A Refreshed January: Fennel & Mandarin Salad

A New Year is here! We often want that to be representative of a refreshed perspective and positive change in our lives. I love that it gives us an excuse to reflect on ourselves and (at least once a year) attempt to reach a new goal. Personally, I rarely make specific resolutions because they never seem to stick. And I read something recently that explained that that’s because people make resolutions thinking they should, but not because they’re really ready to take the leap to make that change. So you need to go into it with the right idea and perspective, when it’s something you really want out of life…and maybe it doesn’t need to be at the start of the year. This year I have felt ready to tackle a bunch of things that have been on the back burner for a while. I am really focusing on my health and my business this year, with proactive plans that began on the first of the month.

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To start with, I have been watching what I eat for these first two weeks of January. I have been looking at it kind of like a cleansing after all of the delicious sweet and fatty foods that we get during the holidays, but also a renewal for myself as well. I am avoiding starchy foods and focusing on lots more fruit & vegetables and whole foods. It’s something I have always known I should do more of. It’s allowing me to experiment more in the kitchen and be more strict about what I put in my body. I have been really enjoying trying out new recipes. So far the only challenges have been mostly my willpower (because I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world, and I also LOVE pasta and bread) and also laziness. Before it was so simple to whip up some pasta for dinner, now that I’m avoiding it I need to plan fuller, healthier meals with different meats and fish and inspired ideas for my vegetables. I won’t lie that I’m already dreaming up the perfect meal that I can indulge in after these two weeks are up! But I’ve promised myself that I will reintegrate things slowly and be more mindful about them being healthier homemade breads, wild, black & brown rice and healthier grains.

So today I leave you with some images from my lunch today, which was a fennel & mandarin salad. I love this because it’s so simple and fresh, and also beautiful to look at. When making this recipe it’s really important that the fennel be sliced very thin so that it doesn’t overpower the salad too much. I used to hate fennel because I’m not the biggest fan of anise flavour, but I soon discovered that it is very mild and when paired properly with contrasting flavours it can be really light and delicious.

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Fennel & Mandarin Salad:
-Mandarin slices (either canned or with peel, pith and seeds removed)
-One fennel bulb, thinly sliced (top cut off, halved and cored)
-One scallion, sliced lengthwise
-Freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

Dressing:
-Olive oil
-A few drops of a good quality balsamic vinegar
-Drizzle of lemon juice
-Freshly ground black pepper

This can have another dash of colour and sweetness if you add some pomegranate seeds too!

 

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