Overall, my main cooking goal is to include more whole, nutrient dense food in our diets - and less processed food. Here are my specific goals:
1. Convert 4 of our favorite recipes to more healthful, nutritious versions.
- Pick 4 easy-enough-for-everyday recipes we enjoy.
- Make ingredient substitutions (such as better fats, more wholesome sweetners, etc.) and alter preparation methods if necessary until we reach the balance of good tasting and good for us.
2. Freeze three days worth of healthy food to help reduce the temptation to go out to eat or cook a frozen pizza when I'm too busy to cook a real meal.
- Choose 3 breakfast recipes, 3 lunch recipes, and 3 dinner recipes that freeze well.
- Devote one Saturday to preparing/cooking and freezing these items.
- Keep an "inventory" list of items on the side of the refrigerator so I will remember they are there to use when I need them.
3. Become more responsible regarding the purchase and utilization of food. Specifically:
- Waste less food. As in eat it, freeze it, preserve it, something . . . so that it will not go bad and have to be thrown away. Keeping an "inventory" list on the fridge and freezer should help. I would also like to begin composting this spring so that even some of my food waste will not truly go to waste.
- Purchase local products when possible.
- Make better use of the produce from my garden. Base our summer meals around what I harvest. Learn to can vegetables and sauces (thank you for the pressure cooker/canner, mother-in-law) so we can utilize produce year-round. Donate or share all the produce that we do not eat (and enlist friends/family/neighbors to pick ripe produce if we're gone for a few days).
4. Work toward some of my random, more far-fetched goals (I have no real plan for accomplishing these, which is why they are "far-fetched"):
- Keep a sourdough starter alive and learn to make sourdough bread.
- Learn to make cultured coolers (like those from Three Stone Hearth we tried while in CA). What is a cultured cooler? According to Three Stone Hearth: [Cultured coolers are] made from filtered water, agave nectar, yogurt whey, a small amount of sea salt, and tasty herbs and flavors such as hibiscus, ginger, antique rose, lemon-lime, or others. These refreshing, tasty drinks are cultured for a period of days and so contain active enzymes and suspended mineral ions and electrolytes. And they are sooo good, especially the lemon flavor!
Force myself toEat seafood once a month.
- Make homemade chicken stock and beef stock on a somewhat regular basis. Yes, the Swanson's stock people will miss me . . .
- Braise something once a month (in the beautiful new Dutch -actually French - oven my mom got me!).
- Prepare my lunch (main dish and fruits/veggies) for work the night before, instead of the morning of . . .
- Take better pictures of food for my blog, so the food actually looks appetizing.
- Make a bigger effort to invite friends over for dinner instead of meeting at a restaurant.
- And . . . make homemade mozzarella!