HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!
I've made a lot of resolutions this year, both personal and family-related (meaning my husband and I thought of them together and they concern our whole family) and, naturally, quite a few of my resolutions concern food. Since this is a food blog, I won't bore you with the details of the non-food related resolutions, but I thought I should include you in those concerning food as they will obviously affect the types of recipes I will be posting. Here's what we're looking at for the coming year...
2010 NEW YEAR'S (FOODIE) RESOLUTIONS
- Go sugar-free, replacing sugar with stevia and agave whenever possible. I want to experiment with brown rice syrup, maple syrup and date sugar too.
- Go caffeine-free, period.
- Experiment with raw food recipes.
- Eat every meal at the table, eating slowly and savoring, remembering all the while to be thankful.
- Stop using the microwave (I'll explain this in a later post).
- Stop using white flour. Experiment with whole grain flours. My husband and I both really want to learn how to bake healthy breads, and I want to learn how to do the sprouted grain thing too.
- Make Sunday our food prep day. Pre-cut veggies and pre-mix sauces based on a pre-planned menu. My husband and I are going to sit down weekly and sort out a menu together before going grocery shopping in the hopes that this, combined with 'Food Prep Sunday,' will make our lives just a bit easier during the week.
- Gifts for friends and family will consist of things we make or bake. We spent way too much money we didn't really have on gifts this year. I have some excellent vegan cookie recipes that I want to try out as gifts for friends. I'm also thinking of bottling my Corn & Black Bean Salsa as a gift. We had friends visiting from Austin right before Christmas this year and they went nuts for the stuff. I think they'd probably appreciate homemade salsa more than some dust-collecting trinket I might pick up for them at a store any day!
- And, lastly, I want to clean up my herb garden and make better use of it in the coming year. I've had a lovely herb garden growing in my back yard for the last six years, but ever since my little one came along, I've let it get overgrown and I haven't been using the herbs much. The garden contains oregano, rosemary, chives, mint, and Italian parsley. I will teach Lila how to garden and we'll make a fun game of it this Spring!
Well, I know that's quite a handful of foodie resolutions, but they are all very doable and are going to lend to my ultimate goal of getting healthier, feeling better, and teaching my daughter how to live simply. So, they're totally worth it! In the meantime, here's my simple recipe for Classic Black-Eyed Peas. Ya gotta eat your black-eyed peas on New Year's Day for luck!
16oz dried black eyed peas
32oz (1 QT) vegetable broth (I used Imagine Organic Low-Sodium)
2 C water
1 large white or yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T paprika
1 T dried or fresh parsley (I used dried)
1 T salt (use fine sea salt if you have it)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp marjoram
1 bay leaf
Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Sort and rinse your beans. I sit at the table and scoop the sorted beans right into a collander a handful at a time, then go straight to the sink with 'em.
- Place beans into a large soup or stock pot and cover with about two inches of water. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover. Just let them sit for an hour or so. This is the "quick soak" method.
- Drain beans into collander and rinse again.
- Now throw all of the ingredients listed above into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer, covered, for three to four hours or until beans reach desired consistency for you. I like mine really soft, so I let them cook for a long time.
- Be sure to remove the bay leaf before serving!