Supercharge your New Year with these easy resolutions. You'll enjoy fabulous food, improve your health, trim your budget, and make the planet a better place!
- Happy Nooch Year. Try nooch (aka nutritional yeast) in place of expensive Parmesan cheese for a low-fat dose of flavor, protein, and B vitamins, and minerals. Sprinkle it on air-popped popcorn in place of butter for super-healthy, whole-grained treat. I serve organic nooch from Whole Foods' bulk aisle along with their 365-brand organic rotini for an organic upgrade from my former favorite, Barilla Plus high-protein pasta.
- Love you some plants. Take a step closer to a plant-based diet if you're not already a full-fledged vegan. You don't have to go all the way to lower your cholesterol and shrink your carbon footprint. Join the national Meatless Monday movement, have meat and dairy only once a day, or make that sandwich PB&J instead of baloney. It's easy to switch a few ingredients, too. My Taster was thrilled to find that Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips use cocoa butter instead of dairy. I've also started using Earth Balance Coconut Spread instead of butter. My biscuits are better than ever! Although the coconut spread is more expensive than butter, the nooch is less expensive than cheese. Update: I've added a page for Cook for Good Supporting Members called Wildly Affordable Vegan, with ingredient comparisions and recipe modifications.
- Whip it up. In less time than it may take you to find your car keys, you can make homemade salad dressing, start a pot of dried beans, or scrub a few potatoes and pop them in the microwave. In twenty minutes a day, you can cook about 60% of your food from scratch, including homemade bread, pudding, carrot cake, and plenty of beans, whole grains, and sauces that celebrate the seasons. Can't believe it? See the 20 Minute a Day Starter Plan in Wildy Affordable Organic and in this class video.
- Season your meals. Get the most value for your money by eating with the seasons. You'll get the best flavor, top nutrition, and automatic variety. Enjoy butternut squash, greens, and oranges now. Switch to asparagus, lettuce, and strawberries in the spring. Load up on tomatoes, peppers, and melons in the summer. Wind up the year with potatoes, Swiss chard, and apples. Visit your local farmers' market for more ideas. Eating with the seasons makes it easy to eat local, too.
- Start plotting. Grow some of your own food for the very best bargains and quality. Plant a three-by-four-foot plot with lettuce, radishes, and sugar-snap peas this spring. Grow up with space-saving plant towers for green beans and tomatoes in the summer, with basil and peppers along a sunny edge. Get colorful with rainbow chard, beets, and mustard for the winter. Don't have a yard? Grow basil and more in containers on your balcony or in a sunny window.
I hope you resolve to make this your most delicous, healthy year yet!