Almost all of us find ourselves in a food rut from time to time. I know in my own life this tends to happen most when I’m really stressed or when there are a lot of demands on my time and energy. There can definitely be comfort in going into autopilot mode, but it’s easy to cross that line into feeling totally unmotivated to cook and prep food. The good thing though is that small changes — like the ones I suggest below — can have a big impact and can rekindle your love for cooking!
If you too are struggling creativity in the kitchen, I hope you’ll find some of these tips for breaking out of a food rut helpful:
- Consider trying one new dinner recipe or snack a week: peruse Pinterest, your favorite blog, or other social media accounts to find a new meal to try, keeping in mind that you can always adapt the recipe to meet your taste and dietary preferences.
- Order a meal kit and let the inspiration be delivered straight to your door: there are tons of great options available, but I’ve especially enjoyed meal kits from Dinnerly, Hello Fresh, Green Chef, Blue Apron, and Sun Basket. Alternatively, if on some nights you just don’t have the emotional and mental bandwidth to cook, having a premade meal delivered is also an option. Companies like Freshly and Epicured offer great options.
- Subscribe to a CSA: community-supported agriculture programs are a great way to connect with your local farms, while also diversifying the foods you normally eat. The surprise factor in your food delivery goes a long way in getting my creative juices flowing and I’m always inspired to make a new dish with the fresh veggies I received.
- Incorporate theme nights: meal planning and creating can be more fun with a theme night like Slow Cooker Sundays, Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, etc. That loose structure can help you get over the inspiration hurdle and make planning ahead of time easier.
- Stock your freezer with frozen produce and healthy meal options: having easy to warm meals or easy to cook veggies in your freezer can be a game changer, especially when you just don’t want to cook (or plan) another meal.
- Make it fun and switch your meal order up: who says you can’t have breakfast for dinner? (Or dinner for breakfast) One of my favorite easy, go-to dinners is a frittata loaded with healthy and tasty veggies. On warm summer nights I also love keeping it simple with a tasty cucumber and tomato salad for dinner with some kind of convenient protein option.
Ultimately, be kind to yourself if you’re going through a food rut phase. And remember that there are easy ways to get creative without having to overextend yourself — small things really do help.
Want to hear more? Check out this Instagram video where I go into detail about these suggestions!