holiday health: pre-holiday party lunch

This post is part of the Healthbuzz December series, Holiday Health, by Foodbuzz.

Although you may be tempted to skip lunch the day of a holiday party, so that you can fully enjoy yourself, it’s the last thing you want to do. I like to have a “lighter” lunch but one that is very filling and full of vegetables, since they are often lacking at parties. This allows me to enjoy myself at the party, and indulge in a glass of egg nog or two, ;) all knowing that the first two meals of my day were great ones.

Extra Veggie Salad - 2 servings – inspired by the Kind Diet

  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, torn
  • 2 cups spinach ribbons
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup cucumber, sliced
  • green onion
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • chicken breast, beans or tofu
  • 2 Tbsp toasted walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp olives, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp flax oil (or olive oil)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • few drops of truffle oil

Clean, chop and assemble all veggies and toppings.

Whisk together lemon juice, flax and truffle oil, salt & pepper.

Drizzle dressing over salad and toss.

This salad provides about 5 servings of vegetables, good fats and vitamins, fiber from avocado and nuts, protein from chicken, beans or tofu, omega-3 fatty acids (the good fat!) from flax oil and luxurious flavor from the truffle oil. It’s perfectly balanced and equally as delicious.

holiday health: ate too much?

This post is part of the Healthbuzz December series, Holiday Health, by Foodbuzz.

It happens to all of us. The allure of exciting appetizers, festive cocktails and far too many cookies every time you turn around can make it extremely difficult to keep up with your normal, healthy eating habits. The problem isn’t over-eating at one party, it’s what happens following the party. It’s easy to give up and start thinking that since you’ve over done it last night, the cookie today won’t make any difference. It’s important to remember every day starts new and every day is the perfect time to continue your healthy eating and exercise lifestyle.

I really like to focus on “clean eating” after I’ve eaten too much and by that I mean lots of veggies, whole grains, lean proteins and tea. That also means skipping the alcohol, coffee, dairy, refined (white) flour and sugar. Working up a sweat and keeping your eats clean will leave you feeling better in no time!

Clean Eating Example:

Morning:

Lunch:

  • Big Salad: full of greens, veggies, some protein and good fat. My favorite?
  • A mix of romaine and something dark like spinach or arugula (6 cups); any veggie I can find like cabbage, peppers, carrot, cucumber, onions, broccoli, mushrooms, etc (3 cups); some protein and fiber from a grain like quinoa (3/4 cup) or beans (1/2 cup); and some good fats from flax oil (1 Tbsp) or chopped avocado (1/4 cup). Serve with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Dinner:

  • Baked salmon (4-6 oz)
  • Brown rice (3/4 cup)
  • Roasted or steamed broccoli (1-2 cups)

Snacks: (If hungry)

  • Palmful of almonds
  • Vegetables and hummus

What do you do when you over-indulge? How do you stay on track throughout the Holidays?

thanksgiving 2010: spinach salad

Along with the heavy sides of stuffing and mashed potatoes, a light and healthy spinach salad is welcomed on any Thanksgiving spread. The combination is a classic one, and ever since my boss recently made it, I knew it needed a place on my table. And soon. Couldn’t your Thanksgiving plate use a little something healthy?

I’ve never prepared an entire Thanksgiving meal (and that’s probably a good thing) but I can only imagine that if you do, some of the dishes need to come together without much prep and come together quickly. So this salad is everything you want for a hectic, calorie-laden day: easy to make, a healthy dose of greens and delicious to boot!

Spinach Salad - 4 servings

  • 1 – 5 oz bag of Organic Baby Spinach
  • 1/8 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Brianna’s Poppyseed Dressing

Toss together spinach, onion, strawberries and dressing. Sprinkle walnuts on top and serve.

toasted pine nut & green bean salad

I was in charge of bringing a salad to a friend’s house the other night and had a few ingredients that I knew I wanted to include. Organic, local green and yellow wax beans were in abundance at Whole Foods and pine nuts, nuts of gold, as I believe the woman checking me out referred to them as, were both part of my master plan. Why have I never noticed that pine nuts are so expensive until now?

Never one to let price get in the way, and yes, that is problematic as I feel like the woman who has an obsession with Manolo Blahniks, except that my stilettos come in the form of truffle oil, fruits from the jungle and pine nuts. I forged ahead nonetheless, toasting those pine nuts to perfection.

The salad was the ideal accompaniment to grilled steaks and tuna, grilled veggies, good friends and wine. Oh and the amazing home made peach & blueberry pie!

Toasted Pine Nut & Green Bean Salad – 6-8 servings

  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1 pound yellow wax beans
  • 3 small heads frisee
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 4 oz gorgonzola crumbles
  • roasted garlic dressing

Wash beans and cut off ends. Cut into about 2 inch pieces. Add to boiling, salted water and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool with cold water. Set aside.

Wash and clean frisee, drying completely in a salad spinner. Set aside.

Heat small pan and add pine nuts. Stirring often, toast pine nuts until golden brown and fragrant.

Assemble salad: layer frisee in large bowl. Top with green beans, cheese crumbles, pine nuts and dressing. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

Roasted Garlic Dressing

  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper

Whisk all ingredients together, breaking up garlic cloves.