This post is sponsored by Wild Planet Foods. Thanks for supporting brands I use and love!
My Wild Mackerel Good Mood Salad is packed with foods that balance your hormones, lift your mood, and keep the winter blues away.
If it’s February, and you’re feeling out of sorts and not quite like yourself, you can probably blame it on the winter blues. It's a real thing, caused by long winter nights and lack of sunshine. I consider myself an
Symptoms of the winter blues include sleep problems and lack of motivation. Plus, there's that all-too-familiar craving for carbohydrate-rich comfort foods. They do help to boost serotonin levels, but they also pack on the winter pounds and leave you feeling worse than ever.
To combat the winter blues, you can skip town and take a long, sunny vacation. Or, there's always the more drastic pack up and move... Or, you can just add more fish to your diet. It's one of the easiest, least expensive, and tastiest ways to boost your mood. And there's no packing required.
Fish is always at the top of the list of Foods to Beat the Winter Blues, and there's a reason for that. It's full of protein which curbs that craving for carbs. Fatty fish like wild mackerel, salmon and sardines are excellent sources of omega-3 fats which help hormones and the neurotransmitters in your brain to work better. Oily fish also provides vitamin D, which most of us don't get from the sun during the winter months.
Fish really is brain food.
The nutrients in fish help to stabilize our mood and improve brain function. Research shows people who consistently eat more fish tend to have better memory and cognitive skills, and less anxiety and depression. Even when it feels like winter will never end.
Canned fish makes it so easy to meet the recommended goal of eating fish 2-times each week. It's shelf-stable, so no running to the store in the snow! And, no cooking required.
I love the quality of Wild Planet's canned mackerel. It's always wild-caught, not farm-raised. It's also a super-abundant fish that's
Wild mackerel tastes very much like fresh tuna, and it has a lovely texture, so you can serve the canned fillets right on top of this salad. If you’re not familiar with it, try something new today!
This salad is perfect for a lighter dinner, or make a big batch and enjoy it for lunch all week. The bright colors and textures will make you smile, but it's also jam-packed with mood-boosting ingredients.
- Red lentils provide long-lasting complex carbs that boost serotonin levels in your brain.
- Colorful baby greens, golden beets, radishes, and rainbow carrots fill you with cell-protecting antioxidants.
- Hard-boiled eggs give you an added dose of protein and vitamin D.
- Avocado, sunflower seeds, and olive oil are the healthy fats that feed your brain cells, allow your body to absorb certain vitamins (like vitamin D, and fill and satisfy you.
- Kefir is full of probiotics that feed your gut and help stabilize your mood.
- and wild mackerel provides omega-3 fats that help your brain to work better, and lift your mood.
Eating more of these foods really will improve your mood, strengthen and nourish your body, and help you to roll into spring feeling leaner, lighter and so much happier.
I'm happy to say I don't get the winter blues anymore. I'm sure the sunshine helps, but I also eat more fish to seal the deal.
Wild Mackerel Salad with Creamy Kefir Herb Dressing
Dressing (makes about 1 ¼ cups - use any extra as a fresh vegetable dip)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium avocado pitted and scooped from skin
- ¾ cup plain, nonfat kefir
- 1 tablespoon each fresh tarragon, basil, chives, parsley
- ¼ cup water (or as needed to thin)
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
Salad (makes 2 dinner-size servings)
- 3 cups mixed baby greens
- 1 small golden beet peeled, sliced thin
- 4 medium radishes sliced thin
- 2 medium rainbow (or regular) carrots peeled and sliced into thin rounds
- ½ cup cooked red lentils
- 1 hard-boiled egg peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons salted, roasted sunflower seeds
- 1 4.4 oz package Wild Planet wild mackerel drained
For the Dressing
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust any herbs or salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing into a jar or lidded container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
For the Salad
- Combine the greens, beet, radish and carrot slices in a mixing bowl and toss to combine. Toss with about ¼ to ½ cup of the dressing (as desired).
- Sprinkle with the lentils and egg slices.
- Portion the salad on to 2 plates. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds and top each salad with half of the wild mackerel. Serve immediately.
- If making this ahead of time, combine all of the salad ingredients but hold the dressing until just before serving.
How is your winter going? Do you count down the days until spring, or just bundle up and enjoy the snow?