‘Round the Table: Solutions for Your Resolutions

It’s a brand new year! Have you made any of those pesky resolutions? Did you promise yourself you would “eat better” or “lose weight?” I know I did. Once again, I’ve promised myself that I would lose those extra pounds and once and for all kick that nasty sugar habit.

Of course the New Year has barely begun, so I’m right on track. Sadly though, if history is any indication, I will have abandoned my resolutions by March. It is tempting to believe that making resolutions is a waste of time, but in fact, the opposite is true. Some experts say that the very act of resolving to change a behavior pattern improves your odds of success tremendously.

Those resolution experts may concede that making the resolution is the first step to success, but it’s not the only step. There are two things that successful resolvers have in common. They have a plan and they are prepared to persevere in the face of failure.

If eating better is on your New Year’s list, here are a few tips and tricks that will help you stay on track.

Eat more fish. In fact, bump up the fish in your life to two servings a week, that’s about 1 cup. Be aware, though, that some fish can be high in mercury, and that can be a health concern. It is important to choose fish that are high in omega fatty acids but low in mercury. Low mercury fish include salmon, herring and sardines.

Make fruits and vegetables part of every meal, including breakfast. Try a tropical smoothie for breakfast with frozen mango, papaya and high-protein plain Greek yogurt. If you must add a sweetener, try a dollop of honey. Have a luncheon salad of dark leafy greens instead of iceberg lettuce and mix broccoli or Brussels sprouts in with your dinner pasta.

Choose water or milk over soda and fruit drinks. Sip water throughout the day; often when we think we are hungry, we actually need water, so drink a glass of water when the urge to snack hits.

Go vegetarian at least once a week. Beans, lentils, nuts and seeds are high-protein, inexpensive alternatives to meat and poultry. Add chickpeas or beans to salads and soups. Try a tofu stir-fry with loads of vegetables served over brown rice.

Set your goals; use a smart phone app to help track your progress. Often, the very act of keeping a record of foods and activities makes it easier to succeed.

Again, the Resolution Experts warn me that there will be failures ahead in 2018. I must anticipate slips and deal with them constructively.

Full of nutritious super foods, this Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad keeps you full and fit!

If the cold has you reaching for rib-sticking comfort foods in spite of the resolution, planning and preserving, try one of these warm winter salads to fill up on. Warm, filling and delicious, your resolutions won’t know what hit them!

Roasted Cauliflower & Quinoa Salad

Yield: 4 main dish servings

  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 small red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2-4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 ¼ cups water or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup light olive oil
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped and toasted
  • ¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes and onion in oil until well coated. Transfer the vegetables to the prepared pan and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the hot oven for 20-30 minutes, mixing halfway through.

While vegetables are cooking, bring water to boil in a medium saucepan with a tight fitting lid. When the water is boiling, add the quinoa with a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to a simmer; cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Let sit for 5 minutes covered.

In a jar with a tight fitting lid, shake vinegar and oil until an emulsion forms; season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss together the vegetables, quinoa, pecans and goat cheese. Dress the salad with the vinaigrette. Serve warm.

Try Chickpea and Artichoke Warm salad with a bowl of soup to keep those resolutions on track.

Chickpea and artichoke salad

Yield: 4 side dish sized servings

  • ¼ cup light olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 cloves of garlic, put through the garlic press
  • ½ teaspoon of salt (or more to taste)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and sliced lengthwise
  • ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • Parmesan Cheese for serving

In the bottom of a large serving bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium high heat. Add the chickpeas and cook until they are browned, stirring often, about 10 minutes. When the chickpeas are browned, transfer them to the bowl with the dressing.

Heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in the same skillet set over medium high heat and add the artichoke hearts, cut side down. Cook until they are browned, taking care not to stir to often and break up the artichokes. Add them to the bowl.

Stir in the almonds and toss to coat with the dressings. Spoon the warm salad onto serving plates and top with Parmesan cheese.

Warm Curried Carrot Salad is a beta-carotene rich recipe that works as a light lunch or side dish.

Curried Carrot Salad

Yield: 4 side dish sized servings

  • 2 Tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1 Tabelspoon curry powder
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 pound of baby carrots
  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a jar with a tight fitting lid, add the juices and olive oil. Cover and shake until an emulsion forms. Add the raisins, shake again and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss with carrots with olive oil; spread on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until the carrots are soft and beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter.

Sprinkle the almonds and coconut over the carrots. Shake the dressing again and dress the salad; pass the dressing at the table. Serve warm.