We all know that cooking at home is better for both our physical and fiscal health. And yet, so many struggle to make it happen. I get it, when you get home after a long day, you just want to sit down, relax, and have the food come to you.
But if you’re going to have any chance of breaking the “grab and go/ delivery” habit, you’re gonna have to get excited about eating in. Here are four suggestions to get you started.
1. Pin It.
If looking at pictures of food on Pinterest doesn’t make you salivate with anticipation, I don’t know what will. Pinterest is like an on demand, customizable cookbook. And it’s completely FREE. Just search for your favorite food or dish and find thousands of ways to prepare it.
If you don’t know where to start, search “recipes” and favorite or re-pin whatever jumps out at you. (Uh oh, I was just doing this myself and found a copycat recipe of Auntie Anne’s Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites, yummmm).
Pinterest is also a great resource for figuring out what to do with that one ingredient that’s starting to go bad in your fridge. Just search “____ recipes” (for me, it’s mushrooms) and go from “Ugh, I have to use these before they go bad” to “Woohoo, I can’t WAIT to use these __(mushrooms)”.
2. Try Some Add Ins.
Spice up your basic, go-to dishes with some unexpected add-ins. Not the same old, same old grilled chicken to top off your bed of rice– get creative! I’m a fan of lentils and fresh spices in my salad, shredded zucchini or spaghetti squash mixed into my pasta, and avocado and spinach in my grilled cheeses. That last one might sound gross, but it’s actually incredible and adds a lot of nutritional punch to an otherwise bland meal. Ps. Guess where I got the idea? Pinterest!
3. Make Your Own Sauce.
I’ve come to find that sauces and dressings can make or break a dish. One of the reasons food tastes so good at restaurants is because (most of the time) they make their own sauces.
The great thing about sauces is you can make a bunch when you’ve got the time and energy, then store them in the fridge to use whenever you want. Next time you get home at the end of the day and you’re too pooped to cook, you can just grab some lettuce and your jar of homemade dressing; or cook some noodles to top off with your homemade pesto; or heat up some tortillas topped with beans and cheese to smother with homemade enchilada sauce. You’ll be amazed at what a difference the homemade sauce makes.
4. Make It an Event.
Find a way to make dinner time something you look forward to- not just the eating part, but the prep time too. You can make it an activity by inviting your spouse, your children, your roommates, whomever to join you. You can make it social by having friends over for a potluck or a meal you can all make together (Make your own quesadilla party? Topped with your homemade guacamole of course). You can make it fun by putting on some music and pouring yourself a glass of wine to sip as you go. If you have an open floor plan or a TV in the kitchen, you can prep dinner as you watch your favorite show.
There are so many ways to bring joy and excitement into the kitchen. Once you find a strategy that works for you, I guarantee you’ll find yourself eating in a lot more often. (And your wallet and waistline are sure to thank you.)
How do you get excited about eating in? Have you found a favourite recipe on Pinterest? Please share!