Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a safe, happy and delicious holiday season. I can’t believe it’s already 2018! There is something so refreshing about the start of a new year! It may seem juvenile, but I love writing resolutions (I actually make a point to write them on paper every year). Perhaps it’s the invigorating feeling that comes with setting a goal and working towards it. A renewed sense of purpose I suppose.
In any case, it seems that every year people make (myself included) resolutions about food. This makes sense as food is such an integral part of our lives. For this reason I thought I’d share with you my top 8 food resolutions for 2018. By writing my resolutions here I hope to hold myself more accountable-nothing like putting your goals out on the internet for all to see to make sure you get stuff done! What about you? What are your food resolutions for this New Year? I’d love to hear!
8 Food Resolutions for 2018
Cook more. Cook better.
I admit that this first resolution is a bit vague, much like the common “eat healthier” resolution so many of us make ever year. I suppose with this first resolution I simply want to commit to continually trying to become a better home cook. Practice makes perfect. The more recipes you try, cookbooks you read, food you burn (speaking of burned, you should have seen my coal-like Christmas cookies this year!), the better you will get. The important part? Cooking more often at home will be cheaper, healthier and tastier than outside alternatives. So let’s get cooking!
Try new ethnic cuisines
As you know, the goal of Global Gluten-Free is to explore the world’s vast variety of flavors without being limited by a GF diet. The world is SO big and when you think about it (not to be depressing) we have a finite amount of food to be tasted in our lifetime, so let’s get exploring!
Thanks to my husband I’ve been introduced to the wonderful world of Indian food and have dabbled in some of the more common ethnic cuisines such as Thai, Chinese and Mexican but still have so much to learn about international cooking. Join me this year as I research and try more dishes from the furthest corners of the world!
Explore new restaurants
When you are planning a dinner out, do you find yourself salivating at the thought of your favorite appetizer from your favorite restaurant? Are you greeted by the waiter who knows your name and puts your drink order in without even asking? There is a great comfort at having a habitual restaurant, not to mention the delicious anticipation of knowing you are going to enjoy some of your favorite food.
However, as much as I love looking forward to eating out at my favorite places (Red Robin anyone?) I have to remember-this restaurant was new once too. If we don’t get out and try new places every once and awhile we risk missing out on a new regular and favorite. This year when planning meals out I hope to strike a balance between old classics and new adventures. Who knows what’s out there to discover!
I once heard that there is a belief among the French that food should be eaten for the same amount of time that it took to prepare. In other words-enjoy your meal! Having lived in France I can attest to the fact that they do savor their food and spend significantly more time at the table (a simple lunch at a restaurant once took two hours!). Did you know kids in school and many professionals have 1-2 hour lunch breaks?
I am perhaps the complete opposite of a mindful French eater. I tend to clean my plate within minutes (I hope to think I’m not barbaric but I certainly do eat fast). This year I am going to make a conscious effort to slow down. Even a simple meal takes so much time and effort to prepare-from the time a recipe is first planned to shopping for the ingredients to the actual cooking. With so much thought and love put into planning our meals why then do we (and here I am scolding myself) eat them without the same amount of attention? Let’s do our meals justice and savor them long enough to make all of the time and energy spent cooking worth it! If not, what’s the point!?
Find new cooking blogs
Sometimes I forget how fortunate we are to live in such a technologically advanced time. Recipes from around the world, cooking tutorials from professional chefs, explanations about exotic ingredients and so much more are all available at our fingertips! There are so many amazing resources available online for the curious cook, including countless blogs on every type of cuisine possible. I think that there is something to be learned from everyone when it comes to cooking and I look forward to finding and following new food blogs to broaden my culinary horizons. Do you have a favorite food blog you would recommend?
Learn how to make gluten-free pastries
Learning to bake gluten-free is a process of trial and error and patience. Thankfully many desserts, including cakes, cookies and brownies can be made gluten-free with a few simple substitutions, sometimes as easy as swapping out all purpose flour for a GF flour blend 1 for 1. However, from my research and own experimentation more delicate pastries (think croissants) require a bit more tweaking and skill. 2018 seems like a great year to try and learn how to make some of these delicacies gluten-free. Do you have any good tips or tricks on making gluten-free pastries to share?
Use more of a variety of gluten-free grains
I love rice (especially white rice-I know, it’s not the healthiest variety) as does my husband. We eat rice almost every day, especially when making some of his traditional Indian dishes. Don’t get me wrong, rice is an amazing gluten-free starch and the staple of so many global cuisines. I am so grateful rice is gluten-free but I also realize it’s important to incorporate variety into any diet. There are so many other GF grains available such as quinoa, buckwheat and millet, all of which I’d like to cook with more this coming year. What about you? What’s your favorite GF grain?
Cook more from MY cookbook collection
I love cookbooks. In fact I leaf through one from my small collection almost every morning while I drink coffee. I find that there is nothing more relaxing. My problem? I seldom make anything from them! Owning beautiful cookbooks is definitely a reading pleasure, however this year my goal is to make better use of these rich resources. When was the last time you made something from that cookbook on your shelf? Let’s pull them out, blow off the dust and get cooking!
And finally, for one last overarching resolution and lifetime goal, I would like to make each and every meal count! I don’t ever want to take for granted the fact that I am so lucky to be able to eat three times a day, share meals with family and friends and experience the joy of cooking with fresh, easily accessible ingredients. I realize that all of this is a privilege that not everyone in the world has. I feel so lucky and blessed and wish everyone the same in a happy, healthy and food-filled 2018!
Thank you as always for joining me on this gluten-free, blogging adventure! Let’s make 2018 a good one!