For many, the arrival of a new year means a sometimes short, often times lengthy list of resolutions. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it) my list was easy to make this year-I just used last year's list. Sadly I never followed through with any of my well intentioned resolutions in 2008.
1. Giving up soda-OK that was a tough one. No one loves Diet Dr. Pepper like I do. What is a soda addict to do when Pepsi rolls out Diet Pepsi Max (looove it)? How can I resist when there is Coke Zero-a diet soda lover's carbonated sugar substitute dream come true? And don't get me started on Jones Cream Soda.
2. Trying to eat a more healthful diet-My eating life and food thought have long been a contradiction. One of the best books I read in 2008 was In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan; his words "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" haunted me constantly over the last year as this confessed Twinkie addict (yes, my name is Veronica and I am a Twinkie addict) downed countless sugary treats, fat laden and processed foods. I will say that over the past year I did try to be a "conscious eater" -I just wasn't always successful in making conscientious choices.
So here I am today faced with the same lofty goals (for me anyway) I set last year. I will humbly try yet again to give up soda (I'm doing pretty well right now with that one-it's only a real struggle when I'm at the checkout at Target) and I will attempt yet again to eat a more healthful diet in general.
First up I'm adding a new veggie to the menu in our house: edamame.
"Edamame?" you shout, incredulously.
"Where have you been??" you ask, snickering.
For those of you like me who have seen the edamame in the freezer or produce aisle in the supermarket and have chosen to either ignore its presence (weird name, can't pronounce it, it looks like peas) or simply feared it (weird name, can't pronounce it, it looks like peas) Edamame are simply soybeans. They are sold in the supermarket in either the whole pod variety or the loose peeled variety and according to the American Academy of Family Physicians they "...contain all the essential amino acids necessary for human nutrition and have been grown and harvested for thousands of years" (I know, where have I been??) Well I'm using them now.
Super tips: I used my favorite Christmas present a molcajete (mole-ka-hay-te) to make this soy twist on guacamole, but you can use any medium sized bowl. Also be careful with the edamame that you use, some of the packaged varieties (like this one that I found in the produce department at Whole Foods) are already salted so there will be no need to add any extra salt.
1/2 cup edamame (thawed if frozen), mashed (or given a quick whirl in a Magic Bullet-like device which I did along with the shallot)
1/2 ripe avocado, peeled and seeded
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, minced, seeds and membranes removed*
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
Place all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl or mocajete; mash together to combine. Serve with freshly sliced veggies or baked chips or use as a spread for sandwiches.
*Use more or less depending on your personal preference and you can leave some of the seeds in if you would like to give it an extra kick.