Post Vacation Detox

08.27.10: Leo's 27th Month

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There are different ways to approach vacation and, well, the healthy lifestyle to which many of us aspire. This summer, we did a LOT of vacationing, and I managed to do a fair bit of jogging everywhere we went. Exercising on vacation feels less like the squeezed-in chore it is at home, and more like a perk. I have time! It’s beautiful outside! And someone else is watching Leo—someone else who loves him. We’re all happy for the half hour or so it takes me to do a two or three mile jog with a friend, with my sister-in-law, or with my iPod, and I return to find that not much has changed. Except, I feel healthier.

The other part of a healthy lifestyle, you know, the part to which this blog is dedicated? Yeah, don’t ask. We did do some healthy eating on our vacations (I made quinoa-bean salad! That counts!). But the proportion of real food to treats was just about the reverse of what it is at home. In fact, we returned home so full of ice cream, sugar cereal, chips, cookies and beer (egads! What have I done?) that it was a relief to be greeted by a near-empty fridge.

Always inspired by a good refrigerator puzzle, I made dinner with the limp oregano, barely okay bell pepper and sturdy little cabbage left in our crisper from last week’s CSA share, plus a yellowed lime, a can of beans, some jarred sundried tomatoes, onions that needed editing, garlic and Jasmine rice. I sautéed the cabbage with nothing more than oil and salt and a squeeze of lime (and I believe Leo ate not one iota of the veg, but anyway) and used the recipe on the back of the Goya can as a jumping-off point for the beans and rice. It was a quick-cooking, wholesome dinner that we all enjoyed. Ah, it’s good to be home.

Recipe: Pantry Black Beans and Rice

Zoe Singer is a freelance food writer and cookbook editor and co-author of The Flexitarian Table. Food Editor and blogger for The Faster Times, she tries not to eat for two now that her son is a toddler.