Happy 2017 Everyone! I am feeling as energized as ever to start another year. I really enjoyed 2016. I felt like I went to new heights with Whole Foodie Challenge. I was part of a blog tour for Oh She Glows, I completed a bunch of new food challenges and I found some great new friends. I even had a chance to test out some new recipes!
I also left my teeny tiny apartment. It was bittersweet as I loved the place, the location and the landlords. But I quickly outgrew the tiny kitchen and fridge. I now can happily say I have about double the sized kitchen. Somehow, I still create a bomb every time I cook. Go figure!
This year is going to be bigger and better. There are lots of ideas that I plan to implement. I am feeling apprehensive to share too much, as I don’t want to set myself up for failure. But I do feel like setting goals and saying them out loud makes you more accountable.
I will first share 17 goals that I think every foodie should accomplish this year. I will then share 3 personal goals for myself.
17 Foodie Goals
1. Go to a new restaurant
There are so many great restaurants in Victoria that I still have yet to try. I get stuck on the same old ones, however great they are! I suggest making a list of some of the restaurants you haven’t tried (and add to it when someone brings another one up). That way, when you want to treat yourself, you have an abundance of new restaurants to choose from!
2. Cook from a blog that is new to you
This one is especially useful if you live in a town without a lot of restaurants (as per above). Another way to shake things up is to look up a new blog! Instagram is my best friend when it comes to discovering new cookbooks. Sarah from The Vegan Bookshelf seems to review a new book or blog all the time! She is smart too and doesn’t always purchase books, she finds a lot at her local bookstore.
3. Make fermented nut cheese
I toyed with this late last year and want to play a bit more. Basically you mix up cashews (or other nuts) with water and some probiotic capsules. Then you let it sit on the counter for several days until it ferments. I found a great recipe from Meghan Telpner that I would suggest starting with.
4. Play with Aquafaba
I heard about this ingredient last year and have been so excited to try it. Basically it is the liquid from chickpeas and other legumes. There are some amazing recipes using aquafaba, from meringues to mayonnaise to marshmallows…and completely vegan!
5. Dust off that kitchen gadget
You know the one… is it a slow cooker? Pasta maker? garlic peeler? Perhaps you used it a lot when you first bought it or perhaps you got it given to you as a gift and it seemed to have fallen to the back of your cupboards. Whatever the case, I challenge you to use it. If you find it’s one of those gadgets you can do without, it is time to get rid of it. But who knows, perhaps you forgot about it and have fallen in love all over again.
6. Plan a picnic or potluck
One of the best ways to share food is with friends. Plan a get-together in the next month (indoors or outdoors!) Who said January had to be a month to hibernate.
7. Inspire your coworkers with food
Another great way to engage others is by bringing a good recipe to work and sharing it with your coworkers. At my work, I have started a ‘healthy snack station’. I fill it with yummy trail mix, seaweed, popcorn and oatmeal packets. My coworkers love it and has inspired some to bring food of their own.
8. Make pulled jackfruit
I mean… enough said! When you have that strange pulled-pork craving here is the next best plant based alternative. Check here for a good recipe
9. Try a new product at the grocery store
Last year for me it was trying out Gouda flavoured Daiya Cheese. I melted it on homemade french fries and made my own vegan poutine. I was shocked by how good it tasted (and the ingredients weren’t too scary).
10. Make your own condiments
My boyfriend’s family makes their own HP sauce and I have been wanting to make it ever since. I also think ketchup is something that is so much better hand made. Grainy mustard would be interesting to make too!
11. Get a fancy lunch kit
For Christmas, I got a fancy So Young lunch cooler (thanks BF!). I have already seen how much it makes a difference for me wanting to eat my lunch. Next, I plan to get this lunch kit (thanks aunties). Get something you know you will use and get great pride from.
12. Learn to dehydrate
Another new appliance I think is essential is a dehydrator. There are so many items you make and enjoy for months to come. Save the pulp from your almond milk and make almond meal. Save those apples that are starting to brown and make apple chips. The options are endless.
13. Eat local for a week
I did a local food challenge in 2015 and loved it. Try it out for a week, or even one meal each month. You would be surprised how easy it can be when you put your mind to it.
14. Find a recipe from your ancestors
This one is fun and can really get you thinking. What is a recipe from your ancestors that you haven’t made before? For me, I am part Norwegian so I am thinking of making my own marzipan. Bonus points if you can cook a recipe from an old cookbook – and follow all the steps!
15. Watch a foodie documentary
16. Create an organized spice drawer
I have loved my spice drawer since I have put nice little labels on it. I no longer curse every time I open the drawer. I recommend getting some nice jars and print of some labels. Create some blends too of spices you use together often. The 10-spice blend from Oh She Glows is a go to for us. I also made my own curry powder blend and a chai spice blend.
17. Spiralize some veggies
Last but not least, try out a spiralizer and make some veggie noodles! I really like making sweet potato noodles now instead of pasta. There are so many other variations. Ali from Inspiralized is the guru
My 3 Personal Goals
I am now going to share my three personal goals for Whole Foodie Challenge. I will check my progress every few months and let you know how I am doing on them. Eek! Time to be accountable.
1. Promote a product
To date, I have focused this blog on reviews of other blogs and cookbooks. I slowly am creating my own recipes and content. When I created the free e-guide (for those who have signed up for my email list), I worked hard to create some really useful content. I have so many ideas in my head of ways to expand on my e-guide and wish to share that this year. I have learned so much through my current job as a health promotion specialist and also through my masters research. I can’t wait to get something good together to share with you!
2. Distribute a newsletter
Another way in which I want to share useful information with you, is through a monthly newsletter! I want to start small and over time perhaps send one out more often. I really enjoy the newsletters I have subscribed to. The One Part Plant Newsletter is my absolute favourite. I like that these newsletters aren’t just the same information found on her blog or podcast, but she shares new unique content. Minimalist Baker also has a good one – you get a free monthly recipe out of it! So I hope to do something similar.
3. Buy a Vitamix and start my own challenge with it
Owning a Vitamix has been on my bucket list for quite some time. This will be the year that I get one. I want to do my first ever challenge using it and create recipes for that challenge. I will make sure those that don’t have a Vitamix can still follow along, but I really want to see if a high powered blender will make a difference. I think it can (based on all the positive reviews).
What are your goals? I’d be so curious to hear what others are planning to do this year.