Moving Forward A L I V E E A 28 S T B A Y j a n u a r y 2 0 1 6 MARKET FRESH I PEGGY FALLON We did it. We made it through December—and none the worse for wear, I might add. Well, unless you count those extra pounds that seem to settle around one’s mid-section. Ahem. January is the month when so many of us resolve to rid ourselves of that excess weight and improve our eating habits. After the overindulgences of December, I find it remarkable that I easily survive most days without dipping into something rich and cheesy, sipping something alcoholic, or adding a snow-storm of powdered sugar to some already-sweet concoction. Candy canes are history, and I’m ready to roll. The solution is easy—we all know it already—but it need not be an unpleasant journey. By nature I’m not a cottage cheese kinda gal, and rarely find it satisfying. Especially now, when cold days cry for comfort food. Shopping at the farmers’ market is the easiest way to stay on course. Prepared foods there are few and far between, and fresh, locally-grown produce provides the only temptation. The fact of the matter is that real food tastes good. This month, look for farmfresh leafy greens for the best salads ever; all manner of winter squash and root vegetables; and uber-healthy cruciferous veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. And to satisfy your sweet tooth, there is still a wide variety of citrus fruits, crunchy apples, and Asian pears available. With this sort of lineup, it’s hard not to eat healthy. And—dare I say—you may even enjoy yourself. Regardless of the question, soup is usually the right answer. It perfumes the house, warms the kitchen, fills the tummy, and soothes the soul. And the best news is that it doesn’t need to be laden with fat, carbs, or calories in order to be delicious. Soup recipes are very forgiving, and can be easily tweaked to fit your personal dietary preferences. The one below relies on the convenience of canned beans, though you can certainly substitute your own home-cooked beans. It is high in fiber, low in fat, packed with flavor, and yields a nice large batch. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for several days, or the soup can be frozen for longer storage. This is the sort of “fast food” we need to embrace in 2016.
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