I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions — I tend to set annual goals on my birthday in July instead — but I do always roll (and I mean roll) into January with a big case of food fatigue and a vow to end the crazy nonstop nibbling, which is part of the holiday fun, no matter which side of the pond I’m on.
My slim-down strategy always includes lots of soups, which are cold-weather naturals, but I also like to eat things that crunch, such as salads.
Plus, I love winter veggies, from the roots and greens to every single one of the members of the Brassica family, down to cute little Brussels sprouts.
During the years that I’ve spent in cold, dreary, wintry Paris, I’ve come up with a number of easy, go-to winter salads that never leave me feeling like I’m cheating myself out of something really tasty . . . like some salads can. These salads are so much fun that you just may forget that they’re good for you.
Kale, black bean and beet salad
Makes 2 dinner-size or 4 first-course salads
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 large bunches kale, ribs removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
Sea salt and pepper
2 eggs (or 4 if making first-course salads)
1 (15-ounce) can beets in water, drained, rinsed and diced
About 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
Put olive oil in a large skillet, add the garlic, and turn the heat to medium. Cook until you can smell the garlic, 3-5 minutes. Toss kale into skillet and let it cook until it just begins to wilt — just a few minutes.
Warm beans in a small saucepan over low heat. Fill a deep skillet or saucepan with about 4 inches of water, along with a big pinch of salt, and turn the heat on high. When the water boils, turn it down to a simmer. Crack each egg into a small glass bowl individually and gently slide the egg from the bowl into the barely bubbling water. Set a timer for 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the egg and place it on a paper towel to absorb the moisture while you assemble the salad.
Divide the suntil-warm kale onto the plates, top with a spoonful (or two) of the black beans and the same amount of beets. Carefully place a poached egg on top of each salad. Sprinkle with blue cheese, add dashes of sea salt and pepper, and lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Nutritional information per serving, based on 2: 575 calories, 24 grams fat, 51 grams carbohydrates, 28 grams protein, 233 milligrams cholesterol, 661 milligrams sodium, 16 grams dietary fiber, 38 percent of calories from fat.