Another UPC’s Bento-Box Lunch; and a new treat: the Herb “Sweet” Salad
I have a sweet tooth. In fact, if there was a “Sweet Tooth’s Anonymous,” I would most definitely need to be a member. I realize that Humans are naturally predisposed to having a sweet tooth. There is a very good evolutionary reason for this: we need to eat sugar to get fat, and we need fat to survive periods of famine (winter, dry season, etc.). I get that. Despite that there are very good reasons for us to have a sweet tooth, I seem to be more predisposed to sweet-tooth cravings than other people I know.
Obviously a sweet tooth is somewhat counter-productive when you’re trying to get down to fighting weight, so to speak. I am a firm believer in a “Cycles” approach, where you have a slimming and muscle-building cycle, like in the spring and summer, and then you have a sweet-tooth season where you put on a bit of fat and let your body take itself in another direction for a while, like in the fall and winter. And while our bodies existed in their evolutionary environment, that was all fine and dandy, because our cycle-approach was limited and driven by the food that was available. For example: the herbivores which were still alive in the fall tended to be stronger, faster, and more able to survive (they lived through the spring and summer, after all). So they were harder to catch. But lucky for us Humans, we can eat the abundantly available fruit instead of being primary predators for a while; it helps us to put on weight and incidentally, survive the winter.
But here in the NYC area, I live in an environment of non-seasonal abundance. My limitations have to be entirely self-created, and self-enforced. So I’ve become VERY inventive at finding ways of satisfying my sweet tooth without much, if any, carb intake. And today’s Herb “Sweet” Salad is a perfect example! Enjoy!!
Herb “Sweet” Salad; What you’ll need:
- Favorite Salad Mix (I used a “Power Greens” mix)
- 1 Avocado, chopped
- 1/2 large Cucumber, chopped
- 2 Carrots, “chipped” (cut chips of the carrots in to the mixing bowl)
- 1 cup White Button Mushrooms, chopped
- And for the “Sweet” flavoring:
- 3 sprigs Tarragon, pull the leaves off, then chop
- 1 cup Fennel, chopped (Get fennel with the greenery still on; use the greenery, not the bulb – alternately, chop and caramelize the fennel bulb.)
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- Optional: 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Bento-Box; What you’ll need:
- Herb “Sweet” Salad (ingredients listed above)
- 1 large Sweet Potato, sliced
- 4 Apple Chicken Sausage Links (or other sausage; another household favorite of ours is Kielbasa)
1. Put the Sausage Links in a pot with some water and cook on high, covered.
Note: Most sausages come pre-cooked, so you could eat them right out of the package. I always cook them anyway.
2. Put the home-fry sliced sweet potatoes in a pan with a refined nut oil and cook on a high heat.
Note: I used Walnut oil; using a refined nut oil here is important, because they’re less likely to oxidize under the high heat of stir-frying the sweet potatoes.
3. Mix the salad and tend to the sausages and sweet potato home fries.
Serve, and enjoy!
4. (Optional Extra Step): Take the sausages out of the pot, slice the sausages and fry them, lightly crisping them for additional flavor.
Note: This step works particularly well with flavored sausages.
- Do you get sweet cravings?
- Do you indulge them?
- Do you find ways of satisfying them without indulging?
- What kinds of things do you do to keep your sweet tooth satisfied, without offsetting your hard work to manage your health?
- Do you allow your body to have a weight “cycle” of sorts?
- Is your weight-cycle dictated by anything? The seasons? Holidays? Vacations?
- Are you satisfied with your body’s cycle? Does it work for you?
- Do you, like me, believe that a weight cycle (within healthy limits, of course) is actually likely a healthy thing?