How To Avoid Meal Repetition

I can’t really pinpoint the amount of time I have been cooking religiously, but let’s just say I’ve been doing if for the better half of ten years now. In high school I cooked but I could count on my mom to be able to provide something for us if I ever ran out of ideas or just didn’t feel like cooking.  

Nowadays? Yeah right, haha I can’t get away with that. I’m married, living on my own, and don’t have kids yet, but my husband and I generally still prefer to cook at home over eating out often. That means on average I cook about four times a week, taking into consideration leftovers and nights my husband cooks. Notice there is no mother involved; sorry guys, that ship has sailed.

So, how do I avoid the mundane repetition of meals involving chicken every week? I’m always eager to take on the challenge of cooking something new or a dish I haven’t made in over a month. In order to keep this motivation up I turn to online food communities and recipe trading; I’ve included a couple of my go-to recipes below the first picture.

Online food communities and blogs are great. I get most recipe ideas from Food52, Steamykitchen, and as a last resort: Allrecipes. The key is to put aside time every few days or even just on weekends and have a general idea of what type of food you want to cook. Chinese, American, Japanese, Italian, you get the idea. By putting aside a set time, you’re not only searching and finding new ideas for that day but you’ll find yourself bookmarking and saving links for future meals as well.

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Example of the meal list I made when I was prepping for Chinese New Year this year.

If you’re not really into the online food community, use and abuse the physical constants in your life. Family, friends, other foodies. We all go through similar obstacles in the kitchen: needing quick meal ideas for weeknights, crockpot recipes for those who don’t have time to cook at the end of a work day, a chicken recipe that we haven’t already tried a million times. If anyone understands what you’re going through, it’d be these people who also share the joys of cooking. I would be more than happy to trade recipes with someone if they asked. In fact, recently I’ve been better at keeping in touch with one of my cousins. Stef and I chat everyday and occasionally we’ll bounce ideas off each other or even swap recipes. It’s so great because I’m getting new recipes without having to really put that time aside to plan.

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What it comes down to on a weekly basis is how badly you really want to change up your meals. My opinion? Put in the work to get these new recipes and ideas so you can spice up your kitchen, what have you really got to lose? Time? Most of us spend so much time on our phones anyway! If you cut that by half—no, even a quarter to browse sites or text a friend for a recipe, you or whoever you’re cooking for will be happy campers. You’d be amazed at how much you can find by just taking five to ten minutes out of your day to do a bit of searching.

Thanks for reading and happy eatings! 

 

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