Are you in a cooking rut? Or are you looking for some ways to add variety to your weekly dinner menu? I’ve been working on my cooking skills lately and want to share what has worked for me. Try these tips to explore new, delicious possibilities in the kitchen:
1. Choose new ingredients. Is there an ingredient you’ve never cooked with but would like to try one day? Look up some recipes to figure out what dish you would like to try with that ingredient. Quinoa is something I’d like to prepare one day. I’ve enjoyed some quinoa dishes at potlucks, so it would be fun to make a quinoa casserole for my family.
You can also choose produce that is in season. There’s an abundance of summer produce to choose from and many sales to take advantage of. This summer I’ve been cooking eggplant for the first time which has been successful and tasty!
2. Subscribe to a CSA service. When you join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), you deal with a local farm that will give you a box of organic produce typically on a weekly basis. You’ll have plenty of new, fresh produce to work with. I’ve been a CSA subscriber for several months, and I feel like a better cook for it. This allows me to experiment with some produce that is new to me. (Find a local CSA here.)
3. Get visual. Watch Food Network shows and videos. You’ll learn plenty of new techniques and tips for cooking in general. Watching someone cook a particular dish gives you a bit of confidence and inspiration to try it yourself.
You can also check out food blogs and Pinterest for more recipes and photos that make you want to start cooking (and eating)!
4. Ask friends about their favorite or easiest dishes. You’ll find that most people you ask have a recipe or two they are excited to share. You can even exchange recipes. I usually ask about how to prepare certain veggies and get terrific suggestions.
Try something new once a week or month. Repeat dishes a few times to get it just right. Even if it’s changing one thing like using a different marinade or alternating the vegetables you typically use, it’s fun to explore the culinary arts.
What do you do when your cooking becomes too predictable?
Any good cooking resources or experiences you can share?
Photo courtesy of Will Merydith