Bananas and I haven’t always had a good relationship. For the first two decades of my life, bananas were the one fruit I disliked more than anything, and usually the one (and only) fruit offered at sporting events, play dates, breakfasts, and cafeteria lines.
I hated them always but saw them everywhere; so one day in my sophomore year of college, I decided to make a change.
It started with half a banana hidden in between two slices of bread slathered with peanut butter. Then the banana landed guest appearances in my oatmeal and cereal, progressed to starring roles in baked goods and finally became a solo act.
I was sick of hating the fruit that followed me around so I decided to join forces with it instead. I embraced its natural sweetness, creamy texture, and incomparable convenience. It’s a quick, healthy meal wrapped like a golden present.
With the holidays taking up every extra hour (and dollar) that I have, a yellow banana tucked into my purse as I rush out the door is the perfect solution to breakfast.
For lunch, I’ve employed my favorite salad strategy to get me through the countdown to Christmas: heaps of tender greens, roasted root vegetables and/or sweet potatoes, and leftover roast chicken (or turkey, steak, etc.) or canned beans. I’ll throw in some fresh vegetables (bell pepper, carrots, cucumber) if I can find them.
It’s a foolproof combination that always tastes good and never leaves you hungry. I top the salad with store-bought dressing because these days I don’t even have time to emulsify oil and vinegar. Is it the most wonderful time of the year?
More holiday parties that involve a few too many holiday cookies (cocktails) also means I’ve been hitting the gym after work, so dinner has to come at lightning speed too.
I love sheet pan dinners as a quick, healthy meal that comes together in the oven while you take a shower, get into your pajamas, and put your fuzzy-socked feet up on the coffee table.
Sheet Pan Flounder with Cherry Tomatoes, Olives, and Arugula can be made with whatever fish looks best at the grocery store, and you can double the amount of vegetables you roast alongside the tomatoes (try adding sliced red bell pepper).
You’ll want to get a good crusty bread on your way home from work to mop up the saucy, garlicky tomatoes that get left on the pan after you’ve devoured the fish.
Nothing is more indicative of the holiday season than using a carb to clean your plate instead of a spoon.
Yeah, dinner is something I’ll always make time for.