Planning for the oncoming wreck…

This is the time of year that cooks everywhere look to the dairy aisle for help and inspiration because there is nothing like fat to make something taste fabulous. As the French figured out long ago, if you add enough butter and cream to almost anything, it tastes better.

I am by nature a lighter foodie, typically preferring my food grilled, roasted and cream free. But the holiday season is the one time in the year when I find myself drawn to cream and butter. Maybe it is the change in the light- we are in the darkest part of the year after all-that makes the warm, cozy, comfort of cream and butter feel right. Maybe it is the food that is part of the holiday “tradition”- potatoes, squash, pumpkin, brussels sprouts- that scream for, and benefit from, the infusion of fat that cream and butter provide. Or, maybe it is the festive party atmosphere that begins at Thanksgiving and lasts through New Year’s. Perhaps it is all of those things and more. Whatever it is, I know by the sold out dairy aisle at the grocery store that I am not alone.

So, the age-old question presents itself: how do I navigate the holidays without killing my diet, waistline, heart, etc? And, the answer, I think, is shockingly simple and sadly, very adult: moderation.

I whole-heartily believe that it is important to splurge and have all the cream and butter laced dishes that make me (and you, too! ) happy…on Thanksgiving. But, I have to constantly remind myself that Thanksgiving is one day- not a week, or 6 weeks. It does not end on January 1st. No, whether I like it or not, it ends at midnight on the 4th Friday of November. And so, I am making a conscience effort to return to my lighter fare next Friday. I will feel better as a result and my diet, waistline, heart and energy level will thank me!

So, to cleanse my system on the day after Thanksgiving, and to help me “get back to reality,” I am planning to make this wonderful soup. This is spicy, healing and light as a feather- the perfect antidote for the cream and butter laced sides, desserts and gravy that I will have chowed down on the day before. I love this soup so much that the thought of “the day after” isn’t nearly so terrible!

Healing Soup
Makes 3 cups

1 Quart chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 t Thai red curry paste
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1” piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2” piece of lemongrass, peeled to expose the tender middle

Mix all ingredients in a medium sized soup pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and serve.

One Comment

  1. Sara
    Posted November 18, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Love the simplicity of it! Have you shared a chicken stock recipe? If not please do!!!

    I loved the salad column- of course my true fav part of any meal. I am known for this and often put on this task- just ask Lis! And I wholly recommend homemade dressing- not hard and worth the effort.

    Loving all the thanks giving info!
    XO, Sara

    Enjoy every minute!!!!

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