Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Surfeit Season

En garde!  We're moving into it.  I'm referring to Thanksgiving, Christmas/ Chanukah/Kwanza and New Year's Eve. 

Thanksgiving isn't all that fattening.  Turkey is lean, especially if you baste with chicken broth instead of butter.  you don't have to use milk in your gravy; chicken broth works just as well.  There all kinds of calorie savers you can employ for this dinner.  And you should use them!  Thigh fat is forever fat, ahem. 

Christmas is the killer.  Everyone is thrusting cookies or candies at you, squealing, "Try this!"  "No!  Try these!"  I don't know for sure, but I would bet that December is the highest sugar-consumption month of them all. 

New Year's Eve features (for the most part) rich and expensive foods -- caviar and champagne (purr) - lobster tails all around!  Eat like the Obamas!  And, of course, it's mandatory to get knee-walking drunk.

No wonder everyone is bored in January!  We're all eaten out! 

What's a body to do?  I normally wouldn't recommend yo-yo dieting (which this is) but try to lose three pounds before Surfeit Season.  A pound a week is an acceptable goal.  If you can accomplish this then you can eat guilt free and enjoy your food.

Here's an example of cutting back calories, but not taste.  The soy sauce - get the low-sodium if you haven't already - is the key to the traditional dark color with less cooking.

1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry white wine  (or no-calorie water - or not at all; you've got the broth coming)
1 T soy sauce
6 cups low-sodium beef broth
Four 1/2 in. thick slices of whole grain baguette (for fiber)
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere/Swiss cheese.  (Really more of a garnish than a hefty part of the soup)

Cook the onions in the olive oil until they're golden brown.  Add the wine/water and soy sauce and continue cooking for about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the cheese over the baguette slices and broil them 6 in. from the flame.  You want the cheese to brown, not burn so keep an eye on it. 

They say to put the soup in the bowl and top it with the bread.  I say to put the bread in the empty bowl and pour the soup over the bread.  If you've ever tried to cut through restaurant onion soup with a spoon... you'll see I'm right to do it this way.  It's much easier on the tablecloth...

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