Tuesday, 3 January 2012

New Year Foodie Goals

I never make resolutions. I don't think I ever kept one resolution that I made ever. Still, it's good to have goals and it doesn't hurt to re-evaluate them at the beginning of the year.

Last year was a bit of a strange one. I was ill a lot, and therefore all the food-related goals I'd made and maintained previously fell out of the window. We ate a lot of things from jars and packets and quite a lot of takeaways. I had to stop getting my fruit and veg box delivered. I didn't really grow anything. I even fell out of the habit of using the breadmaker, so most of our bread was supermarket bread.

I'm not intending to complain, though. We still ate and we ate well most of the time. We had two amazing but very different holidays last year, for which I am very grateful. I also achieved a dream of starting my MA last year, so 2011 was certainly not a wash-out.

My foodie goals this year will not be to take up all the previous goals I had. I still don't think I am 100% recovered from all my health issues yet, so I certainly don't want to give myself too much to do too soon. Also, my life and my routine has changed now: although I have reduced my hours at work, studying takes up a lot of my time and is very important to me, and as my wedding day draws ever closer, I will most likely be increasingly busy with all that that entails.

One of my biggest goals is to waste less food. I hate throwing food away, but I still do it far more often than I should. Sometimes in the past I have bought a particular, perhaps slightly unusual item, for a specific recipe, used a bit of it, never used it again and had to throw it away. No more! If I can't adapt the recipe to what I've got or to something I know will be used up before its use-by date, then I will not make the damn recipe! I also need to plan a little better what I buy in my weekly grocery shop.

There are three words I'm going to try and keep in mind when it comes to food and cooking. They are: simple, healthy, and economical.

I think I made a good start with tonight's dinner. I made this Lincoln Sausage and Lentil dish because I had nearly all the ingredients it required. I didn't have any pancetta or even any streaky bacon, so I left it out. I substituted vegetable stock for chicken stock and dried rosemary for fresh. Finally, I halved the recipe, and we still have plenty left over for lunch tomorrow! It was a really tasty meal - I think the white wine vinegar gave it a subtle kick, which seemed to bring out all the flavours. I served it with mashed potato - yummy!

Happy New Year, all!

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