New Foods

In which I overachieve, and not only eat new foods, but cook them too (#83).

Over the past couple of years, I have become a much less picky eater. I am trying to continue that trend because I feel like it will open up more choices — at home and away, healthy and not so healthy. I’ve recently been watching my nephew refuse to eat most food that is offered to him, unless said food is drenched in ketchup.

In order to make “meh” foods more exciting, I’ve been experimenting with roasting (cauliflower), soups (butternut squash, zucchini), and, of course, cocktails (bloody mary with V8 left over from chili). It has introduced a different mood in my meal planning and a different mindset in my kitchen. Without realizing it, I choose and cooked three entirely new foods over the past months. First there was the spaghetti squash experiment. Then the fish tacos. And finally, we just grilled eggplant, something I’ve always avoided in the past.

Now, these aren’t risky foods by normal standards, but they are all things that I would not have eaten a couple of years ago, and are therefore risky by my standards. Perhaps there’s hope that we can expose our future kids to a wider variety of foods. If I demonstrate a willingness to experiment and take a chance on something new, hopefully the mindset will rub off, even if none of us ever gain any real enthusiasm for the foods in question. I don’t love any of these three, but each were good enough to attempt again. Good enough, even, that I’m excited to attempt again — I might be able to tweak things so that they are fulfilling and tasty with no caveats.

In addition, I enjoy that moment of realizing I completed one of my goals without making a big point to do so. Small challenges like this may not seem like much, but they can make a big difference in my motivation towards the rest of my list and the rest of my life. This goal, like all these goals, was about more than the three foods. It is about recognizing small ways that I wish I were different and taking action — no matter how small. I’m cultivating control and responsibility through my life.

One new food at a time.