Truth time – I don’t always like to cook.
I love making healthy meals for my family and myself, but I often run out of motivation and ideas for meals. I can get into a rut just like everyone else.
So – I’m listing my best “fun” cooking tips for you! (And also for me…because I need to remind myself of these, too!)
Fun Cooking Tip #1: Check Out New Recipes
Sometimes, just seeing the beautiful food photos and reading recipes can spark some inspiration and get your motivation going again.
Recipes can be found online or you may prefer to invest in a quality cookbook found at your favorite bookstore. Did you know there are websites where you can put in the ingredients you have and it pops out a recipe?? AMAZING! This is my favorite website for that very thing.
Super-Pro-Tip!!!….. Set a timer! Going down the recipe rabbit hole can easily burn an afternoon. Before you know it, you’ve spent a lot of time looking…with no time left for cooking!
Here are a few of my favorite cookbooks to browse:
Fun Cooking Tip #2: Make Grocery Shopping Fun and Inspiring
When planning your trip to the grocery store, try to think of things you haven’t had in a while. Think back to a time in your life that felt less hurried and stressed – is there a food or dish that you remember enjoying during that time? What about something you haven’t had since childhood? Has someone served something at a get-together that you particularly liked?
You can also browse around the store for something you’ve never had if you are feeling daring! Being adventurous can go along with way with keeping things fun in the kitchen. Buy the ingredient and then go home to find the perfect recipe to match!
Fun Cooking Tip #3: Keep It Simple!
Seriously, y’all….I can NOT stress this enough! Not every meal has to be a production.
There are those rare times when I’m inspired and feel like getting fancy, but on regular days…. I have a 4-5 ingredient limit (including spices!). The second I see the ingredient list, I already know to scroll on past depending on how long that list is!
There are a few ways to keep things simple:
- Search for recipes with fewer than X ingredients (you can decide your limit)
- Search for recipes that can be made in one pot or pan
- Search for recipes that are exclusive to crock-pot cooking (set it and forget it!)
- Buy ingredients that are ready to be used such as pre-washed greens, diced vegetables, frozen vegetables, etc
- Cookbooks with simple recipes: 5-ingredient Keto Cookbook, Trader Joe’s Cookbook
Fun Cooking Tip #4: Put on some music and have some company!
You should already have a “feel good” playlist – if you don’t…stop reading this and go make a playlist of songs that get you up and hopping! Put on that playlist when you are cooking.
If you have kids that need to learn the critical skill of cooking, or have friends that would like to come over for a visit – invite them to join you in the kitchen. Use the time to flirt with your partner or have a mock competition to see who’s better at chopping vegetables.
You could even have a party where everyone contributes one ingredient to the process. Obviously…give them the menu unless you want a Frankenstein of a meal. 🙂 But that could be fun and interesting too!
Fun Cooking Tip #5: Buy some swag
Having proper kitchen tools makes cooking so much easier and faster. When’s the last time you sharpened your knives (or just bought a new set)? Is that dull, crummy blender taking the fun out of your smoothies?
Here’s a list of my favorite kitchen things and why I like them.
- Immersion Blender – a must if you make soups. I used to have to use the regular blender then transfer liquids to a pot. Not any more! I can put everything into one put and use an immersion blender to take care of it all. Faster…AND less mess.
- Silicon Baking Mitts – my husband thought I was nuts buying these, but I couldn’t keep my oven mitts clean. Now, he loves them too and I can even use them to open jars because they are a bit “sticky.”
- Instant Pot – OMG…if you don’t have an Instant Pot…you are missing out! I steam my eggs (poached) in my IP each week, we can do ribs in less than 45 minutes (no grilling for hours), frozen salmon in less than 5 minutes! The link shows the exact one I have, but there are bigger ones and ones with more technology as well. Of course, be sure to read all the safety info….it is a pressure cooker after all!
- Air Fryer – We’ve had 2 air fryers. Our first one worked just fine but wasn’t big enough. Last year, we upgraded to the one in the link. We use the air fryer at least 3-4 times per week cooking fries and tots, wings, and steak (surprisingly good!). I’ve even cooked a whole chicken in the air fryer with great results. I really want to try scallops in it, but haven’t had a chance.
- Ulu Knife – I use my Ulu Knife to chop veggies, chicken, and even to slice pizza. This is not the one I have, as my husband bought mine as a gift from a local knife shop. But, I do have the bowl that comes with it and love it for chopping veggies. It’s great for cabbage for my tacos!
- Small Ninja Blender – I am NOT a big fan of traditional blenders. I’ve just not found one that can withstand ice cubes and frozen vegetables for smoothies. But, I bought this little guy years ago and still use it a ton. It’s a small blender that is super easy to wash. I use it to shred chicken, vegetables, and even put burger in it when I want the burger small so it lays flat inside my lasagna.
- Spiralizer – This is not the one I have. Mine is almost 10 years old and I’m not even sure of the brand. But, they all look similar and work the same way. Zoodles anyone?? My favorite is to use this to make sweet potato ribbons that are baked and then I put them on super-spicy chili.
We don’t get too crazy around our house – but the items above are a few that we’ve found very useful and fun to use. Not to mention time-saving…like the IP and the air fryer. We’ve also switched to silicon utensils (spatulas, etc).
You know that cooking is key to healthy eating. But, yes, it does get boring at times.
Try one, or all, of my fun cooking tips to inspire you to get back into your kitchen and cook yourself some great dishes. Your body and mind will thank you!
Check out this recipe!
¼ cup almond milk, unsweetened
1 tsp olive oil, extra virgin
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 handful baby spinach
1 small zucchini, sliced into thin coins
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
1 dash herbs and spice to taste (parsley, sage, paprika, turmeric, etc.)
1 dash salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375F.
Whisk together eggs and almond milk.
Heat an ovenproof skillet (e.g. cast iron) on the stove with the olive oil.
To the hot skillet add garlic, spinach, and zucchini. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the spinach wilts and the zucchini starts to soften.
Add the tomatoes, herbs, spices, salt, and pepper.
Pour in the eggs.
Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, until eggs are set.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Feel free to substitute your veggies and use what you have on-hand. Try diced pepper instead of tomatoes, or chopped kale instead of spinach. Have fun with this!
*What’s with all the links??…. Easy! I’ve done a ton of research so you don’t have to. I take what I use and know, mixed with other research, to provide you with products and services I feel are quality and could be of use to you. I do make a small percentage from the sale of these products – but it costs you nothing extra to purchase them. Please know that I’d never push a product I don’t believe in. I value your trust in me more than I value making $0.75 from the sale of a product! Always read reviews and do your own research before purchasing products and services.