Friday, January 09, 2009

Nourishing Resolutions

I hope you're not tired of hearing about New Year's Resolutions already, because I have a few to share today. I'm actually posting this to keep myself accountable, not because I think anyone really wants to read it! Kimi, aka the Nourishing Gourmet, is hosting a Nourishing Resolutions Carnival today. I'm always checking out her blog for ideas, so I decided to participate in the carnival and share the link. She has some great tips for implementing goals/resolutions as well as great resources for people looking for healthful, nourishing recipes.

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 to Eat 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!


cheeseslave said...

Your goals are great!

Freezing food really does help prevent the take-out food. Especially if you freeze in small portions so you can easily reheat in the oven.

Kelly the Kitchen Kop said...

Hi McK!

I need to do better with a LOT of the points you mentioned!

I've especially got to get better about freezing meals ahead. Usually I'll think of it just as I'm about to put ONE batch in the oven for that night's meal, when it would've been just as easy to make an extra for the freezer!

I'd loooove it if you could add email subscriptions to your blog! I could subscribe via RSS, but I never think to check those...just a thought!

Talk to you soon!

Megan said...

That is quite a resolution! I need to incorporate some of those into my own. I am most interested in the canning/making mozzarella/ AND sourdough bread. It's the best bread for you...but I haven't really taken the time to attempt it. I'm sure you'll post about it in the future right?

As far as freezing food goes...I'm not the biggest fan (unless it's meat, stock, or bread). It never tastes quite like the first time. I always make a big batch of grains or veggies for supper and use the left overs in the morning (or for lunch) and turn it into something new. That are never truly eating left overs and you won't get burnt out.

Example: Millet porridge for breakfast....and for supper...Millet Croquets combined with squash or cauliflower.

Example: Saute vegetables for lunch....and the following day...add noodles, a new veggie, and tofu = Stir Fry or add them to stock and make a soup.

Example: There are a million ways to eat creamed rice. You can add toasted pumpkin or sesame seeds for a salty taste OR rice syrup, raisins, and chunks of vanilla granola for a sweeter taste - Day 3 you could add toasted oats and sesame and pop it in your waffle maker - 3 diff. ways of eating the same food. I find that I throw out less food by turning it into a new dish.

ANYWAYS, awesome resolution! I'm really excited to see how it all turns out.

Anonymous said...

Some great goals. I started my Sourdough Starter from one I got at King Arthur Flour on line. It is so easy to make and isn't so sour tasting.
I am working on cutting out waste too. This has become a fun game for me.

McKenzie said...

Cheeseslave - let me know if you have suggestions for what to freeze and/or what not to freeze!

Kel - I'll try to add email subscriptions soon!

Megan - maybe when I come visit we can have a mozzarella making party!

Elizabeth - thanks for stopping by! I have been eyeing the KA sourdough starter for a while now, maybe I'll go ahead and order one, thanks!