I've noticed a marked change in my mood lately--for the better. Truth be told, until recently I've been feeling a little down. Nothing too serious--I've still been getting things done, socializing and such, but I just didn't feel quite like myself. Maybe I should blame it on a minor case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, as the days became gradually darker, or the fact that the cold weather left me less inclined to pull on my running shoes and get some exercise, and more inclined to stay under the covers with warm and carbohydrate-laden take-out. As I assessed my status quo, it was clear what changes needed to be made: I needed to get my ass to the gym (where chilly weather could not be an excuse), and I needed to start cooking healthy food at home again.
It's been a few weeks since I revamped my lifestyle, and the changes in how I feel are clear. Unsurprisingly, I have significantly more energy during the day, sleep better at night, and feel more like myself. I haven't given over to my neighborhood taqueria in lieu of healthy food in weeks, nor have I especially missed it.
More than anything, cooking at home fulfills me on more levels than almost anything else I do--creatively, spiritually, and sensually, and that makes me feel good physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Here is one of my latest creations. It's full of protein, vegetables and good carbs.
Salmon-Spinach Burgers With Cilantro Brown Rice
For the Burgers:
1 uncooked 4-oz salmon fillet, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 medium red onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
2 tbsp flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp salt
a few grinds of black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil for cooking
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Divide into 2 patties and set on a clean plate or parchment paper. Sprinkle both sides of the patties with a little flour until evenly coated with a thin layer.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Cook the patties for 4-5 minutes on each side until they are firm to the touch and nicely browned on the outside. Serve hot over Cilantro Brown Rice.
For the Cilantro Brown Rice:
2 cups freshly cooked, hot long grain brown rice
1/8 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
salt to taste
In a large bowl (or the pot you cooked the rice in), stir the cilantro into the rice. Add salt to taste.
To serve, divide the rice onto 2 plates and arrange the burgers atop the rice mounds. Garnish with a little extra cilantro if desired.