Cooking Buzz is produced in partnership with the Junior League of Houston, a women’s charitable and education organization founded in 1925.
Jan. 1, 2017 – a brand new year, a brand new blank slate, and a brand new chance to make a New Year’s resolution to get healthy. If you’re anything like me, I love New Year’s resolutions and the chance to start fresh, with no mistakes, yet.
Every year losing weight and being healthy are consistently ranked as the top resolutions for Americans. Come January, the gym is packed, the grocery stores are crowded, and we are cold-turkey undoing the holiday overindulgences that we’ve just spent the past holiday season packing on.
Until next week…. And we are burned out of eating salads and would just about jump on anyone walking by us with a cookie.
Most of us equate healthy eating with salads and depriving ourselves of treats. I love salads, but sometimes they can get a little boring, and who really knows what two tablespoons of salad dressing look like for a serving size? Mediterranean Lentil Salad from Stop and Smell the Rosemary is a different take on a traditional salad, full of protein-packed lentils, and it can be made ahead of time and taken to work for lunch.
I’ve found that the best method for sticking to healthy eating is to find hearty, filling recipes of food that I already enjoy. One of my favorite tricks is to substitute cauliflower for rice and make zucchini noodles (“zoodles”) for pasta. These simple swaps eliminate calories and carbohydrates, and I don’t miss the real stuff. Many come prepackaged at the grocery store to eliminate prep work. I love to make cauliflower “fried rice” (simply shred a head of cauliflower on a grater or by pulsing in a food processor and stir fry in a little sesame oil until soft) and pair it with the Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry from Peace Meals for a delicious weeknight meal.
As far as not having any kind of treat? Well that just makes being healthy depressing! Some people can have a bite of the indulgence they are craving and feel satisfied. Others would prefer a lower fat or calorie dessert so they can have a full-sized serving. Either way, deprivation is a sure-fire way to fall off the bandwagon. Low-Fat Flan from Stop and Smell the Rosemary is a perfect example of an indulgent dessert lightened up to allow for a full-serving size.
In January, I am looking for something warm and hearty, good for the cold weather. A filling stew to prep the night before and throw in my slow cooker before work is the Moroccan Vegetable Stew from Peace Meals. Using Greek yogurt instead of plain also increases the protein to help me feel fuller longer.
Let’s dispel those failed-resolution statistics and stick to our goals this year. And maybe even next.
To buy a Houston Junior League cookbook, see jlh.org or call 713-871-6608.
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