Is it just me or does the holiday season come faster and faster each year? I always thought that the holidays started with Thanksgiving, but recently as soon as Halloween is over I see gift guides and holiday menu ideas everywhere I turn! Every morning my inbox is full of websites promising me they have the perfect gift for everyone on my list.
If I am being completely honest I have mixed emotions about the holiday season. While I love the idea in theory, in reality I find the weeks from now until Christmas to be a little stressful. Between family gatherings, travel, holiday parties, and several birthdays (Doug, my mom and my niece and nephew were all born during the holidays), I can get a little overwhelmed this time of year. Knowing that this time of year can be exhausting I have a few tricks for keeping my balance. I try not to over schedule myself with unnecessary engagements, even if that means turning down dinner with a friend so I can spend a rare and much needed night at home. I have learned that my friends will always be there. Come January when there is less going on I am a much better dinner companion anyway! I also always start my holiday shopping early. Very early. I keep a detailed spreadsheet of each gift and recipient so I am never left running to an overcrowded store at the eleventh hour. In fact, I prefer to do much of my holiday shopping online as braving crowded stores this time of year can be quite overwhelming!
Another, and possibly the most key tactic for keeping things low- stress is simplifying my meals. For me this is not a time to do major recipe experimentation. With days and nights being very busy, I avoid testing out brand new recipes for dinner. Instead I stick to my tried and true staples, dishes that I know are easy to prepare, satisfying and nourishing. Come January I will have oodles of time to play in the kitchen!
Few things satisfy me more on a cold night than roasted root vegetables. They are quick and easy to prepare and paired with a green salad make the perfect meal. Sunchokes (or Jerusalem artichokes) are certainly less commonly used than beets, carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes but they are no less delicious. Their taste is somewhere between an artichoke and a potato, slightly starchy and savory. My favorite way to eat them is simply roasted with a little sea salt and black pepper. They really don't need much else!
- 1 lb sunchokes ( also known as Jerusalem artichokes)
- coconut oil
- sea salt
- Pre- heat oven to 400.
- Scrub sunchokes clean with warm water.
- Cut into quarters.
- On a baking sheet toss with a little coconut oil, sea salt and pepper.
- Roast for 30-40 mins until slightly brown and tender .