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Prep for the Holiday Hoopla

November 15, 2010

Hello, Monday. T-minus 10 days until Thanksgiving Menu: The Movie premieres. I’m walking the red carpet sporting no make-up, yoga pants, sweatshirts and dirty hair. Because that’s what Thanksgiving at the beach looks like. Nick Nolte’s mug shot. Absolutely glorious.

What’s new in your neck of the woods? Trying to shed a couple of pounds before the Thanksgiving-Christmas bender? Here are some tips to battle the bulge when all you want to do is take that 20-pound turkey by the neck and swallow it whole. Ok, maybe that’s just me. I like to read these to myself as reminders before all of the Holiday hoopla.

  • Don’t go all Mel Gibson just because it’s the holidays. Keep your boozing in check. I recently read that a woman is to have only 7 drinks per week, a maximum of 3 at a time. Men are allotted 14 drinks per week with a maximum of 4 at time.
    • Opt for a smaller glass of wine.
    • Drink water in between beverages.
    • Choose diet soda or club soda as mixers.
    • Stay away from tonic (unless it’s diet) and fruity mixers.
    • Drink light beer or limit yourself to only one heavy beer.
    • Volunteer to be the designated driver and pretty soon your friends won’t be able to find you beside a flag pole. You go girl, or boy.
  • Before you beeline it to the buffet and eat your entire year’s worth of feelings, get a hold of yourself.
    • Eat some nuts or a light snack before going to the party so you’re not gnawing your hand off upon greeting the host/hostess. Plus, what will you shake hands with? No one likes a half-eaten appendage.
    • Make sure you cruise the entire buffet line to check out all your options. If you are single, this is an opportune time to check out the other options while deciding between the pork sliders and the mushroom crostini.  Ohhh, hello, lamb shanks, don’t mind if I do.
    • Sample small portions. It’s an already difficult task to master food-mingling-beverage-juggling. You definitely don’t want to be that guest with the crab spewing out of your mouth while dishing about Christopher Radko and Spode Christmas Tree patterns. See: Holiday Party, circa-2007, Evie, partygoers gawk at crabcake lady, lady goes christopher crab-ko  
    • Make it a point to create a plate for yourself, eat the delectable goodies and then stop. Program Jenny Craig on your speed dial as added artillery.
  • Shop ’til you drop. Shopping is a great cardio. Stay off the Internet and go to the stores. Old people like to mall-walk for a good reason. It’s great exercise!
    • Maintain your weekly work-out regimen. The holidays aren’t an excuse to stop. If even, they are an excuse to start and beat the whole I’m-going-to-spring-break-in-two-months-come-January crowd.
  • De-stress. The Holidays are a time to celebrate with family. Not a time to stress.
    • Treat yourself. I purchase gifts with a “one for me, one for you” mentality. You can just call me Sally Selfish. Hey, but at least I’m stress-less. If shopping isn’t your forte, go get a massage. Go to the spa. Bottom line, stress is so last year’s pimple.
  • Try my re-take on Giada’s cous cous in between the Dirty Santa gift exchanges and Secret Santa surprises. It’s filled with fluffy cous cous, spicy curry, savory cranberries, roasted cauliflower, candied walnuts and cold, refreshing cucumber. I even cut out some of the olive oil just for you.

Curried Cous Cous Salad

Adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/curried-couscous-salad-recipe/index.html

Cauliflower:

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Salad:

  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8-ounce box) wheat couscous
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped candied walnuts
  • 1 (4-inch) piece cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large lemon, zested

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mild curry powder (recommended: Spice Islands)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Cauliflower: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet liberally with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss the cauliflower and olive oil together until coated.

Put in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Roast until golden and tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Salad: In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth, curry powder and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the couscous. Cover the pot and allow the couscous to absorb the liquid, about 5 to 7 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and transfer it to a large serving bowl.

Stir in the cooked cauliflower, cranberries, cashews, cucumber, parsley, and lemon zest.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil and curry powder until smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Just before serving, add the dressing to the salad and toss well to coat.

One year ago: https://entertainingbyevie.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/an-ode-to-quinoa/

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2010 7:45 am

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    • entertainbyevie permalink*
      August 12, 2011 5:58 pm

      Hello and thank you! The theme is vigilant but I customized the header and colors.

  2. December 2, 2010 6:17 am

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