GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn - As the days shorten, some of us slip into the “blah” feelings of winter. Approximately 15 percent of us experience some level of winter blues, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Susan Moores, Kowalski’s Markets Nutritionist shows us some foods that can help lift that veil:
· Fish rich in omega-3 fats fish. These fats are part of cell membranes in the brain. An omega-3 rich diet may make it easier for serotonin, a chemical in your brain, to pass through cells. Serotonin is linked with mood, helping contribute to a sense of wellbeing, calm and happiness.
· Vitamin D rich foods. Vitamin D is involved in the production of serotonin and dopamine, another brain chemical that regulates mood. Low levels of vitamin D are linked with SAD. You can learn your vitamin D level through a simple blood test.
· Whole grains such as oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, sorghum and faro. They are a great source of lasting energy, which can be flagging during winter. They’re also critical to the production of serotonin in the brain.
DECONSTRUCTED SALMON-QUINOA SALAD
2 cups cooked quinoa (or another whole grain or combination of grains)
12 oz. grilled salmon, broken with a fork into large chunks
3 cups sautéed baby spinach, baby arugula or baby kale (or combination)
3/4 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup pepitas
- garnishes, to taste: freshly grated lemon zest, finely chopped fresh dill and dill fronds
- Quick Yogurt Dressing
In an extra-large serving bowl, arrange wedge-shaped portions of quinoa, salmon, spinach, tomatoes, apricots and pepitas (some wedges will be larger than others). Garnish with zest and dill; drizzle or dollop dressing in the center.
QUICK YOGURT DRESSING: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup plain yogurt and enough buttermilk to reach a drizzling consistency (approx. 2 tbsp.); stir in 2 tbsp. finely minced fresh dill and 2 tsp. honey. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Deconstructed Salmon Quinoa Salad