Sunday, January 9

52 Flavors Challenge-Week 1

Today's post is a long one kids, so pull up a chair and pour yourself a cup of tequila tea. You're going to want to stick around for this.

Something new is brewing here on Quarterlife Quandary.

Over the holidays, I began thinking about my diet and lifestyle. (and by diet I mean the food I eat, not diet as in need to lose weight) I wanted to make some changes, but wasn't really sure what I wanted to do. I stewed over it for a couple days, tossing around ideas in my head... Should I try to have less dairy? (No.) Should I try completely forgoing all meat? (Ehhh, no.) Should I cut out my daily chocolate? (Hell no.)

What was a girl to do? The more I thought about it, the more I realized...

Why do I only think about cutting things out? Why do I automatically assume revamping my diet means I need to deprive myself of things? It doesn't have to be that way, and instantly my 52 Flavors Challenge was born. Instead of taking things out of my life, I am going to be adding them in.

I have always been a picky eater. I used to say I wasn't picky, just specific. I was a girl who knew what she wanted and what's wrong with that? (Secretly, all this girl wanted was to eat like a 5 year old. Macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, cheese pizza...mmmm pizza) After college, when I had 40 pounds to lose, I started on South Beach. Wait, you mean no bread? of any kind? ummm.....those first 2 weeks were the hardest of my entire life. It was at that point I quickly figured out I either needed to learn to like new foods or I was going to starve to death before I ever fit into those jeans I'd been eyeing.

But that was 5 years ago (God, I'm old). While I've added some new foods into my repertoire over the years (hello artichoke hearts, mommy loves you!), I've still got a ways to go. Sean and I have been stuck in a food rut lately, I keep gravitating towards the same foods at the grocery store and frankly, I'm bored. So for my sake and the sanctity of my future marriage (because if I serve Sean one more butternut squash casserole for dinner, he might just call the whole thing off), I am going to expand my boundaries and try some new foods. 52 new foods to be exact.

Here are the details. (This is where YOU come in!)

  • 1 new thing per week. It can be anything from a flavor aka saffron or soy sauce to a food item or even a full meal.
  • In an effort to stay consistent (one of my blog resolutions on Hollaback), I will post the 52 Flavors Challenge posts on Sundays. Each Sunday, I will recap the food I tried during that previous week and announce the new food for the upcoming one.
  • I am an extremely picky eater. There will be things over the next 12 months you will be shocked to see I've never eaten, I'm sure. On the list so far: sushi, chickpeas, avocado, and muscles. (*edit: shit. I mean MUSSELS. I am not planning on turning into Hannibal Lector during this experiment. Sorry) I'd LOVE to get new recipes and ideas for food and share them with everyone on here! So, if you see a food I'm trying and you know you have an amazing, to die for recipe, please send it my way. During the following Sunday's recap, I will be sure to post the recipe I try, along with other ones from you guys.
  • I just want to make it explicitly clear this challenge is not. to. lose. weight. My main mantra will most likely be: If I'm not sure I like it, cover it in butter. or chocolate. or both.

Got it? Oh, one more very important thing: at no time, under any circumstances, will there EVER be pickles or tuna fish on that list. NO. NO. NO. NO. A girl's gotta have her boundaries and my line is drawn at those two particularly stinky smelling items.

Let's move on, shall we?

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Week 1 Recap: Figs

The only thing I knew about figs before this week was that while Fig Newtons are delicious, they probably aren't really made from actual figs. Since I never had one before, I didn't want to disguise them in a recipe before getting to know them a little better. I searched through some of my cookbooks to see if anyone had some fig recipes that were relatively easy and left the fig in its original form. Jamie Oliver pulled through.

He paired figs with ricotta and honey, but Sean and I mixed it up a bit and used goat cheese instead. We added some sliced apples and a fresh baguette and deemed it the perfect Sunday afternoon snack.

Sir Jamie told me to score the top of the fig in a criss cross and squeeze the middle out. He warned it would look "funky".

He was right.

I don't know if it's just me, but whenever I try a new food I need to sniff it first. and inspect it thoroughly. I also get very nervous.

I do not like trying new things. Hence this being called the 52 Flavors Challenge as opposed to the 52 Ways to Eat Pasta (that was 2010. and 2009. okay shoot, and 2008 too.)

Here goes nothing...


ummmmm....yuck. Maybe they were too plain? But the squishy-ness (is that even a word?) combined with all those seeds equals a big nooooo, thank you. Sean compared it to a sweet pickle. and we ALL know how I feel about pickles. (Side note: does anyone know if you are supposed to eat the skin of a fig? I didn't)

Oh well. I tried and that's what matters. 1 week down, 51 left to go!

If you're still with me at the bottom of this post, thank you for sticking it out! I am so excited for this new challenge. It is really going to push me to expand my food choices while simultaneously keeping me accountable for blogging, improving my photography skills and gathering some new recipes.

Next week's food item is fennel, so if you have any delicious fennel recipes you want to send my way please either include a link in the comment section, send me an email, tweet it, or post it to Quarterlife Quandary's Facebook page. Until then, manja! or mangia! or man jah! (Google gave me 3 ways to spell it. Just pretend I'm an old Italian lady telling you to EAT! EAT!)
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