Get out of your cooking rut! Learn how to be more creative in the kitchen with these four simple tips that will help you get excited about cooking again!
Cooking and being the kitchen can (and should be) FUN! I know from personal experience how easy it can be to get in a rut in the kitchen. You find what you like, you know what you can make, and eventually, you find yourself rotating through the same four or five recipes week after week. Sound familiar? I thought so ????
Today's blog post is all about helping you break out of that rut and feel reinspired in the kitchen!
I wanted to dedicate an entire blog to teach you how to be more creative in the kitchen because I have personally found that there are a few (very simple) things I can that help me feel more inspired again. This along with the fact that being creative in the kitchen is one of the main reasons I’m able to stick to my primarily plant-based and healthy diet.
How to Be More Creative in the Kitchen
Since so many of us are routine-based people my nature, getting into a “rut” is really easy. So below are my the four simple tricks that I use to stay motivated and creative in the kitchen. If you have any to add to the list, let me know! I’m always up for trying new things in the kitchen!
1. Incorporate veggies in new and exciting ways.
The options are endless here but I’ll share a few of my favorites!
Spiralize! You can buy pre-spiralized vegetables at a lot of grocery stores or you can make your own using The Spiralizer. You now have noodles made from vegetables that can be used for anything from breakfast to dessert.
Here are a few awesome spiralized recipes from my blog:
- Spiralized Apple Tart
- Avocado Alfredo with Zucchini Noodles
- Spiralized Butternut Squash Bowls with Harissa Chickpeas + Quinoa
Spaghetti Squash! This is similar to the last one but a “veggie noodle” or noodle replacement that takes little to no effort is spaghetti squash. It's one of my favorite fall and winter vegetables, it's high in fiber, simple to cook and super delicious. Feel free to sub spaghetti squash for any noodle dish.
Super simple spaghetti squash recipes from my blog:
- 5-Ingredient Pesto Spaghetti Squash Boats
- Quinoa + Lentil Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash
- 30-Minute Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Boats
Try a NEW vegetable! Again, once we're in a routine, it's hard to climb back out. So I get that trying something new, especially when it comes to vegetables, can be a little intimidating, but it also somewhat forces your creativity.
I love wandering through the farmers market to see what vegetables are in season and then searching for a new recipe to try that incorporates a new-to-me veggie! Sometimes I don't like them, but other times I realize that I've been missing out on something amazing being stuck in my rut.
Need a little inspiration? Check out my Summer Produce Guide!
2. Use spices to switch up flavors.
Spices are possibly the easiest way to make a dish more exciting. Spices can take your meal to the next level and can also help bring all of the flavors together! By changing just one spice and nothing else in the entire dish, you can completely transform the flavor and make it feel (and taste) like you're eating something brand new.
Wondering what you should keep on hand? I shared a post featuring my 10 Essential Spices for More Flavorful Cooking which is a great place to start. If you’re unsure if you like a particular spice and don’t want to buy a big jar, check the bulk spice section at your health food stores and just get what you need!
3. Dressings are your BFF.
Homemade dressings and sauces are amazing for helping meals be more exciting. I've talked about my concept of component meals before, and for me, dressings are often how I keep things creative.
By keeping the base of my meal the same, but using a different dressing each day, I do end up feeling like I'm not eating the same thing over and over again. Same goes for salad. If you have the same base salad, but the dressing tastes different every time you eat it, it won't actually feel like you're eating the same salad!
Need some inspiration? Check out my 6 Staple Homemade Vegan Dressings that you really can't go wrong with.
I always have one of those on hand to add to a salad or grain bowl. I’ve found that the right dressing or sauce can take your meal to the next level and can completely change the flavor profile!
4. Find Recipes that Get YOU Excited to Cook!
This tip is so, so important! We’ve all gotten in the rut of making the same recipe every week for months. So here's what I want you to do instead: make a point to try one new recipe every single week for one month. Then see how you feel!
If you're a meal planner, this is super simple because you can just add it into your rotation. But even if you're not a meal planner, you can use something like Pinterest (if you're not following me already, you should be!!), to save things you want to try.
We also have an entire library of recipes for you right here on the site! If you check out our Recipe Index, you can search, filter and organize our recipes by the type of dish you want to try, your dietary needs and even popular ingredients! You can use that filtering system we've created, or simply type a certain ingredient in the search bar to find your new recipes!
How else do you get or stay creative in the kitchen?
We'd love to hear from you in the comments! If you have any tips for tricks for keeping the excitement and inspiration alive in your own kitchen, please share. The more ideas we have the better!