Monday, January 20, 2014

Food Goals for 2014

Last January I shared several food-related goals for the new year. While most people's food goals revolve around eating more greens and less fat, mine revolve around ingredients or preparations I want to try out. Yes, making healthful eating choices is also still important to me--so is trying new foods!

First, let's see how I did on my 2013 goals:
  1. Learn to like lentils - Success! I'm glad I gave these little guys a try, because they are tasty, versatile, cheap, and healthy! A couple favorites: Dan's Dal Makhani and an adaptation of Thai Basil Coconut Lentils. Tip: almost any time I make lentils, I cook them in vegetable broth rather than water. It gives them a nice flavor boost but still keeps their flavor neutral enough to not clash with whatever other flavors are going into the dish.
  2. Cook eggplant - Never got around to this one. 
  3. More international foods - I did well with this goal. My favorite was probably the Cambodian Curry, and some others include Asian Chicken Salad with Homemade Peanut Dressing, Chopped Thai Chicken Salad, the Dal Makhani linked above, Avocado, Mozzarella, and Jalapeno Chimichurri Grilled Cheese, and Spiced Veggie Tacos with Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa.
  4. Incorporate a new whole grain into my diet - I tried bulgar and barley, liked them both, but wouldn't say they're regulars on my table.
  5. Cook with prickly pear (the fruit or the cactus) - I didn't cook any myself, but I did eat two different prickly pear jellies/jams and ate nopales (the cactus part) prepared by others. I'm counting it!
  6. Make crepes - They haven't happened yet. Several times I started to put them on my menu but couldn't find any recipes that really grabbed me.
Now for 2014 food goals:
  1. Prepare at least one lasagna - There are tons of lasagna recipes sitting in my "must make" list, including tomatoey, creamy, and squashy variations, but I cannot remember the last time I actually made a lasagna. 
  2. Make gnocchi - I've read that it's terrifying, and I've read that it's involved but not scary. I'd like to find out for myself.
  3. Cook more often - Lately I've been in a bit of a food rut. Maybe it's school and work stress. Maybe it's Netflix or the Ender Quintet soaking up all my free time. I don't really know. But lately cooking seems less exciting to me than it normally does. I'd like to rediscover that passion.
  4. Make stovetop popcorn
  5. Make something with fresh tomatillos.
  6. Play with more fresh herbs - My parents are getting me an indoor fresh herb garden for my birthday, so I'm excited to a) try my hand at keeping plants alive and b) be more intentional about incorporating fresh herbs instead of dried herbs or no herbs.
  7. Finally a goal for this blog: Get a recipe index page up and running - I started one a while back and played around with how to make it look right, but I haven't finalized it or publicized it yet.

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