At first it was the start of a beautiful romance. Banana loaves, sourdough bread and whipped coffee were just some of the things we gleefully started to reinvent in our kitchens, cooking inspiration at its peak, but as months turned to a year and beyond, the newlywed phase waned and cooking fatigue set it.
While most US states are reopened for business, many of you continue to cook from home for health and precautionary reasons, but for some, cooking fatigue has settled in.
If you can relate, here are 5 hacks to beat cooking fatigue.
1. Take a cooking vacation
Sometimes, we all just need a little break. In lieu of a vacation, take a break from your kitchen for a week and let someone else make dinner instead. Just like you discover new favorite dishes on a vacation, by using a meal planning service, you might discover some new dishes and flavors that you can replicate in your kitchen to help you bust out of a cooking rut once your well-earned reprieve is over.
2. Forget complete meals, create meal components instead
Instead of always preparing a full recipe, create parts of meals instead. Creating parts of meals will also allow for easy mixing and matching throughout the week. When you’re ready to eat, simply assemble a meal in mere minutes and you won’t have to spend time each day making meals. Think of this as a “choose your own adventure” style of meal prep.
First, choose your protein (chicken, fish, plant-based), then your veggies (roasted, steamed or fresh) and choose a grain or a side, like quinoa, rice or potatoes.
Block out 60 minutes on a Sunday to batch cook items for the week ahead and then mix and match throughout the week with a couple of your favorite sauces. This is also a great way to get into the groove of meal planning and make weeknight meal preparation quick and easy.
3. Get the family on board
Make meal planning a family affair. Oftentimes you’ll find that kids are super creative coming up with dinner themes or searching for new recipes. Younger children can rinse veggies, knead pizza dough, or top pizza and older ones can measure ingredients, peel or slice veggies and be the go between to the organic waste bin. Not to mention, kids of all ages can set and clear the table. Getting them involved will help to train children young about health, habits and responsibility.
4. Make one night designated take-out night
Choose one night as a designated night to order in and give you a break while also helping to support local businesses impacted by the pandemic.
5. Have a virtual dinner with friends
One of the things that has impacted many people during the pandemic is a loss of connection. A virtual dinner date with your friends is a great way to reconnect over food. One friend can share her salad recipe, one can share a main and one can share a dessert. Make each other’s recipe and nosh together on Zoom!
Meal prep was always a challenge but it’s been compounded with full-time work-from-home schedules, cooking fatigue and more. Beat cooking fatigue with the following videos and articles with genius meal-prep tips that’ll reinvigorate your home cooking: