It’s that time of year where many of us make promises of self-improvement. When it comes to food, I hope that these ideas for the Foor Lovers New Year’s Resolutions will help inspire and guide you in 2015!
Challenge yourself to eat local. An easy way to do this here in Hamilton is to check out the various Community Supported Agriculture farms in Ontario, local farmers markets, co-ops like the Mustard Seed, or join your local Community Garden. There are numerous benefits to eating local, like reducing your ecological footprint, eating healthy grass-fed and ethically raised meat, consuming organic produce, supporting your community, and having the knowledge of where and how your food is produced.
Eating local also means going out to eat at a local restaurant. Many of Hamilton’s local restaurants use local products on their menus. So, that is like eating local, times 2!
One of the goals for the food tours (coming in the Spring of 2015!) is to highlight a number of restaurants that use local produce.
This challenging resolution will be much easier in the summer months. Right now, it is difficult to eat seasonally when you are used to having access to fresh peppers, bananas and lettuce throughout the winter. Challenge yourself this winter to eat at least one meal made only with seasonal produce. It will leave you feeling warm and full.
I suggest this recipe (which received rave reviews from our friends) for wine-braised brisket with tart cherries, carrots and onions, it is an easy seasonal recipe you can modify. Grab a bottle of Niagara wine and a beef brisket from the Dragonfly Garden Farm (I highly recommend their products) and get cooking!
Not sure what is in season? Check out the Ontario Seasonal Food Guide.
If you are planning to eat out, you will likely find that many of the restaurants in Hamilton offer seasonal menus. Go out and get inspired by the local restaurants to see what you can do at home!
Planning ahead is probably the best way to meet any goal you may have when it comes to food. With planning your meals, you will: save money; reduce food waste; be less stressed; eat healthier; save time; and lose weight.
Pick a day each week where you will plan next week’s meals and snacks and go out shopping. To save even more time during the week, do as much prep work for each meal. It might seem like a lot in one day, but I promise you will enjoy your efforts throughout the week.
I don’t particularly think bone marrow sounds that appetizing, but I will challenge myself to try it this year. I am going to pop over to Rapscallion here in Hamilton in the near future and hopefully it will be on their menu! Also trying a new restaurant is a great way to get out and be adventurous. If you are interested in trying something new, check out WASS Ethiopian Restaurant.
What is something you want to try in 2015?
Drink More Tap Water
Drinking more water in general is a good practice. Ditch the plastic water bottles in favour of a reusable cup that you can fill with tap water throughout the day. It encourages you to get up and move around when you go to fill your cup and it is much cheaper and better for the environment.
It seems like an odd resolution when many are attempting to cut out dessert in favour of their weight loss resolutions, but the next time you are out to eat at one of your favourite Hamilton restaurants, get dessert!
Make a day this summer to go out and either u-pick or grab some produce from a road side stand and start canning! Making your own canned goods to store away for the winter months is a great way to continue to eat local and seasonally.
To get started on canning, take a look at the Toronto based, Manning Canning. On their blog they have a selection of recipes you can make with your local produce like, Beau’s Beer Honey Pickles with fresh garden cucumbers, or Strawberry Balsamic Jam with fresh Ontario strawberries.
Clean Out Your Pantry, Fridge and Freezer
With all the bulk item deals, condiments, spices and frozen food in the house, it is hard to actually know what is still good and what isn’t. Sometimes, what you believe lasts for a long time, actually goes bad faster than you think. To keep healthy, remove anything that is past its expiry date. Make note of what you dispose of so that you can cut down on fridge clutter, food waste, and spending on items you do not use. If you are unsure, check out Still Tasty to see if your food is still good!