New Years Resolutions Schmesolutions

I’ve never been one for New Years Resolutions.  If I am going to do something, I am going to do something, regardless of any given arbitrary calendar day.  And you bet I’m going to stick with it.  I was so excited the first time I registered for a sprint distance triathlon–in the middle of spring, not January 1st.  I found the triathlon through some website and after reading up on it, decided right then and there it was something I could do.  At the time I was more a swimmer than runner, and as for biking…when I got home from work and excitedly told my husband what I’d registered for, he raised an eyebrow and said, “But Michal, you need a bike for a triathlon.”  Didn’t phase me one bit–I started training and ended up placing third in my age category.  {Let’s be honest, though…I think there was a total of three women competing in my category.}

So as far as making January 1st the super big end-all-pizza-eating-start-all-salad-eating-and-burning-1,000-calories-a-day deadline…I’m not a huge fan.  Habits are lifestyle choices and your lifestyle is chosen by your habits; in other words, if you aren’t a huge salad fan before January 1st, why would you be after?  And if you’re already a big salad fan, you’re going to be eating them year-round, not just in January.

I’m a big salad fan.  I especially love winter salads–they are warm and colorful and have such a deep flavor from roasting squash or potatoes, adding lentils, toasted seeds, a splash of citrus.  My Golden Winter Salad is a sweet ray of roasted vegetable sunshine that is sure to hit the spot for you on a grey January day.  Just look at it!

golden salad 1

First roast golden beets, carrots, yellow onions, and sweet potatoes.  They get so sweet, and a crispy on the outside, velvety on the inside texture.

golden salad ingredients

Peel and slice the beets–circles, triangles, squares, whatever shape you like in your salad.

golden salad beets

And just artfully arrange all the ingredients on a log slab from your backyard and dig in!  Couldn’t be easier to summon a ray of golden sunshine.  I guarantee you’ll be eating this more often than just the month of January!

golden salad 2


GOLDEN WINTER SALAD

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: an Easy New Year's Resolution
  • Print

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SALAD

  • 3 small golden beets, washed and trimmed
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut in thirds
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thickly sliced (leave the slices whole, don’t pull them apart or they will burn while roasting)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch slices and then quartered
  • handful of walnuts per salad
  • sprinkling of feta cheese per salad (optional–vegan option would be to sprinkle Nutritional Yeast Flakes over the salad)
  • handful of mixed greens per salad

INGREDIENTS FOR THE LEMON VINAIGRETTE

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • roughly 1/4-1/3 cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Place the beets (left whole after washing and trimming the greens/stems), carrots, onion, and sweet potato in a large bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and stir until all the vegetables are coated.  Pour onto a roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes.
  3. At the 20 minute mark, “stir” the vegetables on the pan–Because the beets are whole and the other salad components are sliced, there will be varying degrees of doneness.  Keep an eye on the onions, sweet potatoes, and carrots so they don’t burn.  If need be, flip them over with a spatula, remove them from the pan sooner than the beets, etc.  Roast the vegetables for another 20-40 minutes.  Done:  The onions will be melted and sweet, the carrots will be soft but not mushy, the sweet potatoes will have some caramelization and a velvety texture, and the beets will be soft when poked with a fork or knife.
  4. Let the beets cool, then peel and slice.  Place the beets, the rest of the roasted vegetables, walnuts, feta, and mixed greens in a large bowl.
  5. To make the vinaigrette, add the lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper to a small mixing bowl.  Whisk in just enough olive oil until the mixture is emulsified.  Pour over the salad and gently toss.  Serve with toasted crusty bread and olive oil for dipping for an extra dash of sunshine.

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