Thursday, January 17, 2013

Food Goals for 2013

I've never been big on New Year's resolutions (and it's probably too late for those anyway), so instead I will share some food goals. Since cooking is one of my main creative outlets, I like to keep things fresh in my cooking rhythms. This year I want to be a bit more intentional about my food goals for the year, especially as I tackle the time commitment that is graduate school along with my pretty demanding full-time job.

2013 Food Goals
Note: a week and a half after publishing these goals I thought of more. So I'll keep adding to the list throughout the year as I feel so inclined.
  1. Learn to like lentils. They have so many nutritional benefits, they're easy on the budget, and they appear to be pretty versatile. I had lentils a few times as a kid and was underwhelmed, but I haven't really given them a chance as an adult.
  2. Cook eggplant, whether I end up liking it or not. I had a bad eggplant experience in junior high, but it deserves another chance.
  3. Expand my repertoire of international foods. This goal is fairly broad, but there are a lot of cuisines out there. For Christmas I got some some spices which should prove useful in Indian and Russian foods, and the Green Mango Cafe and Bakery Cookbook which has oodles of yummy-sounding Cambodian and other Southeast Asian recipes!
  4. Begin using at least one new whole grain on a semi-regular basis. I've gotten comfortable with quinoa, farro, and brown rice, but there are so many whole grains out there begging to find a home in my kitchen.
  5. Prepare and eat something with prickly pear--either the fruit or the cactus part. I've lived among them long enough, it's high time I ate one. (goal added 1-26-2013)
  6. Crepes. They're gonna happen. (goal added 1-26-2013)
Some food milestones I reached last year:
  1. Made risotto and discovered it's actually not that hard.
  2. Discovered that I enjoy kidney beans and white beans, even though I thought I didn't like any beans except black beans and chili (red) beans. And black-eyed peas, thanks to my house church.
  3. Bought, used, and am enjoying lavender.
  4. Cooked crocodile (with much supervision from my mom).
  5. Made a balsamic reduction.
  6. Discovered you can make pizza for breakfast.
How about you? Do you have any food goals for this year, or any specific food goals you met last year?


  1. What fun goals! The place we lived in Washington was known as the lentil capital of the world. I've got a whole cookbook dedicated to peas and lentils if you ever want to borrow it :)

    1. Oh yeah! Now, peas may need to be a goal several more years down the road, but I'm pretty optimistic about a successful lentil experience. In fact, I've been eyeing some of the lentil recipes here:

      What's your favorite lentil recipe/dish?

  2. I'm with you on the peas, but I think this cookbook uses things like split peas and chick peas. I could be wrong, I'll have to look.
    The cookbook has a lentil pilaf recipe that is super easy and I love it. Josh doesn't get excited about rice much, so I don't make it often. We also like lentil chili (had it last week), lentil barley soup, lentil sausage soup, and lentils as taco meat. Lentils are so versatile and take on any flavor you want. We've even had lentil brownies and other desserts that were really good. Our town in WA had a lentil festival every August- not kidding. There was a huge pot of chili that fed the whole town, a parade, a lentil cookoff, and other festivities. I miss it...

    1. Ah, now chickpeas I can do!

      Mmm, those dishes sound good . . . you're making me want to meet this lentil goal sooner rather than later. And that festival sounds like so much fun! I just love theme food events.