By SARA MOULTON
It's the same thing every year. We overindulge during the holidays, then make solemn (and quickly abandoned) promises to eat healthier and shed pounds in the new year.
So here's a sane and simple resolution that will help you achieve both goals in a single stroke: Eat more vegetables.
It's no secret that almost all vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. Most also are good sources of dietary fiber, potassium, folate and vitamins A and C. If you did nothing more than pile your plate with vegetables, add a small portion of lean protein and ramp up your daily exercise a bit, you'd probably find all that extra holiday baggage dropping away without having to count calories.
The only problem with eating more vegetables is that it can take a significant amount of time to prep them, and even more time to cook them.
This is why I love my food processor. If you use it with the grating disc attachment — as I do for this trio of recipes — you're home free. Even root vegetables can be grated and sauteed in minutes. Best of all, having cooked up your grated veggies in a bit of oil, you have maximized their flavor, as opposed to steaming or boiling them, which dilutes it.
Enhance the finished product however you want, with nuts, your favorite spices or herbs, or a squeeze of citrus or other acid. Just be sure to put a mix of colors on the plate; for the most part, the brighter the color, the better the nutrition.
And on a night when you are truly squeezed for time, you don't even have to cook your shredded veggies. They're equally delicious raw. Just toss them with lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Have fun with your vegetables. You'll be delighted with what happens when you move them to the center of your plate.