A Recipe a Week: Week 1

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Do you set new year’s resolutions? Most people do. And most people say things like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to eat healthier” or “I want to travel more”. These are awesome goals, but they are not nearly specific enough to be attainable. How much weight do you want to lose? How are you going to do that? Eat healthier how: more veggies? More protein? Track your food? Eat mindfully? And where do you want to travel? When? How are you saving up to be able to do that? Who do you need to bring into the loop about any of these goals?

The point is, a resolution with no kind of plan to it is pretty easy to brush aside, and it’s easy to give up because you don’t know where to start.

My new year’s resolution is to get out of the cooking rut I’ve been in lately. To that end, my more specific plan is that I will cook one new recipe every week. These don’t have to be gourmet, they don’t have to be complicated, and they won’t be my own original recipes. To make this goal achievable, I’ve gone through a bunch of cookbooks and flagged all the recipes I’m interested in with sticky notes, which cuts down a bit on dithering over whether something looks good. I’m also picking each recipe the week before, and putting the ingredients on the grocery list, so I don’t get to the end of the week and need to make a new recipe but don’t have ingredients, or haven’t planned ahead.

I’ve set this goal because I feel like I’m in a food rut. I have changed my eating a bit in the last few months and am eating a much healthier diet than before. However, I don’t know how many dinners I’ve had that consist of a relatively plain protein and plain veggies. I work with food and cook all day. By the time I get home and have to feed myself, there’s so many days I just don’t have the effort left to get creative with my food. I’m hoping that by taking on this challenge, I will find some new fall-back recipes that I will love, and that I’ll be able to try out some new kitchen skills and new techniques and learn lots along the way.

IMG_1082.JPGTo kick things off this week, I can’t say I went too far out of my comfort zone. I made the Kale Caesar Salad with Roast Pistachios from the Whole30 Cookbook by Melissa Hartwig.

While I haven’t followed a Whole30 diet too much since I did mine in the summer, I have stuck with some of the concepts in my every-day healthy eating. Things like filling up on veggies and fruits, incorporating healthy fats, avoiding processed foods, limiting all types of sugar, etc. I love that there’s a whole new book of these recipes, since I do love to cook with as much of a whole-food approach as possible.

This recipe isn’t really branching out for me, since I have my own version of a Garlicky Kale Salad, and we go through a ridiculous amount of kale salad when it’s in season and heaps are coming out of the garden. I love making recipes that are similar to my staple foods, but different, because it gives me a different perspective on how to make the dish, or how to tweak those foods I make constantly so that it keeps getting better, or I can do something different with it. This dressing uses a hard-boiled egg yolk to hold everything in the dressing together, which I love for a few reasons: 1) I don’t love mayo based dressings. 2) There are always hard-boiled eggs in the fridge. 3) I don’t have to worry about raw-egg food safety things when I have leftovers for 4 days. The pistachios are something different, and I didn’t miss croutons or bacon or cheese at all. Since it is kale, the leftovers hold up really well for a few days too! We had the salad with some slow-cooked beef roast and potatoes. I have to say, I’m super happy with how this salad turned out, and I can’t wait to try some other recipes from this book!

Stay tuned for what I decide to make next week!

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