No matter how good they taste, eating the same foods over and over can get tiring, not to mention that a healthy, balanced diet demands variation. Do you pack the same ol' lunches for work or cook up the same time-saving meals for dinner? Besides the utter bore of it all, food is meant to be enjoyed! If you need some ideas to shake things up in your world of meals, consider some of the following tips to help you get inspired. You’re guaranteed to find new foods and recipes...and have fun in the process!
Make a Few Updates to Your Usual Recipes
For example, if you typically serve traditional meatloaf, consider a redo. Use lentils and rice instead of the usual ground beef. Many recipes offer ingredient swaps. Think vegan and vegetarian recipes, as well as what's seasonal for your region.
Travel Around the World
Consider adding to your recipe repertoire by picking a country or region and assigning it to a few of your meals in the upcoming week. For example, on Sunday night proclaim the following week to be “Italian Week” and make an Italian-inspired dish two nights (or more) that week. Don’t feel like you need to make something completely out of your comfort or skill level, but get inspired by the ingredients, spices and flavors from that specific part of the world.
Walk Down a New Aisle or Try a New Veggie
Next time you head to the grocery store, make sure you have some time to shop a little longer than usual. Then, check out some of the aisles that you don’t normally stroll down. If you see something that looks interesting, buy it. Or pick up a new vegetable or two to experiment with. When you’re home, do a recipe search of the ingredient. You’re bound to find something a little out-of-the-ordinary that sounds delicious!
Get Down to the Farm… Or At Least a Farmers Market
There is always something new and different to discover at a farmers market. Usually vendors at the farmers markets have great recipes, or at least suggestions, to pass along. To find a farmers market near you, check out Local Harvest where you can search your zip code.
Check Out Some Food Magazines
Head to the library and thumb through some cooking and food-related magazines. If you find one you really like, consider purchasing a subscription. Before spending the money on a subscription though, try out a few of the recipes to ensure they’re right up your alley. You might also consider checking out some cookbooks from the library for a new set of recipes to try.
Swap typical dessert sweets like cookies and cakes for healthier options like fruit. For a fun idea, toss some grapes in the freezer for a few hours. Grab them when you’re ready for a chilly, delicious, healthy dessert. Fruit is full of fiber, tastes great and won’t load you down with added fats.