My Journey for Kitchen Inspiration
I don’t believe that every meal you make has to be 5 stars. Don’t be overwhelmed, try a few new things and implement them one at a time until you’re feeling comfortable. Here are some simple tips I’ve picked up over the years that helped me stay inspired in the kitchen.
I used to consider Oreo cookies and ramen noodles to be kitchen staples. It wasn’t until 2012 that I decided to change my diet and essentially, my lifestyle, to focus on more wholesome, real foods. For about a year, I followed a fairly strict Paleo Diet which eliminates all grains, dairy, sugar, legumes, and alcohol. During this time, I stuck mostly to simple dishes I could easily whip up in the kitchen. However, I found myself eating the same foods every day. That got boring very quickly.
I found inspiration by spending more time in the kitchen trying out different recipes every week. I also watched hours of cooking shows on television and with lots of trial and error, and in the process, became a better cook. Tackling a creative recipe didn’t intimidate me anymore. I gained the confidence I needed to start cooking all the time and I even developed many of my own recipes!
4 Tips for Staying Inspired in the Kitchen
- Try new foods. Don’t be afraid to try the local ethnic food place down the street. Write a “bucket list” of all the foods you’ve wanted to try and start “checking-in” to those restaurants you have bookmarked. That goat curry your co-worker was raving about sounds weird to you, but don’t knock it till you try it! Tasting a variety of flavors and textures will open your world up to new possibilities in the kitchen. Plus, you’ll start to learn what sorts of flavors pair well with each other!
- Spend time cooking with friends and family. Get together with friends and family to prepare and share meals with each other. Have fun in the kitchen.
- Use lots of spices and herbs. While salt and pepper are great seasonings, adding a little spice or fresh/dried herbs to a dish can really make it pop!
- Invest in a good quality knife. Skip the knife sets and just invest in 1 or 2 good quality knives. Also, learn how to take care of them as well (i.e., honing, proper storage, and sharpening). A good sharp knife should be able to cut through a tomato with ease. Though, knife handling skills often have steep learning curves (trust me, one of my thumbs may be smaller than the other), it is still a skill that will get better with practice. Once you start to get comfortable with it, you’ll be chopping onions like an iron chef. You’ll be a culinary ninja in no time.