16 Recipes for Happiness

Studies show that certain foods can boost levels of chemicals linked to happiness. Here, 16 recipes that use nature’s magic ingredients.

Images loading...

Sesame Seeds

 

Sesame seeds are packed with threonine, an amino acid. Happy people have higher amino acid levels than depressed people, scientists say.

 

Sesame Bars                 

 

16 bars

 

¾ cup honey

¼ cup sugar

2 cups hulled sesame seeds

 

In a medium saucepan, bring the honey and sugar to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat slightly, and add the sesame seeds slowly. Continue cooking and stirring for 7 to 10 minutes over low heat, until the sugar has completely dissolved the mixture takes on a light-brown color and reaches the dark caramel stage.

Pour the mixture into a 20-by-15-inch baking tray, and smooth the top with a spatula. While still warm, cut evenly unto 1-inch bars with a sharp knife. Let the mixture cool, and refrigerate for about 1 hour, till bars are firm. Remove from refrigerator, wrap individually, and serve. You can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week.

 

Recipe from The Cuban Kitchen by Raquel Rabade Roque, on sale Aug. 16. 

Courtesy of Knopf

Pineapple

 

Pineapple is perhaps the juiciest source of tryptophan, another amino acid that has been proven to boost happiness levels. (The champagne in this recipe doesn’t hurt either.)

 

Pineapple Mimosa

 

1 drink

 

1 sugar cube (for maximum fizz)

3 dashes Angostura bitters

½ cup fresh pineapple juice

½ cup champagne or sparkling wine, chilled

Lemon peel or mint sprig for garnish

 

Put the sugar cube in a chilled champagne glass, and saturate it with the bitters. Pour in the pineapple juice. Fill with very cold champagne, and stir gently. Garnish with lemon peel or a mint sprig.

 

Recipe from The Cuban Kitchen by Raquel Rabade Roque, on sale Aug. 16. 

Courtesy of Knopf

Lentils

 

More iron means more energy, and lentils can be richer in iron than meat, scientists say.

 

Sweet and Sour Lentils

 

1 and 1/2 cups dried brown lentils

1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

4 cups Extra-Rich Chicken Stock (page 204)

2 tablespoons chicken fat or olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons sugar

Paprika

 

Instructions:

Boil the lentils and onion in the stock for 45 minutes, until tender. Drain the liquid into another pot. Put the fat in a casserole over medium heat, and add the salt, pepper, lemon juice, and sugar. Cook for 1 minute, then add 1/2 cup of the reserved stock. Can be made in advance to this point.

Heat the oven to 350°F.

Add the lentils to the casserole. Put in the oven and bake for 15 minutes (20 minutes if made in advance). Sprinkle with paprika and serve. This dish can be made in advance, except for the baking, and then heated in the oven for 20 minutes.

 

Makes 4 cups

 

Excerpted from The Intolerant Gourmet by Barbara Kafka (Artisan Books). Copyright November 2011.

Courtesy of Artisan Books

Green Beans

 

Up your levels of magnesium with green beans. The mineral could someday be used to treat depression.

 

Cucumber Green Bean Soup

 

3 pounds green beans—no need to tip and tail

3 pounds Kirby cucumbers, peeled and seeded

3/4 teaspoon Thai green chili paste (see Note)

3 cups chicken stock (any of the homemade stocks, pages 203–4, or sterile-pack)

1 cup coconut milk (see Note)

Kosher salt

 

Instructions:

Put the beans in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low boil. Cook for at least 2 hours or until limp and soft. Add more water as needed to keep the beans covered. Drain and put through the fine disc of a food mill. There will be about 3 cups.

Grate the raw cucumbers using the next-to-smallest holes of a box grater. There will be about 3 cups.

Dissolve the chili paste in the heated stock.

Combine the vegetables and stock and refrigerate. Stir in the coconut milk and refrigerate until really cold. Stir in salt to taste.

 

Makes about 9 cups; serves 6 

 

Excerpted from The Intolerant Gourmet by Barbara Kafka (Artisan Books). Copyright November 2011.

Courtesy of Artisan Books

Turkey

 

Turn to your favorite turkey dish for a heaping serving of tryptophan.

 

Thai-Style Ground Turkey with Chiles and Basil

 

Serves 4

 

1 tablespoon soy sauce

About 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce such as nam pla or nuoc mam,

or to taste

1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped gingerroot

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 jalapeño, seeded, and finely chopped

1 fat scallion, white and light green parts finely chopped,

greens reserved for garnish

1 pound ground turkey

1/2 cup chopped fresh Thai or regular basil

Coconut or regular rice, for serving (page 49, and don’t use the peas)

Lime wedges, for serving

 

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, fish sauce, lime zest, lime juice, and sugar. (If you think your fish sauce is very salty, start with 2 teaspoons; you can add more at the end if the dish needs it.)

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, jalapeño, and chopped scallion. Cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about a minute. Stir in the turkey. Cook the meat, breaking it up with a fork, until it is no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Stir in the soy sauce mixture and cook for a minute or so, until the flavors come together. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Scatter with the sliced scallion greens. Serve, over warm coconut or regular rice, with lime wedges on the side.

 

From Cook This Now by Melissa Clark. Copyright © 2010, Melissa Clark, Inc. Published by Hyperion. Available in October wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

Courtesy of Hyperion

Asparagus

 

Another rich source of tryptophan, this versatile vegetable makes for a hearty addition to the main course.

 

Roasted Asparagus with Gingered Rhubarb Sauce

 

Serves 2 to 4

 

1 pound thick asparagus, ends snapped

1 tablespoon olive oil

Kosher salt or coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter, or more to taste

1 small head green garlic or 2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon grated ginger (from a 3/4- inch chunk)

1/4 pound rhubarb, thinly sliced

1 to 2 teaspoons honey, or even more to taste

Chopped chives, for garnish

 

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. On a large, rimmed baking pan, toss the asparagus with the oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the stalks out in an even layer and roast until the tips are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, depending upon how thick they are.

 

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium- high heat, and let it cook until it turns deep golden brown and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and a large pinch of salt and pepper and cook until the garlic turns opaque, about a minute. Stir in the rhubarb, cover the pan, and let cook until the rhubarb melts into the sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in the honey to taste. This will depend upon how sour your rhubarb is; just keep adding honey and salt until it tastes right. Then stop. If the sauce is still too intense, you can whisk in a little more butter to mellow it. It should have a deeply pungent character but should not veer into bitterness.

 

3. Serve the asparagus covered in rhubarb sauce and showered with chives. Use a lot of chives. Rhubarb sauce isn’t pretty.

 

From Cook This Now by Melissa Clark. Copyright © 2010, Melissa Clark, Inc. Published by Hyperion. Available in October wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

Courtesy of Hyperion

Tuna

 

Vitamin B6 has been found to fight depression, as it helps produce serotonin. Load up on the B6-rich chicken of the sea.

 

Fresh Tuna, Mozzarella and Basil Pizza

 

Makes 4 servings

 

Ingredients:

I sheet frozen puff pastry (about 8 ½ ounces), thawed

¼ pound fresh mozzarella

Extra-virgin olive oil

4 large spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped, or 2 medium onions, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

½ pound sushi-grade tuna, in one piece

12 large fresh basil leaves

4 cherry tomatoes, quartered

4 black olives, pitted and quartered

4 small radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger

 

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Working on a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pasty out to a square about 11 inches on a side. Using a 4½-inch cookie cutter, tart ring, or bowl as a guide, and the point of a sharp paring knife, score and then cut out 4 rounds of dough. Line a baking sheet with parchment, lay the rounds on it, and prick them well with a fork. Put a second sheet of parchment over the rounds and top with a second baking sheet to weight the dough down.

Bake the rounds for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the top baking sheet and the parchment—that can be a bit tricky, so protect your hands. If the rounds are well browned and crisp, they are done; if they look a little pale and are not thoroughly baked, return them to the oven, uncovered, to finish baking. Put the baking sheet on a cooling rack and allow the crusts to cool until they’re just warm or at room temperature. (You can bake the rounds up to 8 hours ahead and keep them covered at room temperature.)

TO FINISH THE TARTLETS: Cut the mozzarella into 12 thin slices, place them between a double thickness of paper towels, and let them drain while you prepare the rest of the pizza’s elements.

If you turned the oven off, bring it back up to 400 degrees F.

Put a medium skillet over medium heat and pour in about 2 teaspoons olive oil. When the oil is warm, toss in the onions and cook, stirring, until they’re soft but not colored, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Pull the pan from the heat and divide the onions among the 4 pastry rounds, spreading them almost to the edge of the circles.

Using a long thin knife, cut the tuna against the grain into 12 thin slices. Brush one side of each slice with a little oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Top each of the pastry rounds with alternating and slightly overlapping slices of tuna (seasoned side up), the mozzarella, and basil, using 3 slices of tuna and cheese and 3 basil leaves for each pizza. Scatter over the tomatoes, olives, and radishes and sprinkle with the ginger. Very sparingly, drizzle each pizza with a little olive oil, and finish with a pinch each of salt and pepper.

Slide the baking sheet back into the oven and heat the pizzas for 2 to 3 minutes, just until the tuna is opaque around the edges—it should remain translucent in the center. Serve warm. 

 

Recipes from Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.  Copyright © 2010 by Dorie Greenspan.  Published in October 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Reprinted by permission.

Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Grapefruit

 

People with depression have low levels of folic acid, scientists have found; raise your levels by slicing into fresh grapefruit.

 

Crab and Grapefruit Salad

 

Makes 4 servings

 

Ingredients:

1 Ruby Red grapefruit

1 pound lump crabmeat, picked through for shells and cartilage

1 Kirby cucumber or a 2-inch piece of seedless cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch dice

½ red or orange bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into ¼-inch dice

2 small of 1 fat scallion, white and light green parts only, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced

½-1 small chile pepper, very finely minced (optional)

About 1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Tabasco (optional)

Fresh lemon juice (optional)

1 tablespoon minced fresh mint

 

BE PREPARED: Cut the grapefruit sections a couple of hours, or as many as 6 hours, ahead of time and let them stand between a double layer of paper towels so that the fruit is as dry as possible—a small but crucial step.

Cut the grapefruit crosswise in half and carefully cut out the half-segments, slicing along the membranes to release the fruit. Squeeze the juice from the hollowed-out halves and keep it covered in the refrigerator (discard the rinds). Put a double layer of paper towels on a plate or cutting board and arrange the grapefruit segments on the paper. Cover with another double layer of towels and pat the segments lightly. Discard the paper towels, arrange the fruit on a new layer of towels, and cover again. Let the segments sit for at least 2 hours, or for as long as 6 hours; if the towels are very wet, change them again.

When you’re ready to make the salad, drain the crabmeat if necessary, turn it out onto a double thickness of paper towels, and pat it dry. Put it in a bowl and add the cucumber, bell pepper, scallion, and chile, if you’re using it.

Cut the grapefruit segments into very small pieces, add them to the bowl, and, using a fork (or your fingers), gently toss the ingredients together. Don’t overdo it—you want the crab to stay in largish pieces if possible. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 tablespoon of the reserved grapefruit juice and season with salt and pepper and, if you’d like, a couple of shakes of Tabasco. Taste the salad and decide what you’d like to add, if anything: I usually add a squirt or two of lemon juice for extra pop, or you may need a little more oil. Just pay attention to the amount of liquid you add—you don’t want the salad to be wet. When you’ve got it just the way you want it, stir in the mint and serve.

 

Recipes from Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.  Copyright © 2010 by Dorie Greenspan.  Published in October 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Reprinted by permission.

Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Hummus

 

Protein, fiber, amino acids and tryptophan—what’s not to love about this Mediterranean spread?

 

Boiled Peanut Hummus

 

1 cup shelled Boiled Peanuts (recipe follows)

2 tablespoons tahini

1 medium garlic clover, minced

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Tiny pinch of cayenne

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt

 

Combine the boiled peanuts, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cumin and cayenne in a food processor and turn on low. Add the olive oil to emulsify. Add 2 tablespoons water to thin, and blend until the mixtures is the consistency of spreadable hummus. Season with salt to taste. 

 

Makes 2 cups

 

Boiled Peanuts

¼ cup kosher salt

¼ cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

2 star anise

1 pound raw, green peanuts in the shell

 

Put the salt, vinegar, and 1 gallon water in a big pot. Add the Old Bay and star anise, then the peanuts. Find a plate that is just smaller than the diameter of your pot. Place the plate on top of the peanuts to weigh them down and keep them under water. Bring the peanuts to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 6 hours, or until the peanuts are very tender (open the shell and taste the peanut to test). Turn off the heat and transfer the peanuts to a large clean bowl. Serve immediately or store them in jars or sealable bags with some of the cooking liquid to keep them moist. They will keep in the fridge for about a week.

 

Recipe from A New Turn in the South by Hugh Acheson, available in October 2011. 

Courtesy of Potter

Lobster

Lobster is high in tryptophan, so indulge on your next seaside vacation—it’s for your own good.

 

Hugh’s Lobster Pie

 

Kosher salt

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

2 (1-pound) fresh hard-shell Maine lobsters

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups shitake mushrooms, sliced

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1 ½ cups minced leeks, white and light-green parts only

1 cup heavy cream

8 slices sourdough boule, 1/3-inch thick, drizzled with olive oil, toasted at 375 degrees F. until crisp, nicely browned but still with a hint of pliability

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil over high heat. Season the water with salt and Old Bay.

Remove the elastic bands from the lobster claws. Add the whole lobsters to the pot and cook for 5 minutes in the boiling water, then remove them and shock in ice water to stop the cooking. Using scissors, a mallet, and towels, shell and clean them, reserving the shells for a bisque if you’d like. You should have 2 tails, 4 claws, and the knuckle meat. Coarsely chop all the lobster meat and set aside.

Heat a large fry pan over high heat. Put the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter into the pan. Add the mushrooms and sauté until fully cooked, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sherry vinegar, parsley and red pepper flakes to the mushrooms, then turn off the heat and set aside.

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. Let the butter bubble and froth and then add the leeks. Add 1 teaspoon water, season with a touch of salt, and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the leeks are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the cream and heat briefly. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt. Place the leek cream in a blender and carefully purée. Set aside.

Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking pan and place ¼ cup of leek cream in the bottom. Arrange 2 toasted boule slices on top of the leek cream, and put a little more cream on top. Layer one third of the lobster meat on top of the bread, then one third of the mushrooms of top of the lobster. Repeat layering the lobster and mushrooms, until all the ingredients have been used. Top with a layer of bread and finish by pouring the remaining leek cream over the pie. Sprinkle with the nutmeg.

Bake for 20 minutes and remove the pan from the oven. Cool for 10 minutes and serve.

 

Serves 4

 

Recipe from A New Turn in the South by Hugh Acheson, available in October 2011. 

 

Planning a picnic? Check out these summer-friendly French dishes.

 

Don't miss out on MORE great articles like this one. Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter!

Courtesy of Potter

Chocolate

Chocolate may not be nice to your hips, but it sure treats your mood right. With high levels of endorphins and antioxidants, chocolate is worth indulging in.  

 

Ice Cream Sandwiches with Chocolate Almond Cake and Marcel’s Caramel-Banana–Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

 

Serves 10

 

1 tablespoon melted butter, for brushing

 

Cake

13/4 cups sifted powdered sugar

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons almond meal

12 large egg whites, at room 
temperature

Kosher salt

5 tablespoons granulated sugar

 

Ice cream

1 pound ripe bananas

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cups half-and-half

1 cup heavy cream

4 large egg yolks

1/2 cup chocolate chips or coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate

 

For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12 by 17-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and brush the sides of the baking sheet with melted butter.

In a large bowl, sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder, then stir in the almond meal.

In an electric stand mixer or in a large bowl with handheld electric beaters, whip the egg whites until frothy, then add a pinch of salt. Whip the whites to soft peaks, then add the sugar gradually. Continue whipping until the peaks are firm yet glossy. Gently fold in one-third of the dry ingredients, then fold in the remainder.

Pour the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake until the cake springs back when touched, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely, then place the baking sheet in the freezer until the cake is cold.

 

For the ice cream: Peel the bananas and mash them roughly with a wooden spoon. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly against the mashed bananas, and set aside.

In a saucepan, combine 6 tablespoons of the sugar, the lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water. Cook over medium heat, swirling the pan until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook until the syrup begins to turn a rich caramel color, about 3 minutes. Once it begins to change color, it darkens quickly, so watch carefully, swirling the pan so the caramel cooks evenly. Remove the pan from the heat and add the half-and-half and cream—carefully, as they will splatter. Stir in another 6 tablespoons sugar and return the pan to medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve the caramel.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar until thick and pale. Whisk in about 1 cup of the hot caramel mixture to warm the egg mixture, then pour the combined mixture into the saucepan of caramel and cook, stirring, until it visibly thickens and reaches 178°F on an instant-read thermometer. Pour over the bananas and stir well. Chill quickly in an ice bath. When cold, stir in the chocolate chips.

Churn in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze until the ice cream is firm enough to spread without melting.

Take the cake from the freezer. Put a sheet of parchment paper and a cooling rack on top, then invert the cake. Remove the baking sheet and top sheet of parchment, and cut the cake in half across the middle of the long side. Spread one half with ice cream, making an evenly thick layer. Invert the other half, including the parchment sheet under it, over the ice cream. Return the cake to the freezer for at least 2 hours.

 

To serve, take the cake from the freezer and remove the top sheet of parchment. With a serrated knife, trim the edges of the cake neatly. Cut the cake in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 5 triangles. Transfer the triangles to a serving platter, lifting them away from the bottom sheet of parchment. Serve immediately.

 

Recipe from The Cakebread Cellars by Jack and Dolores Cakrebread and Brian Streeter.

Courtesy of Random House.

Nuts

Nuts are full of B vitamins, proteins and the mineral selenium, which helps fight depression and boost your mood. Use nuts as a garnish or add them to another “happy food” through sauces and oils.

 

Lobster and Melon Salad with Hazelnut Oil

 

Serves 6

 

Vinaigrette

1 small shallot, finely minced

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon honey

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon hazelnut oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

2 live lobsters (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each)

1/4 cantaloupe or other orange-fleshed melon, seeds and rind removed

1/4 honeydew or other green-fleshed melon, seeds and rind removed

2 ounces (about 2 large handfuls) baby arugula

1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts for garnish

4 large fresh mint leaves, chopped, for garnish

 

For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the shallot, vinegar, mustard, and honey. Whisk in the oils gradually. Season with salt and pepper.

 

For the lobsters: Put 2 gallons cold water in a stockpot with 1/2 cup salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the lobsters and cover. When the water returns to a boil, uncover and boil for 12 minutes. Transfer the lobsters to ice water to chill quickly.

Twist off the lobster tail, knuckles, and claws; discard the rest of the carcass. Crack open the shell of the tail and remove the meat in one piece, or use your finger or a small fork to push the meat out through the larger end. Crack the knuckle shells and remove the meat. To extract the meat from the claw, jiggle the small lower appendage until it snaps, then remove it. Crack the shell of the claw and pull out the meat in one piece, if possible. Cut the tail into 1/2-inch chunks and cut the knuckle meat into 2 or 3 pieces. Leave the claws whole.

Slice the melon quarters thinly lengthwise, then cut each slice crosswise into thirds.

Put the lobster in a bowl with the melon. Toss with the vinaigrette, using as much as you need to moisten the lobster and fruit. Add the arugula and more dressing, if needed, and toss again. Divide among individual plates or arrange on a platter. Garnish with hazelnuts and mint. Serve immediately.

Enjoy with Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Chardonnay or another full-bodied white wine.

 

Recipe from The Cakebread Cellars by Jack and Dolores Cakrebread and Brian Streeter.

Courtesy of Random House.

Eggs

Looking for your morning dose of tryptophan? Get 210 mg with a serving of eggs.  

 

Blue Corn Fried Eggs, Red and Green Chile Sauces, Black Beans

 

Serves 4

 

Black Beans

1 cup dried black beans or 1 (16-ounce) can black beans, drained, rinsed, and drained again

1⁄2 small red onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, finely chopped

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Fried Blue Corn Tortillas

2 cups canola oil

8 (4-inch) corn tortillas, preferably blue

Kosher salt

 

Eggs

4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter

8 large eggs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Red Chile Sauce (page 239)

Guacamole (recipe follows)

3 ounces queso fresco cheese, crumbled (3⁄4 cup)

Green Chile Sauce (page 238)

1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

 

1. If using dried beans, pick over the beans and discard any stones. Put in a bowl, cover generously with cold water, and let soak for at least 8 hours.

2. Drain the beans, put in a medium saucepan, and add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add the onion, garlic, chipotle, and cumin and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, adding more water if the beans appear dry, until the beans are tender, 1 to 1 ½ hours. Season with salt and pepper. The beans can be made 8 hours in advance and refrigerated. Reheat before serving.

3. If using canned beans, put them in a saucepan with the onion, garlic, chipotle, cumin, and 1 cup cold water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

4. To fry the tortillas, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 350°F on a deep-fat thermometer. Fry the tortillas, one at a time, turning once, until just crispy, 20 to 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and

season lightly with salt.

5. To cook the eggs, melt the butter in large nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Carefully crack the eggs into the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the whites are completely firm but the yolks are still soft, about 2 minutes.

6. To serve, put some of the red chile sauce in the center of 4 large plates and swirl to cover the bottom. Put 2 fried tortillas on each plate. Top each tortilla with a fried egg and top each egg with some of the guacamole and cheese. Drain the beans and

spoon them along with some green chile sauce on the tortillas. Garnish with the chopped cilantro.

 

Guacamole

Makes about 2 cups

2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced

1⁄2 small red onion, finely diced

1 jalapeno chile, finely diced

Juice of 1 lime

1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the avocado, onion, jalapeno, lime juice, and cilantro in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.

 

Green Chile Sauce

Makes about 1 ¼ cups

7 tomatillos, husked and rinsed

2 poblano chiles, coarsely chopped

2 jalapeno chiles, chopped

1 small red onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons canola oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1⁄2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon honey

 

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Toss the tomatillos, poblanos, jalapenos, onion, and garlic in the oil on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Roast, turning once, until the vegetables are golden brown and soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.

3. Transfer to a food processor and process with the cilantro, adding a little water if necessary to adjust the consistency, until pureed. Season with the honey and additional salt and pepper if needed. The sauce can be made 1 day in advance and stored in a

container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator. Heat gently before serving.

 

Red Chile Sauce

Makes about 1 ¼ cups

10 New Mexico chiles, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

7 garlic cloves, chopped

1 small Spanish onion, chopped

1⁄2 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

1. Combine the chiles, garlic, onion, brown sugar, and 1 quart water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chiles are very soft, about 30 minutes.

2. Transfer the solids to a food processor using a slotted spoon and add 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Process until smooth, adding more of the cooking liquid to reach a thick but pourable sauce consistency. Season the sauce with the honey, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Reheat before serving.

 

Reprinted from Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson. Copyright © 2011. Photos copyright © 2011 by Ben Fink. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.

Courtesy of Random House.

Apples and Pomegranates

While apples don’t help boost serotonin, they do help keep it around, balancing it with B vitamins and complex carbohydrates. Pomegranates, on the other hand, are thought to make you more enthusiastic about your job.

 

Chopped Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Blue Cheese, Pomegranate Vinaigrette

 

Serves 6 to 8

 

4 apples such as Granny Smith, Gala, or Fuji, cored and cut into 1⁄2-inch dice

2 ounces baby spinach

2 large heads of Belgian endive, thinly sliced crosswise

11⁄2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (see page 250)

1⁄2 pound blue cheese such as Maytag, crumbled (2 cups)

Pomegranate Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Combine the apples, spinach, endive, walnuts, and blue cheese in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Makes about 1 cup

3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon honey, or more to taste

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Whisk together the pomegranate molasses, vinegar, mustard, and honey in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. The dressing can be made 2 days in advance and stored in a container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator.

 

Reprinted from Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson. Copyright © 2011. Photos copyright © 2011 by Ben Fink. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.

Courtesy of Random House.

Oranges

Oranges are packed with inositol, a substance that scientists have compared to antidepressants.

 

Maya’s Fruit Salad with Blood Orange Juice and Mint

Serves 4


1 pineapple, skin and core removed
1 cantaloupe, rind and seeds removed
1 banana, peeled
1 cup strawberries (hulled), raspberries, and/or blackberries
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus 4 mint leaves left whole
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, regular orange juice, or orange juice with pulp

Cut the pineapple and melon into 1-inch size pieces. Cut the banana into 1-inch pieces. Place the pineapple and melon in a bowl and add the banana slices. Sprinkle on the berries, chopped mint, and orange juice and mix gently. Garnish with fresh mint leaves. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

©2011, Kathy Gunst, from Notes from a Maine Kitchen, Down East Books

Courtesy of Down East.

Spinach

Spinach contains B vitamins that help produce serotonin, so follow Popeye’s lead with this updated version of an old classic.


Creamed Spinach with Yogurt and Nutmeg

Serves 4

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound fresh spinach or baby spinach, washed and thoroughly dried (if stems are very thick and long they can be removed)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup yogurt

In a large skillet heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil over high heat. Add half the spinach and cook, stirring, for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until wilted but not necessarily cooked through. Remove to a chopping board. Add another tablespoon of the oil and sauté the remaining spinach in the same manner; remove to the chopping board.

Chop the spinach (some like it finely chopped and others coarsely chopped).

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil to the skillet over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 10 seconds. Add the chopped spinach, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, stirring well and cook 1 minute. Add the yogurt, stirring it into the spinach, and let cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened and hot. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, or nutmeg if needed. (The spinach can be served hot from the skillet or placed in a small casserole and refrigerated for several hours. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes, or until bubbling and hot throughout).

 

©2011, Kathy Gunst, from Notes from a Maine Kitchen, Down East Books

Courtesy of Down East Books.
First Published July 25, 2011

Share Your Thoughts!

Comments

Post new comment

Click to add a comment
Health
Relationships
Events
Member Voices
Clothes
Shoes & Accessories
Trends
Woman of Style and Substance
Swim & Lingerie
Forums