Lighten Up

 

Now that the feasting day is behind us, let’s talk about what we like to eat after those gluttonous meals to try to balance out the damage we did. Don’t get me wrong, I happily spent all afternoon cooking and then consuming one helluva Thanksgiving meal, and it was absolutely worth the time and massive calories, but now my body is just begging for me to ease up and give it a break.

I tend to focus on more vegetable-laden meals after I have been indulging in too much sinful food and drink. Right now, I feel like I have been doing nothing but eating rich food and drinking mass quantities of alcohol since the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

Salads are always an easy option, with a million and one ways to mix them up and make them interesting, but I also lean heavily on broth-based stews and broccoli/ carrot/onion/garlic/snow pea packed stir fries and rice bowls. Think of a big bowl of nutty brown rice (we love Massa Organics) topped with whatever sautéed or roasted veggies look good to you, drizzled with a bit of Sriracha and sprinkled with a touch of salty, umami soy sauce. Or, take that same bowl of brown rice, and top it with tomatoes (last week there were still a few stalls at the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market that had some lovely looking heirloom tomatoes!), black beans, shredded romaine lettuce, fat, creamy avocado slices, and your favorite taco sauce.

If you aren’t completely nauseated yet at the mere thought of more turkey, you can always whip up a quick turkey and rice soup with sautéed onions, thyme, garlic, carrots and celery; leftover turkey broth if you have it; shredded turkey and rice.

But my all-time, hands-down, favorite thing to eat right about now is a dead simple salad made with organic baby greens, candied pecans, and crumbly, creamy goat cheese. You can throw this together in zero time and it is true perfection dressed with the following Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette, but it also benefits from some grilled or roasted chicken and a big, crusty hunk of bread on the side.

Meyer lemons are in season right now so it’s the perfect time to try this vinaigrette out. A neighbor has a Meyer tree, drooping and groaning under the weight of all the bright yellow citrus, and I just might have to take a walk down the street (in the dark) and relieve that poor tree of some of that burden…

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette 

2 Tbsp. honey

1 garlic clove, finely minced

2 tsp. Meyer lemon zest

. tsp.

. tsp. pepper

2-3 Tbsp. Meyer lemon juice

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk everything but the olive oil then slowly stream in the oil and whisk briskly to emulsify the dressing. Taste and season as your palate sees fit. Sometimes, I add more honey if the juice of the lemon is especially bright and tart.

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Jackie is a sometimes food-blogger that is trying to balance the world of mama-hood and her love of food by getting in the kitchen and whipping up edible bits for herself, her husband and her 1 year old and by writing here in this space. She likes to keep it local as much as she can, and you will probably see her cruising the Saturday farmer's market, coffee in hand (always), and chowing down at local restaurants. She braises, she roasts, she can do a mean chiffonade and she firmly believes that bacon and butter make everything better.