking powder and chopped Brazilian nuts.

  6. 6

    Pour this mixture into the pan that you will have prepared and cook it in the oven for about 12 minutes. Try the toothpick – it should come out a little dirty with chocolate. If you prefer less creamy brownies, put the pan back in the oven for another 3 or 5 minutes, but take it out before the crust starts to break, otherwise the consistency will be more like a cake.

  7. 7

    Remove the pan from the oven and use the parchment paper to help you put the whole brownie to cool. Cut into squares once cold.

Rachel Kelly is a writer and mental health activist, author of The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food published by Short Books. Twitter: @rachelkellynet

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