Spicy Cucumber Sandwich!

Spicy Cucumber Sandwich

It’s been some time since I’ve put up a recipe–so here we go!  I happen to live in the desert–which means we’ll do anything we can in the middle of July to cool off.  But on the same token, I am a sucker for anything with some spice to it.  Thus, we’ll have this and combine the two!  First off, the link to this recipe is located here:  Spicy Cucumber Sandwiches.  The key to this sandwich is fresh vegetables, how those vegetables are cut, and a good whole-grain bread.

In regards to the spread, you can’t get much easier…mix the ingredients in a measuringSpicy Cucumber Spread cup until well combined.  It should have a good spreadable consistency.  If it does not, add a bit more sour cream.  If you’re not a fan of the mayonnaise, feel free to substitute as you wish.  There are a number of vegan mayonnaise options out there made primarily from tofu which would be a very good substitute.  You just want to make sure whatever you do substitute with has a thick consistency and adds a bit of flavor to the sauce.  It should look similar to the picture to the right and above.

Keep them thin!

With the vegetables, it is very important to slice them as thinly as possible.  If the vegetables are cut thickly, it makes for a very unwieldy sandwich.  Nothing is more disappointing than sitting down for lunch and having half your sandwich fall on the floor.

Final Cucumber Sandwich

Finally, spread the sauce on each side of a slice of bread.  This will help keep your vegetables from sliding around, as well as giving you that spicy taste to counteract the cool of the vegetables!  Serve and enjoy!

An Eye on Your Health – Mood Matters!

Ice CreamHave you ever had those days where you just feel worn down?  Are there times where you don’t have the energy to do anything?  Do you often just want to plop down on your favorite chair with a pint of ice cream?  Most people have–and usually end up with an empty container in the end!  If this is you–fear not!  You are certainly not alone.  There may be a biological reason that you’re not registering how much of your fatty treat you’ve eaten!

A recent scientific study found a significant link between people’s sensitivity to how fat tastes and their mood.  Simply put, the fact that you’re feeling down may mean that you have lower sensitivity to high-fat foods.  This means that you may be able to pack  away more of those fatty treats without feeling any worse for wear–and that you may, without even thinking about it, end up eating more than you normally would!  The study also found that people in a poor mood had a very hard time telling low-fat and high-fat foods apart, while people in a neutral mood had a much easier time!

To compound the issue, another recent study (among many) shows a significantOlive Oil link between an increased risk of depression and a high-fat diet.   Specifically, having a diet high in trans-fats and saturated fats (those fats that are solid–like butter) was strongly linked to a greater risk of depression.  Unsaturated fats (such as olive oil) were shown to have the opposite effect–a lower risk of depression.

See the viscous cycle that could develop there?  Being stuck in a bad mood means you could overeat on high-fat foods–increasing your risk for depression–possibly leading to more overeating of high-fat foods!  So what’s the solution here?

Know your facts!

Fresh FruitArmed with this knowledge, you can break the cycle!  Aim to stick to those low-fat and more nutritious choices when you’re feeling those “curl-up-on-the-couch blues.”  Try some fresh vegetables, such as carrot sticks, sliced bell peppers, or cucumbers.  Or, for something more sweet, try some Greek yogurt with fresh fruit!  In doing so, you might just be helping yourself get out of your funk!

 

 

Resources

  1. Oral Perceptions of Fat and Taste Stimuli Are Modulated by Affect and Mood Induction
  2. Dietary Fat Intake and the Risk of Depression: The SUN Project