2016: My Year in Food – life+running

2016: My Year in Food

Accomplished in 2016

  • Learned how to cook a few tough things.
    • Homemade pasta
    • Dabbled in the art of deep frying (falafel and chicken)
    • Layer cake
  • Tried a lot of new recipes.
    • I’ve been pinning internet recipes we try and love to my Pinterest Wins board, although now Pinterest has a “tried it” feature … 
  • Learned more about different world cuisines. 
    • We ate a LOT of homemade Mexican and Chinese food.
    • Feel pretty confident about Indian cooking. Mark got The Indian Cooking Course for Christmas, which will also help.
  • Integrated some most of my food allergies back into my diet (!!!)
    • Onions and nuts still make me break out in hives. Oh well, because they’re delicious.
    • Still not eating tomatoes and quinoa. I don’t plan to ever eat quinoa, but I would like to try integrating tomatoes back into my diet. Maybe this year?
  • Created a meal planning / grocery shopping habit.
    • I used to be really good at this, but grad school killed all my best intentions.
    • We are using Evernote to keep track of recipes and for grocery shopping because of tagging. I want to do a how-to post on this because it’s been helpful for planning and budgeting. 
    • Started budgeting for groceries and restaurants.
  • Ate out less than in 2015. Again, I blame grad school for all the eating out.
  • Ate vegetarian frequently.
    • Due to budgeting, some weeks were completely meatless. We created vegetarian-friendly versions of a lot of our favorite meals (lentil nachos are a favorite in our household!).

Goals for 2017

  • Make a green marinara and pizza sauce using tomatillos. Tomatillos aren’t related to tomatoes, so we have been subbing them out. We haven’t tried making a sauce. All I want is legitimate pizza and pasta. No, substitute sauces do not count as legitimate. Trust me.
  • Maybe maybe maybe try tomatoes again. Maybe.
  • Make a couple of difficult / high-quantity of ingredient recipes from our cookbooks. Mark always picks the most expensive and difficult recipes to make. We don’t make them because of time and money. I promised him we could try these if we plan ahead and do them on weekends.
  • Blog about more things we make on the fly. We made a really kick-ass taco pizza that I still haven’t blogged about. I also figured out how to make a pretty excellent ramen from leftovers from ant
  • Keep working on meal planning and grocery shopping.
    • Current struggle is meal prep because we haven’t created a good habit for this.
    • Grocery shopping is also an issue (for me). I hate shopping at Target because there are too many people. I hate shopping at Cub Foods because the service is terrible. I dislike shopping at Whole Foods because their prices are outrageous and I’d rather purchase the same items for less at the local Co-op.  I love shopping at our Co-op but they don’t have everything we need and it’s expensive. I miss Fareway.
  • Be better at planning my lunches.
    • Mark eats leftovers for lunch and I do the same sometimes, but there aren’t always leftovers for me. I need to be better at planning lunches (and snacks) for myself. This probably will entail making an extra meal for me to freeze (soup in the winter!) and making salads in the summer. I also need to keep my snack drawer stocked with caffeine and snacky things.
  • Continue the random vegetarian trend.
    • We ate a lot of plant-based meals this year. Would like to continue this trend even though we have the budget to purchase meat. Personally, I didn’t miss meat. I could be vegetarian except for probably three days out of the month where PMS makes me extra carnivorous (anybody else have a burger craving right before their period?).
    • Swap for plant-based foods when possible. Meat production is really rough on the environment, and since the federal government isn’t going to do anything for our environment for the next four years, I’m trying to do what I can at home.
  • Eat more green things.
    • I don’t eat as much green in the winter because it’s cold and I don’t want salad. In the summer we made a salad with just about every meal. I need to figure out how to up my greens intake in the winter and keep this trend rolling.
  • Limit my sugar intake.
    • Lately this has been an issue and I’ve been lethargic and cranky because of it. This is probably because of the holidays — although it isn’t as bad as it was before I quit sugar in 2013. Recently, I was eating yogurt for breakfast, but since that’s full of sugar, I quit the yogurt until the holidays pass. We try to avoid added sugars in grocery items. I don’t eat fruit, which is a major source of sugar (partially because I’ve never been a fruit eater and I’m allergic to all the good fruits — looking at you, berries). Obviously fruit is a better sugar source than refined sugars, but for me, it doesn’t matter where the sugar is coming from — once I eat sugar, I crave it more often. Bottom line: I need to cut down.

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Did you cook anything new and fun this year? Have any tips for winter greens?

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