New Year’s Eve is almost upon us, and the focus will be upon enjoying the festivities and various celebrations leading up to the coming of the New Year itself.
Fun, food, frolicking, and – especially in Napa Valley – fabulous wines all combine to make the New Year’s celebration a night to cap off the old year in fine style, and the new year with joyous anticipation. And, in the midst of all the snacking, eating, drinking, and making huge allowances for partaking of treats that are not so “healthy”, many of us will be thinking of resolutions.
Of course, a common one will be to begin eating healthier.
New Year’s Resolutions – The Bane of Many Well-Meaning Souls
The making of New Year’s Resolutions is an ancient practice that probably dates back to the ancient Babylonians some 4,000 years ago. And there were probably not a few Babylonians kicking themselves about six weeks into their new year because they had already broken their resolutions.
Especially the ones about eating better and losing weight. And four millenniums later things haven’t improved much on the resolutions front.
If we were to survey those who do make resolutions each year – because many choose not to – we might find, as others already have, that the same three or four come up at the top of the list year after year.
For example, according to YouGov, these were the top new year’s resolutions in 2021:
- Doing more exercise or improving my fitness
- Lose weight
- Save money
- Improving my diet
A few years ago, the most popular resolutions going into 2019 were to:
- Exercise more
- Eat healthier
- Save money
- Lose weight
And, for this last year according to Country Living, the top three New Year’s resolutions for 2022 were:
- Lose weight.
- Eat healthier or change diet.
- Get fitter and take more exercise
- Spend more time with family and friends
We particularly like the last one there about spending more time with family and friends since this lends itself well to preparing and serving great food. And that great food can be both delicious and healthy, which will help those whose annual resolutions line up with those of most Americans: eating healthier and losing weight.
Healthy Foods and Healthy Meals Tips and Trends for the New Year
Food, like fashion, has trends and fads. Trends tend to be better for you, while the fads come and go and – more often than not – are fueled by social media hype and marketing.
Some of the trends that experts in the culinary and food industries are seeing include the rise of edible sea plants.
According to EatingWell.com,
“Whole Foods is predicting kelp will be big this year (it was on our 2022 list). “Expect to see more kelp-inspired products on grocery store shelves in 2023,” says EatingWell associate food editor Alex Loh. “Whether it’s kelp chips or kelp noodles, the algae is a nutritious, versatile product that’s also good for the environment. Kelp can help absorb carbon in the atmosphere and doesn’t require freshwater or added nutrients, two major wins in the age of climate consciousness.”
And per the Pinterest Predicts 2023 report,
“[T]he hottest superfoods will be from the sea. A long-standing staple in Asian cultures, ocean-based foods and minerals are a fave among Millennials and Gen X.”
And, when it comes to diet trends in general, one strong contender – the DASH diet – looks to be the favored diet of 2023. As one source has reported it,
“One of the reasons the DASH diet is predicted to be popular in 2023 is that it is backed by many health organizations, including the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.”
The National Institutes for Health (NIH) has noted that the DASH eating plan requires no special foods and instead provides daily and weekly nutritional goals. The plan recommends eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and includes fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils.
A Few Healthy Meal Ideas to Kick off Your 2023
One Napa Valley-style healthy meal menu idea includes a main dish of organic grass-fed tri tip beef alongside a serving of Tuscan-style roasted asparagus, and a heaping side of zucchini pasta. This, of course, should be paired with a suitable Syrah, Merlot, of even a Napa Valley Pinot.
Another fresh and healthy meal idea is a unique take on a classic Caesar salad. This smoked trout Caesar salad with asparagus and horseradish recipe from delicious.com can also be prepared with hot-smoked salmon or smoked chicken, according to recipe author, Matt Moran. And for craft beer lovers, one food writer has noted that “hot smoked salmon… pairs well with heavier malty beers like a Scotch ale or Bock…”
For those who enjoy “one dish” type meals that are both healthy and very much Napa Valley-style, this wonderful goats cheese and vegetable frittata recipe from cook and author Silva Colloca at delicious.com.au does the trick.
- 16 eggs
- 2 bunches broccolini, trimmed and chopped into 2cm pieces
- 1 cup (120g) baby peas
- ¼ cup finely chopped chives, plus 1 tbs extra
- 300g soft goat’s cheese, crumbled
- 2 zucchini, cut into matchsticks (we used a julienne peeler)
- ¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 200g mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup (loosely packed) dill sprigs
- 1 tbs white wine vinegar
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Whisk together eggs and ¾ cup (180ml) water in a large bowl. Stir in the broccolini, peas, chives, three-quarters of the goat’s cheese and half the zucchini and season. Heat 2 tbs of the oil in a 24cm non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and cook for 2 minutes or until the edges start to set. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until set and golden. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
- Make a tomato salad by combining the tomatoes, half the dill, the extra chives, vinegar and remaining oil in a bowl and season.
- Top the frittata with remaining goat’s cheese, zucchini and dill and serve with the tomato salad.
Healthy meals in 2023 will likely be made up of a variety of plant-based pastas, genetically altered vegetables geared towards health-conscious consumers, and tinned fish products.
As one article has noted,
“At one point in American history, tinned fish—despite its environmental benefits and prominence in European culture—was frowned upon and considered lowbrow food. The affordability, climate-friendly nature, and frankly, downright delicious characteristics of tinned sardines, anchovies, mackerel and the likes have made tinned fish one of the most popular items on the market.
Dubbed a “hot girl food,” tinned fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and brands like Fishwife, Patagonia, and Bela have capitalized on its growing popularity. Ranging from salmon to mussels to trout, cookbooks, carefully curated tinned fish boxes, and blogs and Substacks show that many people are endlessly intrigued by this enduring 19th century innovation.”
Cal Mart: For All Your Healthy Meal Recipes in the New Year
Cal Mart’s has been a market resource and a shopping destination for healthy dining for over five decades years and has become something of a Napa Valley tradition.
As a long-time family-owned and independent grocery store, Cal Mart offers customers a unique, enjoyable, and memorable shopping experience – something we’ve been doing consistently for more than half a century. And our employees are proud to offer a large variety and wide selection to our loyal customers.
And it is because of them that Cal Mart has become a popular local destination for fine Napa Valley wines, meats, cheeses, and specialty food items for all these years. Which are just some of the many reasons why we are known today as “Napa Valley’s Finest Grocery.”
So, this holiday season – and in the new year – take some time to come by and explore all that we have to offer.
And while you’re here, please feel free to talk with our friendly staff and maybe even treat yourself to a cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or tea from our Coffee Bar.
Remember: at Cal Mart, you will always find something that is unexpected, unusual, and uncommon!