Happy new year, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating. I took a full two-week vacation for the holidays and did NOTHING, not even a blog post, and it was fantastic. There was lots of travel and family, cooking and eating, and just lounging about and doing the crossword puzzle. Now I’m refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to face 2019 with some new food goals for the year (and a few that are popping up again in some form or another from last year’s list, which you can read here). Hope you enjoy the list, and feel free to share some of your own goals in the comments section!
2019 Food Goals
- Cook more complete meals. Many nights Andrew and I have a dinner of a roasted cauliflower or buffalo Brussels sprouts followed by a large bowl of popcorn. This is totally delightful sometimes, but it’s not very balanced (not a lot of protein there)! So this year I’d like to really make an effort to cook more complete meals at least a little more often.
- Cook more from cookbooks. I got the Ottolenghi Simple cookbook for Christmas, and I’ve started cooking from that. I’m also looking forward to cooking more from Alison Roman’s Dining In, which I’ve enjoyed a lot over the past year. Also, I loved the tacos i ate in Phoenix and San Diego over the holidays, and I want to start making them at home. The Nopalito cookbook has some amazing looking recipes I can’t wait to try.
- Make more substitutions and cook out of the pantry/use what I already have. It’s great to use the exact ingredients a recipe calls for when I make it for the first time, but that can often require $20 worth of groceries. This year I’ll be using more leeks instead of onions, linguini instead of spaghetti, almond butter instead of cashew butter, or vice verse on all—depending on what I have on hand. I’m also planning to steal a trick that my mom uses, which is to google a few ingredients I have + “recipe” and get ideas that way.
- Stop buying so many spices! I can’t help wanting to experiment with new ingredients, but I want to try to save money on food by toning down my special ingredient habit just a little bit and cook more with the pantry items I already have. Having said that, I am super excited about the fennel pollen and rose harissa I just ordered, though!
- Cook more complicated projects. I love being able to whip up a quick and healthy meal in 30 minutes, but tackling a multi-step cooking endeavor can be so gratifying. I’m ready to try making more homemade pasta, complex desserts, and other longer term prep commitments in the new year.
- Do more fermenting. I’ve been making a lot of kraut, as well as preserved lemons and a few other fermented pickles, but I’m ready to expand my repertoire. Noma’s fermentation book has been full of inspiration, and I’d like to try making kombucha as well as more vegetable and fruit pickles.
- Stop peeling vegetables! Reducing food waste has always been something I try to do, if only to save money! Reducing waste is really having a moment right now, with several popular cookbooks on the topic that have recently been published. A really easy way that I’ve started to reduce food waste is to use more of my ingredients. Carrots taste great with the peel on, cauliflower cores, stems, and leaves can be chopped up and thrown right in with the florets, and chicken skin fries up into delicious crispy tidbits.
- Use different cuts of meat. I have really enjoyed reading Fergus Henderson’s Complete Nose to Tail Cookbook and am excited to start experimenting with some less common cuts of meat and offal. Lamb tongues? Yeah!
- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet (most of the time). You may have noticed that a lot of my recipes recently have been gluten and dairy free and low in sugar. Eating this way most of the time makes me feel healthier, so I’m sticking with it, with the occasional pizza, pastry, or late-night Cheetos snack of course!
- Splurge on a few incredible meals. For our one-year wedding anniversary, Andrew and I had the most amazing omakase meal and sake pairing at Sushi Ishikawa. The experience was so wonderful that we’ve vowed to save up for a few more special meals each year.