Goodbye, leftover turkey. Hello, salad. Yes, it’s that time of year.
We’re in the market for healthy, low-calorie and just-about-everything – free diet. Except we HAVE to finish that box of Lindor chocolates because whoever heard of throwing it away (no food wasting, remember) or, worse, giving it to some annoyingly skinny people?
With not as much pride as a tinge of horror I realise that I and my few accomplices have merrily demolished five panettoni, six Stollen, a large meringue roulade, an oversized fruitcake and about four dozen mince pies over the last couple of weeks. And that’s my Christmas balance for sweet stuff only. I say, bring on the carrots.
The raw, fresh, zingy carrot salad will be just the thing this week then. Have it with a sliver of ham if sudden meat withdrawal may cause upset. Another good salad is leek coleslaw – unusual and so virtuous it will feel like you're dropping pounds just by chopping the leeks (which is actually logical (thought perhaps just ounces)).
If you have some salty and skinny cheese in the fridge left over from festivities – like Pecorino of feta – mix it with grapes and walnuts for a salad bowl of goodness; much better to have it for dinner than nibble that cheese with a glass of wine (dry January, remember?).
Sabzi khordan is a Persian salad of fresh veg and herbs, usually served along roast meats. Guess what – we’ll have it for supper without the roast meats; a baked potato will suffice. Or let’s make Thai fishcakes served with plain steamed rice: a starter for main is the way to go in January. You could cook the slow-roasted salmon fillets with dill sauce though bear in mind that salmon is deceptively calorific. Steamed seabass is another option, with plenty of oriental flavour, served perhaps with a winter rainbow salad.
Breakfasts will now be all about oats smoothies or porridge – sorry. And there are no desserts for a while. Subscribe to my newsletter and join the gym!