Making cooking fun: 5 ways to try today to prevent a midweek food funk
How to Make Cooking More Fun
I was peering into my fridge looking at a rather dismal selection of ingredients wondering what on earth to cook and my mind was a complete blank!
Have you been there too?
It can be hard making cooking fun. I don’t mind the ‘special occasion’ cooking, it’s the everyday, day after day cooking that can seem a chore. Sometimes I just lack imagination or maybe it’s decision fatigue after a day at work.
Sometimes I don't find cooking to be all that fun. I can get into a rut just like everyone else.
I feel like I’m a contestant on Ready, Steady, Cook (is that still showing, or am I showing my age?) trying to conjure up something tasty for dinner.
And if you don’t love cooking or aren’t very motivated, this can be doubly difficult. But if you’re the cook in your household, you are the nutritional 'gate-keeper'. This means you actually control about 70% of the nutrition in your house which can make a huge difference to everyone’s health, weight and wellbeing.
So, maybe I can help to make cooking more fun for you…
Making Cooking Fun Tip #1
Check out new recipes.
Sometimes just seeing the beautiful food photos and reading the recipe can spark some inspiration and fun in your kitchen.
You can head to your local bookstore. Or look up your favourite nutritionists, chefs, bakers, and other online foodies. Maybe do a quick search on Google or Pinterest to see thousands of new ideas.
Alternatively, get the Midlife Menu weekly recipe and kitchen tip delivered to your inbox along with the latest blog post.
Pro Tip: Set a timer! Searching through recipes can be so fun and inspiring, and can also end up taking waaaay longer than planned. So, consider setting your timer when you start browsing. The last thing you want is to take too much time looking, that you don’t leave enough time for cooking.
Making Cooking Fun Tip #2
Make food shopping fun and inspiring.
When you’re at the supermarket, try something that you haven’t had in a while. Is there a seasonal fruit or vegetable you haven’t had for months? What about a childhood favourite? Did you come across something totally delicious at a restaurant or get-together lately?
Or, browse around the store looking for something you haven't had before; something that is completely new to you. Be adventurous and fun. Then you can go to tip #1 to find new and inspiring recipes when you get home.
Making Cooking Fun Tip #3
Keep it simple!
Sometimes when I see a great food picture, I immediately get inspired to make it. But if I look at the ingredients or instructions and they're too long, I stop. While there are times when I'm inspired and dive into a new great recipe, when I'm not all that inspired, I need to keep things simple.
A few ways to keep things simple are to:
Search for recipes with 10 or fewer ingredients, and five or fewer instructions;
Have a bank of ‘go-to’ easy recipes that are quick, tried, tested and family pleasers;
Search for recipes that can be made in one pot or pan– I’m currently loving my new cooking book with all the meals cooked in one roasting dish. Check out my Facebook Live I did about it;
Buy ingredients that are already prepped (pre-washed salad greens, diced squashes, frozen vegetables, etc.)
Always have half a dozen eggs to hand; omelettes, frittatas, scrambled or poached – you can have a tasty meal on the table in 10 minutes or so.
Making Cooking Fun Tip #4
Put on some music and invite someone to join you. Craig Charles' Funk and Soul Show (Saturday, Radio 6) is a household favourite to cook and prep to! Dancing is optional…
Do you have kids that need to learn the critical life skill of cooking? Perhaps your partner would love to join you? What about having a “cooking party” where everyone brings something and pitches in on the process?
Making Cooking Fun Tip #5
If none of the other tips work for you, invest in some kitchen equipment!
Having proper kitchen tools makes cooking so much easier and faster. When's the last time you sharpened your (our bought yourself a new) knife? Could dicing carrots with a dull knife be draining the fun from cooking? Or is blending a smoothie with a crummy blender, leaving it too chunky to enjoy, making you feel less excited to try new smoothie recipes? I know it does for me.
Some of my ‘can’t-live-withouts’ would be: a sharp kitchen knife and chopping board, garlic crusher, food processor, plane grater, a roasting tray, lemon squeezer. And a big tea pot!
How are you going to make cooking fun?
You know that cooking is key to healthy eating. And, yes, it does get boring from time to time.
Try one (or all) of these ideas for making cooking fun to inspire you to get over to your kitchen and cook yourself some great dishes.
Or get yourself a weekly recipe sent to your inbox from Midlife Menu.
You already know your health will thank you.
If you’re still struggling with what to cook, look out for next week’s blog which is the Ultimate Guide to what to eat at each meal, snacks and drinks to keep afternoon cravings at bay. It includes a full 7 day meal plan with all recipes done for you. Sign up to the blog to make sure you don’t miss it.
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Midlife Menu Ltd disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.