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Mood enhancing chow

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What do you eat, besides chocolate, when you are feeling sad? What's a good way to cheer up without bulking up?

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  1. I usually like comfort foods, like meatloaf and mashed potatoes. And NOTHING beats the smell of a roasting chicken as a mood elevator. :-)

    1. Mashed potatoes or homemade mac and cheese usually instantly cheer me up. Or quality coffee ice cream.

      Doesn't seem like any of that prevents me from bulking up though...it certainly manages to put a smile on my face though! :)

      1. It may sound strange, but fresh berries always perk me up. There's something about the sweet/tart taste that puts me in a good mood.

        Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries all do it for me.

        2 Replies
        1. re: QueenB

          Something really spicy with a slow heat, Thai food for instance. Since the pain of the heat releases endorphins your mood immediately lifts -- works for me!

          1. re: QueenB

            That reminds me of a time a couple years ago when I was chopping onions with tears streaming down my face (I'm really sensitive to onion vapors). My son, then maybe 3 or 4 years old, asked, "why are you crying?" I told him, "onions make me cry." He replied, "strawberries will make you happy!"

            As for the original question, for me it's soup. Very comforting. Or ditto the suggestion below about sushi with a friend.

          2. A long, slow meal at a sushi bar with a good friend. Its hard not to get lost in all of the textures and tastes and sights.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ccbweb

              Right after I've had a good, garlicky Italian dinner at our favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant, all is right with the world.

            2. For me it is either frozen yogurt or hot chocolate depending upon the time of year.

              1. Almost anything good, eaten thoughtfully, will perk me up (unless my sadness has to do with indigestion!). A nice grilled cheese on buttered sourdough, codfish cakes and eggs, good spicy menudo, good fried chicken, a sandwich of freshly cut ham on good bread with unsalted butter and a swipe of up-yer-nose mustard...

                Non-fattening things, I'm afraid, don't have quite as much soothing effect on me, with the exception of a bowl of low-fat or GOOD non-fat cottage cheese with a cut-up tomato, a little chopped scallion, salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. For best results I eat this by scooping it up on Ritz crackers, but the lower-calorie version, with a spoon, works just fine.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Will Owen

                  My grandmother use to make puzzette (Turino based) every special holiday. It's an extruded cheese noodle that looks like a worm. It's heavy on eggs, pecorino, romano in a nutmeg chicken broth. From the time I first had it until I was 35, I would never touch easter, xmas, thanksgiving dinner and I would have 6 bowls of this. Someone once told me that nutmeg is addictive in the same way THC is and that the body craves nutmeg, once digested. (maybe that's why I gobble down pumpkin pie). I've learned how to make it since and when I need a bowl of pick me up. It's puzzette soup. Truly a SIMPLE yet amazing MOOD enhancing dish.

                  1. re: ElizabethHenton

                    Elizabeth, this sure sounds good. Is there any way you could post the recipe? I like a grating of nutmeg, too, in savory dishes, especially in Italian cream sauces for pasta or chowder -- but I've never thought about the addictive part!

                    1. re: ElizabethHenton

                      Sounds heavenly. Can you post a rough recipe?

                      1. re: torty

                        Apologies for the interruption - but if the recipe is posted, please post it on the Home Cooking board - with a link to it from here if desired.

                        Thanks!

                      2. re: ElizabethHenton

                        Yes, Please post the recipe for puzzette. I really need something to comfort me after a long days work!

                    2. The favorite thing for me to eat and when I am contemplating something, but not necessarily sad, is to go to my favorite Chinese Restaurant, and eat a big bowl of egg drop soup.
                      Chicken Chowmein and Egg Rolls to go.

                      1. Wonton Soup. Just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Also helps me sleep for some reason. And when I wake up all is right in the world.

                        1. Aside from rainbow sprinkles with a little vanilla soft-serve frozen yogurt, sometimes I like some spicy soup to get me sweating and oozing toxins and emotions and ickiness. Cheese too; gooeyness gets me feeling gooey in a good creamy way.

                          Not food, but for me, running is the panacea.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Emme

                            Likewise, a good work-out. Then, treat myself to some blueberries/raspberries and yo, or cereal. But, if indulgence is key, then a root beer float. :)

                          2. I also love soup. Especially comfort soup - like garlic/potato or bean soups.
                            Another thing is to eat nostalgic food, like foods my grandma used to get for me when I was living with her.

                            And what not to have: I find sweets and wine to be generally not as good. Sweets because I end up binging and feeling gross the next day. Wine is just a bad idea.

                            1. Salmon. And lots of Japanese food. The omega-3s in fish are real mood boosters...I crave salty, greasy food when I'm sad, but if I ignore my cravings and go for soemthing good for me I always feel better.

                              1. Jamba Juice. Granted, you still have to pay attention to the calories, but I love a good smoothie.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: ccbweb

                                  i will call me aunt eva first thing and stay on the phone for an eternity and hear about her family, yada yada yada to get the exact recipe. I make a bastardized version from a habitual holiday indulgence.

                                  PUZZETTE: It's about 40 eggs, proper amount of ground STALE ciabatta, few meaty italian grandmother grated cups of pecorino, romano, butter, kneaded into a lumpy pile.

                                  Hand rolled into balls, feed through a pasta extruder - 2 foot long, 1/8 inch noodles.
                                  Left to lose moisture.

                                  A slow simmer on a hand crafted chicken stock. (Infused with nutmeg from the get go - i usually use the ground in a bottle stuff, but my aunt eva uses the real mccoy).

                                  a pound of ground sausage, cooked, drained then add fresh mint/chopped basil

                                  So, a nutmeg infused chicken broth with ground sausage mixture - steamed hot then add the fresh puzzette (extruded cheese noodle).

                                  The level of cheese to noodle ratio is more of touch and feel thing than precise measurement and can make or break your puzzette (and how dry it is befor eit's cooked.

                                  I will post the official recipe when Esther (my gmother) or Aunt Eva gets back to me soon. I do have my sister on VHS with my grandmother making it - it's from the mid 80's, but it's in a box somewhere in the attic.

                                  BTW: puzzette and the annual consumption can create addiction. in no way is the post responsible for any future nutmeg addicts. Any attempt to depict the real aunt eva recipe is purely unitentional, but shall follow shortly. Consume with warning of addiction

                                  1. re: ElizabethHenton

                                    Alright! I happy to see the ingredients. I was eating really awful pasta while I searched for your post! Can't wait to try this recipe. Ciao!

                                    1. re: ElizabethHenton

                                      As noted above, please move any recipe discussion to the Home Cooking board.

                                      Thanks.