5 Tips To Make Cooking More Enjoyable
Even if cooking isn't your favorite thing, with a few tweaks it can be less daunting and more enjoyable.
It's not always easy to find the motivation to cook. Even as a dietitian, there are many days that I don't feel like cooking.
Cooking is important because it brings people together. It allows us to bond over a shared love of food, and favourite memories and traditions often associated with certain dishes. Cooking can provide a sense of comfort in the face of stress or uncertainty.
This article explores how to get back your cooking mojo and stop feeling like it's a chore.
1. Take it One Step at a Time
Cooking doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. It can be as simple as making a meal in less than 15 minutes!
It can help if you begin the week with a loose plan of what you might like to cook. I find if I don't have some idea beforehand, I'm often floundering at 5 pm, scrummaging through the fridge, looking for ideas. When making a plan think about the following things:
Start with your favourite ingredients
Using your favourite ingredients is the easiest way to strike up some inspiration. For example, pasta is one of my favourite ingredients to cook because it's so versatile, and many different foods pair with it!
Keep it simple
Scrambled eggs or beans on toast is an excellent meal if that's what you feel like eating! You don't need to create a Masterchef standard meal for it to be worthy.
Experiment with new flavours
Is there a new spice you've wanted to try out? Could you give it a go and see how it works out? I often search Google for recipes based on ingredients I want to incorporate.
2. Get Organised
The more you plan for your meals, the more you save. It is a fact that people who plan their meals have a lower grocery bill. And it's not just about saving money - it's about saving time, too. Planning your meals can help you avoid those last-minute decisions to order expensive takeout.
Grocery list templates are useful tools to help you organise and save time in the grocery store. Meal planners are also helpful in giving yourself a break from meal planning and letting someone else do it for you!
I find I'm most uninspired to cook when my kitchen is messy (which happens more than I'd like to admit!) I can't get my headspace clear or find adequate bench space to even cook. The thought of having to clean it beforehand is unmotivating.
If you can, try to keep the kitchen as organised as practical so that you can cook when motivation strikes!
3. Ask For Help, or Double-up
It can be difficult to know how to divide the responsibility of cooking among family members or flat-mates. But if you live with others, it's good if cooking can be divvied up as a responsibility with other household members— not just one.
Creating an itinerary or plan of what needs to be done during the week might help other household members to all contribute. My partner often cooks evening meals at lunch-times when he has a break from work for example.
If you live alone, try cooking a double batch a meal and repurpose into something else on another night to give yourself a break.
4. Make It Fun!
Try to create fun cooking challenges like preparing a meal in under 30 minutes or using only five ingredients. I used to love that cooking show where the chef would come into a household and cook something completely random from the ingredients in the fridge.
Kids love to play in the kitchen, and parents love to see their children have fun. So, why not use cooking as a way to make it fun for them?
Fun cooking activities are an excellent way for your kids to learn about food, nutrition, and cooking. And you can make some great memories for you both at the same time!
5. Learn Something New!
There are always new things to learn. Every day is a chance to learn something new, and it could be anything from a new cooking technique like baking.
Start off by looking for websites or blogs that teach new recipes or find a cookbook with recipes you want to try. You can also check out YouTube for cooking videos or tutorials.
It's not always easy to find the motivation to cook. But when we do, cooking can be a great way of boosting our mood and getting creative in the kitchen.
Image credit: Sarah Pflug