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5 Home Cooked Vegetable Recipes to combat stress

I have several friends who suffer with different types of stress and anxiety, and I’m sure we all have stressful times in our lives, so knowing foods to eat which can help ease those feelings is a great idea.  Here is a guest post from Ryan Riviera to tell us more…

Home cooked meals are the best comfort food anyone can have. If you want to treat yourself to a superior but homey and healthy meal, here are some easy to prepare Home Cooked Vegetable Recipes which you may incorporate in your daily diet.

Gazpacho Soup (tomato vegetable soup)

Tomatoes contain potassium, lycopene, vitamins E and A.  It is also rich in vitamin C which, if taken in large doses can have a tranquilizing effect that help alleviate anxiety. Here is one special tomato vegetable soup:

Put 1 minced onion, 2 cups of diced tomatoes, 1 cup of minced green pepper, 1 tsp honey, 1 chopped cucumber, lemon and lime juice, 2 tsp vinegar, 1 tsp basil and dried tarragon, ground cumin, ¼ cup of chopped parsley, tobacco sauce, 2 tbsp olive oil and pepper in a food processor or blender. Combine it altogether well but see to it that you do not over process. Blend the finished mixture together with 4 cups of tomato juice in a bowl. Wrap it in a plastic and let it chill for 2 hrs.  It is nice to serve it together with bread.

Simple Hummus Recipe

Garbanzo beans are filled with vitamins A, C, E and K. It also contains vitamin B6 or also known as pyridoxine which has been proven to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. It is also loaded with minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and sodium. Calcium is another mineral that can be found in garbanzo beans which is known to be a natural tranquilizer. Here is your easy recipe for garbanzo beans:

Put 1 can of garbanzo beans, 4 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 cloves of chopped garlic and 2 tbsp tahini in a blender together. Let it blend until it is creamy. Put the finished mixture in a serving bowl. Pour some olive oil on it and serve it with fresh vegetables.

Sweet Potato Balls

Sweet potato ball is another nutritious recipe that kids will surely love. It contains minerals like potassium, copper and iron. Add to that the mineral magnesium which can help reduce tension in the nervous system.  Thus, sufficient intake of magnesium can help a person feel more relaxed.  It can help you become more focused and it will also help reduce your vulnerability to stress and anxiety. This sweet potato balls recipe is a healthy treat for your sweet tooth:

Cut 2 pounds of sweet potatoes into chunks. Let it boil until it becomes tender. Add 2 tbsp of butter, ¼ tsp of salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and 1 tbsp of brown sugar along with the boiled sweet potato and mash. Add 1 egg while mixing altogether. Let it chill until it is firm. Form the potatoes into a ball shape and place mini marshmallows on the insides. Roll in 1 cup of gingersnap crumbs. Bake it on a cookie sheet for up to 10-15 minutes.

Cauliflower Purée

Cauliflower is a good source for vitamins such as C, B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, and K. Its vitamin B3 alone is very helpful in the production of serotonin which plays an important role in producing a more balanced and stable mind. It also contains carotenoids, phytonutrients, and manganese.

Boil 1 head of cauliflower in a saucepan until it is tender. Put the boiled cauliflower and cooking liquid in a blender. Blend it until it becomes smooth. Last, add 3 tbsp of sour cream and 1 tbsp butter. Let it blend for a short moment. Season it with pepper and salt.

Asparagus Recipe

Asparagus provides a good source of folate, fiber, vitamins A, B12, E, and K. It also contains vitamin C which not only helps in alleviating anxiety.  It also promotes proper functioning of the adrenal glands and improves brain chemistry. This simple asparagus recipe is so easy to prepare, go ahead have a try:

Boil water in a saucepan, add 1 bunch of asparagus and parboil it for just 2 minutes. Drain away the hot water. Mix the asparagus with 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of grated lemon rind and 2 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Eating delicious home cooked meals is like experiencing luxury at the comforts of our very own home.

About the Author:

Ryan Rivera used to suffer from anxiety attacks for seven years.  He now advocates healthy living as the best weapon against anxiety and depression.  You can read more of his articles at Calm Clinic

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Growing our own (so we can eat our own)

It was such a sunny day today that I couldn’t resist getting outside and planting vegetable seeds with my daughter.  

I wish I had the skill, time, inclination, space and weather to grow all the vegetables we eat ourselves, but I’ll just have to make do with growing a few of our favourites.  

I’ve still got courgette, tomato and lettuce seeds from a couple of years’ ago so we’ve started off with those to see if they germinate.  I also want to get basil, cucumber and pepper seeds to give them a go too.  I think we might be a bit late for potatoes – but I really love growing them as it’s so satisfying when you harvest them 🙂

We haven’t got a very large garden so I am planning on growing the veggies in pots rather than in the ground.  I’m hoping this might deter the slugs too!

So here is propagator number one ready to go into the cold frame.  

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I find it amazing that a tray of seeds in soil will (hopefully) turn into loads of tomato, courgette and lettuce plants!

As you can imagine, a 22 month old only has a short attention span so she soon got fed up and we played with boxes instead … can you spot her?!

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I’ll let you know how the vegetables (although I just realised that tomatoes are officially a fruit!) come along.

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Hey Pesto

As spring has sprung and the weather is so sunny at the moment, it’s time to start making one of my favourite dishes again: bruschetta.

It may be just a personal thing, but I feel the fresh, crisp flav0ur of bruschetta is more suited to warm weather than cold, rainy days.

I’ve only gone as far as buying a basil plant and making the key ingredient so far – green pesto.

I used to buy pesto from the supermarket, but a) it’s fairly expensive and you don’t usually need a whole jar at a time so you end up wasting some; b) my husband and I are intolerant to cheese so the parmesan is an issue for us; and c) making it yourself makes the flavour so fresh and delicious.

The ingredients are very simple:

3 garlic cloves (or more or less according to taste)

handful of pine nuts

1 tbsp olive oil

15 large-ish basil leaves

salt and pepper to season

then you just throw them all into a food processor and – as I punned nicely in the title of the post – hey pesto!  Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

I’m planning on making bruschetta at the weekend so the pesto’s all ready for action.  I’ll chop up lots of cherry tomatoes and red onion, place them on top of toasted ciabatta, spoon the pesto on top then drizzle some balsamic vinegar.

I made the pesto yesterday because I used a couple of spoonfuls on home made pizza – it added a really nice flavour when sprinkled on top of the chicken and vegetables.  Not really as satisfying as melted cheese on a pizza, but it was delicious nevertheless.

I also use it as a stir through sauce with pasta for a quick meal.

Once I know the frosts are definitely over, I’m going to plant some basil seeds in pots in the garden.  I love the smell of basil!  A couple of years’ ago my husband and I grew some but it had a lemon flavour which I found a bit too sweet-smelling and tasting so we’ll go for ‘normal’ basil this time.

My daughter has just started to like cherry tomatoes so I’m hoping she’ll learn to love bruschetta as much as my husband and I do … it’ll be her first time trying it this weekend, wish me luck!

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