You know that feeling when you'd kill for a pile of deliciously prepared vegetables? It's like a craving for all things green. Inevitably, it always hits me after periods of what I liked to call "eating like I'm on vacation." Am I really on vacation? No. Am I eating like it? You bet.
What is "eating like I'm on vacation," you might ask? For me, it typically involves eating a steady diet dominated by baguettes, cheese, cured meats, olives, and wine. Meals know no hourly bounds and snacking is encouraged, preferably all day as I hop from picnic to Memorial Day barbecue to picnic to rummaging the cabinets for a dinner I surely don't need. At the end of it all, the only cure for my vacation food hangover is to eat all of the vegetables.
After a few days of vacation eating, I'm typically struck by a craving for anything and everything green. I dream of piles of fresh vegetables from the greenmarket dressed with something flavorful and light. Perhaps there's a little quinoa or sliced avocado, but otherwise it's all about the vegetables. It's an intense craving, like some signal from my body. Alert, alert. Please consume spring mix immediately.
This week, I made one of my favorite ways to cure this craving: Niçoise salad. Although I left out the tuna for a dinner friend that's not a fan, the exercise of boiling and blanching all of the necessary ingredients proved quite therapeutic. The process dirtied every pot and pan in the kitchen (not to mention used up all the ice!), but it was well worth it. Leftover ingredients formed semi-Niçoise salads for the next two days and still a few potatoes might make their way into a weekend frittata. It was a delicious way to satisfy my craving for salad and veggies all in one, while still getting a bit of protein.
Does this ever happen to you? What's your go to healthy meal to pull yourself back into good eating habits?
(Image credits: Nealey Dozier)