Each Monday, I publish a weekly menu plan. My goal in doing so is to keep me organized and prepared but also to provide nutritious, well-balanced dinners for my family. But the pressure of having to think of fun new meals each day can be very frustrating. If your family is anything like mine, they have their favorite meals, and we often stick to them. But having the same handful of meals on rotation can become very boring very quickly. When I need some inspiration to jazz up my weekly menus, here's where I find it.
One of the quickest ways to learn about new meals and ingredients is to turn on the TV and tune into a cooking show. You’ll find lots of programs dedicated to cooking and baking. Chefs cook meals on air and take you step by step through a recipe. So next time you can’t think of anything other than mac ‘n’ cheese to cook, switch on the TV to see what goodness the chefs are cooking up.
Do you have a favorite TV chef? If you do, chances are he or she has a cookbook full of their famous recipes. Head to your local bookstore or online to pick up their latest book. Often, each recipe will tie into one of their TV shows. The best thing about having the cookbook is that you don’t have to wait for the TV show to be repeated for the recipes!
Lots of bloggers also publish their very own recipes, and many food bloggers are just as good as professional chefs! I love food blogs as a resource for finding new recipes and meal inspiration. One advantage of following food bloggers is that they are often into niche cooking, such as catering to vegan or gluten-free diets. So if you have to follow a special diet for medical reasons, you can usually find a blogger who is creating recipes that are a good fit for your lifestyle. No matter which recipe you go with, you can be sure it will be easy. The aim of food blogs is to show people just how easy cooking and baking can be!
It’s not only bloggers who are getting in on all the cooking. vloggers are as well! Many foodies have now started to make videos of their cooking and publishing them on YouTube. Unlike programs on cooking shows which are very scripted, YouTube recipe vlogs are very relaxed and casual, almost like being right there in the vloggers kitchen. They are often filmed at the YouTuber’s home for an added touch of personalization. But it isn’t just amateur cooks. Many food brands are doing it as well. One example is the Hampton Creek video channel.
Do you love visiting new restaurants during your vacation? If so, no doubt you will have experienced a lot of diverse cultures and tasted some exciting flavors on your travels. So how about bringing all these great tastes back home with you? You don’t need to fill up your suitcase with ingredients. Just remember some things you ate while away and try to recreate your favorite dishes in your very own kitchen!
So next time you can’t decide what to cook, don’t settle for a cheese sandwich.