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5 Dinners for Stressful Days


August 4, 2020 | Published by

When your adrenal glands respond to stress the metabolism of your cells speeds up, leading to your body burning through nutrients much quicker than usual. If those nutrients aren’t replaced, or we go for fast and junk foods to try to fill the gap, our health suffers. Good quality food is the best source of these nutrients. However, after a stressful day cooking may be the last thing you want to do.

Stress not – we’ve put together 5 easy, delicious and nutritious recipes to help lighten the load. Keep in mind the act of cooking itself can help reduce stress and wind you down after a stressful day. Take a look at these recipes and get to cooking!

Grilled Salmon Burgers



  • 1 pound salmon fillet
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For Avocado Salsa (optional)
  • 1 large ripe avocado – peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Skin and chop salmon fillet.
  2. Put in large bowl.
  3. Add panko, poblano, egg, green onion, lemon or lime juice, salt and pepper.
  4. Mix well and form into 4 equal-size patties.
  5. Heat indoor grill pan or outdoor BBQ to medium high heat.
  6. Cook for around 4 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  7. For avocado salsa, combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix, and spread on top of burgers.


Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seed pudding


  • 1/4 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3-5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or light coconut milk for creamier texture)
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds


  1. To a small mixing bowl add cacao powder (sift first to reduce clumps), maple syrup, ground cinnamon, salt, and vanilla and whisk to combine. Then add a little dairy-free milk at a time and whisk until a paste forms. Add remaining dairy-free milk and whisk until smooth.
  2. Add chia seeds and whisk once more to combine. Then cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 3-5 hours (until it’s achieved a pudding-like consistency). It can also be helpful to give the mixture an additional whisk once it has been in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Serve chilled with desired toppings, such as fruit, granola, or coconut whipped cream.

Skillet Mushroom Chicken and Quinoa


  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 24 ounces cremini baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  •  tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring 2 cups chicken stock to a gentle boil.
  2. Add the quinoa, return to boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let stand until the remaining liquid is absorbed, about 10 additional minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium high. Saute chicken with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken to a plate lined with paper towels, then with a paper towel gently wipe the skillet clean.
  6. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high. Add the mushrooms, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cook until the mushrooms begin to brown, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until the mushrooms are tender and have given up their liquid, about 4 additional minutes. If there is a lot of remaining liquid in the pan, increase the heat and cook just until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute.
  7. Stir in the thyme, quinoa, chicken, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Serve warm, sprinkled with additional Parmesan.

Black Bean Vegetarian Meatballs

Black Bean Meatless Balls


  • 4 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and well-drained
  • 1 cup gluten-free quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup chopped parsley leaves


  1. In a food processor, chop black beans to small chunks but do not puree. Transfer the chopped black beans into a large mixing bowl. Add oats and mix briefly. Set aside.
  2. Finely chop walnuts, carrots, onion, fennel seeds, garlic in food processor. Stir the mixture into the black bean-oat batter. Mix in the rest of ingredients and combine well.
  3. Cover the mixing bowl with lid or plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least an hour.
  4. Remove the mixing bowl from refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line the baking dish with parchment paper or lightly spray the baking dish with oil (use canola oil instead of olive oil). Scoop a golf ball size of batter and shape it to form a ball. Finish all the batter. It will yield approximately 42 balls. Bake for 20 minutes until one side is golden brown. Use a spatula to carefully flip the balls over. Bake for another 20 minutes until both sides are golden brown.
  5. Remove the balls from the baking dish and carefully transfer them onto a wire cooling rack for 5 minutes. Use as meatballs in other recipes if desired.

Pear Salad with Candied Walnuts

Pear salad



  • 1 heaping cup raw walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons olive or coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (or agave nectar)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)


  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 pinch each sea salt and black pepper


  • 1 6-ounce bag of organic mixed greens
  • 1 ripe Bosc or Bartlett Pear (thinly sliced lengthwise with stem and seeds removed)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and add raw walnuts to a bare or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Once oven is preheated, toast walnuts for 7 minutes. Then remove from oven and add remaining ingredients directly to the walnuts (oil, coconut sugar, maple syrup, sea salt, cinnamon and optional cayenne). Use a spatula to thoroughly toss/combine.
  3. Place back in oven and roast for another 4-6 minutes or until fragrant and golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  4. In the meantime, prepare dressing by adding all ingredients to a jar (or mixing bowl) and shaking vigorously (or whisking) to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more balsamic for acidity, salt or pepper for flavor balance, or olive oil for creaminess. Set aside.
  5. To serve, add greens, half of the sliced pear, dried cherries, and half of the roasted walnuts to a large mixing/serving bowl. Drizzle with a bit of the dressing and toss to combine.
  6. Plate and garnish with remaining pears and walnuts and serve with remaining dressing. Best when fresh, though leftovers store separately in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Store walnuts well-sealed at room temperature.



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