If you make a New Year’s resolution pertaining to food, it likely falls under the umbrella “eat better.” Maybe you have a health goal in mind, or maybe you’d like to learn new dishes — no matter the goal, specificity is key in helping you accomplish it. We asked Food Network staffers what their food resolutions were this year (we tend to think about food a lot so, of course, we’ve got ‘em!). We hope their out-of-the-box thinking (one of us has a resolution about ice cream, people), can inspire some creative ideas for you this year too.
Eat pretty to eat better.
“I want to prepare healthy dishes that are plated beautifully, so as to make eating ‘clean’ as visually appealing and appetizing as possible.”
— Daphne Ternoir, Images Administrator and Editorial Operations
Master the art of making ice cream.
“Here’s one that totally runs counter to my usual resolution to clean up my diet: Create some killer ice cream. My husband and I got an ice cream maker as a wedding present three years ago, but so far we’ve only ever used it to make frozen drinks in the summer — which it does surprisingly well, I might add. I have a severe allergy to all animal milk products, so while I’m eager to experiment with all kinds of fun recipes and add-ins, I also want to develop the ideal blend of vegan milk for my base. Will it be soy, almond, cashew, coconut or something I haven’t thought of yet? I’ll have to give you the scoop(s) later this year. ”
— Briana Mowrey, Manager, Content Marketing and Development
Join the sous-vide crowd.
“I’m looking to enter a food vacuum in 2017. My sister gave me a precision cooker for Christmas, so I’m going to borrow a page from Justin Warner and dive into the science of sous vide, aiming for nothing short of culinary utopia from here forward.”
— Erin Hartigan, Programming Manager
Step out of your cooking comfort zone.
“I want finally learn how to make some authentic Indian food. My boyfriend’s family is Punjabi, but I do most of the cooking at our house, so meals are usually a random mix of whatever I know how to cook in a pinch and is easy (which usually means something kind of Southern-ish, thanks to my Tennessee-born momma, or a quick veggie stir-fry, which is one of our usual weeknight go-tos). But we’ve been dating for years, so the fact that I haven’t learned to make more Punjabi dishes is a little embarrassing. There are times he really craves some home cooking, of course, and he will occasionally cook it himself, but there’s really only one Indian restaurant in our neighborhood that makes things ‘right,’ according to him — and so we don’t have Indian food nearly as often as he’d like. First dishes on my list to master: saag paneer (slow-cooked spinach/mustard greens with fresh cheese) and parathas (flatbreads that are often stuffed with savory fillings, like spiced potato or cauliflower).
— Lauren Haslett, Editor, Food Network’s Snapchat Discover
Inspired to try Indian cooking this year too? Make Aarti Sequeira’s cheesy, spicy Saag Paneer.
Choose a kitchen gadget to use more often.
“My goal for 2017 is to make good use of my kitchen tools. Over the holidays I received an immersion blender and an indoor grill — plus, I have a slow cooker that I almost never use! (Typically, I fall victim to the ease of New York City food delivery.) This year I’m hoping to make this butternut squash soup, actually grill a steak and use my slow cooker on Sundays for to help with weekly meal-prep. Wish me luck!”
— T.K. Brady, Online Editor, Food Network Magazine
Cook your way through a kitschy cookbook.
“When I was home for the holidays, I picked up a copy of Brenda Butler’s Are You Hungry Tonight?: Elvis’ Favorite Recipes from the bargain bin at a local bookstore. It’s the best cookbook I’ve ever owned. The vintage food photos, the superimposed Elvises, the recipes themselves each paired with a song — it’s a lesson in kitsch if ever there were one. My food resolution this year is to cook my way through it in the hopes that I may reincarnate as a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich in my next life.”
— Eric Kim
Photo: Hero Images/Getty
Draft a doable game plan for packing lunch.
“While most people are trying to trim down, I need to bulk up my bank account. So my new year’s resolution is to bring lunches instead of going out. I’m super lazy in the mornings, so in order to beat out my usual ‘I’ll just push this to tomorrow’ attitude, I prepped ahead. I made a huge hunk of pulled pork on Sunday, used the drippings as a base for stock and cooked up some rice. I threw them all in sandwich baggies and into the freezer. It should reheat fairly well in the microwave, but I have my hoisin and sriracha bottles on standby in case I need to give it a kick. I’m still looking for solutions to my latte-a-day habit though — one step at a time, right?”
— Joel Russo, Video Producer
Food Network Kitchen’s beautiful layered meals in a jar are another great place to start for some not-so-sad desk lunches.
Get into a slow-cooking habit.
“My cooking goal for 2017 is to use my slow cooker at least once a week. I love cooking and make the effort to have a homemade dinner every night. However, sometimes the long days in the office, my late night games in various sports leagues and other commitments make it all to easy to give in to the temptation of pizza and fast food. By utilizing my slow cooker more frequently, there will be no excuse to not have home cooking on those hectic nights. Recipes like Melissa d’Arabian’s Pork Carnitas are also great because I can make a large batch and have leftovers for the rest of the week.”
— Matt Dominguez, Content Strategy Manager, Food.com