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Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017
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Dining Planner: New Year's food resolutions

NEW YEAR: NEW RESOLVE

I vow to do less of this, more of that, and that over there? It's out entirely. By about March 1, we only have a vague memory of the details of our resolutions, but for now it's full steam ahead. Here are some events this week likely to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Let's start with some brisk walking at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, right, on Saturday at 11 a.m. The resolution: I will start foraging. There's food all around us; we just need to know what's edible and what will kill us. A guide will lead you on an Edible Wilds Walk through this unspoiled nature park featuring 3 miles of trails and boardwalks on 245 acres along the shores of Lake Maggiore. For $3, get a better handle on the food, medicine and tools all around us and learn to identify what's growing and their most common uses. Register at the Boyd Hill Environmental Education Center, 1101 Country Club Way S, St. Petersburg. (727) 893-7326.

Next resolution:

More veggies. Nature's Food Patch offers a Veggie Basics 101 class Saturday at 11 a.m. Debby DeGraaff will whisk participants through the fundamentals of dishes like Cuban black bean salad and quinoa tabouli in this free class. There will be gluten-free and vegan recipes in this focus on healthy living. 1225 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 443-6703.

Keep going with the vegification:

On Sunday at 5 p.m., learn all about eating healthy with a cooking class led by Chef John in the catering kitchen at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Dunedin. Recipes focus on lower calories, lower carbs but full flavor; menu includes salmon au poivre, crab-tini and oven-fried, almond-crusted chicken. $55, beer or wine available for purchase. Email chefjohns@outlook.com to reserve. 639 Edgewater Drive, Dunedin.

Earlier in the day on Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m., attend a Vegetarian TasteFest at the Brooksville Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Guests sample vegetarian food and receive a free recipe booklet and a seminar by a registered dietician. The event is presented by Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, and cost is $6. 991 W Jefferson St., Brooksville. (352) 796-2539.

If you're fine with veggies but it's gluten you aim to eschew, at 9 a.m. Sunday there's a class on Fabulous Gluten-Free Desserts at Michael's Extraordinary Desserts and Baking Academy at St. Pete Bakery. Pastry chef Michael Ostrander leads a hands-on class, with lunch, a recipe book and personalized training. $100, includes lunch and recipe book. 1961 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 954-8837.