A calming recipe from the happy kitchen: Good Mood Food for National Vegetarian Week.
The magnesium in this recipe could be responsible for the calming effect it has on me. You can be flexible with the green vegetables you use. Cauliflower, for example, works as well as broccoli, and you can replace the cavolo nero, which is Italian for black cabbage, with kale or cabbage. If you can’t find a bouquet garni, bundle up any spare bay, rosemary or thyme with string and make your own.
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the leek, courgette and broccoli with the parsley and garlic for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the stock and bouquet garni.
3. Chop the greens or cavolo nero into strips (the broth won’t be blended, so keep them quite small) and add them to the pan too. Don't stir them in –let them sit on top.
4. Cover the pot with a lid, turn the heat down to low and leave it to simmer for 20-25 minutes.
5. About 4 minutes before the end of cooking time, add the spinach leaves. These will wilt quickly.
6. If you like a little more spice, you can add the tamari and chilli flakes. Remember to take out the bouquet garni before serving.
Together, over 5 years, Alice Mackintosh and I developed recipes that put around 150 nutritional studies into practice. They’ve helped me to become more energised, less anxious, clearer thinking, more balanced and a better sleeper. Our conversations and experiments led to our book the happy kitchen: Good Mood Food . In it, I share in detail what I have learnt about eating for happiness. By harnessing the power of food to boost my mood, not just on melancholy days, I have been able to stabilise my feelings. Nutrition has become an important element in my holistic approach to staying well.