It’s President’s Day weekend and for those of you lucky enough to have Monday off from work, what a great weekend to get away for some skiing or snowboarding to work off some Winter weight. Just because you are taking a break from your normal routine at home doesn’t mean you must also take a break from eating healthy. Some people use holidays and long weekends as an excuse to jump off the health wagon and indulge. But when you do that enough times, it gets too easy to do it ALL the time. And how many holidays are there in a year? And how many years ahead have we got? Exactly.
Eating healthy shouldn’t be a chore or a “wagon” that you just want to jump off of when given the chance. Remember the Aristotle quote on my About me page? Excellence is indeed a habit.
That being said, in the midst of pies of pizza that somebody ordered because everyone is just too tired from skiing all day to cook, in the midst of the steaks that the guys just HAVE to grill in the cabin because they already brought them, and in the midst of someone having brought ALL the ingredients to build the oh-so-fun homemade S’mores to roast over a roaring campfire – don’t be afraid to step up and incorporate some healthy sides to everyone’s meal so that you don’t feel so guilty about eating a slice of pizza or a S’mores.
If you are going to replace an all-time favorite with a healthy substitute, the best way to get your friends, family, and kids excited about eating your snazzy side dish is to make it good and as close as possible in texture to the original.
Here is a spin-off of a definite all-time favorite that is hard to replace – good ol’ mashed potatoes. Usually made with butter, milk and salt, mashed potatoes is high in sodium, calories, and carbohydrates. Try replacing mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower and celery root. I know, sounds like a chore in itself but trust me, it’s quite good and good for you. The picture to the left looks just like mashed potatoes… but is not!
We often eat celery but many of us don’t realize that wild celery comes from a root. It may look like a big bulb of tangled pieces of ginger, but inside that ugly looking bulb is flesh that, when cooked, adds multiple flavors to your food – celery, parsley, and a hint of nuttiness. Cut the skin off the celery root until you have the flesh. It’s again, very much like ginger in texture. Cut into pieces and put into a food processor along with some pieces of steamed cauliflower. Add a little bit of olive oil, very little light butter, a pinch of salt and pepper, and some fresh garlic, blend until smooth. Add a sprinkle of parsley and Voila! You’ve got what looks and tastes like mashed potatoes but much healthier! Low carbs and high in vegetable nutrients! And because you made a healthier replacement, you are allowed to eat one homemade S’mores roasted over the fireplace! You deserve it. =)
Happy President’s Day weekend!