Tackle New Years resolutions day by day

by: REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTO: BARB RANDALL - Barb Randall wove bacon together then baked it for her family Christmas morning. It may be the last time they eat pork as she intends to serve them and share with readers more vegetarian foods in 2013.We’re just a few days into the new year — how are you coming with your resolutions?

Some folks tell me they don’t make resolutions because they know they will fail to keep them. I say we all have room for improvement; so even a short-lived attempt leaves us better off than not trying at all.

Perhaps we need to give the New Year’s resolution a name change. Would it be helpful to refer to them as exercises in intentional living?

Perhaps you are attempting to make too many changes at once. Rather than trying to quit smoking and run your first 10k by Jan. 31, you could stagger your goals. Set yourself up for success.

Regardless of what it is you wish to attain during 2013, take time to write down your goals and then ask yourself what’s it going to take to achieve each goal. Set realistic time frames to achieve those goals then post them where you can view them every day.

Determine what you need to do each day to achieve your goals. If you aren’t actively involved in achieving your goals you don’t really want to make that change. If losing weight is your goal, experts recommend you set a goal of losing 10 percent of your total body weight as an initial goal. Lose that and then set another goal to continue to your ultimate weight goal.

If your intention is to learn a new language or skill, determine what it will take and then set realistic goals — small goals or baby steps that will eventually lead you to success. If you are wanting to be better at budgeting or saving money for vacations or other special items, plan out what you must do to reach your goal and then just do it.

Change is difficult, but recognize that some want on your part made this change important for you to make. Recognize that you will not be perfect every day in every way. When you get off track, forgive yourself, recognize what caused the swerve and get back to it.

Take a day at a time and remember that slow and steady wins the race. New habits take time to form — just keep your eye on the prize.

One of my resolutions for 2013 is to bring to you, dear readers, healthful and unique recipes. Today’s recipe is one for an interesting soup from Jordan called shorba corbasi, or chard soup with rice and turmeric. Serving it warm, rather than hot, allows the flavors to blend better.

Bon appetite! Eat something wonderful!

Shorba corbasi

Chard soup with rice and turmeric

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound chard or spinach (or a combination of both) stalks removed

1 quart vegetable or chicken stock

2 tbs olive oil

2 onions, finely chopped

2 leeks, trimmed and rinsed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1/2 cup long grain rice

2 tbs white wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 1/2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt

Large pinch of turmeric

Juice of a lemon

1/2 bunch of fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Finely dice the stalks of the chard leaves. Rinse the leaves and finely shred. Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan. Heat the oil in a heavy sauce pan or casserole over medium heat. Add the onion, leeks and chard stems and cook over low heat for 4 to 5 minutes until slightly colored. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour in the hot stock and vinegar and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes or until rice is tender. While the soup is simmering, mince the garlic with a little salt. Stir into the yogurt with the turmeric and half the lemon juice. Mix together, then taste and season with salt and pepper.

When the rice is tender, add the shredded chard leaves to the soup. Simmer for about 3 minutes until the leaves are tender. Remove from the heat and whisk in the yogurt mixture, then add the mint. Check the seasoning, adding a little lemon juice or cracked black pepper if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature to best appreciate the flavors.

Cook’s note: Beet leaves or tops make a great extra vegetable, which you often get for free when you buy beets. They are delicious when blanched and sautéed, providing a delicious sweetness combined with an irony earthiness.

Adapted from “Street Food: Exploring the World’s Most Authentic Tastes.”

Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281, ext. 101, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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