Eat healthier is always at the top of my list of New Year’s resolutions. For me that means eating less flour and sugar, drinking plenty of water and eating lots more vegetables. Sound familiar? Every January I start off full of good intentions and every year I do a little bit better. When I think about how I eat now compared with years past, there is no contest. There are so many more organic and local options that eating healthy is easier now. Always making sure we have celery, carrots, lettuce and other salad fixings in the refrigerator, leftover greens and some bags of vegetables in the freezer is a sure way to insure I should have no excuses.
Jicama, watermelon radishes and cabbage are easy to find in January and add crunch and volume to cold weather salads. Seaweeds like arame and hiziki can be tossed with julienned carrots and onions and topped with a sesame vinaigrette. Thinly cut and massaged kale or a bag of arugula is an easy way to add a green salad to your diet any time of year or simply sauté that same kale, arugula, cabbage, watermelon radish or watercress with garlic or onions for a warm dish. Costco sells a prepared bagged kale salad ready to eat. All you have to do is dress it. The classic winter salad, the Waldorf (apples, celery, walnuts), is usually made with mayo and too creamy for my taste. Same thing with celery root remoulade but substituting a combination of yogurt and mustard for the mayo or using a vinaigrette solves that problem in both cases.
Root vegetables (beets, carrots, parsnips, squash and rutabagas) last a long time (most in the fridge, squash on the counter) and are easy to roast. Leftovers make a great base for salads or poached eggs or can be added to healthy up or substitute for your breakfast potatoes. I often make extra when roasting sweet potatoes for supper so I have some left over for breakfast or lunch that week. Making extra veggies, whatever way you are preparing them, will provide you the means for making healthy meals for a couple of days ahead.
Another way to up your winter vitamins and minerals is to get in a green smoothie. Just toss some greens in your blender alongside an avocado, some frozen fruit and/or yogurt, kefir or nut milk, perhaps upping the protein with nuts or seeds, and you can have a nutritious liquid meal in minutes.
Eating better can be the easy part of our New Year plans. Keeping your refrigerator and freezer stocked with vegetables can help that happen.