Back in my first post of 2015, I talked about resolutions- namely, that I didn’t really believe in them. Self-improvement objectives? Absolutely. But I don’t like how cut and dry resolutions are.
One evening you’re drinking your weight in champagne (or whatever your New Years Eve poison of choice may be), and a few hours later you’re expected to go cold turkey- eat nothing but steamed vegetables and kale smoothies, whip into shape like a high performance athlete, single minded in your pursuit of six-back abs and Rihanna thighs.
It’s just… not really realistic, is it?
Which means that a week or two into the year, most of us end up dropping the ball and indulging in that decadent mac and cheese, or weekend cocktail, or glazed dessert. And then- well, it’s pretty much all over, isn’t it? Might as well fall of the wagon completely since our flawless record is broken! Let’s eat ALL THE CHEESE, let’s drink ALL THE WINE.
It’s been going really well! Errr, it’s been going… pretty well.
I have been eating lots of veg, and drinking less wine. I am still averaging 4 times a week for the gym.
But then, life happens- you have a particularly draining week. Things go badly. Personal stuff piles up, your work performance isn’t your best, you walk home in the pitch black pouring rain and think- how is it only Monday? So, Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese definitely happened. Actually, so did Monday night wine. Also, I only went to the gym three times last week. And I cut my run short because my knee started hurting.
But that’s the thing about not making these objectives lofty ‘resolutions.’ Having a tough day and falling off the wagon doesn’t mean I’ve failed. It’s not about cutting things out completely or extreme measures.
So, I had a tough day. Tomorrow I’ll make a really big veggie stir fry for dinner and then I’ll have delicious and healthy lunches for the week. I’ll go to the gym tonight and get my endorphins going again. And yeah, if I’m feeling particularly maudlin this weekend maybe I will still make some cheesy, carby creation, and enjoy a glass or two of wine. And that’s okay. Because it’s all about changing your overall lifestyle for the better, not making extreme rules for yourself that you will inevitably break. Moderation.
Which brings us to today’s recipe- mostly saintly, but a little sinful. Perfect.
This weekend I was at the green grocer stocking up my weekly veggies and I came across a two pound bag of these bell peppers for $3! That may not sound that exciting, but trust me, it is. I have spent $3 for ONE bell pepper before.
I usually keep a jar of pre-roasted peppers in my fridge for things like pastas but to have a whole bag of fresh ones meant something special. I was thisclose to eating them raw like apples but, given that they were on sale, they likely needed to be used up fast- all of them. (Okay, full disclosure, I did eat one of them raw- biting right into it and munching around the core).
Marinated in garlic, olive oil and balsamic. Roasted until sweet and smoky. Fresh herbs- from my garden– oh yeah, it’s only the beginning of February and the herbs outside are already growing back! Rosemary! Oregano! Thyme! Top with feta if you’re feeling extra sassy.
And yeah, if you’re eating a beautiful plate of roasted peppers, don’t feel guilty if you pair it with a glass of red wine or lay the peppers over a slice of really good bread. Try not to drink the whole bottle, or eat the whole loaf… but even if you do, there’s always tomorrow to get back on track.
|Roasted Pepper Salad with Kalamata Olives & Fresh Herbs|| |
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 lbs. bell peppers (red, orange and yellow)
- 2 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- ¼ lb. feta cheese, crumbled (omit for vegan)
- 15 Kalamata olives, pitted
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Mash salt, garlic and oil together. Whisk in vinegar and pepper.
- Core peppers and cut into halves. Toss peppers in marinade and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight, if possible.
- Heat oven to a 500 degree broil. Place marinated peppers on a baking sheet, skin side up. Broil peppers on the top rack of your oven for 10-15 minutes, until the skin is black and blistered.*
- Remove peppers from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle and then peel the skin off each of the pepper halves. The skin should peel off easily once cooled.
- Slice peeled peppers into ½ inch wide strips and arrange on a platter. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with oregano, thyme, rosemary, feta (if using) and olives. Drizzle with the tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.