The beginning of a new year is generally considered a time to reset and refocus on your personal goals. My generally pessimistic self, however, has never been a fan of resolutions. Too much hype and then the impending doom of the time when guilt sets in after the outrageous goal has not been met. Strangely, this year, I’ve somehow actually allowed myself to warm up a bit to the idea of setting goals for personal growth. Maybe there actually is an optimistic side of me that is convinced it will make me a better person. Regardless of where this uncharacteristic notion came from, I’m rollin with it. I have set a couple of flexible goals, for eating/cooking, that I am hoping this here blog will keep me accountable to.
Eat more locally/seasonally:
- When you eat locally/seasonally, the produce you get will be much more nutrient dense. When buying locally, the produce does not need to travel as far. This means that it will actually be picked off the plant when it is truly ripe. Ripe= the peak of nutrients and flavor= healthier and tastier!
- It’s great for farmers and socially responsible to shop at farmers markets and the local co-op. Beyond the economical and environmental benefits to this, it just makes you feel good to know who is growing your dinner and how it was grown. It builds community as well as accountability for the farmers. Nothing beats a farmer explaining their favorite way of preparing a squash or a cut of bison.
- It’s cheaper to buy what’s in season.
- It will make me a better cook. I will need to get creative. Truth be told, I still have never eaten a turnip, beet, rutabaga, or celeriac. This year, I intend to do so. Eating seasonally is so easy in the summer when it’s the veggies I’m used to- peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, etc. The wintertime can be a bit daunting. I can’t promise I’ll give up tomatoes all the way, but you should be seeing some weird looking root vegetables popping into my posts soon enough!
Get creative/use what’s on hand:
- As I eat more seasonally, I will have to get a little more creative in the kitchen. There aren’t too many lasagnas out there containing a nice portion of rutabagas. So I will be forced to get more inventive. I think this is the kick I need start easing off following too many recipes and to move more into creating. No promises of giving up Pinterest and cookbooks, but I will try to begin seeing recipes as bits of inspiration rather than a manual.
- I want to be less wasteful by utilizing all the ingredients (and parts of the ingredients) in my refrigerator and cabinets. Less garbage. More stocks, smoothies, pestos and stews with those scraps! It also doesn’t hurt that this will help save us a bit of money.
Oops. I think I just got on my soapbox there and started rambling. Forgive me.
Now, on to my first recipe of the year!
After coming home from visiting family over the holidays, we have practically no food. But not to fear, I will follow my previously expressed goal! Use what’s on hand.
This was my magnificent, simple, healthy, economical, yuuuummy breakfast this morning.
“What’s on Hand” Eggs
- 1 bunch of spinach, trimmed (any green you have on hand will do)
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp oil or butter
- 1 or 2 free range eggs
- Pinch of salt
- Some good quality, leftover marinara
- Just a bit of freshly grated parmesan (or any other hard cheese- asiago, romano, etc.)
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Throw in your greens along with a few tablespoons of water. Immediately cover it and let it steam for just a minute until its wilted.*Please note that a heartier green may take a bit longer to wilt. Remove the greens when they are ready, and transfer them to a plate.
- Add a bit of oil or butter to the pan. When it is hot, fry the egg to your taste. Be sure to add a pinch of salt to the egg before it is cooked through. This will greatly help bring out those flavors. When it’s ready, set the egg on top of your nest of greens.
- Warm the marinara and add a good dose of it to the dish. Grate a bit of cheese over the top and think about how smart you were to use all those ingredients you already had in your kitchen.