We wish you a very merry and cheery Christmas and a Happy New Year with a moodeat turkey recipe specially prepared for you to help you cope with the Christmas Blues.
We know it takes a lot more than a moodeat turkey, but every little thing you do helps!
Remember to prepare it with a group of supportive friends and loving family members.
MoodEat Turkey: Christmas recipe that will cheer us up!*
The Christmas turkey is a festive dish with many cheerful colors. Additionally, it contains ingredients that with a little special preparation may help to improve our mood!
1 turkey (approx. 4 kilos)
For the marinade
4 liters of water, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 cup salt
For the filling
500 gr minced meat
5 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped 200 gr
brown rice 400 gr boiled
chestnuts 300 gr
pitted prunes 70 gr
pine nuts ½
chili pepper 1 cup
red wine or 1/3 cup brandy 1 cup
chicken broth Salt and pepper Mixture for baking 200 ml
orange juice 200 ml red wine
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp brown sugar
Some rosemary and sage 5-6 bay leaves Cloves
2-3 cinnamon sticks
5-6 tbsp traditional butter
Put the turkey into the marinade and refrigerate for 12 or more hours.
Before stuffing, remove from the water, rinse and dry thoroughly.
To make the filling, sauté the onion and minced meat in olive oil.
Pour the wine or brandy into the pan and then add all the remaining ingredients for the filling.
Allow to simmer until fluids are absorbed.
Remove from the heat and allow cooling.
Stuff the turkey and sew.
Rub on all sides with the butter, stuffing some underneath the skin and then pour the mixture for the baking in.
Put it in the oven at 180 degrees after covering with aluminum foil and bake for about 2 ½ hours.
Open the oven every 15 minutes and drizzle the turkey with pan juices.
In the last 20 minutes remove the foil and let it brown.
Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
The MoodEat ingredients of Happiness
The turkey contains white meat without much fat and is a good source of protein of high biological value. Most importantly it contains the amino acid tryptophan, an essential building block of serotonin, which regulates mood, quality of sleep and emotional stability.
Also, depending on the diet of turkey, the meat can contain higher or lesser amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are shown to improve mood and decrease depression. It is a good source of selenium, zinc and B vitamins which enhance neurological function and mood.
Brown rice that we chose for this recipe is very nutritious because it contains fiber, amino acids and B vitamins associated with euphoria and brain function. Moreover, complex carbohydrates such as potatoes and rice enhance the absorption of tryptophan and thus the action of serotonin in the brain.
Chestnuts are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids like pine nuts. Furthermore, they both contain many minerals like magnesium which plays a role in contraction and relaxation of muscles.
Chili has the ability to improve mood by stimulating nerves that give a signal to the brain to release chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins have the capacity to reduce feelings of pain and relieve the depressive mood.
Spices like cinnamon and cloves may offer euphoria through taste and smell, but it is also known that when consumed in large quantities they have similar effects to substances associated with feelings of euphoria.
Rosemary is often used in aromatherapy as relaxing. Its therapeutic use relieves stress, relaxes muscles, improves digestion and prevents heartburn and indigestion after a heavy meal. Also, a survey using placebo showed that sage also reduces stress, elevates mood and improves memory.
Finally, black pepper contains compounds called alkaloids. One of these is piperine which simulates pancreatic enzymes that break down proteins, accelerating the process of digestion. Piperine can dramatically increase the absorption of selenium, vitamin B and beta-carotene, and other nutrients. It also helps to increase endorphins in the brain.
A glass of red wine can perfectly accompany this meal and let us relax. However, we should pay attention to overeating and drinking... because the opposite effects are larking.
If you do try this special moodeat recipe at home with your friends and family, why don't you let us know how you got on with it?
*Article written and recipe prepared by Dr. Eirini Manthou, BSc, MSc, PhD., Nutrionist, BipolarLab.com Associate.