Mindfull Recipes: Feed the Mind and Body

Craving an afternoon treat might not be so guilty after all. In Mindfull: Over 100 Delicious Recipes for Better Brain Health, a science-based cookbook for the brain, author and senior scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute, Dr. Carol Greenwood cites a study in which older adults boosted late afternoon cognitive performance with a soda-like drink. Greenwood, who believes in “eating healthy in your own way,” offers all-day options including Afternoon Brain Boosters like the following recipe for Chili Chocolate Bark with Cherries and Pistachios – better than a can of pop and no doubt tastier. Continue the brain boosting into the evening with a delicious meal of halibut, which is a source of vitamin D – great for the dark days of winter – and omega-3 fatty acids, which enhance brain health.  —Tara Losinski

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Chili Chocolate Bark with Cherries and Pistachios

This snack is as rich in antioxidants as it is in flavour. Sweet, salty, spicy and smooth – there’s no palate this bark won’t satisfy.

1½ cups bittersweet chocolate chips

1½ cups pure semi-sweet chocolate chips (or additional bittersweet chocolate chips)

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

¾ cup dried cherries

¾ cup raw, shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts

Place bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high for 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, stir chocolate chips for 20 seconds. Repeat microwaving and stirring two more times. Microwave for 15 seconds. Remove from microwave; stir chocolate until completely melted, smooth and silky. Stir in cayenne pepper until well combined. Stir in cherries and pistachios.

Pour mixture onto a parchment paper-lined 10- x 15-inch baking sheet, spreading evenly.

Refrigerate until hardened, about 25 minutes. Break into uneven, jagged pieces. (Can be stored, well wrapped, in refrigerator for up to 2 months.)

Makes 1½ lb (12 2-oz servings).

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 260; Protein 4g; Carbohydrate 34g (11%DV);Fat, total 15g (23%DV); Fat, saturated 8g (40%DV); Fat, trans 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Fibre 4g (16%DV); Sodium 5mg (0%DV).

Halibut-with-Salsa[1][1]Halibut with Two Tomato and Avocado Salsa

Ingredients:

Salsa

1 lb. mixed yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved

½ cup julienned oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained

1 large ripe avocado, diced

3 tbsp drained capers

3 tbsp sherry vinegar

3 large cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 tsp Dijon mustard

¼ tsp each salt and black pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

Fish

2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves

½ tsp each salt and black pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

6 halibut fillets (6 oz/180 g each)

Preparation:

Salsa

In a large bowl, combine cherry and sun-dried tomatoes, avocado and capers. In a

separate bowl, whisk together vinegar, garlic, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in oil until emulsified. Pour over tomato mixture, tossing gently until well coated. Marinate at room temperature for at least 2 hours and for up to 8 hours.

Fish

Preheat broiler; place oven rack approximately 6 inches from heat source. in a small bowl, stir together thyme, salt, pepper and oil. Brush over halibut fillets; place on broiler pan, skin-side down. Broil for 5 minutes. Flip fish so that it is skin-side up. Broil until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 5 more minutes for 1-inch thick fillets. Broiling time should be adjusted depending upon thickness of fillet so that total cook- ing time is 10 minutes per inch.Serve topped with heaping mound of salsa.

Serves 6

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 490; Protein 50g; Carbohydrate 10g (3%DV); Fat, total 28g (43%DV); Fat, saturated 4g (20%DV); Fat, trans 0g; Cholesterol 75mg (25%DV); Fibre 4g (16%DV); Sodium 600mg (25%DV).

 

Recipes from: Mindfull by Carol Greenwood, Daphna Rabinovitch and Joanna Gryfe. © 2013 by The Baycrest Centre Foundation. Photographs by David Shuken. All rights reserved. Published in Canada by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.