On the Border, Christmas is a hodgepodge of American heritage—stuffed turkeys, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, and of course an obscene amount of cookies—peppered with some Mexican heritage—tamales, chile Colorado, posole, arroz con leche, empanadas, and sopapillas. And like watching the entire Home Alone series, eating at our house is an all-day event. We eat because the cooks appreciate it. We eat because there are people starving in the world. We eat because it’s cold outside. We eat because Grandma thinks we’re too skinny. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t take much to convince me to eat, and each New Year, I’m confronted by the same two opposing feelings—optimism with a dollop of guilt.
I feel optimistic about starting off a new year, but my pent-up guilt from all the holiday gluttony can have me dragging my feet. I can’t help it. So rather than prevent myself from enjoying the holidays, I preplan my family’s meals throughout the month of January to help jumpstart our return to healthy eating. And many of these meals are zesty salads that make great leftovers. After the holidays, I have to remind myself that eating healthy tastes just as great as all the holiday fare.
This Monday Menu, I’m sharing one of my favorite salad recipes, Pesto Eggplant Salad.
Do you have any healthy tips that help you get the New Year started off right?
- 2 eggplants
- 1 box of cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup of sunflower seeds
- 1 small purple onion
- 2 cups of basil
- ½ cup of feta cheese
- ½ parmesan cheese
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup of virgin olive oil
- 1box of tofu
- In a blender, pulse the sunflower seeds, basil, and 1 garlic clove.
- Add olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add parmesan cheese and set aside.
- Wash eggplant and cherry tomatoes.
- Dice eggplant, purple onion, and tofu into bite-size chunks.
- Cut cherry tomatoes in halves.
- Mince garlic.
- In a large, nonstick skillet, heat a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Toss the eggplant and tofu into the skillet. Sauté until slightly browned.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once cooked, set tofu and eggplant aside.
- Add onions, tomatoes, garlic, and feta cheese to the tofu and eggplant.
- Take the pesto mix and toss into salad as desired.
- Serve in individual dishes.