How often do you feel like you are cooking the same meals every week because you don’t know what else to make? You are not alone! Even the most accomplished cooks, can struggle to keep putting new and interesting meals on the table night after night.
It is easy to fall into a food rut when you are tired and lead a busy lifestyle. It can leave you feeling like you don’t have enough energy to put into thinking about the food you eat. Expanding your recipe repertoire not only makes eating more interesting, it also increases your nutrient intake, which can help prevent diseases, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. To start to make your meals appealing again, try to include a wide selection of foods, aiming to eat around 30 different varieties of food each day.
There a lot of things we can do to get out of a food rut, here are some of our favourite tips:
- Try one new recipe a month – Include a variety of ethnic meals. E.g. Indian, Chinese and Mexican foods all use many different ingredients from each other. Experiment with the different herbs and spices these cuisines have to offer.
- Eat seasonally – Each season a new a range of fruit and vegetables are in abundance. Instead of buying the same old vegetables year round, try to cook meals with the more economical plentiful veggies the season has to offer. Buy one new vegetable each week and experiment. Don’t be afraid to use the internet to search for recipes using your new ingredient.
- Adapt an old recipe – Sometimes it is not about making a whole new dish it is about changing those that you already enjoy. It may be as simple as adding some different herbs and spices, nuts or seeds to your favourite dish to add a new dimension of flavours. E.g. instead of plain steamed vegetables, why not add lemon juice, zest and sliced almonds.
- Ask friends and family for their favourite recipe – It can be less scary trying a recipe you know has turned out well for someone else. Your friends and family will also be able to offer you little hints on how they adapt the recipe.
- Take a cooking class – Why not get a friend to join you and make it a social outing as well.
- Try shopping at different locations and stores – they may stock foods that you may not usually eat.
- Remember there are no mistakes – Don’t worry if you over cook something the first time, just don’t be afraid to try it again, just write a note on the recipe as a reminder for next time you make it.
Even making one small change at a time can give you the encouragement to make a bigger change, so why not try one of the above ideas today to get you out of your food rut.