Happy Monday, everyone! Can you believe the holidays are officially behind us? At first blush going back to regular life seems a bit disappointing- but personally I'm looking forward to getting back into a routine in a lot of respects. As much as I love (LOVE!) holiday foods I am the first to say that I am ready to dig into some lighter fare for the next week or two. I've made a big pot of soup to eat for lunch/dinner the next couple of days, stocked up on salad supplies, and am trying to purge the word "splurge" from my vocabulary.
If you need a little inspiration, here are some recipes that will help bring you out of your holiday food coma...
Breakfast- Homemade Smoothie. It always blows my mind that people go to smoothie stores and pay $4+ for a smoothie loaded with sugar and calories. If you've got a blender, you've got the ability to make a much healthier, cheaper version at home in about 45 seconds. Simply add a few pieces of your favorite fruit to the blender (this is a great way to use up overripe fruit like bananas and strawberries, or frozen fruit also works well), throw in a handful of ice, about 1/2 cup of milk or fruit juice, and blend! A decent blender is a must, but you don't have to spend a fortune. I have had great luck with a Cuisinart blender similar to this one that I picked up at Homegoods a few years ago for $40.
Lunch- Salad with balsamic reduction. My favorite way to eat salad is with reduced balsamic vinegar on top. Of course you can buy it in a jar as pictured below, or you can make your own reduction as follows: 1) pour about a cup of balsalmic vinegar into a pot; 2) turn on the heat to medium-hight; 3) let it reduce for about 30 minutes or until thick (but keep an eye on it- if it reduces too long it will be too thick to drizzle). It really is that easy. The tartness of the vinegar disappears and you're just left with a wonderful, thick sweet reduction. It's delicious! You can put it on fish or chicken, use it as a dip for vegetables, etc. A great alternative to creamy sauces and dressings.
Dinner- Zero Points Vegetable Soup- I have never made this specific recipe, but it comes highly recommended by my mother. Seeing that she is now skinnier than I am, I guess it works! I love making big pots of vegetable soup to have on hand throughout the week. Perfect for these chilly nights! I also love Ina Garten's hearty French lentil and vegetable soup recipe.
Do you have any favorite healthy recipes you're looking forward to making this week? We'd love to hear about them!