The holiday season probably isn’t the best time to start cleaning up one’s diet, but I am certainly in need of it. It’s not just because we just spent 10 days traveling and celebrating, the past year of craziness has truly caught up with me. Travel, blogger events, the desire to always cook and bake new things, a bunch of illnesses, my nana’s death, topped with truly poor eating habits during my work day have made me pack on the pounds and feel pretty tired. Where cheese and crackers were once snacks or treats, and bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches were for weekends (Who am I kidding, I NEVER used to eat bacon!), they have replaced the veggie-filled meals of my past. Instead of eating normal meals, I have been going much of the day without eating, then chowing down on snack foods like chips, then end up too full to eat dinner, then eat more snacks later in the evening. It’s not a good scene, not at all.
On the plane back from Ireland and our first night home, I spent a ton of time planning meals to get back on track. I’m not cutting treats out (just got eight bottles of wine to sample!), I am just adding in more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish into my diet.
I had a major craving for grilled zucchini when we were doing a huge Market Basket haul on Sunday, and a dish Cara made for Elina’s party a few months ago had been on my mind ever since. The zucchini roll-ups, filled with goat cheese, raisins, and pine nuts, were one of my favorite dishes of the night, and for Sunday lunch, I decided to turn the flavors into a warm salad.
I started with two large zucchinis, cutting them into thick strips and coating them with olive oil. A hot grill pan did the trick; I just cooked until they were softened, with nice grill marks on both sides.
While the zucchini cooked, I rinsed some salted almonds (an accidental purchase) and roughly chopped them, breaking each almond into about three pieces.
I mixed the almonds with some golden raisins, and topped my cooked zucchini with the mix.
The finishing touch? A handful of crumbled goat cheese that nicely softened with the heat of the zucchini. All of the flavors in this dish worked together perfectly, and it was delicious, satisfying, and filled that salad void without leaving me cold! One of my problems in the colder weather is finding interesting ways to eat veggies in the winter, and I think using the grill pan will definitely come in handy this year.
I have a ton more Ireland posts to come, but there will also be lots of home-cooking so that I can be sure to fit in the nutrition I need. After all, I start Boston Marathon training this week!