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Salmon With Mushroom Rice Pilaf . . . Healthy Mood Food!

It seems like every year when February rolls around my disposition takes a nose-dive! I’m sure it has a lot to do with the winter doldrums and having a severe case of “cabin fever”…but I also think my diet has a lot to do with it as well. I just don’t seem to eat as healthy in the wintertime. There is plenty of scientific research supporting that what we eat can make a big difference in our mood. For example, eating foods with lots of vitamin D (low levels have been associated with depression) and magnesium (an essential nutrient for your brain that boosts energy levels) can boost your frame of mind considerably!

This delicious recipe for mushroom rice pilaf has tons of healthy ingredients that your body, and your mood, will thank you for. Brown rice is packed with magnesium, while the mushrooms and salmon have high vitamin D contain. Keep an eye out for local, wild mushrooms from a health food store or farmers’ market – they contain even more vitamin D!

Mushroom Rice Pilaf with Seared Salmon

(adapted from Whole Foods)

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small diced onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Salmon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they are soft.

Now add the mushrooms, garlic and celery. When the mushrooms are cooked through, add parsley, sage, thyme and rosemary. Give them a quick stir.

Add the rice and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 50 minutes, or until the rice is soft. Keep the pot partially covered while it simmers, and make sure it has cooking liquid throughout this time. Add more broth or water, and turn down the heat if there is not enough liquid in the pot.

While the rice finishes up, season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper, and sear them in a nonstick pan in a bit of olive oil.

With a 3 oz serving of salmon and one serving of rice pilaf (the recipe makes 6 servings), this recipe contains 431 calories, 12.3 grams total fat (the salmon provides a lot of good, heart healthy fats!), 1.8 grams saturated fat, 56 grams carbohydrates and 24.8 grams of protein. With all of the vitamin D and magnesium, this is a pretty healthy recipe! It tastes rich and flavorful, plus, the pilaf freezes well so you can save the leftovers!

Other mood-boosting foods include:

Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of the mood-boosting mineral selenium.

Oats
Oats slowly release energy into the bloodstream, which keeps blood sugar and mood stable.

Bananas
Bananas contain the amino acid tryptophan, vitamin B6, and mood-boosting carbohydrates. Carbs help the brain absorb the tryptophan, vitamin B6 helps convert the tryptophan into the mood-lifting hormone serotonin.

Lentils
Lentils, like bananas, help increase the brain’s production of serotonin.

Chicken and turkey
Both are high in tryptophan, which the body uses to make serotonin, and the hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep.

Spinach
Deficiencies in vitamin B have been linked to depression. Eating leafy green vegetables will help keep your levels up.

Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate causes the brain to release endorphins and boost serotonin levels.

Oysters
Oysters are high in zinc, and low zinc levels have been linked to depression.

Water
Water is extremely important for our bodies to function properly. Even slight dehydration can impair our physical and mental wellbeing.

Try keeping some of these mood-boosting foods on hand for the next time you feel your mood start slipping. You might be surprised how much better it will make you feel!

What are your favorite healthy, mood-boosting meals?

Salmon With Mushroom Rice Pilaf

Jill Nystul
This delicious recipe for mushroom rice pilaf has tons of healthy ingredients that your body, and your mood, will thank you for. Brown rice is packed with magnesium, while the mushrooms and salmon have high vitamin D contain. Keep an eye out for local, wild mushrooms from a health food store or farmers’ market – they contain even more vitamin D!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Main
Cuisine American
Servings 7
Calories 393 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small diced onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 700 grams Salmon
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions
 

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they are soft.
  • Add the mushrooms, garlic and celery. When the mushrooms are cooked through, add parsley, sage, thyme and rosemary.
  • Add the rice and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 50 minutes, or until the rice is soft.Keep the pot partially covered while it simmers, and make sure it has cooking liquid throughout this time.
  • Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper, and sear them in a nonstick pan in a bit of olive oil.

Nutrition

Sodium: 590mgCalcium: 44mgVitamin C: 5.7mgVitamin A: 590IUSugar: 2gFiber: 2gPotassium: 730mgCholesterol: 55mgCalories: 393kcalSaturated Fat: 1gFat: 11gProtein: 24gCarbohydrates: 45gIron: 2.2mg

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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