The new year is a time to reinvent yourself, even in the kitchen. Sure, you’ll go to the gym more and eat less like a college student this year. Sure.
But really, let’s be realistic about this.
Here are our simple, straightforward food resolutions for 2012. Attainable, green, and heart-warming, they’ll give us goals to meet all year long. Are you making any cooking resolutions? Where will your kitchen bring you in 2012?
**Food Resolutions to Make in 2012**
1. Simmer Stock. When you’re a quarter-life cook, convenience is undisputedly queen. But when you do have some extra time, and some extra veggies or chicken carcasses, submerge them in water and make some stock–Small Kitchen Chicken Soup is a good recipe to start with. Your risottos and chicken stews will be better than ever, and you’ll waste fewer scraps too. Bonus: make some matzoh balls (pictured).
2. Serve Pancakes to Your Loved One(s). In the book, I have a whole chapter about discovering Alex through his breakfast likes and dislikes and helping him to fall in love with me via my pancake-frying skills. Who knew I wasn’t alone? Lexi over at Small Kitchen College has a weekend pancake ritual with her husband. And another adorable post from another Cara confirms that pancakes are key. If flapjacks aren’t your thing, here is some more breakfast inspiration.
3. Eat Your Greens. Puree your farmers’ market findings into the one, the only, Green Soup. People love this soup, no matter how gross you think it looks or sounds. And if you can down at least a bowl, we promise you’ll feel vibrant, energetic, and totally detoxed. And you’ll be craving another.
4. Cook for the Week. We all always say we’re going to do this. But then, of course, life gets in the way, and while we may make great dinners on Mondays, but Thursdays we’re so burnt out we’re eating take out or worse, granola. Try some chili, white beans and greens, and a huge container of vegan broccoli soup.
5. Eat Whole, GF Grains. Even if you’re not one of the 18 million Americans with a gluten sensitivity, it’s worth giving the bread a break and loading up on quinoa, masa harina and polenta, and potatoes. All kinds of wonderful meals will result, and chances are you’ll feel lighter and less tired after you eat.
6. Buy Local Meat. It tastes fresher, is better for the environment, and if you’re in NYC, it’s not a hassle at all to find. I’m loving Fleisher’s, which opened on 5th Avenue in Park Slope. But the weekly farmers’ markets at Grand Army Plaza, Union Square, and elsewhere also have plenty of quality meat. The question then becomes how not to spend an arm and a leg? By buying cheap cuts, of course: go for pork shoulder for this stew, a small amount of pork loin for stir fry, or beef chuck for award-winning Secret Ingredient Beef Stew.