a recipe for a brain healthy meal.

If you’ve been here for awhile you’ll know I’m a big proponent of mental health and beating anxiety.  It’s something I‘ve dealt with for as long as I can remember and I’ve found lots of ways to tame that nasty beast, with the discovery of the connection of diet + brain being the most recent tool I’ve added to my mental health toolbelt.

When I was weaning off of antidepressants, you can read all about that here, I did dabbled and did the Keto diet for the last portion of it. Keto wasn’t the best for me personally because I’m allergic to eggs (the irony!), but it opened my eyes to the major role our guts play with our brain health. So, I started looking into other options of incorporating brain healthy foods into my diet. Lucky for me, one of the best ladies in the biz is a local food blogger and doctor mixing up amazing recipes for her website Brain Health Kitchen.

Dr. Annie Fenn is as sweet as pie. She’s incredibly knowledgeable on how healthy food and nutrition and has made it her mission to educate others to prevent diseases like alzheimer’s and dementia.  Like any doctor visit, Annie wrote me a Brain Food Prescription (see below) with specific foods to fight off depression and anxiety, tailored to my own dietary restrictions of no eggs or dairy. She whipped up the best meal ever which was so easy yet so incredibly good looking, it’s hard to believe how fast this took to make! The recipe below comes from one of her cooking classes and omg, I’m making this all the time.

Pan-Fried Carrots & Asparagus with Dukkah

For the Carrots & Asparagus:

  • 2 bunches slender carrots
  • 1 bunch slender asparagus
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher or sea salt, to taste

For the Dukkah* (This stuff can be used for almost anything and great to keep in the kitchen!)

  • ½ cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • ½ cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • ¼ cup coriander seed, toasted and lightly crushed
  • 3 tablespoons cumin seed, toasted and lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Peel or scrub the carrots well. Snap off the bottom of asparagus.
  2. Make the dukkah:  In a small bowl, combine hazelnuts, seasame seeds, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper.  Mix well. Set aside.
  3. Place a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and warm until it starts to simmer. Add carrots, sprinkle with salt, and saute over medium heat until browned on all sides.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  4. Using the same skillet, add another tablespoon of olive oil and warm to a simmer.  Add asparagus and saute until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  5. Warm the last tablespoon of olive oil in the same pan.  Add 4 tablespoons of dukkah and quickly saute until fragrant.  Return carrots and asparagus to the pan and toss well until coated with spice mixture.

* store leftover Dukkah in an airtight container for up to one month.  great for schnacks!

photos by me.