You were going so well. You were super creative all summer with your deliciously fresh salads bursting full of a huge range of nutritious goodness. Cooking and eating all the colours of the rainbow was fun, delicious and effortless. Then the colder weather came along and with it you lost your joy for eating your cold, quickly assembled, mega nourishing summer foods. And all of a sudden you find yourself trapped in a rut of putting together and consuming the same old, boring dishes. Day to day. Week to week. All over again. Your life is crazily busy and you do not feel you have enough energy nor time to get creative in the kitchen and whip up an array of different and exciting meals that can replace all your delicious, breezy summery fun. Also, there seems less fresh and enticing foods available and thus it is all too easy to fall into the trap of sticking to the same old, quick, but if you are honest incredibly boring eats.
I hear you. I totally feel your culinary pain. Let me share with you 5 tips on how you too can painlessly break free from such food dullness and instead ignite your passion for nourishing yourself with some insanely fabu-licious new winter goodness.
- Spice things up and add herbs to your delicious cooking game
This will have to be the easiest, least time intensive way of changing your nutritious life. By simply adding some fun and exotic spices to your dull everyday meal, you are bringing a whole new culinary world to almost the same plate in similar time time and barely extra added costs or efforts. Your typical, somewhat life-less pasta dish can all of sudden get a whole new exciting, tasty make-over, simply by having put some delicious spices in. The same is true for your morning porridge which with some cinnamon, pure vanilla or cacao powder has just received its most effective, cheapest taste-lift ever. As for your quick soups, roasts and casseroles: what about mixing things up by throwing some flavoursome herbs into your food equation? You will be surprised by what a game-changer incorporating some fresh basil, rosemary, thyme or parsley into your monotonous meal can be!!!
- Re-invent the same old good
I get it. When you are coming home with an empty stomach and are feeling pretty exhausted after another crazy day in your busy life, the least thing you feel like is being creative and coming up with some new, exciting meal ideas. The good news is: you don’t have to. Resuscitating the same old good can simply mean making ONE single re-inventive change about your beloved usual dish. You might want to go herbal and exchange your tomato-based sauce with an originatively green sauce. Or, you are elevating your menu by adding some chick-peas, other kind of beans, nuts, seeds or your favourite canned fish to it. If you are guilty of falling for a particular, all too convenient frozen vegetable all the time such as spinach or peas, it is time to snap out of it and go on explorer mode in the freezer section. You will be surprised by the vast array of ice-bound vegetables you can find there. Truly, defrosting kale, broccoli or beans is just as user-friendly. And while we are at it and totally committed to taking ONE single leap of change one meal at a time: Oats can make room for buckwheat, your usual whole-wheat toast for spelt-flour bread, nut-butter for avocado and vice versa, pasta for quinoa, millet, or barely, chicken for legumes…the options are easy and endless. No deeply creative mindset required. At all.
- Become a dedicated swapper
Along very similar – yet different lines: make it your healthful, innovative habit to swap 1 main ingredient within one food group with another within that same food group. That is exchange your normal pasta with rice, zucchini or sweet potato pasta. Dairy yoghourt with Coyo or another plant-based substitute or some kind of nut-milk. Your usual cheddar cheese with an exciting variety that comes from a goat or sheep. Red meat with white meat with fish with tofu. Kidney beans with black beans with cannellini beans with chickpeas with lentils. White cabbage with red cabbage, with green cabbage, with broccoli with broccolini, with cauliflower, with brussels sprouts with bok choy with kale with garden cress and so on. The only limit of your new, all too easy swapped creation of your old beloved dish is YOU. Substituting foods in this way does not only relieve boredom, it also equips you with a rich variety of wholesome goodness in the form of lots of different minerals, vitamins, anti-oxidants and other phyto-nutrients that have enormous health-promoting-and beautifying super-powers. Vibrant radiance is not only reserved to those happy summer months, you can just as easily nurture your gorgeous self with all those colours of the rainbow right through the cold season, interchanging one ingredient within your wintery, warm comfort zone at a time.
- Accept the 1-new-food-per-week-challenge
If you are serious about being fed with your tedious, uninteresting mouthfuls and are ready for change, I call upon you to say yes to this challenge which is not only fun but will also open your food horizon in breaking new ways. Not to speak of the added health benefit widening your knowledge around foods will bring. As you are probably very well aware of: every nutriment has different healthful superpowers. Therefore, the more you mix up and broaden the scope of your larder, the better for your dazzling health. So, here are the rules: Every week buy, cook with something new or add to your innovative menu, you have never tried before. I am 100 percent positive that there is still a large amount of vegetables out there you have never seen before, don’t know how to spell not to talk of having ever handled in your god-zone of kitchen. The same is probably true for various new kinds of wholesome carbohydrates. Have you ever tried cooking up a storm with Teff, Sorghum, Kamut, Taro flour, Amaranth or Bulgur? Have you yet mixed your cooking up by adding nutritional yeast extract, spirulina, chlorella, maca powder, or protein collagen? Are you ready to take a leap of culinary faith and deepen your fruit knowledge one exotic harvest at a time? It might be high time to go on a seriously nourishing, equally exciting, food-expansion journey and surprise your family with one innovatory food every week.
- If everything else fails, change at least your method
If none of the above tips work for you and you find yourself in the same monotonous taste rut yet again, here is my last, not quite as nutritious resort: start giving your menus a delicious overhaul by changing the way you prepare your meals. That is if you usually fry your food, make it as a casserole in the oven. Or if you have a soft spot for boiling your eatery, give sautéing a fair go. Instead of steaming your potatoes, bake them. If you are a self-declared toast addict, eat your bread uncooked or consider roasting it in the oven. Warm up the foods you usually consume fresh and leave some of those you always cook to its crispy raw-some-ness. Bliz your bites that you used to eat in sturdy pieces and go full texture on chunky slices with staples the former you would mash. Installing some fresh love into your all too well-known meals by simply modifying your cooking methods, has the advantage of no extra costs involved at all. This way of re-invigorating your taste buds plays it also very safe as far as your beloved food combinations or some very picky eaters in the family are concerned. Once you totally own this way of home-cooked re-invention, I would really like to invite you to take things from this first empowering and fabu-licious step in your inventive meal face-lift to next level by introducing more variety to your same old good and thus upping your nutritious profile.
Yes, breaking free from your monotonous winter food rut can be just as simple as that. So, there are no excuses really not to be cooking up deliciously vibrant dishes in all the colours of the rainbow in various ways: by swapping your ingredients, exchanging foods within your range of macros, exploring eats you did not know they even existed, spicing things up, adding herbs or simply changing your cooking mode. Awww, I don’t know about you, but my passion for surprising my crew and myself with some real originate, yet comfortably familiar recipes has just been re-ignited. Don’t you love it that keeping your menus exciting, varied and wholesome is not only easy but can also be so much fun all year through???!!! Let’s do it and bring some mind-blowingly thrilling tastes to the wintery table!!! Are you in?