So it’s January. The month where we all swear off heavy eating and line up at the gym for our turn at the elliptical machine. We promise ourselves that we’ll be good and that we’re ready to atone for the sins of the past two months — cookies, punch, stuffing, pie, lasagna, creamy dips and buttery pastries. Overindulgence is over and, for the next month at least, most of us won’t touch a cookie.
Some will pronounce extreme resolutions: “I’m giving up carbs forever!” “I’ll only eat raw foods!” “I won’t touch chocolate till July!” But really, who wants to suffer like that? Plus, everyone knows that crazy, restrictive resolutions don’t last past the first week of the new year.
If you’re looking to get healthy in 2012, or if you just need a little break from the cake and cheesy appetizers you closed 2011 with, you can still eat the foods you love, just smarter versions of them. So go easy on the cream and butter and say “no thanks” to that second serving. And going meatless on Monday can help with your healthy resolutions, too — taking a weekly break from meat can have major benefits to your health and the environment.
Celebrate the first Meatless Monday of 2012 with Ellie Krieger’s creamy pasta dish that happens to be cream-free. The sauce is made with roasted red peppers (you can use store bought); it’s thick and flavorful and clings to whole-wheat pasta quite nicely. And don’t skip the cheese just because you’ve sworn you’ll eat healthy in January. Top your pasta with a handful of feta cheese — it’s a lower fat choice and because it’s so tangy, a little bit goes a long way.