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Warm up with a salad

  • Adding a little crunch by way of salads, like this kale, black beans and beets version, is a good way to break up the winter eating doldrums. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)

    Adding a little crunch by way of salads, like this kale, black beans and beets version, is a good way to break up the winter eating doldrums. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Adding a little crunch by way of salads, like this broccoli with cranberries and pecans, is a good way to break up the winter eating doldrums. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)<br/>

    Adding a little crunch by way of salads, like this broccoli with cranberries and pecans, is a good way to break up the winter eating doldrums. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)
    Purchase photo reprints »

  • Adding a little crunch by way of salads, like this kale, black beans and beets version, is a good way to break up the winter eating doldrums. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)
  • Adding a little crunch by way of salads, like this broccoli with cranberries and pecans, is a good way to break up the winter eating doldrums. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)<br/>

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I do always roll (and I mean roll) into January with a big case of food fatigue and a vow to end the nonstop nibbling.

My slim-down strategy always includes soups, which are cold-weather naturals, but I also like to eat things that crunch, like salads.

During the years that I’ve spent in Paris, I’ve come up with easy, go-to winter salads that never leave me feeling like I’m cheating myself out of something really tasty. Au contraire, these salads are so much fun that you just may forget that they’re good for you.

Kale, Black Bean and Beet Salad

Makes 2 dinner-size or 4 first-course salads

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

2 large bunches kale, ribs removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces

1 (15-ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed

Sea salt and pepper

2 eggs (4 if making first-course salads)

1 (15-ounce) can of beets in water, drained, rinsed and diced

About 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Balsamic vinegar

Put the olive oil in a large skillet, add the garlic, and turn the heat to medium. Cook until you can smell the garlic, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Toss the kale into the skillet and let it cook till it just begins to wilt — just a few minutes.

Warm beans in a small saucepan over low heat.

Fill a deep skillet or saucepan with about 4 inches of water, along with a big pinch of salt, and turn the heat on high. When the water boils, turn it down to a simmer. Crack each egg into a small glass bowl individually and gently slide the egg from the bowl into the barely bubbling water. Set a timer for 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the egg and place it on a paper towel to absorb the moisture while you assemble the salad.

Divide the still-warm kale onto the plates, top with a spoonful (or two) of the black beans and the same amount of beets. Carefully place a poached egg on top of each salad. Sprinkle with blue cheese, add dashes of sea salt and pepper, and lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Nutritional information per serving, based on 2: 575 calories, 24 grams fat, 51 grams carbohydrates, 28 grams protein, 233 milligrams cholesterol, 661 milligrams sodium, 16 grams dietary fiber, 38 percent of calories from fat.

Broccoli With Cranberries and Pecans

Makes 4 servings

2 large heads of broccoli, florets removed (about 4 cups)

Small handful dried cranberries

Small handful pecans, toasted

About 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

1 squeeze fresh lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon)

Sea salt and pepper

Put steamer basket in medium saucepan along with about ½ cup of water. Place broccoli in basket, cover with lid and turn heat to high. It will only take a few minutes to steam once water boils. Place steamed broccoli in a large bowl.

Add cranberries, pecans, Parmesan and lemon juice, and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional information per serving: 59 calories, 3 grams fat, 5 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 1 milligram cholesterol, 73 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 45 percent of calories from fat.

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