Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of Foodz 2011, and Lookin' Forward


I've still got some Mexican action to post about, but since it's the 31st of January I thought it might be appropriate to take a look back at 2011, and talk about plans going forward in 2012.

Next month my band will be heading into the studio to record our first full-length album, which not only means a lot of last-minute tweaking and lyrical revisions, but also some super-healthy eats to keep my voice at its best throughout the three weeks (or more) we're recording.  I'll be putting some of that raw food knowledge gleaned from Living Light to good use during that time, fo sho!

As if the album and teaching piano weren't enough to keep me busy, I've also got a few other projects up my sleeve, which will be revealed in good time.  And by that I mean sometime next year.  And of course, I'm very excited to play in the kitchen and create more noms for my beloved blog.

I don't usually do my goal-setting at this time of year.  It's easiest for me to adjust and reassess on the cardinal quarter points - namely, the solstices and equinoxes.  In that sense, I don't make "new years resolutions", per se, but I still have a hefty bounty of goals and ambitions, which can probably boil down to this:

-Sing more.
-Exercise more.
-Cook more amazing food.
-Travel more.
-Work more.
-Write more.
-Read more.
-Do a small tour with the band.
-Live in the moment more.
-See my friends more.

That's the nutshell.  And now I want to look back at 2011 and find the Best of the Foodz - I'll show you the six most popular posts of this year and relive the glory days.

1. Borscht

Being of Polish and Ukrainian descent, I've made a lot of borscht in my adult life, with probably more fails than successes.  But this is the simplest and also the tastiest borscht I've made, and the best part is that it only makes four servings.  There is a time and a place for mass quantities of soup, but my patience grows thin with too many repeats.

2. Bean, Rice and Kale Burrito Recipe

It doesn't get much better than burritos.  We eat variations on this theme quite often, though I don't post about them much because it's like posting about sandwiches - everyone knows how to make a sandwich, right?  But every now and then, there's a burrito that comes along and politely requests to be shared with others, and I just have to oblige.

3. Stuffed Bell Peppers with Bulgur and Cashew Cheese

This recipe was my introduction to bulgur, a type of wheat.  It has a "meaty" bite and, along with the green lentils, made for a great plant-based filling that relies on whole foods instead of packaged and processed stuff.  And I also learned from this recipe that cashew cheese gets beautifully golden under the broiler - who knew!

4. Pretzel-Fried Tofu with Mango-Onion Gravy

This meal was made for Food Network Friday, done by Tami of Vegan Appetite.  Basically, someone picks a very non-vegan recipe from the Food Network, and we get to work veganizing it.  It's a super fun event, and I was very happy with the result.

5. Ukrainian Cabbage Roll Recipe

Cabbage rolls is a family tradition over the holidays, and my favorite way to enjoy them is the simplest - with rice and a tomato sauce.  This here is the recipe my Granny has used for years, taken from an old Ukrainian cookbook made by some Saskatchewan ladies a long while ago.

6. Vegan Mac and Cheese

I was really surprised and thrilled with how well this mac and cheese came out.  Sometimes it's truly the best thing to say "the hell with it" and go with your muse.  Normally I'd probably think it peculiar to use a bunch of mustard and garlic and virtually no nooch for a mac and cheese recipe, but it ended up working out swell.

So that's that, folks!  Happy new year to you all - I'll be doing the countdown in a plane with my family, so I'm off to enjoy the last bit of Mexico before returning to snow and sub-zero temperatures.  Have a good one!


  1. Great goals!

    All the best to you in 2012! Happy New Year!

  2. Good luck in the studio! Can't wait to see more raw-inspired recipes.

  3. Yay, thanks Jared! I can't wait'll be nice to put some of my culinary training to use. :)