You Can Get Fit!

Setting Small Goals To Break Your Ruts

Posted on: August 1, 2010

Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to break the ho-hum of day-in, day-out. My favorite idea (as if you hadn’t guessed this already!) is to try a new healthy recipe. It usually doesn’t take long to cook, and it’s good for you!

I’ve recently taken this a step farther and in the month of June, I set a goal for myself. Until the end of the year, I would cook a vegetable I’d never cooked before (which often means I haven’t eaten it much before, either). If I love it, great—new healthy stuff to add to the repertoire! And if I don’t really like it, it’s information I previously didn’t have, and it’s not really too much money down the drain. Besides, isn’t it fun to try new things? I think so!

In June, I made sautéed plantains to go with my black beans and rice. I think I’d eaten plantains at a restaurant once before, but otherwise, they were new! I definitely learned that I need to choose very ripe (black-skin, not yellow) plantains, because the ones that were just barely ripe tasted flavorless and starchy, whereas the dark black ones sautéed up sweet and flavorful. They are coming back in my dining room!

July was an experiment with greens. I cheated a little, as I’ve made a kale-parmesan puree on top of soups, but that’s been the extent of my working with kale. Last week, I tried the kale chips prep that has been floating around the nutrition blogosphere. I’ll admit that I wasn’t thrilled. However, my husband snarfed the whole batch! It took a bit of work, so I’m going to try the same prep with baby spinach (not so much cutting and tearing involved), and maybe I’ll like it better, too! (I’ll also give kale a second chance another time.)

What veggies are on the horizon for the coming months? This has been tough, as I’ve tried most of them. And this is why the challenge has to end with the end of the year. But ideas include Jerusalem artichokes, turnips, and Swiss chard. I’m trying to keep my recipes simple, so that I get more of the true flavor of the vegetable rather than, say, a cheese sauce.

I encourage you to try new recipes, new vegetables, new fruit! Find something you haven’t tried before. And when you have a WOW moment (or if you’ve had a recent one), take a second to share it here!

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