The 21 Foods List: Revamped

October 30, 2009

I asked and you answered. Thanks to everyone for your ideas with the 21 Foods List! Here it is, revamped; these are all the foods that I plan on making over the next year before my 22nd birthday, all of them from scratch and without the aid of bread makers/pasta machines etc:

1. Perogies

2. Pasta

3. Cinnamon buns

4. Jam

5. Marshmallows

6. Gnocchi

7. Baked donuts

8. Graham crackers

9. Cheesecake

10. Bagels

11. Pickles

12. English Muffins

13. Paella

14. Roasting a turkey

15. Nut butter

16. Yogurt

17. Pesto

18. Pate

19. Vegetable stock

20. Pita bread

21. Baklava

A couple others which I want to try but might not get accomplished this year, from your suggestions, are to make coffee, duck (I’m not sure how I’d prepare this- but the idea of tackling Peking duck is so intriguing and would be such a great challenge!), and lavender soup. At the beginning of October, as I was happily indulging in a square of layer cake that my awesome new roommate’s mum made, it crossed my mind that to make a layer cake would be another good one to add to this list. Therefore, I’m adding layer cake as a “bonus” bullet point to my 21 Foods List.

I have already crossed two off my list: roasting a turkey and making vegetable stock. They both turned out amazingly well! I roasted the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner with my mum looking on (following her directions- no one would trust me to bring along my own recipe because I’d likely try to “healthify” it and thus ruin it ;)), and I used a recipe from The Veganomicon for the vegetable stock. Both were simple and easy to do. There’s hardly anything to roasting a turkey! I was pleasantly surprised at the glorious simplicity of such a delicious dish (and, as my mum noted, if you’re using a butterball turkey like we do every holiday, it’s really just the combination of fat and salt that makes it. David Kessler, anyone?).

With the vegetable stock, the key is to use the “leftovers” from veggies. I threw in all of the ends of carrots and stumps of celery that are inedible (I saved them over the course of about a week), and besides that, the recipe just calls for one chopped onion, less than 1 tbsp of olive oil, and a pile of garlic. Delicious. It worked perfectly in my favourite split pea soup recipe. I’ve seen a lot of recipes to make vegetable stock which call for using a ton of vegetables, and I think it took me this long to make my own broth because I didn’t want to waste so many vegetables. But if you use the stumps, cores, peels etc that you wouldn’t eat anyways, vegetable stock becomes an incredibly economical and healthy dish. The best part about it, too, is that it only needs to simmer for a couple hours (throwing the veggies in with the water takes all of about 3 minutes), and it’s not overflowing with sodium! Even vegetable stocks that say “reduced salt” on them at the grocery store tend to have oodles of salt in them, so it’s nice to have that kind of control to ensure that there is either no salt, or very little, added to the homemade variety.

If you have any recipes for the above items on my 21 Foods List, please do send them my way. I’d love to try them out!

Also, for those of you who have been asking, here is my delicious bean ball recipe (click on link for more ideas for the best ways to eat them and for substitutions if you don’t have some of the ingredients readily available):

Energizing Protein-packed Bean Balls

1 can red kidney beans (rinsed and drained to remove any excess sodium)
2 heaping tbsp homemade ketchup (recipe below)
1 tbsp water
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
A few squirts of lemon juice
5 tbsp wheat germ
4 tbsp flaxseed meal
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

2. Mash the kidney beans in a mixing bowl so that there are still some chunks of beans. Add the rest of the ingredients and use a spoon to mix everything together until it is well combined.

3. Roll the bean mixture into small balls. You should get between about 20 and 30 balls.

4. Spread parchment paper on a baking sheet. Place the balls on the sheet and spray them with some olive oil. Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom, then flip them and bake for another 10 minutes.

To make the ketchup: Combine 1 can tomato paste, 2 tbsp water, 1 tbsp agave nectar (or honey), 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp whole grain mustard, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground cloves and 2 tbsp cider vinegar. Refrigerate until use.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for Taza Chocolate!


  1. love the idea of making a list of to-do for recipes/food to try out! I need to make mine… but probably much longer than yours since I’m an old lady compared to you! 😉
    vegetable stock? woooo….sounds good! need to make my own one day too!

  2. yeah you lost me at the fact you are SUCH a spring chicken as well 🙂
    howd you get so freakin wise/smart for your years?

    thats the post we need 🙂

  3. This is going to be a fun list to work on Sagan. When you get to the nut butter, I would advise you use a softer nut, like walnuts or pecans, rather than almonds or another hard nut. It will be much easier to make.

  4. Great list! I can’t wait to see and hear about the creation of some of those recipes. Are you really going to MAKE English muffins?? I can’t wait for that!

  5. Great list! I’m pretty excited about it. I’ll be totally jealous when you make the cheesecake. Yum, yum!!

  6. Coco- vegetable stock is the simplest thing ever to make! I have no idea why they even bother boxing it and selling it at the grocery store…

    MizFit- tehehe. You’re such a sweetheart.

    South Beach Steve- I never thought about that- thanks for the idea! I was planning on doing it with almonds but it might be better to start out with a softer nut. Mmm walnuts could be really good.

    Gina- Nah, I figured I’d just buy some English muffins at the store and pop them in the toaster oven 😉 Yep, I’m going to make them! It very likely could end up of my ultra-long list of kitchen catastrophes. I’m excited.

    Mary- Cheesecake is my love.

  7. I’ll take a gift box sampler, please 🙂

  8. Those bean balls sound AMAZING. Thank you for the great recipe!

    I can’t wait to see how you do with the new foods…I have several that are on my list, as well. must.stop.procrastinating. 🙂

  9. Love this challenge! veganyumyum.com has some great homemade recipes for a lot of these! like graham crackers, donuts, and gnocci i think. Know her?

  10. I love your list! I hope you’ll be posting pics and recipes along the way! (And I really hope your bagels turn out better than mine did so you can teach me how to make them.)

  11. Love the list! Make my marshmallows! You can use any extract, but I love peppermint with hot cocoa!


    Happy Friday!

  12. Dr. J- I ought to start my own little grocery store of homemade goods!

    Thebalancebroad- They really are delicious. I’m obsessed with them.

    Janel- ooh I will definitely be checking that out! I’d heard of VeganYumYum but hadn’t looked at it before. Thanks!

    Charlotte- Oh you just KNOW that there will be pictures and recipes galore to document the process 😉

    Biz319- I definitely have a pile of recipes from your site bookmarked to try out for myself 😀

  13. That is a FABULOUS to-make list! I esp love the perogies and gnocchi in there! You know my last failed attempt at gnocchi…I hope yours fares much better!!

  14. Love your list… I’ve also got pierogi and english muffins on mine. What will you put in your pierogi?

    Bookmarking the beanballs… you know I love a good ball!

  15. Burpexcuzme- tehehe, oh I’m sure I’ll have to give it a few tries, knowing my kitchen expeditions…

    Monica- I’m not sure what I’ll put in it yet. I’m thinking maybe mashed cauliflower and cheezy sauce could be tasty… I’ll have to look around for ideas! I do want to make them vegan, though.

  16. What a great list! It would be so much fun to do something like that. What’s also nice is that you can make two or three items at the same time. Like the bagels and jam/nut butter, the pasta and pesto.

    Also, your catsup sounds delicious!

  17. This list is making me hungry!

  18. Please let me know when numbers 1, 3, 6, 7, and 9 are good ‘n ready. I’ll be right over.

  19. lovely list!
    My dau, her family & I went Gluten Free this summer, (did you know that hard wheat has about twice the gluten it contained in the 50s?! & wheat/rye or barley are in SO MANY things now, no wonder so many folks are now sensitive!)
    So I’ve been working on adapting recipes & enjoying new ones!
    Loved the ketchup recipe – so simple! & will make some bean balls for my grandkids – bet they’ll love them! Plan to use my flax/sesame mix & coconut & sorgham (or buckwheat) flours (instead of wheat & wheat germ) & may try them with black beans (even more antioxidents!) . . . .

    Stock is so simple, isn’t it?? I had a chef for a housemate & he taught me to save those odds & ends of OG veggies (carrot tops, onion & garlic skins, mushroom stems, asperagus ends trimmings – NO COLES (broccoli, cauliflower, kale – too strong flavored) IN THE FREEZER! You keep adding ’till you’re ready to make stock.
    I simmer a pot while I’m chopping veggies for another dish, & use that as my cooking water, then cover the stock makings with more water, & let that simmer as long as I want.
    I add kombu, lovage (a perenial celery cousin) & a bay leaf, & sometimes a bunch of herbs (if you use fresh herbs, toss the stems you’ve stripped of leaves in the stock pot!)

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