Do you often find yourself struggling with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) as the daylight hours get shorter and the weather gets colder? Do you simply want to feel happier, more elevated, and more optimistic regardless of the season? The docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in fatty fish are a gamechanger. Studies have shown that these healthy fats can reduce depression, boost your mood, and even improve your brain health, memory and cognition! The following collection of recipes make it easy to get a full day’s worth of healthy omega-3s to beat SAD and help you experience a better mood right away.

Miso Marinated Salmon Fish

In general, you want to get at least 250 mg of omega-3 fats every day. A single 3.5-ounce serving of salmon provides more than 2,000 mg of omega-3s! Yet many people find cooking salmon to be quite intimidating, worried that they’ll undercook the fish (a food safety hazard!) or overcook it (no one likes dry fish!).

This easy, effortless recipe makes cooking salmon a breeze. The mayo infusion seals in the fish’s moisture, guaranteeing a flaky, delightful texture in every bite. Meanwhile, the miso adds a hint of Asian fusion, giving the salmon a lot of umami (savory) taste while also giving this dish some healthy fermented probiotics.

1 sockeye salmon, filleted and deboned
1/2 c Japanese Mayonnaise (such as the Kewpie brand)
2 tbsp light miso paste, ideally organic
1 tbsp miri
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp soy sauce

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While your oven is heating up, combine all the ingredients (except the salmon) and whisk until well mixed. Coat the salmon fillet, then place it skin-down on a baking sheet and bake it for 15 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily and the miso-mayo coating is golden-brown and bubbling. Enjoy!

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Avocado-Tuna Fish Melt

Elevate the humble tuna melt with the addition of avocado. Just one cup of cubed avocado offers more than 40 mg of magnesium, making this meal a great immunity booster alongside the many hard-to-get B vitamins in the bread. Finally, the tuna fish adds omega-3 fats:  a single can gets you more than 70 mg.

2 slices whole-grain bread
1 can of tuna, drained
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (or your favorite plant-based mayo alternative)
1/8 tsp dried dill
1/8 tsp onion flakes
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 avocado, peeled and cubed
2 slices of your favorite dairy or plant-based cheese

Toast the bread in a toaster.

Combine the tuna, mayo, seasoning and spices in a bowl. Mix well.

Turn on your oven’s broiler, set to medium heat.

Top each toasted bread slice with the tuna mix, then layer on the avocado cubes and the slices of cheese.

Place on a baking sheet and broil for a couple of minutes or until the cheese is melted and the tuna is bubbling.

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Italian-Style Sardine Fish Pasta Infused with Capers and Lemon Juice

Sardines are a much under-appreciated ingredient, and not just because they’re a potent source of omega-3s (an estimated 1,000 grams in a can of packed sardines). Sardines are often far more sustainable and ethically sourced than other forms of fish. They’re convenient to buy and store, since they come canned. And they’re easy to prepare and taste oh-so-good.

Even though you’re starting with a convenient, canned ingredient, you’ll elevate it into a gourmet masterpiece with this Mediterranean-inspired pasta, rich in delicate flavors from a squeeze of citrus.

8 oz angel hair (capellini) pasta
6 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c shallots, minced
Zest from one lemon
1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
1 tsp sea salt
1 4-5 oz. can of sardines, packed in oil, drained
4 tbsp capers, drained
Juice from two lemons (approximately 4-5 tbsp)
3 tbsp of fresh, minced basil leaves

Cook the pasta according to its packaged instructions.

While the pasta is cooking, sauté the shallots, lemon zest, salt and chili flakes until the shallots are soft and fragrant. Toss in the sardines whole, and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Once the fish is browned, pour in the lemon juice and reduce the stovetop heat to its lowest levels to simply keep the fish warm.

Stir in the cooked pasta, plus the capers and basil. Toss, serve and enjoy!

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