Food and Mood

No one should:

  • Turn down fresh salmon
  • Say “no” to juicy blueberries
  • Refuse to indulge in a little dark chocolate

Why? Because these foods are not only delicious, but have some serious health benefits and can boost your mood!

With both physical and mental benefits, these foods got it going on.

The Fishy Truth

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Fish such as Salmon have an incredibly high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Our bodies cannot produce omega-3 fats, meaning that we need to have a diet that provides the amount of omega-3s that our bodies need. Besides the physical benefits of preventing heart disease and helping with blood clots, omega-3 fats can help with your mental health as well. There have been studies demonstrating how people with higher blood levels of omega-3s have a more positive outlook on life as opposed to those who have a lower intake of omega-3s. To sum things up, salmon makes you happy!

Berry Good

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Berries such as blueberries and blackberries contain a purple pigment called anthocyanin which is considered a mood booster. Anthocyanin is a flavonoid pigment that has been shown to reduce mood-killing inflammation in the brain. Anthocyanin can help decrease levels of stress and help you go throughout your day with a sweeter perspective.

Rich Ideas

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It’s true. Dark chocolate is good for you. Dark chocolate has polyphenol in it that helps decrease levels of anxiety. Those who had a polyphenol-rich chocolate drink reported feeling calmer and relaxed than those who did not. Cocoa boosts brain serotonin, a chemical that is responsible for maintaining mood balance. This means that having a small amount of dark chocolate is not a bad thing!

Wrapping up

These three groups of foods have been shown to boost your mood, so next time, avoid the bag of potato-chips and reach for a carton of blueberries!  

Zucchini and Rosemary Frittata with Parmesan

This delicious dish makes about four servings and is perfect if you’re looking to expand your Zucchini recipe knowledge beyond the go-to Zucchini bread.

#welovethisrecipe

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, grated

Preparation

One of our employees receives Zucchinis in her mailbox from her neighbors who grow them in their garden.

She decided to try out this delicious looking recipe and took some pictures along the way! 

1. Preheat the oven to broil.

2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; add garlic, cook for 1 minute. Do not allow garlic to brown, or it will turn bitter. Add the sliced zucchini.

Cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring continuously. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, and rosemary, and season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the zucchini and cook, just until the eggs begin to set, about 3 minutes.

4. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top. Place pan under the broiler for 3 minutes or until the frittata rises slightly and becomes light and settled. The eggs should not be runny. Transfer to a serving plate, cut into pie-shaped wedges, and enjoy!

Peachy Keen for Ice Cream

Happy National Peach Ice Cream Day!

Here’s a recipe that we L.O.V.E.

This is no machine, no bake, and no sweat required ice cream recipe!

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Makes 1 quart. Prep time, 15 minutes; cook time, 3 minutes.

Ingredients

2 cups peaches, peeled and finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream (or whole milk if you want lower fat ice cream, but it won’t be as rich)
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (nonfat is fine)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Step 1: Beat the cream, condensed milk, and vanilla together with an electric mixer until thick, about 3 minutes.

Step 2: Fold in peaches (and optional peach-juice syrup)

Step 3: Pour into a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze until firm, about 5–8 hours.

Step 4: Enjoy!

Cook’s note: For a more intense peach flavor, strain cut peaches into a small saucepan, adding juice reserved from peeling and chopping. Heat on medium-high and stir frequently until juice is reduced to a thick syrup (about 2 minutes). Allow juice to cool and fold into the milk mixture with peaches. This recipe may also be used with an ice cream maker if you have one.

For a nonfat option, try substituting fat-free half-and-half for the heavy cream and use nonfat sweetened-condensed milk.

Why Volunteer

Why volunteer?

Because it’s awesome and Meals on Wheels need people like you!

Meals on Wheels People has 500 volunteers every weekday that are committed to the mission that no senior will go hungry or experience social isolation.

Why do we have so many volunteers and continually have more that sign up? Because volunteering has a crazy amount of benefits!

When you volunteer you are able to connect with people who are passionate about the same social issues as you. You get to meet cool new people who like the same things you like and this connection has a way of developing into a friendship.

Volunteering can be a ton of fun with family and friends! You already have a bond with them and now you get to share the experience of volunteering at a local organization. You get to be a part of that conversation that starts, “Remember that time when we volunteered with Meals on Wheels and…”

Depending on which department you’re volunteering with there are mental and physical benefits to volunteering.

Volunteering can create a sense of satisfaction when you realize that you are helping your community. Overall you get that warm fuzzy feeling that you’re doing something positive for the community which will result in a boost of self-confidence knowing that you were there to help!

Did you know that helping kindles happiness? There have been many studies done that demonstrate how there was a boost in happiness with those who volunteered in comparison to those who have never volunteered.

Some physical health may be in the works for you as a volunteer. There can be some tasks that can help get you up and moving during your day.

Looking for a little variety on your resume? Volunteering not only helps you get experience in an area that interests you, but it also has the potential to lead to advancing your career. Volunteering develops skills such as teamwork, communication, planning, task management and much much more.

You know what you should do?

Volunteer.

Click this link to volunteer with Meals on Wheels People!

http://www.mealsonwheelspeople.org/get-involved/volunteer/

Blueberry Recipes that are Berry Delicious

It’s reaching the middle of July which is prime time for Blueberry season. With the barrels of blueberries available, there are a lot of creative ways to put these delicious little guys to good use.

Here are a few favorites! 

For Breakfast!

Whole Wheat Blueberry Granola Pancakes on twopeasandtheirpod.com The perfect breakfast!

Whole Wheat Blueberry Granola Pancakes

Blueberries and Granola. What could be better!

Yield: Serves 6-8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Whole wheat pancakes with blueberries and granola! Our family loves these pancakes!

Ingredients:

2 cups Gold Medal whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
1 cup granola (we used NatureBox Wild Blueberry Flax Granola)
Butter and maple syrup, for serving

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Do not over mix. Gently stir in the blueberries and granola. The batter will be slightly lumpy.

2. Heat a griddle or pan to medium low heat. Coat with cooking spray. Drop about a 1/4 cup of batter onto heated skillet. Cook until surface of pancakes have some bubbles and a few have burst, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip carefully with a spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Continue making pancakes until the batter is gone. Serve warm with butter and maple syrup, if desired.

LUNCH!

Brain Power Salad (Spinach Salad with Salmon, Avocado and Blueberries) | gimmesomeoven.com

Brain Power Salad

(Spinach Salad with Salmon, Avocado & Blueberries)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

Salad Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces smoked salmon, roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 4 cups baby spinach (or mixed greens)
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup light feta or blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • half a red onion, thinly sliced
  • honey chia seed vinaigrette (ingredients below)

Honey Chia Seed Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

To Make The Salad:

Toss all ingredients together until combined. Drizzle or toss with vinaigrette.

To Make The Vinaigrette:

Whisk all ingredients together until combined and emulsified.

This can be considered dinner…because it’s delicious!

Lemon Blueberry quick bread: so fresh and light and perfect for breakfast. Freezes well too!

Zucchini, Lemon& Blueberry Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

For the Bread:

  • 2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 2/3 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 lemon, zested (save juice for glaze)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup blueberries

For the Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp. milk 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, greased. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients (except for blueberries) for bread, stirring to combine. Fold in blueberries. Pour into greased pan and bake for 60 minutes, until completely cooked. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan, remove from pan and cool completely.
  2. For glaze, whisk together powdered sugar with milk and juice from 1/2 lemon. Drizzle over bread. I enjoyed this bread cold out of the refrigerator! Enjoy!
  3. (adapted slightly from Brandy’s Baking)

Saving the best for last…Dessert!

Deliciously sweet and light Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake. Tangy cream cheese frosting gives each bite a sweet touch!

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake.

Ingredients:

CAKE

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature*
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour, careful not to overmeasure*
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk*
  • zest + juice of 3 medium lemons*
  • 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh (258g) or non-thawed frozen (275g)
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Find more delicious Blueberry recipes at: http://ow.ly/z9a9U

Travel with your Taste-buds

One way to experience new cultures is by trying the food. Shared meals develop a community where friendship, compassion and trust are formed. Different communities and cultures vary with their food. Some meals are eaten with hands, some are eaten with chopsticks. Trying new ethnic food can help broaden ones understanding of the culture and the people that make up the community.

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Meals on Wheels People is doing an excellent job providing a wide variety of ethnic foods spanning from all over the world!

Our centers such as Fook Lok–Hollywood provides daily Asian meals made from scratch daily!

Other centers provide ethnic food options on a regular basis. Here is a list of some of them:

Cherry Blossom Center – delicious Asian options

Beaverton Center – awesome Korean meals twice a week

Firstenburg Center (East Vancouver) – appetizing Russian cuisine

Martin Luther King Jr. Center – Soul food is good food

If you’re looking to taste a little bit of a new culture, these Meals on Wheels centers have got what you are looking for. 

Summer Produce

Q: What tastes better than hand-picked produce?

A: Nothing.

When you select produce at a farmers market there’s a delicious ingredient that goes into your meal that you just can’t buy in supermarkets. It’s called sunshine! There are an incredible amount of farmers markets in the greater metro area that provide quality you can taste! Choose one or more of these summer fruit and veg at your local farmers market and include some sunshine in your diet. (Scroll down to find out which farmers market is closest to you!)

Peaches: These fuzzy fruits are delicious from May to late September. Look for peaches that are just a little firm and don’t have any bruises or marks. Bonus: If you can smell them as you walk up to the stand, you know they’re good. Doesn’t that sound peachy-keen?

Watermelon: In their prime from mid-June to late August. These beauts are great when they’re firm and symmetrical and have a dull rind coloring. This H₂O-melon is super refreshing!

Plums: Although you may be getting visions of sugarplums dancing around in your head in December, these purple fruits are perfect in summer. If they give just a little when you hold them, they’re ready to be eaten. Tip: If you buy firmer plums, place them in a paper bag for a day or two until they’re ripe.

Blueberries: Don’t let these little fruits fool you, they are packed with antioxidants. These berries help fight-off heart disease, cancers and other illnesses and they are super high in vitamin C! Pick them when they are a powder-blue and they will be delicious.

Basil: Did you know that there are more than 60 types of basil? This member of the mint family is available all year round in stores but its best season is during the summer. The sun helps bring out the essential oils, giving that extra boost of goodness.

Tomatoes: These good-lookers will make any salad look and taste better. With so many different types, there are even more options to add them into your diet. Check out heritage varieties often available only a farmers markets.

Summer squash: Yellow squash, pattypan squash and zucchini are the go-to for summer squash options. Despite the name “squash”, you’ll want to choose firm, small ones that are brightly-colored and blemish-free.

This summer enjoy some delicious summer produce at farmers markets all over the Portland area. Here’s where to go!

Portland:

Montavilla Farmers Market: Sundays, 10 – 2, June – October

Moreland Farmers Market: Wednesdays, 3 – 7, Mid May – September

OHSU Farmers Market: Tuesdays, 10 – 3, June – September

Parkrose Farmers Market: Saturdays, 8 – 1, May – October

St. Johns Farmers Market: Saturdays, 9 – 2, Last weekend in May – October

Woodstock Farmers Market: Sundays, 10 – 2, June – October

Gresham:

Boring Farmer’s Market: Sundays, 10 – 3, June – early September

Gresham Farmers Market: Saturdays, 8:30 - 2, mid-May – October

Hillsboro:

Hillsboro Farmers Market: Saturdays, 8 – 1:30, May – October

Hillsboro Farmers Market at Orenco Station: Sundays, 10 – 2, May – October

Hillsboro Farmers Market at Tuality: Thursdays, 11- 1:30, July – August

Hillsboro Tuesday Marketplace: Tuesdays, 5 – 8:30, mid-June – August

Beaverton:

Beaverton Farmers Market: Wednesday, 3 - 6, mid-June – August

Clark County:

Battle Ground Village Outdoor Market: Saturdays, 10 – 3, May – September

Camas Farmers Market: Wednesdays, 3 -7, June – October

Ridgefield Farmers Market: Saturdays, 9 – 2, May – October

Vancouver Farmers Market: Saturdays 9 – 3, Sundays 10 – 3, March – October

Salmon Creek Farmers Market: Thursdays 3 – 7, July – September

La Center Farmers Market: Thursdays 4 – 8, June – September

 

Partners Make A Difference

At Meals on Wheels People we depend on community partners to help us provide meals to every senior who requests one. Because of partners like Vital Life Foundation, we have never turned away a senior in need.

Vital Life Foundation exists to support organizations and programs that provide meaning and vitality in the lives of seniors and staff members living and working in long term care. The Vital Life Foundation was created by Marquis Companies, a long-term care, assisted living and home health care company, and Consonus Healthcare Services, which provides pharmacy, rehabilitation, staffing and consulting to the long-term care community.

Vital Life Foundation not only provides us with annual funding, but their employees, along with staff from Marquis and Consonus, volunteer to deliver Meals on Wheels and assist with several of our special events. What’s more, residents at Marquis facilities frequently work on special projects for us, including creating greeting cards for our homebound seniors, packaging holiday boxes and emergency meals. Thank you Vital Life Foundation, Marquis Companies and Consonus Healthcare Services for caring for seniors in our community!

How Heat Affects Seniors

July is starting off hot! It’s always fun to soak up a little vitamin D while enjoying a Popsicle, but those sun rays should be looked at through a lens of precaution. As the body grows older it begins to lose the ability to adapt to heat, which means that many seniors suffer from heat-related problems during this time of year. Seniors also may have some conditions such as: heart or blood vessel problems, conditions that require several prescription drugs or are living in homes without air conditioning. These conditions can cause them to be more prone to hyperthermia.

Some medical talk:

Hyperthermia - the umbrella term for heat-related problems such as: heat stroke, heat fatigue, fainting and heat exhaustion.

What can you do?

Here are some fun ideas to combat heat-related problems!

Many public areas are air conditioned and are fun social outings.

  • Check out the latest blockbuster at a movie theater near you.
  • Reading can be fun! Visit the library and dive into a new book.
  • Had your eye on that groovy hat? The local shopping mall is calling your name.

If you’re looking for some down time…

  • Lie down and rest in a cool place.
  • Remove or loosen tight-fitting or heavy clothing.
  • Drink water or juice periodically, you’ve got to stay hydrated!
  • Apply ice packs or a cold wet cloth to your forehead.

If you or someone you know is suffering from heat-related problems seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

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