I once read an article summarizing a study that found that October was the month in which we would be at our lowest weights. From then on, it would be a slow and steady climb on the scale until January, at which point we would all panic and start the uphill battle to work off that holiday weight. Unfortunately, the study is proving itself true in my household so far — Erlend and I are still making our way through our Thanksgiving leftovers, and I've managed to make it to the gym only a handful of times since then. Oopsy.
But one of the researchers involved in the study did offer some sage advice — in place of a New Year's resolution to lose weight, it would be better to have an October resolution to gain less in the first place. I like that. Having dropped the ball in November and Thanksgiving, I'm making a concerted effort to eat healthier in December. Yes, in December!
Of course, December is a particularly tricky time to eat healthily. Maybe even the worst time to do so. Because not only are there endless parties and get-togethers, it seems that every menu is filled with decadent roasted meats and buttery, fried potato sides. It can feel a little like you're missing out on all the fun when you opt for the salads and the greens.
But that doesn't have to be the case. I'm taking a leaf from Ottolenghi's book and making vegetables the star by sharing three vegetable-focused side recipes that are just as tasty and satisfying as the meat and potatoes! A bright and creamy carrot soup. A unique, savory squash recipe infused with Japanese flavors. A fresh and nutty broccolini salad that will go with literally everything else on the table. Not only are these dishes beautiful, delicious, and healthful, each recipe comes together incredibly quickly in the kitchen, making them perfect, stress-free sides for any holiday dinner party or date night in.