It’s April 29, 2020, and this post is under construction today.
So, you are in a cooking rut, it is best to assess how you got here and then find out how you can move forward.
- Bored: I need inspiration. I don’t know what to cook tonight.
Jump to “How to get inspired to cook“
- Familiarity: I only know a couple of recipes/cooking methods.
Jump to “Types of cooking methods“
- Busy: I have limited time.
Jump to “Shortcuts for busy cooks“
Jump to “How to get more flavor in my food, the secrets of gourmet cooking“
- Dieting: I have a limited diet, my likes and dislikes limit what I eat.
Jump to “What to cook when I have limited food choices“
Here are other (worthy) blogs on “How to get out of a cooking rut”
How to get inspired to cook
- ask what they will make for dinner tonight (or ask what they made last night)
- ask them about their yummy potluck item
- TV / Online
- find a favored celebrity chef, someone who inspires you and who you can mimic (their cooking style), and who makes food that looks good to you
- for now, avoid the shows with food and cooking styles that you will never make
- Cookbooks, cooking magazines
- find a recipe that looks enticing to you and only look at the ingredients –skip their cooking method!— and cook the dish in a way that you already know.
- photos of food show up in most every magazine, it doesn’t have to be a cooking magazine
- Go to their websites, read their menu and look at the ingredients of your favorite dish
- Meal kits
- Look at their websites, read their menu and look at the ingredients of the meals that look good to you
- Get a couple of their deliveries to try out new recipe
- Specialty grocery stores and markets
- farmer’s markets
- international markets
- cooking retail shops
- book stores
- Gadgets, use different ones:
- slow cooker
- pressure cooker
- air fryer
- food processor
- immersion blender
- Circulars, specials, sales
- plan your meal based on the sales at your local market
- Cuisine, seasoning blend
- “Spicely” is a local organic herb company that sells at Whole Foods in small green boxes. They have many spice blends, and individual spices.
- “Pensey’s” is a local herb company with a few stores and an online catalog.
- Use different garnish or condiments
- Capers, olives, pickles
- Sour cream, yogurt, creme fraiche, ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, cream cheese
- Fresh herbs will change the tone of a dish
- Frozen veggies
- Green beans, corn, okra, pearl onions — have these somewhat unusual ones on hand
- International aisle in your local grocery store
- Pad Thai kits
- Taco kits
- Simmer sauces, such as: Biriani, Chana Dal, Coconut Curry, Red Thai Curry, Enchiladas, Fajitas, Pasilla Chili, Parmasan Mushroom Medley
- Frozen meals
- Go to the frozen food aisle in your local grocery store, read the ingredients on a box of a frozen meal, and then go buy those items
- Watch a video with cooking secrets:
Types of Cooking Methods
- The easiest thing to do:
- use the same ingredients, but different sizes, different shapes and different ratios.
- use the same ingredients but use the oven instead of the usual stovetop.
- use the same ingredients —except add ONE new item, or TWO new items.
- use the same cooking method but use a new seasoning.
- Meal kits
- Order a couple of meals that look intriguing to you, the meal will come already sliced, diced and measured —so you skip all the shopping and prepping and put your focus on following the directions and learn a new cooking method.
- Choose similar recipes to learn a new cooking method
- Learn a new technique:
- know different cooking methods:
Shortcuts for busy cooks
- Plan ahead
- Save images, set a Reminder for when you make a shopping list. When you see an image of food that looks good to you, then take a photo of it, or a screengrab, and save it to a “NOTE” or a “Reminder”
- Buy prepared foods:
- pre-chopped veggies
- pre-cooked rice, lentils
- frozen veggies
- frozen meat
- frozen fish
- frozen rice, quinoa, lentils
- Change ONE thing, but use the SAME COOKING METHOD that you are familiar with:
- different meat
- different veggies
- different seasons
- Watch these videos for short cuts:
How to get more flavor in my food, the secrets of gourmet cooking
- The first step is to know what flavor profiles you like:
- umami: caramelize, roast, salt
- bold and complex:
- salty-sour dishes
- sweet-sour dishes
- al dente with bright flavors
- Here are worthy blog posts:
#5 Limited food: I have little food at home. I am on a limiting diet. My likes and dislikes limit what I eat.
What to Cook When I have Limited Food Choices
MORE TO COME HERE
These are funny but have worthy information: