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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Blues Busting Recipes for Winter

Blues Busting Recipes for Winter

Last month, I shared some general tips for using food to battle the physical, mental, and emotional slump that attacks some people during the winter. Here are some simple and delicious recipes, using those same principles, that you can make at home to fight off the winter blues:

No More Frowns Pasta Salad
Ingredients:
1 (6 1/2 ounce) can tuna, drained and flaked (you can subtitute chicken, turkey, or beans) 1/2 lb cooked whole grain elbow macaroni or small shell pasta, rinsed and drained
1-2 hard-boiled eggs, mashed
1/2 medium onion, minced
1/2 cup chopped or minced celery
1/2 cup fresh or thawed frozen green leafy vegetable (like spinach, kale, or broccoli)
1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper or green bell pepper
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well to blend. If salad is too dry, add more mayonnaise. Taste, and adjust seasonings to your preference. Chill well before serving.

All Smiles Spinach and Lentil Soup
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped carrot
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
8 cups water
24 ounces low-sodium stock or broth
2 cups dry lentils, rinsed
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped mint (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

Directions:
In a large stockpot, heat the oil and sauté garlic, celery, onions, and carrot until veggies are tender. Add the water, stock, and the rinsed lentils. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, along with the juice in the can, as well as the chopped herbs, and salt and pepper. Stir in the spinach and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes more. Season to taste.

Grinning G.O.R.P (Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts)
Ingredients:
16 ounces shelled dry roasted peanuts
1 cup shelled sunflower seed
1 lb dark chocolate, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup raisins or craisins

Directions:
Mix all together and store in an air-tight baggy. You can add in other nuts that you like too.

Good Mood Mashed Potatoes With Spinach
Ingredients:
2 lbs boiling potatoes
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or substitute broth for a lower fat content
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces baby spinach (6 cups)

Directions:
Cover potatoes with salted cold water by 1 inch in a large saucepan and simmer, uncovered, until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. While potatoes are simmering, bring cream, butter, salt, and pepper to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered. Drain potatoes in a colander and cool slightly. Peel potatoes and mash in large saucepan. Stir spinach into warm cream, tossing to coat, and when slightly wilted (after about 1 minute), immediately add to potatoes. Mash potatoes until almost smooth. Serve immediately.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.