As discussed in a previous blog post, nutrition has been proven to play a key role in managing depression. Although a causal relationship has yet to be established, there is strong enough correlative data to suggest that blood nutrient levels are lower in actively depressed individuals than the population at large. These nutrients include zinc; vitamins D, B12, and B9; omega-3 fatty acids; and tryptophan. Modifying one’s diet to include these nutrients can be an effective step in taking charge of managing depression outside of a clinical setting. The following are examples of recipes that adhere to the Mediterranean Diet discussed in our previous blog post.
BREAKFAST: Microwave Egg Caprese Breakfast Cups
- 2 slices thinly sliced ham
- Shredded mozzarella or provolone or a mix of the two
- 2 eggs
- Basil pesto sauce
- Cherry tomatoes cut in half
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh basil leaves if desired
- Layer the slices of ham on the bottom and up the sides of a ramekin or small bowl pressing into the creases and ruffling the edges then sprinkle the cheese.
- Crack the eggs into the ramekins and add a dollop of pesto over the eggs with a few cherry tomato halves and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Place in the microwave and cover with a microwave plate cover and cook on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds or until the whites are set, adding additional 20 second bursts if needed. All microwaves will cook differently so play around with the amount of time. If cooking more than one set of eggs at a time. Allow for more cooking time as well. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and more kosher salt and black pepper if desired.
LUNCH: Citrus Shrimp and Avocado Salad
- 1 pound medium Pan-Seared Citrus Shrimp 31/40
- 8 cups greens such as arugula spinach, or spring mix
- Fruity or lemon-flavored extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1/2 orange
- 1 avocado sliced or diced
- 1 shallot minced
- 4 ounces toasted sliced almonds
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare the recipe for the Pan-Seared Citrus Shrimp, or gently warm the leftover shrimp. Or, if you prefer, serve the shrimp chilled.
- Toss the shrimp with the salad greens in a large bowl. Lightly drizzle with olive oil, and if desired, some of the sauce remaining from the shrimp with a generous squeeze of citrus, and toss lightly to coat. Add the avocado, shallots and sliced almonds and then season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.
DINNER: Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl with Broccoli and Tomato
- For the Chicken
- 1 6- ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- 2 cloves garlic pressed or minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup Easy Roasted Broccoli and Feta
- 1/2 cup Easy Roasted Tomatoes
- For the Quinoa
- 1 cup dried quinoa
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Crumbled feta cheese
- Slice the chicken breast into 1-inch chunks and add to a gallon freezer bag. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, oregano and salt and pepper then add to the bag, seal, and marinade for at least 30 minutes up to overnight.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the broccoli and tomatoes to the pan with more olive oil if needed, and warm through.
- Meanwhile, cook the quinoa. Rinse it in a fine mesh strainer under cold water first. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over high heat, then add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and quinoa. Boil it like pasta until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, fluff with a fork, and return the quinoa to pot, cover with a kitchen towel, then a lid and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
- To assemble the bowls, divide the quinoa between the bowls and top each with half of the chicken and vegetable mixture. Season with more kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and drizzle with more olive oil if you’d like. Sprinkle with feta cheese crumbles and serve.
 H. (2019, February 20). 50 Favorite Mediterranean Diet Recipes: Foodiecrush .com. Retrieved July 12, 2019, from https://www.foodiecrush.com/50-mediterranean-diet-recipes/
 H. (2018, August 30). Microwave Egg Caprese Breakfast Cups. Retrieved July 12, 2019, from https://www.foodiecrush.com/microwave-egg-caprese-breakfast-cups/
 H. (2018, August 30). Citrus Shrimp and Avocado Salad. Retrieved July 12, 2019, from https://www.foodiecrush.com/citrus-shrimp-avocado-salad/
 H. (2018, August 30). Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl with Broccoli & Tomato. Retrieved July 12, 2019, from https://www.foodiecrush.com/mediterranean-chicken-quinoa-bowl-broccoli-tomato/