In the midst of baking gingerbread men and large batches of chicken curry to share at potlucks, I am trying to be conscious of my vegetable consumption. Usually I allow myself to indulge this time of year and not pay too much attention to diet, instead making up for it with daily walks on the trail or around the neighborhood. However, being seven months pregnant this time of year has given me a different perspective toward diet.
I’m not one to deprive myself but the baby in my belly forces me to maintain a healthy, balanced diet without giving up the occasional cookie or sweet treat. An easy way to do so is to keep a large container of pre-washed salad greens in my refrigerator for easy access. At least once a day, I’ll throw together a big, mixed salad with whatever chopped vegetables or fruits I have on hand. Not only has this practice kept my diet well-rounded, but it has forced me to be creative with my salad combinations during a time of year that is not particularly “salad-friendly”.
Below is a favorite combination recently that I threw together for a late-afternoon lunch. Baby or no baby, I may have to make my daily salad an annual goal during this time of year.
Winter Green Salad
1-2 c mixed salad greens, washed and dried
1/4 c red grapes, halved
1/4 c pecans, chopped
1 celery stalk, sliced thinly
1/2 avocado, diced
1/2 Meyer lemon, juiced
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine first five ingredients in a mixing bowl. Grate in as little or as much Parmesan cheese as desired. Toss salad, season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle in lemon juice and olive oil then toss salad again. Serve and enjoy.