Sunset's red-quinoa bowl with swiss chard and poached egg—one of the many recipes I'm vowing to master this year!


Who: Andrea Minarcek, Senior Travel Editor

This year, I’m determined to: cook more meals at home. And for the two-week duration of this challenge, I'm going all out and preparing every meal myself.

I chose this because: It's healthier (and cheaper) than dining out all the time—a habit I've stumbled into since moving to San Francisco's Mission neighborhood, where taquerias and ramen joints tempt from every corner—and I need more practice in the kitchen. I have a few go-to recipes in my arsenal, but I'd like a few more. I'm going to use these next two weeks as a test-run for new dishes.

My biggest obstacle: time. I don't mind the cooking itself—Sunset has a load of great recipes you can prep in 30 minutes or less—it's the grocery-shopping I dread. After a full day of work, braving the lines at Trader Joe's seems, well, dreadful. For this challenge, I'm vowing to plan my menus ahead of time, so I can compile a big list of ingredients, and (hopefully!) get a week's worth of shopping done in one fell swoop.

My biggest temptation to cheat: weekends. Saying no to brunch invites is going to be tough, but my friends will forgive me, surely, for a two-weekend absence.

Coping mechanism(s): I'm going to rely on (1) a good playlist: Cooking along to a well-paced soundtrack makes making dinner feel like a mini party, and (2) great recipes. So long as I have nice meals to look forward to, I think these two weeks will be fun—even if I'm the one cooking them!

I’m feeling: prepared. My fridge has never been this well stocked!

A recipe I can't wait to try: Sunset’s red-quinoa bowl with swiss chard and poached egg.

Follow us! Twitter @minarcek, Instagram @andyminarcek. Show us your #SunsetEatFresh challenges, too, on FB/Twitter/Insta.

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