January 1st is my least favorite day of the year. People build up all these expectations to start fresh by eating healthy and going for a run, and making all these resolutions to stay fit. And in actuality, you typically spend all of New Years day hungover on the couch fantasizing about your next meal and watching the Law & Order: SVU marathon. So I usually just consider January 1st to be a nice in-between holiday, where you can start thinking about how you want to eat healthy and exercise more, but you don’t have to plunge into action just yet. That’s what January 2nd is for.
So to kick off January 2nd, I decided to prepare some roasted chicken breast, sauteed asparagus and a spinach salad with tahini dressing. The roasted chicken is actually something I picked up from GGD, and it’s delicious and super simple! The spinach salad is a relatively new concoction, but also tastes very fresh and is easy to prepare. I finished my meal feeling full but not stuffed, and pleased with my healthy choices.
Tahini Dressing (serves 2)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
In a small food processor, chop garlic then add other ingredients (except water) and blend until smooth. Gradually add water to make the dressing thinner, to your desired consistency. Store in an air-tight jar for up to two weeks.
I combined this dressing with 3 cups of spinach, 1 TB of sunflower seeds and some chopped tomatoes. It was light, but had great texture and flavor from the tahini dressing and sunflower seeds. Definitely a repeat side salad!
Roasted Lemon Chicken (serves 2)
- 2 boneless chicken breasts with the skin on
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking pan with a sheet of aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil with the seasoning. Dip each chicken breast into the bowl, coating it with the olive oil on all sides. Place chicken breasts on baking pan, skin side up. Peel away some of the skin and put 2-3 lemon slices underneath the skin. Place in the oven and cook for 50 minutes to an hour (varies based on oven).
Big thanks to GGD for showing me how to roast chicken (I’m usually a grill pan person, and rarely buy chicken with the skin on). I love the crispiness of the skin, and the lemon slices adds a lot of flavor and juice to the chicken. It’s a great protein to dress up with healthy side dishes.
I’d like to say that in keeping with the healthy theme of this meal I didn’t drink any wine, but I would be lying. I paired the dish with a light and fruity Chardonnay from Navarro, one of my favorite Anderson Valley wineries. It was a good match to the citrus in the dish, but also tasted great on it’s own before and after the meal.
Happy New Year to everyone, and good luck with your resolutions. But remember, fad diets are for people who don’t love food as much as you and I!