Happy New Year, friends! How are your resolutions coming along? My friend Erin still teases me about the resolutions I maintained for about four consecutive years during my early 20’s:
1. Be more responsible with my finances
2. Do more crunches
Well, I can proudly say that I now average losing my ATM card only 1 – 2 times annually and successfully completed the 30 Day Abs Challenge in the Summer of 2014, so not too shabby, am I right?
For the year ahead, in addition to my compulsory healthy living goals – drink more water, read more, go to bed earlier – I also have some kitchen-based resolutions. These are things I’ve wanted to do for a while, but always put off for a rainy day:
- Make a batch of red currant jam and bake bread from scratch for the ultimate piece of toast
- Bake canelés
- Bake French macarons
- Make paella
- Create a totally inspired Smörgåsbord
- Make classic Beef Bourguignon
- Learn to like lamb
- Eat a top-notch banana split (I’ve never had one before)
- Make deviled eggs with my Mom (hers are the best)
- Prepare a complete Summer meal using ingredients purchased at the farmers market
- Try authentic ramen bowl
- Make authentic jerk chicken
- Make homemade mozzarella
- Master homemade pie crust
I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I’ve also got 12 months.
One thing I want to do right away is recommit to a healthy breakfast. I’m pretty monotonous in the morning and for the most part, 2014 was the year of multi-grain toast and almond butter – occasionally topped with jam or a sliced banana. Towards the end of the year, though, my work schedule became very hectic and I fell victim to the KIND bar diet (don’t judge). In 2015, I’m bringing the smoothie back. I went through a big smoothie phase a couple Summers ago and this was my go-to recipe. It contains several of my favorite ingredients: blueberries, basil, bananas, Greek yogurt and almond butter. I’ve used skim milk, but you can very easily substitute almond milk. This is not only delicious, it’s nutritious. Blueberries contain antioxidants, bananas contain potassium and fiber, Greek yogurt is a major source of protein and almond butter is rich with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. The basil adds a burst of freshness, which I love.
Blueberry Basil Smoothie
Adapted from FOOD52
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 – 6 fresh basil leaves
3 tbsp fat free vanilla Greek yogurt
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (or orange juice)
1 tbsp ground flaxseed (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
1/2 – 1 cup skim milk
Splash of pure vanilla extract (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Start with ½ cup skim milk and add more if needed to reach the desired consistency.