Most people eat at least three times a day. And if you’re making food at home, that’s a lot of cooking.
With work and kids and all the commitments we have, sometimes cooking can become a chore. Something to merely get through.
But it’s actually pretty cool to be able to turn simple ingredients into entire meals that nourish your body and soul.
So whether you’re a fan of cooking or not, here are some ideas for helping you rediscover the joy of cooking.
Mindfulness helps us focus on the little things in life. The sound of garlic sizzling in the pan, the smell of freshly picked herbs, the crispness of chopping through celery (it’s so therapeutic). Appreciating the entire cooking process can really bring you into the present moment instead of worrying about the future or dwelling on the past.
Check out more about mindfulness on our post: Mindful or mind full?
Make it fun!
Turn on your favorite playlist, listen to a podcast or call a friend to chat while you’re working in the kitchen.
And remember, your mindset makes a big difference. If you go into cooking with the mindset that you dislike it, can’t do it and just want to get through it, it’s probably not going to be a fun experience.
Instead, give yourself some time so you don’t have to rush through it. Then you can simply enjoy the process of preparing food to nourish your body and taste buds.
P.s. Always wash your hands after handling pets 😉
Turn your kitchen into a room you enjoy being in
Make your kitchen an enjoyable space to be in. Fix the hard-to-open drawer, reorganize your cabinets so they make cooking just a little bit easier. Add in some pretty dish towels and clear off the countertops.
You’d be amazed at how even a small kitchen can feel larger when the countertops are clear and uncluttered.
Maybe you can’t have your dream kitchen yet, but even new dish towels can freshen up the space.
Get the right tools for the job
Quality kitchen tools streamline everything. Dull knives, warped plastic cutting boards and sticky pans can bake some extra frustration into the cooking process.
You’ll be amazed at how a sharp knife and a quality cutting board can make chopping easier. Or how a quality pan can streamline meals by cooking everything evenly.
Here are a few of our kitchen essentials (affiliate):
- Sharpen that knife
- A cutting board that doesn’t slide around
- A pan that heats evenly like a cast-iron skillet or All-Clad.
- Though not totally necessary, a silicone baking mat can streamline the baking clean-up process.
Make it a family affair
There’s no reason you have to be in the kitchen alone. Get the whole family involved! Cooking connects kids to what they eat and can help them be more open to trying new foods.
Make it an event and give each person age-appropriate jobs and their own space to work in.
Washing lettuce (especially using the entertaining salad spinner), breaking green beans, stirring batter and separating chickpea skins are all great jobs for little ones.
Older kids can peel vegetables and maybe even help with chopping.
Most of us can agree that the hardest part of cooking is figuring out what to make in the first place.
Planning ahead gives you all the right ingredients for a meal you’ve already picked out, and it saves time because you’re not trying to figure out what to make and cook it at the same time.
Now all that’s left to do is put on some music, pour yourself a drink and get cooking.
If you need a little help figuring out what to make, check out our post on building a balanced meal.
Grab a beverage
Make something you love
Make your favorite meal! Cooking and eating is not just about health, it’s also about enjoyment and connection.
And making something you know everyone will eat also helps. Pick a family favorite and enjoy!
Try something new
Maybe you’re bored with your meals. Or you just can’t stand the idea of cooking another chicken breast.
Try something new! Try recreating a favorite restaurant dish or challenge yourself and make pasta, sushi or bread from scratch.
Cooking isn’t brain surgery. If something doesn’t turn out, it’s okay, just try again next time. You’ll learn from your mistakes - and sometimes those mistakes can turn out really good!
There’s no need to put more pressure on yourself. Especially if you don’t know your way around the kitchen. Pasta will boil over, potatoes will burn, things will take longer to cook. It’s all okay - you’re not being judged on Top Chef...
Just choose a simple recipe and learn to enjoy the process, even you fumble through it.