Happy New Year!
Yikes, look at that, it’s 2009. Oops, there goes half of my life, wait, come back…
No? Well then, Happy New Year (sigh). We rang in the New Year in relatively quiet fashion – just what the doctor ordered after Christmas festivities followed by feverish flu. Despite feeling a bit wobbly, John and I enjoyed a sparkly, pretty dinner at Bar Lurcat. Live jazz, beautiful decorations, very romantic (pics are from our lovely evening). We sampled several of our Lurcat faves – roasted cauliflower, apple salad, frites. I had a glorious piece of miso-glazed sea bass. John ate my yummy profiteroles filled with salty caramel ice cream and topped with warm chocolate sauce (so good). We managed to stay awake until midnight, mumble Happy New Year, and fall gratefully asleep.
In the kitchen, I’ve continued the low-key vibe (as you can tell, since I’ve been more than a bit sparse in my postings here!). A combination, I think, of not having my appetite back, plus just feeling tired of heavy, celebratory foods. In the new year, fresh, healthy, light foods are tasting mighty fine. I’ve made a lot of brothy soups, simple things along the lines of this soup – chicken or vegetable broth, perhaps a bit of tomato, sprinkle of herbs, a few handfuls of greens (spinach or kale), perhaps leftover pasta or rice or a few frozen tortellinis, a grating of Parmesan cheese. My family is growing a bit weary of soups, but hey, you cook, you choose. At least that’s my rule.
I’ve also been inspired by a neat article in Prevention Magazine (good pub, recommend it highly), which discusses the benefits of eating monounsaturated fats or MUFAs (namely healthy body, heart, skin, and weight). I do find that if I include MUFAs in each meal my appetite is satisfied for a longer period of time. Food sources include olive and flax seed oils, avocados, nuts, dark chocolate, olives, fish. Tasty stuff. Combined with fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, really tasty stuff. And as easy as tossing a handful of chopped almonds into oatmeal, layering sliced avocado on a turkey sandwich, drizzling a little flaxseed oil in a smoothie, enjoying a small piece of dark chocolate after dinner. Check out the comprehensive web page (it’s a whole site, actually, that they call the Flat Belly Diet) and experiment. Iif you notice a difference in your appetite, waistline, and/or energy level, let us know.
This weekend, no entertaining, no heading out, just a long walk in the not-too-cold and quiet time here at the hacienda. Nice! (I’ve been hitting – literally – a couple of kickboxing classes each week, as well as a couple of pilates lessons which I sadly need to heal from the kickboxing. As fun as those classes are, I still have to get outside for walks – as I’ve said before, if I don’t get fresh air, my mood and energy level plummet.) I’m thinking a veggie burger (I like the Morningstar Farms version; not organic, but very tasty) with avocado and roasted red pepper for lunch, topped with the rouille I’m still working from the fish soup I made a couple of weeks ago – it keeps beautifully and is a perfect condiment for otherwise plain sandwiches and soups.
Enjoy your weekend!