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Thread: 2011 Food Resolutions?

  1. #1
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    2011 Food Resolutions?

    I can't find last year's thread (the search function seems to be even more broken than usual), but I love the optimism of the new year.

    My resolutions last year were my standard ones: to try one new recipe a week and blog them, and cost control. Given the upheaval of moving and the baby, I didn't do very well with either one, modest though they were.

    I'm planning to try a new recipe target again this year, and thinking of going about it a different way. While I have some time off at the beginning of the year, I want to pull together a "cookbook" of sorts -- making choices now, rather than going through my entire "to try" collection every week during menu planning. (I'll leave some wildcard spots open, of course! ) That way I'll be less likely to get discouraged when a few busy weeks throw me out of whack.

    Anyone else setting goals? Happy holidays!

  2. #2
    I'll play!

    I can't say I have any specific goals, but I do want to get back to eating better. We've had a lot of projects around the house last year and we got into way too much fast food.

    Generally speaking, I want to simplify our eating and shopping.

    I hope to get my pantry stocked and on some sort of regular restocking schedule.

    I really want to avoid throwing food out.

    Eat more veggies (which if I eat them, I shouldn't have to throw them out )

    Get back to eating real food instead of packaged or take out, even if it is just baked chicken breast with salsa dumped on it. I don't have to make a "recipe" every time I cook.

    Invest in good ingredients and take the quality vs. quantity route in eating. Cheap food may be cheap now, but long term, staying healthy will offset any savings. I can't afford full out organic etc., but I want to make room in my budget to start adding better lunch meat, beef etc.

  3. #3
    These are the same ones I had last year - maybe this year I'll get to them. I don't think either one is hard, just the fear factor for me. #1 - cook my own beans. I have a slow cooker and a pressure cooker so I really don't have any excuse not to do it. #2 - out of the ordinary whole grains. I do brown rice and quinoa but that's about it. I did ask for How To Cook Everything Vegetarian for Christmas and I see a package that looks like it might be it, so maybe that will help me get motivated.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by juliew View Post
    I'll play!

    I can't say I have any specific goals, but I do want to get back to eating better. We've had a lot of projects around the house last year and we got into way too much fast food.

    Generally speaking, I want to simplify our eating and shopping.

    I hope to get my pantry stocked and on some sort of regular restocking schedule.

    I really want to avoid throwing food out.

    Eat more veggies (which if I eat them, I shouldn't have to throw them out )

    Get back to eating real food instead of packaged or take out, even if it is just baked chicken breast with salsa dumped on it. I don't have to make a "recipe" every time I cook.

    Invest in good ingredients and take the quality vs. quantity route in eating. Cheap food may be cheap now, but long term, staying healthy will offset any savings. I can't afford full out organic etc., but I want to make room in my budget to start adding better lunch meat, beef etc.
    I try to have a theme or word that describes my focus for the year. Last year I started with "stewardship" and did ok. It was easier the first part of the year than the second part because I am a commish-worker and the Job market for IT people is on fire in Cincinnati and now I'm working lots of hours because of all the job orders. Still, I did well, I bought myself a composter and started composting food wastes. It is only me and my DH, and he travels (a lot at the moment), so even when I minimize my shopping, I still have to plan to avoid waste. The composter was great -- I grew fantastic veggies, in spite of a drought, and my roses were beautiful. Only one problem, the freezing temps in Ohio right now -- might have to quit until March, but I have to say not only did my garden benefit, it now takes me nearly 3 weeks to fill 1 trash can between the recycling/composting. I called the garbage co. and got a discount rate because of my reduction.

    This year my word is "optimize" and my goals are to continue with my composting so I don't waste, but I would like to cut back further. To do this, I think a good plan is to resolve to make soup at least twice a month. I also resolve to try a new recipe that uses left overs at least once a month. All of this means "planning" which is hard for me right now because my schedule is crazy. I am naturally a planner, but I work in a high-transaction job, so I don't get to plan as I normally would.

    I also think that I will revise my plans quarterly, as Ohio has 4 seasons and I think I need a resolution that fits with each season.

    Juli

  5. #5
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    Ditto to all JulieW posted. My goals exactly. I used to be a great meal planner and savvy shopper. This year somehow I found myself eating out more and going to the grocery store several times a week. What gives?? Poor planning, mostly.

    Next year I am going to do a better job getting a handle on our food budget. I see so much money going into the trash can with wasted food. Not too mention the number on the scale going up due to poor food choices in a hurry.

    I guess my "word" theme for 2011 will be to "simplify."
    Teach us to count the days...
    Teach us to make the days count...
    Life means so much!

  6. #6
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    more raw, less sugars: thanks to my necessary meds, i'm in a pre-diabetic state and have HBP. i got myself a raw cookbook (haha) to help me with the goal, since i'm not doing as well as i'd like without. i'd like to further cut down on food packaging of all sorts, too.
    got to beat those complications down without meds!

    ETA: i'd also like to work more cocktails into my diet. i seriously hardly ever get one. More Cocktails!!!

  7. #7
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    Portion control! If something tastes good, I will eat until I'm stuffed. I'm a big believer that there are very few "bad" foods and that we should enjoy all foods in moderation, but I HAVE to stop overindulging.
    "Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that's bad for you."
    ~Tommy Smothers

  8. #8
    I am pre-diabetic, too, so my resolution is fewer carbs, more veggies and fruit.

    Sounds so simple, doesn't it?

  9. #9
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    I need to cook more and then blog more. It was a bad year for me for both. We moved from a small town with no amenities to the wonderful city where any take-out is just moments away, with major grocery stores even closer, and on any route we would take to get to a destination.

    We've been eating too much garbage, and it shows. We now live five minutes by car from one of the best farmer's markets in the area, and I went just twice this last summer. Shame on me!

    2011 is going to be all about fresh cooking. When I've been buying meat, we've been buying it from a local butcher or from friends of ours who raise organic chicken- that will definitely continue. A proper garden is being planned, and we are going to stop the "at least once a week" take-out or dine-out that is going on. Every once in a while would be fine, but making a habit of it is not good, and I think I've put on 20 pounds since we've moved.

    Fresh, local meat. Fresh, local produce. Fresh, local dairy. All the time. And then cook it and blog it. Sounds easy enough doesn't it?
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
    Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?


    I'm food bloggin' almost daily at Tummy Treasure!

  10. #10
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    DH and I are starting the new year with a (blessedly) empty nest, so we're going into planned-overs and cooking for 2! We both like leftovers for lunch, so that's fine. I liked the "no protein left behind" theme from last year, so I'm going with that, along with adding the "no produce left behind!" I'm notorious for buying salad greens and not using them, or 'forgetting' about fruit!

    We both need to drop poundage, so we are limiting snacks, etc.
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  11. #11
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    My resolution is that I am planning to spend a portion of cooking time working with leafy greens in all their forms. Besides spinach raw or sauteed with olive oil and garlic and the occasional collards or kale, I don't have a lot of experience with greens. I have identified 2 cookbooks at the library for which greens are the focus...so, a plan is forming.

    I planted a tub of spinach 2 springs ago which was delicious and abundant. Last year's tub of spinach was delicious--to the pet bunnies who escaped from down the street and found our backyard to be perfect. They gnawed the spinach down to the ground. We have a fence now, so I hope to get some spring greens planted this year.

    Anyway--leafy greens will be making their appearances on our plates during the new year.

    I certainly agree with many ideas above for general goals for us for the new year. Use the food we buy. More veggies and fruits. Plan ahead so dinner is not a crazed experience. Composting of food scraps.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lantana View Post
    My resolution is that I am planning to spend a portion of cooking time working with leafy greens in all their forms. Besides spinach raw or sauteed with olive oil and garlic and the occasional collards or kale, I don't have a lot of experience with greens. I have identified 2 cookbooks at the library for which greens are the focus...so, a plan is forming..

    awesome! please post the best recipes you find. i love greens.
    i just threw some spinach in my breakfast quesadilla-- was going to have walnut pie, and realized that was not a good idea, duh. at least not without a base of soemthing with veg in it-- so, last night's leftovers to the rescue.
    now, if i could only find tortillas without so much sodium. i should get back into the habit of making my own.
    add THAT to my list!

  13. #13
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    We eat a lot of greens because we are in a year-round CSA and there are always greens in our weekly box of goodies. One thing that helps me is using some of the leafy greens raw - I do a marinated kale salad and use raw bok choy and shredded chard in mixed green salads. I use baby spinach instead of lettuce in sandwiches and we eat a green salad every night.

    I hear you about the sodium content of flour tortillas heavy hedonist! The only ones I buy anymore are Trader Joe's organic flour tortillas which are somewhere around 90 mg of sodium per tortilla. Their other non-organic tortillas are much higher in sodium.

    My 2011 Food Resolution also involves more whole grains. I was re-reading the Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics and she recommends starting by eating a serving of whole grains (not whole grain flour items) daily. I'm not sure I can do that but if I add in rolled oats and polenta I might be able to accomplish it. I need to find a millet recipe I like and I also want to come up with a whole grain risotto pressure cooker recipe either using barley or short-grain brown rice. Then we can add risotto one night a week along with our weekly (brown) rice and beans night.
    Cooking in Color blog - Plant-based recipes from the Land of Enchantment

  14. #14
    Definately eating healthier.

  15. #15
    Need to try cutting my calorie intake for sure. Gained a few too many pounds in 2010 and I really need to fix my cooking habits before it gets worse. So my resolution will be to learn some healthier and less-fattening cooking methods. Thats one of the main reasons I joined this forum.

  16. #16
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    I like Juli's idea of having a word or phrase that describes her focus for the year. With that in mind, 2011 will be the year of: Less is More.

    My focus started several weeks ago, when I was cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer in preparation for the holidays. I was disgusted at how much food I threw away, either because it had rotted in the fridge or because it was old and gross in the freezer. All the waste!

    My resolve has been to "cook down" the freezer, and plan meals around what's in there. I've been doing that for several weeks and now the freezer is pretty much under control.

    Now my attention will turn to my overstuffed cupboards. As an example, I have no less than 6 kinds of flour (unbleached AP, whole wheat, white whole wheat, rye, whole wheat pastry flour, self-rising, cornmeal...). I am going to use those up before it all goes bad and then take a good hard look at the ingredients I need to buy for any given recipe. Less food equals more cupboard space!

    As part of this effort I've been planning more meals. I can't get my head around planning for a week, so I plan 3 days at a time. (I live near a big, beautiful Wegmans so I don't mind going fairly often.) Usually I plan 2 dinners and 1 night of leftovers and incorporate some items already in the house. When I'm shopping, I've been asking myself if we need a given item during the next three days. If we don't, I don't buy it. Period. No "stocking up" even if something is on sale.

    The next step is applying "Less is More" to what I put in my mouth. My weight is at an all-time high -- there are a number of medical reasons for that, but I still wouldn't be at this point without consuming more than my body needs. Less food equals more health and energy!
    Tracy
    My food blog: www.rahchachow.blogspot.com

  17. #17
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    schuh - that all sounds familiar! I think I'll adopt your plan, with the exception that I have to plan meals by the week! No Wegman's nearby, and the closest good store is 40 minutes away!
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  18. #18
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    Kay,
    I have to admit, I'm pretty spoiled when it comes to the grocery store. We could walk if need be. But that's not always a good thing.
    Good luck with the resolution!
    Tracy
    Tracy
    My food blog: www.rahchachow.blogspot.com

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavy hedonist View Post
    now, if i could only find tortillas without so much sodium. i should get back into the habit of making my own.
    add THAT to my list!
    I just recently started making my own tortillas. I did a lot of looking around to see what other folks did. Many rolled the tortillas out and cooked them on top of the stove.

    However, I found several folks that used an electric tortilla press. It presses and cooks the tortilla. It know it is a total uni-tasker, but it makes making your own tortillas SO easy and absolutely no futz at all. I got this one and love it.

    I've found that I make the tortillas, separate them with waxed paper and then put them in the freezer to pull out as needed. It is astounding how much junk there is in tortillas and I am so happy to be able to make my own.

    Bonnie

  20. #20
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    My 2011 food resolution is to get the grocery budget under control. If that includes planning and eating more fruits and vegetables, and less food waste, all the better. Our overall focus for this year is to up our savings, so this food goal fits right in for us.

  21. #21
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    What great ideas!

    I want to consistently record leftover meat on the notepad on my refrig with the goal of wasting less.

    Kay

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by schuh View Post
    Kay,
    I have to admit, I'm pretty spoiled when it comes to the grocery store. We could walk if need be.
    i hear you-- though, if i had a store i could walk to, and i could walk there daily- i would love it! and do it. when i first moved here, for a while when i could drive, i did go to the nearby Dash often, at three times a week, looking for FRESH. it was great. and i spent less on groceries that way, somehow.

    Quote Originally Posted by bbenedict View Post
    I just recently started making my own tortillas. I did a lot of looking around to see what other folks did. Many rolled the tortillas out and cooked them on top of the stove.
    It is astounding how much junk there is in tortillas and I am so happy to be able to make my own.
    Bonnie
    is it astounding-- i don't mind cooking mine on the stove in my big iron pans, but i don't love rolling anything out. though now i have a pastry cloth, it;s made pie crust a non-problem, so i should try it with these, huh? they are so much better homemade--

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawna View Post
    My 2011 food resolution is to get the grocery budget under control. If that includes planning and eating more fruits and vegetables, and less food waste, all the better. Our overall focus for this year is to up our savings, so this food goal fits right in for us.
    if i included more meat in our budget than DH's deli meat for lunches, i would have to skip lunch myself all the time, at least. the last time i had to buy meat for my family, i couldn't believe the price, and it wasn't even organic.

  24. #24
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    Practicing for my new year's goals

    I was rereading all the posts, and realized that I also have the goal of losing a few pounds (about 7). I love to cook, and also love fresh food. So where's the healthy eating problem? I am a sales person and have scheduled lunches with my clients. I usually pack a lunch when I don't have a scheduled lunch, and the problem arises if my client cancels -- then I have no lunch and go get fast food. One of my "optimize" food goals is to make homemade frozen food and keep in it the fridge/freezer at work.

    I read an article about goals/resolutions in the Wall Street Journal recently. One of the points was that people who practice small "victories" ahead of New Year's are more likely to keep their resolutions in the new year. Today, I looked in my freezer and realized that I had venison that had been given to us by a hunter friend, and I needed to use it. Tomorrow, my DH's buddy is coming over to help him tile the basement. Guess what's one the stove for their lunch tomorrow? Venison Chili!!! I also plan to take one portion out and freeze it, so I can take it to work for myself and thaw it out if a client cancels lunch.

    I also noticed that I have a lot of Asian-type condiments that need to be used up because I've had them awhile, and I plan to make Pad-thai. this doesn't freeze well, but it's good for left overs.

    I also have to use up some of my sourdough starter soon, so I'm planning on making sourdough waffles and freezing them for the future. Every other week, I have a very early (7 a.m) training session, and I prefer to take my breakfast rather than have the bagels and cream cheese that the company provides. Just a small concession to lower-fat living.

    I made the Truffled Mushroom Lasagna from CL (great, by the way) and still have some ricotta to use up, and I noticed I had jumbo macaroni shells in my pantry. I plan to make these and freeze them so I can take to work.

    Luckily I have taken this week off from work and will have time to cook/bake/freeze.

    Heavy hedonist -- I hear you on the price of meat. Meat isn't my favorite, in fact, I call myself a semi-vegetarian because I am a vegetarian every other day and I feel great this way. My DH, however, really needs meat, so I make a lot of meals that allow him to add meat when he's home. I buy very little meat, and usually only when it's on sale. I am a thyroid patient and feel better when I'm heavy on the veggies/grains, and some fish/dairy.

    I'm practicing my "optimize" goal right now because I know life will be crazy come January 3rd when I'm back at work.

    Juli

  25. #25
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    I am making the same plans as many of you - more fruits/vegetables/grains, less wasted food, better planning and organization. I like the idea of having a theme for the year and need to give that some thought. In this week between Christmas and New Year's I am cleaning out the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, using up ingredients I have on hand, and making things that can be frozen for the weeks ahead. Today's food projects - cleaning out the the refrigerator and starting a big batch of vegetable beef soup. The trick, of course, is keeping all of this going when things get very hectic with work, family, etc.

  26. #26
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    It's been a very hectic and often emotionally charged year here. There have been too many times that planned meals didn't happen or that leftovers don't get used. I hate that and want to change it. I'd like to try more new recipes too.

  27. #27
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    I want to continue cooking whole, real foods as well as continue my practice of keeping a fully stocked pantry and freezer. So nice to not have to run to the store for everything. I've been buying in bulk on sale and it has worked really well.

    As far as what we're cooking:

    First, apparently, we're learning to make pork belly on Friday. Should be interesting. Seems many a Top Chef has failed at pork belly.

    Second, I think we're finally tackling Japanese style cooking. Really want to figure out how to make spectacular sushi. I also bought DH Morimoto's cookbook for Christmas. Holy food p*rn. We're drooling over it and tentatively thinking that is next year's NYE dinner. But that is going to mean learning a LOT of new techniques so we shall see.

  28. #28
    Every year I seem to have the same resolution - eat a more healthily.

    My other resolution would have to be that this is the year that I try making bread. Oh, and I want to keep on blogging too.
    All That's Left Are The Crumbs

    "You can never do a kindness too soon, because you never know how soon it will be too late"

    "Great minds talk about ideas; small minds talk about people" - Eleanor Roosevelt

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
    My other resolution would have to be that this is the year that I try making bread. Oh, and I want to keep on blogging too.
    We used to do monthly bread threads here - would love to see those revived. Lots of good recipes floating around. I can see four bread cookbooks from where I'm sitting, and they don't get nearly enough use.

    Add me to those who like the "theme" idea. That's a really nice approach. I'm aiming for "explore" this year; there are so many resources here that we didn't have at our old place!

  30. #30
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    I really need to narrow down my food goals for next year. Right now they seem too vague to me..

    - like alot of folks, eat healthier
    - plan better and work more with a food budget
    - try at least one new recipe a week
    - try making bread at least once a month

    This week, dbf and I are really cleaning out the pantry, fridge and freezer - too much stuff in there, and we don't know what it is or how long it has been in there. So we are eating it down and really assessing what we need to have in there.

    Also, he will be starting his internship in January and it will be my busy season, so the meal planning and prep work will need to be done on the weekends. My goal is to prep and/or cook most of the meals one day on the weekend and have things broken out into portions. Easier for whoever gets home first with his DS8 - who by that time is "starving".. lol

    As for bread, we both love it, but realize that what we are getting at the store isn't the healthiest. So I would like to try to make my own on a regular basis. Maybe not completely replace store bought, but at least make half of what we need.

    Good thread and very timely!

    Thanks!

    Jamie

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