We all get a little anxious and worried sometimes, but let’s admit it: Most of us spend a decent amount of energy on anxiety. We can’t help it – there are so many things to worry about! Family, work, expectations, not to mention general safety and relationships! But we would do well to remember that nothing was ever helped by worrying. It doesn’t improve our mood or keep us healthy, and it doesn’t stop anything, good or bad, from happening.
Learning to control our emotions can be a long road though, so bear in mind that there are other things you can do to improve controlling your thoughts. Eating certain foods has been proven to reduce anxiety and stress, such as this salad with quinoa and shiitake mushrooms. Quinoa is known for its high levels of protein, and combined with its complex carbohydrate structure, the ingredient increases serotonin levels in your brain, lowering anxiety and depression tendencies. In a spinach salad, you have the added bonus of B vitamins that are known to boost your mood, and mushrooms feature selenium, which might help fight depression.
Warm Quinoa, Spinach, and Shiitake Salad
½ cup red-wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 pounds fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved
1 ½ cups quinoa
1 pound baby spinach
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Heat broiler, setting the rack four inches above the heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Then, in a large-rimmed broiler-proof baking sheet, toss mushrooms with half of the dressing, reserving the rest. Broil the mixture, tossing together occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
While broiling, in a small saucepan combine quinoa, 3 cups of water, and 1 ½ teaspoons of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Place the spinach in a large bowl; add hot mushrooms, quinoa, and reserved dressing. Toss to combine (spinach will wilt slightly). Top with crumbled feta and serve immediately.This dish is tasty and nutritious, and can contribute to reduced anxiety and feeling more positive. We certainly recommend trying it soon! If you’d like to make an appointment to talk about your emotions or health, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below.