It’s over — the 4-5 day festival of eating. I think that Thanksgiving week trumps Christmas as far as the amount of days spent eating out of the routine. For many of us, the day before Thanksgiving we end up eating out (or on the road, or in an airport) because we are traveling or know that we will spend all of Thursday in the kitchen. Then, there is the all-day marathon of food on Thursday. Friday, again, there are the leftovers, which usually include copious amounts of sweets. Then maybe, out again for dinner. Saturday, more leftovers and there are still friends and family around and the mood is festive…that seems to add an extra 1000 calories a day just in the name of having fun with loved ones.
The window between now and Christmas can be peppered with many more holiday parties and outings. What quick things can we think about having for dinner and lunch during the week to keep our health a priority? I’m going to ask you to look at eating more salads and soups.
I suggest that you consider making a soup on Sunday or Monday for the week. This way, you can heat up and have a meal in minutes. The recipe I have for Tuscan Chicken Soup is a simple and delicious favorite.
Tonight, we are having a Caesar-ish salad for dinner. I think there is enough variety you can add to your salads to make them delicious while not creating a lot of extra work for yourself.
Make a simple blender dressing for your salads. Use 3 cups plain, low-fat kefir as a base. This will pack you with protein and probiotics. The end result will be something that is creamy and delicious but guilt free. Add ½ tablespoon granulated garlic, 3-4 fresh basil leaves (6 if they are small), 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about one lemon) and 2 tablespoons lemon zest, and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste and blend until smooth. Toss this dressing with organic Romaine hearts, torn up fresh basil leaves, rinsed canned garbanzo or black beans, thinly sliced carrot and minced celery, chilled grilled or left-over chopped up chicken or beef and you have a quick salad that will keep your taste buds happy and your calories under control.
Until next time, stay fresh and delicious!
~ Chef Domenica