3 Ways to Fight Seasonal Sadness with Food

Health & Wellness
By: Mike Dunn | Teresa Strasser Posted: 10:23 PM, Dec 7, 2021 Updated: 11:01 PM, Dec 7, 2021

Got the winter blues? Dr. John Martinez says diet can help boost your mood! So we turned to Jaden Rae of SteamyKitchen.com for three vitamin-packed recipes that can help beat seasonal sadness.

1. Roasted Squash, Kale & Feta Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette


4 cups butternut squash, in 1” cubes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 bunches of kale, leaves only, chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

4 ounces crumbled Feta cheese

1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)


1. Preheat the oven to 400F. In a large bowl, toss the squash with the oil. Spread onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast 20 minutes, until squash is golden and cooked through.

2. In a large bowl, add the kale and salt. Use your hands to “massage” the salt into the kale, until the kale is bright green and silky-soft. Add in the roasted squash, feta cheese and pumpkin seeds. Toss with the Citrus Walnut Vinaigrette.

For the Citrus Walnut Vinaigrette


2 tablespoons sherry vinegar1 orange, zested and juiced1 tablespoon honey1 tablespoon grainy mustard1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil2 tablespoons walnut oil2 tablespoons water½ teaspoon kosher or sea saltFreshly ground black pepper

DirectionsTo make the dressing, in a mason jar (with a tight-fitting lid), add all of the dressing ingredients and shake vigorously, until combined.

2. Turkey Stroganoff


8 ounces uncooked egg noodles1 tablespoon cooking oil 1/2 onion, chopped8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms1 pound lean ground turkey2 cloves garlic, minced1 teaspoon saltFreshly ground black pepper½ teaspoon dried thyme1 teaspoon paprika1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce1 1/2 tablespoons grainy mustard1 can reduced fat, condensed cream of mushroom soup½ cup water½ cup light sour cream 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions1. Cook the egg noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large saute pan over medium high heat, heat the cooking oil until shimmering. Add the onion and mushrooms. Cook 3-5 minutes, until the onions are softened and the mushrooms are browned.

3. Add in the ground turkey and brown for about 5 minutes, constantly stirring and breaking up the meat. Add in the garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and paprika. and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

4. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, cream of mushroom soup and water. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add more water.

5. Turn off heat and stir in the sour cream. Finish with fresh parsley. Serve with noodles.

3. Salmon & Creamy Spinach with Mushroom Sauce


4 pieces salmon fillet

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 onion, sliced

1/2 pound oyster mushrooms (or mushrooms of your choice), sliced

1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

3 cups baby spinach leaves, loosely packed

¼ cup white wine

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper


1. Pat the salmon very dry on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Heat skillet over medium-high heat with just 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, place salmon skin side down. Cook for 2 minutes, until the skin is crispy.

2. Turn the heat down to medium, flip the salmon. With a piece of tin foil, cover the salmon loosely. This will cook the salmon while still allowing the steam to escape, keeping the skin crispy. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the salmon is nearly cooked through, pink in the middle (we will finish cooking the salmon at a later step.) Remove the salmon to a clean plate.

3. Return the skillet to the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. When hot, swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the onions and the mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes, until the onions are softened and the mushrooms are nicely browned.

4. Add in the minced garlic and the spinach. Stir and let the garlic sizzle in the oil for a few seconds until fragrant. Add in the white wine and let cook for 1 minute until alcohol has evaporated. Stir in heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

5. Return the cooked salmon to the pan, and let it snuggle in the creamy sauce – let the salmon finish cooking, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. The spinach should be wilted but still bright green.