For Cook Something Bold Day: Signs You’re In A Food Rut
It’s Cook Something Bold Day! If you already feel like an imposter when you simply hear about the holiday, then you are probably in a bit of a cooking slump. It happens to all of us. You learn what works for you—you know what you can consistently make well and what you can tolerate eating over and over again. But shouldn’t you more than simply tolerate your meals? Shouldn’t you love your meals? Food is one of the wonderful parts of life. It’s so simple and yet it’s so enjoyable. There are so many incredible ingredients, cuisines, and recipes to explore. Do you really want to leave this earth having eaten one-pan chicken and casseroles most days of your life? That’s sad. But I get it: you rush through the grocery store and grab the things you know you can find easily. Here are signs you’re in a cooking rut and how to break out of it.
Your friends can guess what you’re eating
Your friends can guess, before you tell them or open your Tupperware, what you’re about to eat. And they’re always right, or very near right. On the rare occasion you bring something different everybody says something about it—it’s that rare.
Make a date with the grocery store
Stop treating grocery shopping like some annoyance that you have to get out of the way. Treat grocery shopping as “me time.” You can just take a leisurely stroll down the aisles, exploring lesser-known corners, and even trying samples from the sample lady. Flip the way you think about grocery shopping. It’s not a task; it’s an adventure.
The store emails you spot-on coupons
The grocery store emails you coupons that are creepily spot-on. Your shopping habits are so predictable that they can advertise to you too well.
Visit a specialty store
Give your regular store a break. Visit a specialty store. Go to that street in your city with all of those Indian markets. Visit the Japanese grocery store. Patronize that cute Swedish restaurant and shop that opened up.
You only use salt and pepper
You have no idea what to do with any other seasoning. You wouldn’t know where to begin with herbs and spices.
Keep the cooking channel on
Keep the cooking channel on in the background. Simply having it on for a long time, even if you can’t completely focus on it, will allow culinary ideas to sneak into your subconscious. It’s like immersing yourself in a room with people who speak another language: you just pick up certain things.
The takeout/delivery people know your name
Not only do the takeout/delivery people know your name and order, but they’ve also started to worry about you. You’ve noticed them prying into your life, asking if everything is okay…
Make more time to cook
Cooking can be incredibly therapeutic. It’s nice to do something with your hands, and follow a simple recipe that creates something tasty. Maybe spend less time on social media and more time doing prep work in the kitchen.
Friends assume you won’t try new things
Before a friend invites you to the Ethiopian meal she’s cooking, she starts with, “I know you kind of only like certain foods but…” Oh no! People think you’re close-minded due to your limited diet.
Create a menu
Don’t let the week get away from you and put zero thought into what you’ll eat until you’re starving. Create a menu each week. Get inspiration from the cooking channel or that one foodie Instagram page you follow. Create a menu you’ll be excited to cook.
You never focus on your food
You inhale your food. You’ve started to black out the experience of eating. You can’t really remember the flavor or texture of what you ate because you’re so bored with your meals you just focus on something else while you consume them.
Grab a foodie buddy
Get a foodie buddy and commit to getting together once a week and creating a new, interesting recipe. Doing it with a friend always makes a challenge fun.
Your fridge looks the same each week
The weeks are beginning to blend together. You have a memory of standing in front of your open fridge, seeing the low fat yogurt in the door, the grapes on the shelf, and the chicken patties in the freezer but…was that today or…yesterday or…every day?!
Turn off auto-delivery
Setting up auto-delivery on groceries can be a time saver but it won’t do you any good if you’re in a food rut. Force yourself to go to the store and see what’s new. Don’t hide behind your auto-delivery list.
You hate the foods you once loved
You officially can’t stand the foods you once called your favorites. You gag a little when you see them. Well, distance makes the heart grow fonder so get away from those foods!
Swap shopping lists
Swap shopping lists with a friend who eats a vastly different diet than you do. You make your list, she makes hers, you switch, and go off to shop/cook/eat what the other normally would.