I like to have a good selection of staples. I fill the freezer with chicken breasts, seafood, pork loin and flank steak; add some seeds and nuts to the frig and some beans, lentils and other legumes to the pantry. These basics form the backbone of dozens of easy meals.
I then pick up whatever fresh fruits and vegetables match my mood. I try to make something new at least once a week. If I’m craving a winter getaway, I’ll make mango salsa for a fish taco. If I’m in the mood to sit by the fire, I put on a pot of soup. Trying new ingredient combinations keeps me from thinking of healthy food as boring. My new favorite salad ingredients are roasted vegetables or grilled fruit.
I love sweet potatoes, (particularly the Garnet variety) and they are packed with nutrition, high in fiber as well as Vitamin A and C. After roasting in their jackets they are delicious drizzled with plain yogurt or mashed with just a touch of butter and cinnamon. Nevertheless, my favorite way to eat them, is cubed and roasted until the crispy crust gives way to the creamy custard inside. If there’s any leftover from dinner, I toss them into a salad or oatmeal.
Winter Salad with Fig Vinaigrette
1 sweet potato cubed
2-tablespoon olive oil
8 oz. fresh spinach
4 tablespoons toasted chopped pecans
½ an apple sliced
Freshly ground pepper
6 oz. chopped chicken breast (optional)
1-tablespoon fig vinegar
2-tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350. Chop a sweet potato into cubes. Spray a glass dish with vegetable oil. Mix the sweet potato with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for one hour, the cubes should be getting crispy. Let cool to room temperature for salad.
Put pecans in a dry skillet and cook on medium heat until golden brown. Remove from skillet and chop.
Whisk vinaigrette ingredients. Toss salad with vinaigrette and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.