Are you getting tired of cooking or have already lost all desire?
You’re not alone. It happens to the best of us.
Here are 8 tips to help you get your cooking inspiration back to enjoy great food with less stress!
1. Make a Plan
Make a list of things that you love to eat and make a list of things that you’ve been eating for the past month. If you don’t include things that you love to eat in your weekly schedule, it’s time for a change.
The human brain processes small bits of data much faster and more efficiently than one big chunk of data.
Planning out your weekly meals might seem like a lot of work at first. However, making a plan will help you break down the overall weekly meal plan into much more manageable tasks.
Try dedicating a single day on the weekend for planning, shopping and preparing meals for the week. The more often that you do this, the less time you’ll end up spending for both planning and cooking.
And don’t worry if you can’t stick to your plan all the time, just do your best!
The more time that you put into food preparation, the more it will help reduce your stress level when it comes time to cook or bake. Instead of worrying about cutting meat, washing vegetables, getting sauces ready, making batter or dough, etc. you would only need to focus on putting A with B and setting a timer while you hover over the stove. That is especially helpful when you’re tired or have a large meal to prepare.
If you prepare everything on the weekend, you don’t have to worry about half the mess during the week.
3. Stop Being Complicated
Did you know that you don’t have to prepare a 5-course meal every single night? Each dish or recipe that you choose does not have to involve 25 intricate steps.
Everything doesn’t need to be made from scratch as there are plenty of good food substitutes for just about everything you can imagine.
Many people drench their food with sauces. Don’t do it! Learn to appreciate individual flavors. When you’re eating, try to distinguish between foods, their sweetness, and compatibility with the other flavors in your mouth.
It helps to use the freshest and ripest possible foods when learning to appreciate flavors.
Try having a light dinner? Some fruit, cheese, crackers and a glass of wine is a good way to keep it light. Your body will be thankful for the change of pace and let your mind relax.
What about breakfast for dinner? Almost everything for a breakfast dinner can be prepared in advance and heated up accordingly. I recommend that you cook your eggs to order unless you decide to have hard boiled eggs.
SEE ALSO: Malt o Meal vs. Cream Of Wheat
4. Get Organized
What do your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry look like? Are they a disaster? Pull everything out to see what you have and give everything a good cleaning. Learn how to organize pots and pans properly so that you aren’t fumbling around when it times to cook.
You may want to make a small inventory list to show what you have available. If you keep that list updated, it will save you time when making your shopping list and cooking plan. That is a good time to imagine what recipes you could fabricate with what you have on hand.
I bet there are things you could toss away from your fridge and pantry. Anything that is questionable or that you haven’t used in the last month or two needs to go. Old foods can spoil fresh foods quite quickly. So fresh is always better, and that includes spices!
5. Magazines & TV Shows
Food magazines are great for inspiration. The beautiful pictures and simple recipes that accompany them can be a game changer for you.
Don’t spend $10-$15 on a magazine at the grocery store. Go to your local thrift store! Although they may not carry the latest off the shelf, they usually have many magazines and recipe books that are full of pictures. Yard sales are another way to pick up some cheap inspirational reads.
Television shows such as Hell’s Kitchen, Iron Chef, Rachael Ray, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” Barefoot Contessa, and Jamie Oliver are full of exciting ideas while being entertaining at the same time.
The next time you go out to a restaurant, try looking at the menu from an idea standpoint. Take a look at each picture and break down what is in them. You may come up with a meal idea that you could easily make at home.
Go out to eat and try something you’ve never had before. Take your time to enjoy it, but also analyze it. Great ideas may come jumping out at you!
How many times have you heard “that would go great with ____ instead of ____.”? Don’t think it, try it!
7. Get some help!
There are different ways to get help in the kitchen. You can ask for help preparing, cooking, or cleaning up. An extra set of hands can make things much easier for you.
If you feel that your cooking skills are lacking or that you would like to brush up on some techniques, try taking a cooking class in the evening or on the weekend. You could even turn it into a fun event with friends.
8. Don’t Sweat It and Relax!
Eating is an emotional event for most of us. You might be more apt to cooking something that makes you happy, rather than something that leaves you with the thought “it’s just food.”
Start back with the basics and slowly add a few new things here and there.
Eventually, you will start to find the very things that inspire you the most. Relax and have fun with it!