Anna's Comfort Food Favs

Submitted by Anna Jones on Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:31 - 0 Comments
Dinner - Mushroom Risotto:
1 tbsp olive oil
½ yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
4 oz shiitake mushroom
1 cup uncooked arborio rice
3-4 cups vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan (optional)
Saute onion and garlic in oil on medium high heat until fragrant and transparent.
Add the mushrooms and heat until soft and reduced
Add rice and allow to crisp slightly for 1 minute.
Pour in vegetable stock so that it covers rice. As stock boils off, continue to consistently add more until out of stock. 
Salt and pepper, adding parmesan if desired.
This mushroom risotto is perfect for anyway who gets home on any day of the relentless school week and just thinks “I sure could use a hug”. Not matter what’s getting you down or stressing you out, this hearty meal will be there to keep you warm. It’s the same as falling into bed after a long day, hugging your sheets as you drift to sleep, only the rice is hugging you from the inside. Not only will this meal help you feel physically good - because who doesn’t love feeling full? - but it has emotional benefits as well. Garlic, an important ingredient in this recipe, has been known to reduce fatigue - a symptom almost all of us have experienced this winter - and to build up your immune system. Let’s be realistic here, who can concentrate on essays and tests while they’re sick all day? The answer is: NO ONE! Mushrooms have a whole array of benefits as well. They too boost the immune system, and improve energy and brain function. That’s something all of us could use. 
Lunch - Sesame Noodles:
4 tbsp sesame oil
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 small red chillies
1 4-inch piece of ginger
1 ½ cups baby bok choy
1 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp soy sauce
½ pack uncooked udon
Green onions and sesame seeds to garnish
Boil water and cook udon as directed on packet.
Saute garlic, chilli, and ginger in 2 tbsp sesame oil on medium high heat until fragrant and soft.
Add bok choy and allow to soften for 2-3 minutes, stirring to ensure they don’t burn.
Pour syrup, soy sauce, and the rest of the sesame oil into pan and coat contents with sauce.
Immediately place warm udon into pan and coat with sauce.
Garnish with chopped green onions and roasted sesame seeds. 
I know what you’re all thinking… “How is a pile of noodles with a few greens thrown on top really going to help my emotional health?” Well let me stop you right there. This spicy, flavourful meal isn’t a “pile of noodles”, and those greens? They definitely weren’t just “thrown” on top. There’s a whole lot of stuff going on. Let’s kick it off with sesame. Sesame seeds, sesame oil, sesame everything! Sesame products have a very similar impact on the brain as antidepressants do. And, if it’s frequently consumed can lower anxiety. So for whatever gets you down, now you know where to turn for a little comfort. Moving on: for those of you who can handle a chili or two, you’ll be happy to know that eating chili is thought to strengthen the mind in Japanese culture. You might like to think of these noodles as your midday wake up. A quick hit of spice that’ll make your eyes pop out of your head. Now let’s talk about those greens that we just “threw” on top. The color green can actually help improve concentration. So if you have a test TOMORROW(!) that you didn’t study for, this dish will get you in the mood to learn all you need to know. Or more realistically, memorise for one day and then forget for the rest of your life. I don’t know what could be better than a meal offering all this.
Breakfast - Avocado bruschetta: 
10 small cherry tomatoes
⅙ red onion
2 cloves garlic
Salt + pepper
½ avocado
2 pieces of your favourite toast
Chop tomatoes into quarters and finely dice garlic and onion. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and toss in a bowl. 
After toasting your favourite pieces of bread, slather the avocado over the pieces, crushing them into the toast.
Place the tomato bruschetta on top of the avocado and enjoy. 
The avocado craze, we’ve all heard of it. Millennials can’t afford to buy houses because they’re too busy buying all those expensive avocados… But maybe they’re onto something. Avocado has a whole load of physical and emotional benefits. It’s going to improve your vision and energy, all while providing you with a nutritious kiss from the inside, giving you vitamins and hustling up to your brain to protect you against cognitive decline. So maybe those millennials aren’t spending their money the wrong way after all… Maybe it’s the government we live with. Let’s talk about tomatoes. That sour fruit/vegetable adults go crazy for, but us kids? We don’t tend to be the biggest fans. But add a little salt and pepper and I assure you, those tomatoes will taste so good you’ll lie in bed at night thinking about breakfast. Tomatoes will help to maintain a healthy blood pressure, and can contribute to heart health. Two very important ingredients to help you feel physically great, so you have one less thing to really stress about.
Bliss Balls:
15 medjool dates, pitted
1 ½ tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
½  pecans
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ additional shredded coconut
Add all ingredients together in a food processor and pulse until mixture is is smooth.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes,
Roll mixture into tablespoon sized balls and coat in additional coconut.
Store these in the fridge for up to one week
So “bliss balls” might sound like something you’d eat before bed. A little treat to help hit the snooze button, but you’d be wrong. It’s like taking an 8 hour energy shot, like someone lit a fire under your seat, but without all the bad stuff. So, no matter what time of day you’re studying, this small snack is what you need. Dates are pure carbs and the main energy booster in this snack. Coconut oil boosts energy, and improves your immune system, and increase your memory and recall, and balances your blood sugar. The list goes on and on. My point: eat more coconut oil!! On to pecans… Pretty nuts right? They add a sweet crunch that is irresistible. They also improve your energy and act as an antioxidant. Everyone’s favorite part of this recipe, or maybe the only part that caught their attention: cocoa. If you’ve ever heard of it, you might know that it improves blood flow to the heart and brain and helps you learn things faster. The more you eat, the more you think! It also helps to reduce inflammation… so when you have one of those ‘eight hour study headaches’ this is certainly the snack for you. 

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