Hey there, foodies. Now that you've unwrapped a new generation of gadgets for your kitchen, it's time to implement some challenges that will make you a better cook, a worldly adventurer, and a healthier human. I'm talking about New Year's resolutions for foodies — because everyone has to eat, so we might as well do it right.
I'll admit that brainstorming this list was productive for me, and not just for crafting another devastatingly witty and readable piece for my throngs of fans. A lot of my New Year's resolutions revolve around the kitchen, because cooking and sharing my food with people is an irreplaceable creative outlet, and also a rock solid way to avoid spending every last dime at Los Angeles' best restaurants. But not all of these resolutions involve slaving away over the hot stove, because at least half of the foodie experience is about adventure. Because, realistically, you can't cook what you haven't tasted.
What could be more fun than trying a freaky new cuisine with your foodie friends?! The answer— cooking a freaky new cuisine at home for the first time, and totally nailing it. Just like with music, if you've never heard jazz, it would be exceedingly difficult to try to play jazz. So get on board the circus train, and prepare to launch your foodie potential into a new galaxy.
1. Make A New Recipe Every Week
There are 52 weeks in a year, so even if only half of the recipes you make turn out to be keepers, that's 21 recipes that you haven't made yet that you can incorporate into your repertoire.
2. Try One Thing You've Never Eaten Before Every Week
Grilled octopus pizza with roasted garlic! Salmon roe sushi! A burger made from duck! Food is a great big adventure, so go out and explore.
3. Adapt A Favorite Recipe To Be Healthier
Substitute cream for non-fat yogurt, or try a gluten-free pasta. Get creative with your favorite junk food recipes, and give them a makeover that doesn't compromise on the flavor.
4. Get Something Other Than Fries On The Side
Not all the time, obviously, but sometimes, try something else on the side of your meal besides regular old French fries. It doesn't have to be healthy, necessarily, but expanding your side dish horizons is just as valuable as learning about new entrees.
5. Organize Your Refrigerator
Use transparent tubs or additional shelves to customize your refrigerator into something that makes sense to you. Some people are going to need a drawer that's just for cheese, others will need to install a beer rack. To each their own, but an organized fridge is going to help you tremendously when it comes to knowing what's in there.
6. Actually Eat Your Leftovers
Once you knock out No. 5, this one should be easy. Eating leftovers from dinner the night before is great, but try to also use up leftover ingredients. Got some cabbage left over from making slaw? Throw it in an Asian stir fry with other veggies in your fridge, and make good use of the stuff you already paid for.
7. Get Up Early And Make Breakfast On Mondays
Not only is this a great way to kickstart the work week, it's also a genius way to use ingredients that are hanging out in your refrigerator. Got some leftover kebabs? Make yourself a Mediterranean omelet! And use up old tortillas by whipping up a chilaquiles breakfast burrito.
8. Go Vegan At Lunch For A Week
"Vegan at lunch" is a fun way to cut back on the burger trap that befalls busy people. Eating vegan food doesn't have to mean soy meats and imitation foods. There are loads of delicious things that don't contain animal products that are just as quick and easy as an al pastor burrito.
9. Grow Your Own Herbs And Vegetables
Nothing is more delicious than herbs pulled right off of the plant. Your recipes don't have to be super elevated to warrant fresh ingredients either. My boyfriend and I used to make pizza bagels with freshly picked rosemary, and they were bomb.com.
10. Host Three Dinner Parties
The first time will probably stress you out. The second time will be 100 percent easier, and the third will feel as easy as heating up canned soup. Cooking for a large number of people is a wonderful mental exercise that will teach you which kinds of recipes are easily scalable, and how to perfect your timing so everything is served at peak deliciousness.
For more food ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.
Images: The Kitchn; Giphy (5)