This month, we wanted to propose you recipes to get happy ☺

Caroline Longmore, has devised some recipes through a meal plan with three days’s sample menus that everyone can make to increase their levels of serotonin and get happier and healthier straight.

What is serotonin? The so-called ‘happy hormone’ – boosts our moods and general feeling of well-being. Serotonin is derived from the essential amino acid tryptophan – which the body cannot make itself. So for many of us, unless we take enough tryptophan through our diets, we may suffer a deficiency of serotonin.

The best way to get a natural boost is through diet: eat foods rich in natural tryptophan and avoid sugar and processed carbohydrates which will artificially raise blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling temporarily better, before leading to even wilder mood swings. Other vitamins are also required for tryptophan to be successfully converted to serotonin including Vitamins B (3 and 6), C, magnesium and zinc. You can find this vitamins in the store.

You can follow the suggested meal plans, given below, and concentrate on eating more natural tryptophan every day.

Suggested meal Plans: Three day’s sample menus

Day 1

Breakfast: Porridge with skim milk, topped with fresh fruit and nuts

Lunch: Butterbean, watercress and herb dip, served with vegetable crudités and bread sticks

Dinner: Sticky chicken with spinach

Day 2

Breakfast: Cottage cheese with fresh fruit

Lunch: Pea and asparagus soup

Dinner: Marinated tuna with coriander rice

Day 3

Breakfast: Smoothie made with berries and bananas (ground almonds/ground oats can be added)

Lunch: Wild rice and turkey salad

Dinner: Roast spiced cod with mango and lime


DAY 1:

Lunch: Butterbean, watercress and herb dip

Serves for 4 people


  • 250g plain cottage cheese
  • 400g butterbeans, drained
  • 1 bunch spring onions
  • 50g watercress
  • 60ml mayonnaise
  • 3tbsp frozen mixed herbs
  • Salt, pepper
  • Crudites (eg. carrot sticks) and bread sticks to serve.


  • Put cottage cheese, butterbeans, spring onions, watercress, mayonnaise and herbs in food processor.
  • Blend until smooth
  • Chill
  • Serve with crudités and breadsticks

Dinner : Sticky chicken with spinach.

Serves for 4 people


  • 4 boneless, skinned chicken breast fillets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp finely cut marmalade
  • fresh or dried thyme sprigs; salt, pepper


  • Season chicken with salt and pepper, fry chicken in the oil for 8-10 mins until golden on each side
  • Add stock, marmalade and thyme, simmer for 5 minutes
  • Remove chicken and Boil the mixture hard to reduce to a syrup
  • Pour over the chicken
  • Serve with rice and spinach.

Lunch: Pea and Asparagus soup

Serves for 4 people


  • 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 8 spring onions
  • 500g frozen peas
  • 160g asparagus, salt, pepper
  • 2 rashers bacon
  • 1 slice wholemeal bread
  • vegetable oil


  • Put stock on to heat
  • Add thinly chopped spring onions and frozen peas
  • Bring to boil
  • Rinse asparagus, remove tips, roughly chop the stems and add to saucepan with salt
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 mins
  • Once cooked, blend asparagus and peas into a puree, add pepper
  • Fry bacon in pan until golden, then set aside. Cut bread in small dices, fry for 2-3 mins on high heat and tip on to kitchen paper to remove excess oil; add asparagus tips to puree in a sauce pan, simmer for 5 mins and serve with bacon and croutons.

DAY 2:

Dinner: Marinated tuna with coriander rice.

Serves for 4 people


  • 250g basmati rice
  • Four tuna fillets, 125g each,
  • 5cm piece of fresh root ginger, grated,
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 100ml orange juice
  • 300g bok choi, roughly chopped, coriander to garnish


  • Cook the rice to taste
  • Put tuna in a shallow dish
  • Add ginger, oil and orange juice
  • Turn tuna over to coat.
  • Heat a non-stick pan until really hot
  • Add the four tuna fillets and half of marinade
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden
  • Remove from pan, keep warm
  • Add bok choi to frying pan, cook for 1-2 mins
  • Drain cooked rice and stir coriander through
  • Serve tuna on rice with bok choi.

DAY 3 :

Lunch: Wild rice and turkey salad.

Serves for 4 people


  • 180g wild rice
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 120g small button mushrooms
  • 450g cooked turkey breast, diced
  • 1 pear
  • 6-8 tbsps of vinaigrette


  • Bring 11/2 litres of water to boil, add salt and wild rice, cook until soft
  • Drain and set aside to cool down. Add the celery and spring onions to the rice when cool, add mushrooms and cooked turkey. Add dressing
  • Peel pear and cut into small slices to use as decoration on top of salad.

Dinner: Roast spiced cod with mango and lime.

Serves for 4 people


  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 de-seeded chilli
  • 280g basmati rice
  • 4 cod fillets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 mango, fresh chopped coriander, salt


  • Pre heat oven to 180C. Mix together turmeric, chilli and salt
  • Cut the fillets into slices
  • Cook the rice
  • Put the fish in roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil
  • Coat each piece with some spice mixture and roast for 8-10 mins. Cut the mango into 2-inch cubes. Whenfish has been cooking for 5 minutes, add the mango pieces on top and continue cooking until the fish flakes easily
  • Drain the rice and put on plates. Add fish and mango; garnish with chopped coriander, serve.