It’s only January 7th and by now I’m pretty sure you’ve been bombarded with diet tips, detox plans, juice cleanses and every other weight loss strategy under the sun. I prefer the French attitude to easing yourself out of the Christmas indulgence with a final hurrah in the form of a ‘Galette des Rois’ – a puff pastry cake filled with almond cream, which you will spot in patisseries all across France on Epiphany. So this post is perfectly timed for Francophiles getting back on track after a slice of King’s cake.
For me, January isn’t about attempting some crazy crash diet, but it is a time to reset, consume vegetables that aren’t coated in gravy and give my body a rest from the sweet stuff. Having spent the Christmas period with my family in Austria, homemade biscuits and cakes were at constant arm’s reach, so baking is out of the question for the month
My version of eating healthy focuses around eating more vegetables, curbing my love of eating out and opting for a lighter approach to my cooking. It’s a good time to stock the fridge with blood oranges, bitter winter leaves like red chicory and radicchio and treat myself to some beautiful fresh fish and seafood from my local fishmonger, Fin and Flounder. My Vietnamese prawn and green mango salad is a great option for this time of year; it’s vibrant, light and fresh to counteract the grey and dark January days.
Cutting out meat will also be a priority for me this New Year. I consider myself somewhat of a flexitarian most of the time, just as content with a bowl of vegetables for dinner as I am with a fillet of beef, so this shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
My latest book Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook has a brilliant recipe for aubergine schnitzel, a breaded aubergine ‘steak’ with a roasted tomato sauce, which I’ll look forward to sharing with you when it is out (12th February). There are also some low carb dishes in there, like my cauliflower stir-fried rice and courgette noodles all of which are on my January menu.
The hardest times to stick to healthy New Year eating is when you’re out and about. I think I’ll be making a big batch of my sushi hand rolls. A lighter and less messy alternative to a sandwich, they make for a convenient and light aldesko lunch now we are all back in the grind.
Some more inspiration to get you through the month:
My healthy recipe for Trout en Papillote from The Little Paris Kitchen
Some lentil inspiration from Yotam Ottolenghi – the lentils with tahini and cumin are particularly brilliant!
A recipe for a perfect Galette des Rois by Raymond Blanc.