Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Resolution Update - New Recipes

    I made it my primary New Year's Resolution to try new recipes. I don't cook much at home because I live with someone who actually enjoys cooking and I view it as a chore. I get pretty stressed out when I have more than one thing on the go and usually end up burning something or messing something up, which then reinforces my own belief that I am bad at cooking and discourages me from trying again (which is the only way to learn) so I give up and sulk.
    So far this year I have been trying one new recipe a week, and have also been cooking and baking more frequently (making recipes I already knew how to make).
And because we all know food looks better on instagram (and because I just got instagram like a month ago despite having had a phone that is compatible for longer than that) are some instagram pics of what I've made so far:
*Disclaimer: my boyfriend and I are pescitarians (we are vegetarians but we eat dairy, egg, and fish products) so all the recipes I'll share on here follow that diet.

Week 1 : Quinoa Salad

SUCCESS! This recipe turned out great and I have made it again since. I had never cooked quinoa before so that was something new. the meal was cheap and simple and filling and healthy! (we ate the salad with multigrain taco chips)

Week 2: Vegetarian Lasagna

a total fail. Part of the problem was that I wasn't following a specific recipe, but rather combining a couple of recipes and adapting to meet the ingredients I had and the portion size. Another problem was that I bought the "oven-ready" lasagna noodles (the kind you don't have to boil first) and didn't coat them in enough sauce so they stayed really hard and crunchy. Next time I will know how to do it right but I need to give it a few weeks because I was pretty upset. (as I said before, I take cooking failures very personally) I made garlic toast and salad to go with this meal and those turned out well.

Week 3: Vegetarian Chili

SUCCESS! This was the first new recipe I have tried this year to feed more than two people. I followed my mother-in-law's recipe and fed this to 4 20-something guys and it was a big hit! (granted, they will eat anything but still..) The recipe was really easy and again, really filling. I will be making this one again, for sure.

Week 4: Stir Fry

I wanted to include some tofu in this but we didn't get a chance to get groceries in the city this week and the local grocery store doesn't sell tofu so this is just straight up veggies (and cashews).
It ended up being pretty bland. I served it with rice and it was an okay meal just pretty blah overall. I guess if I made a different sauce to go with it it might be better but I don't think I'll try this one again. Not sure whether to call it a failure or success. It was successful in that I learned from it and got to practice my cooking skills of timing things etc but it just wasn't too tasty.

Do you have any recipes to recommend or any meal ideas I should try?
How are you doing in keeping up with your resolutions?

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