In our member’s recent newsletter article about being unapologetically happy, we outlined 3 steps you can take today to brighten your day, and your mood.
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As with most things happy and healthy (and delicious), all roads lead to the grocery store, or the farmer’s market, or your own backyard / patio / window garden.
It’s about the food, silly!
Happy food is not meant to be wrapped in paper, set under a heat lamp with a number placed in front of it to “ensure freshness” and speedily delivered to you in a box, through a window, and “enjoyed” as you rush to the next appointment or practice or activity.
Happy food is the type a caring, loving mother would prepare for you…Mother Nature!
Some of the foods that land on this Good Mood Food list include:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sweet Potatoes
- Sunflower seeds
- Green tea
- Dark Chocolate (70% cacao)
- And more!
As I said, it doesn’t have to be difficult.
To give your brain and creativity a little boost, here are 3 Good Mood Foods that you can easily put together and enjoy this week:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with Sweet Potatoes and Caramel
I entered this flavor combination in a breakfast contest because it’s surprisingly delicious….and easy. You can bake up several sweet potatoes in advance and then store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. Or, put them in the microwave for a few minutes.
- Oatmeal (enough for 1 serving which is ½ cup dry)
- Sweet potato (about ½ per serving), baked and cut into small cubes or mashed
- Pecans, chopped (or walnuts)
- Dried cranberries
- ½ tsp Cinnamon, ground
- ¼ tsp Paprika, ground (optional…but give it a try!)
- 1 tsp Caramel
- Make the oatmeal according to the instructions on the box or canister
- Add in all remaining ingredients
- Stir and enjoy!
Lunch: Tuna Stuffed Avocado
This is actually one of my favorite lunches! You can really use any of your favorite tuna salad combinations for the filling. The key is to replace any mayonnaise you use with mashed avocado and a little bit of olive oil. Then add spices, chopped vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, or chives, and maybe even a chopped hard-boiled egg. Personally, I keep it simple with tuna, pepper, olive oil, and mashed avocado. And yes, you can make these in advance and store in the fridge until you’re ready.
Tip: If you don’t want “tuna breath” at work, then bring a toothbrush (I had a boss who always brushed his teeth after lunch. At first, I thought it was strange and then I tried it…wonderful!), or pop in a piece of gum. You can also substitute the canned tuna with canned white-meat chicken. It’s all good!
PS…This video demonstration and the photo is courtesy of the Stay-at-home Chef:
Dinner: Honey Mustard Glazed Baked Salmon with Green Bean Fries
Anytime I have an excuse to eat salmon, I grab it! What you’ll find with this recipe is that baking the salmon is very simple and takes very little time. The green beans, on the other hand, are very delicious…like Friday night bar food delicious…but they do take some time. If you’re pressed for time, simply saute’ the green beans as a great side dish. However, if you have the time and patience to bread and fry the green beans, you’ll be glad you did!
Honey Mustard Baked Salmon
- 4 Salmon fillets
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- Mix the honey, mustard and olive oil together in a small bowl.
- Brush onto the salmon fillets.
- You can either bake these right away, or put them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake.
To bake: Preheat oven to 400°.
Place salmon in a baking dish, place in oven, and bake for 10 minutes.
*see…I told you it was simple!
Also – the honey mustard dressing makes a great dip for your green beans!
Southern Fried Green Beans
- 1 lb Green Beans, fresh
- *to save time, us the pre-cut ones found in the produce section of your store
- 2 cups Panko breading
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1 cup Flour
- 1 cup Milk
- 4 cups good quality vegetable oil (like sunflower or canola)
- Wash green beans and trim edges if they are not already trimmed
- Prepare you breading assembly line:
- 1 cup flour in a large gallon sized zippy-type bag
- Pour 1 cup milk into a bowl
- Combine Panko breading, garlic powder and parmesan cheese in a food processor or blender. Pulse just a little bit so it’s the consistency of cornmeal. Place this in a bowl.
- Note: You will run the beans through the breading line twice. Use your left hand to dip in the milk, and your right hand to dip in the panko mixture.
- First – place all the green beans in your zippy bag that has the flour. Shake to coat.
- Next – Pour the flour and green beans onto a plate
- Next – Taking one green bean at a time, dip it into the milk and then roll it in the Panko breading mix. You would think the milk washes everything off, but it doesn’t! Place the coated green bean on a piece of parchment or wax paper that you’ve set onto your counter to hold the beans.
- Continue this process until all green beans have been covered one time.
- Put all the green beans back into the Ziploc bag, along with the flour (pour the flour from your plate into the bag). Shake the bag to coat the beans with a second layer.
- Pour the beans onto the plate and go through the breading assembly line a second time. Dip each bean into the milk and then roll in the Panko breading mix and then place on the waxed paper.
- To cook – heat oil (to about 350° – 375°) in a wok or skillet that is at least 4 inches high. The oil should sputter if you flick a little bit of water into it. Be careful because hot oil really hurts if you spill it onto your body and can cause damage. Be sure the pan handle is faced away from your body (so you don’t accidently hit it), stand a little bit away from the stove to avoid the splatters, and be sure your kitchen is not chaotic (ie…kids and dogs running around your feet).
- Prepare a cookie sheet by placing several layers of paper towel on the bottom. This is where you will place the fried green beans to drain.
- Working with about 5-7 beans at a time, place them into the hot oil (using a slotted metal spoon. Cook for up to 2 minutes or until golden brown.
- Once cooked, lift from the hot oil with the slotted spoon and place on the paper towel to drain.
- Continue until all beans are cook.
- Once all the beans are done (it will take about 30 minutes), bake the salmon as you set the table for your meal. If you would like, combine some additional honey-mustard sauce to use for dipping.