4 Great Ways to Use Your Superfoods

Nutritious food on a counter

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Put those mood-boosting ingredients to work in four delicious, easy-to-make recipes.

Now we know that healthy, nutrient-packed ingredients like seafood, nuts, eggs and leafy greens are great for our bodies and our minds. They have the power to improve our mood (even if we might assume the uplift is just the afterglow of eating a good meal). But what do we do with this knowledge? Instead of scarfing down handfuls of nuts or binging on hard-boiled eggs, try whipping up some of these delicious, soul-satisfying dishes as a way to add some happy to your meals.

Nut–Crusted Sea Bass

Serves 4

Olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts, pecans or pistachios, chopped medium-fine
1/3 cup panko or fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 sea bass or cod fillets, 4–6 ounces each
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard or prepared horseradish

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease the foil with olive oil (spray is fine).

Combine the nuts, bread crumbs, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and a generous grinding of pepper in a shallow bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Spread the top of each fillet with the mustard or horseradish. Press the coated side of each fillet into the crumb mixture to generously coat the fish. Set the fillets, coating side up, on the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the fillets.

Bake until the topping is crisp and browned and the fish is cooked through, 10–12 minutes, depending on thickness. Serve at once.


Quick Tuscan Bean Stew with Poached Egg

Serves 4

2 teaspoons olive oil
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon fresh sage or oregano, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
Two 8-ounce cartons chicken broth
Two 15-ounce cans cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
2 lemons, 1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges for serving
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
2 tablespoons white vinegar
4 eggs

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the green onions, garlic and sage; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to soften, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 3–4 inches of water in a pot wide enough to hold 4 eggs. Carefully crack the eggs into 4 small bowls, keeping the yolks whole.

Stir the broth and beans into the Dutch oven; bring to a simmer and cook until heated through, about 4 minutes. Using a wooden spoon or potato masher, lightly mash some of the beans to thicken the soup. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon; season with salt and pepper. Spoon the stew into shallow bowls while the eggs are poaching, below.

When the egg-poaching water is just under a boil, stir in the vinegar and pour each of the eggs into the water in quick succession, bringing the bowls close to the surface of the water and pouring quickly. Set a timer for 4 minutes, and lower the heat so the water does not boil while the eggs are cooking. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, pressing the spoon against the pan to remove any raggedy edges and blotting the eggs with paper towels. Place each egg on top of a bowl of stew. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve with lemon wedges.


Kale Salad with Pecans & Dried Cherries

Serves 4

1 lemon
4 cups thinly shredded dinosaur (lacinato) kale
2 cups thinly shredded mustard or collard greens
1/4 cup walnut or olive oil (divided)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan or pecorino cheese
1/4 cup dried cherries or fresh pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil or mint
1/2 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced (optional)

First, zest and juice the lemon. Set aside. Combine the kale and mustard greens and toss with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes, then massage the dressing into the kale with your fingertips.

Add the Parmesan shavings, dried cherries, basil, pecans, and avocado, if using, plus the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the lemon zest. Toss and serve.


Sweet Potato Frittata

Serves 4

8 eggs
1/3 cup milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 red-skinned sweet potatoes, such as Garnet or Jewel
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
2 handfuls baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese

Note: This recipe requires a 12-inch nonstick skillet that can go in an oven.

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Whisk together the eggs, milk and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Peel the sweet potatoes and dice to ¼-inch. In a 10–12-inch nonstick skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes and toss to coat, then sprinkle with the cumin and salt to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are tender and browned, 10–15 minutes.

Sprinkle the green onions and spinach over the potatoes, then cover the pan and cook until the spinach wilts, 1–2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, give the eggs one last stir, and pour them over the potatoes. With your fingers, crumble the goat cheese over the top of the frittata. Put the pan in the oven and bake until the middle barely jiggles when you shake the pan, 12–18 minutes. If you like, turn the broiler on for the last minute of cooking to brown the top.

Let the frittata rest for a few minutes before turning it out of the pan and slicing. Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Sarah Clegg has edited dozens of cookbooks for Chronicle Books, Williams-Sonoma and other publishers. She is the author of The Lunch Box and Love in Spoonfuls.

 

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