Week 52: Final Thoughts

For this final post of the FOOD CHALLENGE 2019 I am not going to present a seasonal ingredient; instead, I want to summarize what I have learned and most enjoyed during this fun food adventure. 

As many of you know, SOUL Food Salon has conducted a food challenge before. For this current challenge, I was excited to feature a lot of new ingredients. We also included a recipe in each post. Before I recommended a specific recipe to you, my audience, I ran a mini test kitchen—trying out a variety of recipes before selecting the one that would make the post. I really enjoyed this process because it forced me to get out of my comfort zone and try new recipes in a variety of different ways. It is my hope that you enjoyed them and that you’ve added a few new favorites to your repertoire (I know that I have!). I compiled the 51 recipes from each week of the 2019 Food Challenge into a short e-book, which you can access here.

I had fun with another new aspect of the 2019 Food Challenge: posting about the featured weekly ingredient on Instagram and Facebook. Those posts included a photo of the prepared recipe. I hoped to engage, entice and educate a broader audience about the myriad benefits of eating plant-based foods.

In addition to introducing you to new recipes and foods, I was excited to note that my food photography skills improved over the course of the year. It has been a joy to discover a new creative outlet through photography. I took all of the photos in the e-book.

Here are a few additional bonuses the food challenge gave me:

  • I loved learning all about the various health benefits of each seasonal food. It is truly amazing what nature provides for us in terms of healthy food sources.   

  • It was illuminating—and fun—to try new fruits in season, vegetables, whole grains, spices, herbs, etc. And, as tempting as it is to buy berries during the winter in California, for instance, I found that I enjoyed the sheer variety of local, seasonal produce. I also felt better knowing that I wasn’t purchasing produce that was being transported to California, at great environmental cost and with significant loss of nutrients along their long route to the store.  

  • I enjoyed going to the farmers’ markets and checking out the variety of seasonal food. I became personally acquainted with many of the farmers, which was an added bonus. They happily shared their knowledge about growing different foods, offered tasty recipes to try and often allowed me to sample their wares. 

  • I really loved sharing recipes with friends while using the unique foods I researched and presented in the newsletter. Sharing this newsletter with you also encouraged fun conversations about each new featured food. Often, those conversations took place in our local market when someone told me they were shopping for the food challenge. I so enjoyed the dialogue revolving around what we were all going to cook with that week’s featured ingredient. 


My hope is that you also had fun while on this food adventure—and that you learned a few things you hadn’t known before about seasonal foods. I hope you felt emboldened to try a few new foods and recipes and that you had the opportunity to engage your family in the cooking process. 

In good health, Jeanne