‘Tis the season to take a look at ourselves and decide what we’d like to change or improve for the coming year. I have many many areas where I can improve, but I think it’s wise to choose resolutions which are realistic and measurable. Here are some things which I plan to do but are not resolutions: set business and running goals and work towards them based on yearly, monthly and weekly plans. These are not resolutions; these are goals, and I how I move forward in life. (for the record, my current running goal is to run the Around The Bay 30K in a personal best time of under 1:57:30).
To me, resolutions are about making a decision to change something. My resolution this year is to work on an area which I know has been part of my character for a long time. This is my absolute lack of culinary diversity.
I was reminded of this trait a while ago when a friend was recounting a time when I happened to be living in a tent in the Yukon (1996 to be exact), and she happened to be tree-planting a few hundred kilometers south of me, and came to visit me on one of her breaks. She somehow found my tent after a day or two of travel (this was before we all had cell phones or even email) and asked:”Do you have anything to eat?” I produced from my tent what had been sustaining me for weeks: puffed rice cereal and canned beans. Granted, that is not what I would find appetizing these days, but the premise is the same. I find the few ingredients which I know I like and think will work for me, and I don’t branch out.
I was reminded of this again recently when my mother was feeding dinner to my kids. She served them their dinner and they looked at their plate and said “what is that?” My mother stared at them and then gave me a funny look and said “potatoes.” Right, I guess I’ve forgotten to include potatoes in my rotation.

unrecognizable food item for my kids

unrecognizable food item to my kids

What I would like to do most is broaden my vegetable repertoire. Here is a list of the vegetables I regularly buy, prepare, eat and feed my family: carrots, broccoli, cucumber, cauliflower, mushrooms, yellow pepper, onion, celery, snow-peas and sometimes frozen spinach. Nothing else – ever. The other day while grocery shopping my son wanted to buy a Chinese cabbage. Strange, I thought, but maybe it would break me out of my rut. So I bought it thinking if I had it I would eat it. But the poor sad cabbage sat in my fridge looking more and more wilted until my husband finally threw it in the green bin (lucky raccoons).

Chinese cabbage in fresher times

Chinese cabbage in fresher times

I’m sure there are other vegetables out there which I can create into some sort of dish which breaks me out of my rut. I have heard of a popular thing out there called kale. I’ve never tried it, as I don’t even know what it looks like, but it will factor into my resolution. Also: parsnips, bok choy, eggplant, zucchini, lettuce (I know, I know), tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, peas, squash, rutabaga (I don’t know what this looks like either, but it sounds exotic). I’m sure I’m missing some vegetables, but that’s pretty much all I can think of and I think it’s a good start. I’ve already come a long way from puffed-rice and canned beans. Onward to 2014!

1 reply
  1. Halima
    Halima says:

    Hi Seanna,

    Happy New Year!! 

    I can completely relate to your experience on cooking.. it has alot to do with time.. though here’s a little trick with vegetables.. when not sure what to do with them, just steam and serve works! I do that with bok choy, spinach, (haven’t tried chinese cabbage), swiss chards (they’re awesome with a scoop of butter, if desired).. 
    I try to make quinoa salads, though I have better success in buying them as a result of laziness/lack of time. .. However, I find the grain salads are fun …. lots of color to add and a different taste for the children. 

    Asparagus is great to wrap/stuff in chicked breast with cheese and chopped vegetables of choice like peppers/mushrooms. 

    Here’s my treasure island for recipes when I’m in doubt or in a creative mood :  << People have tried the meals, posted their ideas of what worked and didn't .. the trial and error part is already done, one just has to find the recipe with the ingredients available that would work I suppose and make sound judgement on comments posted. 🙂

    Take care and all the best this 2014! 

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