The other day, I heard on the radio that the most miserable day of the year is January 6. I beg to differ. I think as the holidays get farther away and the long stretch of months weeks separate us from Spring, my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) really sets in. If you are unaffected by the weather, props to you—send me your tips for getting through. But if you’re like me, you’ll do anything to bring a little sunshine into your day.
For me, frequent exercise, getting outside when I can and keeping busy helps, but my sister, the soon-to-be dietitian, is a firm believer that one of the best places to fight the winter blues is in your kitchen. During these long, cold winter months, your Vitamin D intake is at an all-time low. This important vitamin can help you fight off seasonal depression as well as promote healthy bone and muscle mass, potentially fight off cancer, and improve your immune function (which we all need right now).
The tricky part about getting enough Vitamin D, however, is that it can’t be absorbed without calcium, and vice versa. Sound confusing? My sis says the answer is as simple as pairing the right foods together. So, I asked her to make a recipe that is high in both these vitamins/minerals, and here is what she came up with—a delicious mushroom (high in Vitamin D) and onion bake with bok choy (calcium powerhouse). It’s easy to make and sure to be yummy. If you haven’t tried bok choy, please do. It’s a green that often gets overlooked.
Here it is—I can feel myself getting happier just thinking about making this (or maybe it’s the glass of wine I’m drinking)…
Camille’s Zesty Mushroom & Onion Bake with Steamed Bok Choy
- 1 cup mushrooms (I used portabella, but you can use any kind you’d like)
- 1/4 chopped onion
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ Tbsp. Olive Oil
Mix all ingredients together in an oven-safe dish. Bake uncovered at 375 for 20 minutes, or until onions are translucent and mushrooms begin to shrivel.
In the meantime, cut and wash your bok choy (I suggest 2-3 stalks per person) and place in a microwave-safe crock with a lid. Fill without about ½ inch of water, cover, and steam in the microwave (I steamed mine for 2 ½ minutes and I had 3 stalks). Drain and add sea salt and pepper to taste.
This is a versatile dish that can be served with grilled chicken for added protein and/or on top of brown rice or quinoa. Beyond the Vitamin D and calcium, it is packed with potassium, magnesium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Happy cooking and eating! 🙂
O & C