Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blue Days Salad

I'm sure it's not surprising that this week's Salad Challenge recipe is based on my last entry on the Blue Days Diet. As a review the blue day diet includes: tryptophan (to boost serotonin), spiciness (to release endorphins), B vitamins (increase energy & elevate mood), carbohydrates (increase tryptophan uptake), and chocolate (cause it's awesome).

Ok, so this salad doesn't have chocolate. I couldn't come up with a way to do that, so i'll just have to make some hot cocoa later. Since I was eating this salad with a stir-fry that I served over quinoa, I figured that satisfied the carb requirement, and really, when are we ever lacking in opportunities to incorporate more carbs in our diet? So lets focus on the other three, tryptophan, B vitamins, and heat.

As I already mentioned, I was making a stir fry for dinner, so I decided to go with an asian influence in this salad. This salad features crimini mushrooms, which have nearly all of the different B vitamins as well as being an excellent source of tryptophan; cucumber, miso, sesame seeds and the baby greens are all sources of tryptophan as well. The dressing contains a good dose of cayenne pepper which will warm your tongue and get those endorphins flowing.

Crimini Mushroom Salad with Spicy Miso Dressing
Makes 1 salad

Dark leafy greens
4 or 5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
soy sauce
cucumber, sliced
sesame seeds

1 tsp miso paste
1 tsp oil (use sesame oil if you have it)
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp water

Saute mushrooms with a bit of soy sauce until well cooked. Set aside.
Whisk together dressing recipes. If you're not partial to spicy food start with a little and add more until it suits your tastes. You may want to add more or less water depending on how thick you want the dressing to be.
Drizzle dressing on top of greenery, cucumbers, and mushrooms, and top with sesame seeds.

Salad Challenge Countdown
Salads made: 10 Salads left: 42

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