A Recipe Resolution – Tying Memories To Great FoodThu 09 Feb 2012
Story by Melanie Jewell
Every January 1st, I am excited to come up with a list of healthy resolutions for the New Year. That’s right, a list - probably not the best way to ensure success. As this past December was coming to a close, I thought about this dilemma, and realized that I only needed one resolution to bring all those healthy goals together for my family: I needed to cook. It’s not that I don’t cook, in fact, I love to cook. But we all get stuck in food ruts and start to think we don’t have time to create meals from scratch, or that our kids won’t eat the food we have slaved over. So my single healthy resolution for 2012 is to try at least one new recipe each week.
To me, the Food Revolution does not mean radical change. It means small, repetitive steps, which lead to lasting healthy improvements in the way we view food and how we take care of our families. When I was a child, my parents cooked every day, and I have so many memories tied to the tastes and aromas of favorite foods. I don’t want my kids growing up with their best memories attached to the smell of frozen pizza – even if that pizza is of the whole-grain, organic variety.
So on January 1st, I cooked up a big delicious pot of black-eyed pea, tomato, and spinach soup to bring us luck for the New Year. Of course, I knew what I really needed was luck at the dinner table when I put this colorful concoction in front of my children. I did not expect them to do much more than dunk their bread into the broth, but after explaining the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day to bring luck in the coming year, I was surprised (and thrilled) to see my seven-year old fishing for those lucky peas. She said she was going to have a great year.
The exhilaration I felt from this minor success was enough to make me want to try another new recipe - soon. So instead of one new meal each week, we’ve been averaging two or three. Muffins baked with pumpkins and carrots, pasta with clam sauce, spicy halibut, you name it. Yesterday we picked rosemary from our garden and baked it into scones. It felt amazing to show the kids how they could turn their garden into something so tasty.
One month into my recipe resolution, I am most excited about the following discovery: the pressure I used to experience at the dinner table has evaporated. When I was only cooking ‘on occasion’, it felt like a very big deal if my kids wouldn’t touch their vegetables. But now, the more frequently I cook, the more confident I feel about them getting the nutrition they need. And as a bonus, we’re having a lot more fun with our food.
About the author: Melanie Jewell lives in Texas with her husband and her two picky but adorable daughters, ages seven and four. She is the author of the blog, My Recipe Resolution, and hopes that all this cooking will lead to creating healthy meals for her family without a recipe someday.
For more recipe resolution inspiration – check out @CrunchaColor's 52 foods challenge
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