First, an acknowledgement:
I fully took advantage of the fact that we had THREE different types of stuffing at Thanksgiving. Why did we have three different types? Because EVERY year, we run out so both my cousin and my mother decided to make extra “just in case.”
It was delicious.
Despite that, and despite an odd day yesterday in which I was restless, unproductive and felt like I was grazing all day, I seem to be showing a loss on the scales.
My goal this season is simple: an average half pound loss each week between Nov. 1st and Jan. 1st. So far, I’m on target with a total of 2.4 pounds lost since my weigh in on November 4th.
Now… time for Christmas prep. My uncle was recently diagnosed with diabetes and needs insulin to treat. Because of this and because there are multiple family members with a renewed or standing commitment to maintaining and improving their health, mom decided to step off her kitchen throne and is now allowing my sister and I to assist with the sides.
I couldn’t be more excited. For Christmas Eve at my grandma’s, I’m bringing a spinach salad with cubed roasted butternut squash, walnuts, craisins and two types of lightened up homemade dressings (a cranberry vinaigrette and a maple bacon vinaigrette). On Christmas Day, we’re probably having a pork roast, and I will be preparing three veggie sides: cauliflower with mushrooms and bacon, roasted asparagus with lemon butter and toasted pecans and roasted butternut squash with cranberries and a maple glaze.
I’m ready to squee with glee! Finally, my parents will understand:
- Veggies do NOT always come in a can or in plastic bags stored in the freezer.
- They can be tasty! Especially if you cook them right.
- They’re super easy to cook–especially with a little advance planning.
Also, not a drop of butter substitute will touch these produce gems.
I purposely planned these sides because they can all be prepped before I come home. The cauliflower will cook on the stovetop. The asparagus will cook on a baking sheet in the oven (and can go in with the pork or even cook while the pork rests, if the stalks are thin enough). Depending on oven space, the squash may be cooked in advance and microwaved on the day of.
By the way, I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that it’s the holiday season. Perhaps it’s the lack of cold weather or some slight changes in traditions, but I really find I need to pinch myself to remind myself it’s here!