Get Creative in the Kitchen!

I will admit that I fall into the cooking rut. I cook the same things because it is easy, quick and doesn’t take a lot of mental energy to continuously make things you know you like. But every so often you need to SPICE IT UP! 🙂 So here are my tips to getting your freak on…in the kitchen!

1. Avoid the temptation to fall back on the same dishes and flavors.  Even if you only know how to cook one or two things, try adding new spices and ingredients whenever possible.

2. Learn to explore new recipes. If cooking is not your strong point you can start by expanding to dishes that are prepared similarly to ones you know. If you can’t cook at all, try making more exotic salads and other raw foods. Just start playing with flavors and you will become more comfortable in the kitchen.

3. Learn to explore new ingredients. Vegetables are rarely very expensive and can be a wonderful source of inspiration for your cooking. Fresh herbs and new spices are also a great way to discover new tastes and flavor combinations.

4. Let the farmers market and the season dictate food shopping. Few things are more inspiring than a bountiful haul of ripe, farm fresh vegetables from your local farmers market. Go to the market without an agenda—just find what looks good and figure out how to cook it later.

5. Learn to talk to the farmers and ask for serving suggestions. Even if you think you know how to cook a certain food, ask the farmer you are buying from for recipe suggestions and ideas.

6. Find specific cooking recommendations on the internet. Once you’ve narrowed in on some flavors to explore, make use of the internet to find specific recipes. Google can be infinitely more useful than any number of cookbooks. Be sure to read through the recipes before choosing one. And don’t forget to read reviews if they are available!

7. Do not tie yourself to one recipe. I often find that different recipes for the same dish have different appeals to me. For example, one might have flavors I like better (or have on hand) and another might be a simpler technique. Learn to creatively combine different recipe sources to customize your dish to your taste. Once you’ve mastered your own version of the recipe you can post it as your own!

8. Search for recipe ideas that specifically combine foods you have purchased. You do not have to limit your recipe search to one ingredient or cooking method. Frequently you will find that different cultures use the same ingredients as a base to create very different flavors. Have tomato, lime, chili and cilantro? Explore dishes from Mexico, Southeast Asia, North Africa and Southern India.

9. Use restaurants for inspiration. If the idea of cooking Moroccan food is appealing in theory but you aren’t really sure how it should taste, try finding a local restaurant and ordering a few of their most traditional dishes. Restaurants are a fantastic source of flavor inspiration, and you will be surprised to find how easy it is to make ethnic cuisines that seem impossibly complicated.

10. Be creative. Creativity is absolutely essential for upgrading your health style. Getting out of your rut and learning to love cooking and eating is the critical first step. It does not matter where you start, just find foods you enjoy and get creative!

Are you creative in the kitchen?

Check out my latest Examiner article on how many caloires certain activies burn on an individual basis!

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20 Responses

  1. i totally did #4 last week & the result was flippin’ AMAZING rutabaga fries!!! great tips, kelly!

    • I know!!! I was drooling over them! I HAVE got make them ASAP for sure! Although I am not entirely sure where to find a Rutabaga in the produce section of the store….hehe!

  2. Great post! I am sort of in a rut right now and this really inspired me 🙂

  3. i love getting creative…when i get an idea for a recipe, i run with it! 98% of the time it turns out great 🙂

  4. I go through phases. Right now I’m stuck on eating the same things because i know I like em. Once I move into my new place, I can see myself cooking more and trying out new recipes!

    I love googling recipes that includes ingredients I already have on hand…and of course trying YOUR rockin’ recipes~! 🙂

  5. that was a great article! thank you so much 🙂

  6. I love trying out new recipes, but it is so easy to make something over and over again because you know it is good. I love relying on blogs to give me inspiration!

  7. Oh gosh…don’t we all fall into this? The blog has actually forced me to get more creative. And by creative, I simply mean following someone else’s recipe 😉

  8. I think I’m creative when I’m not tired, busy or lazy. Unfortunately, that’s not much of the time!

  9. I get into a rut so easily. For me, it’s the fact that I get home from work so late I need something quick. Weeknights aren’t for experimenting for me.

  10. I am not creative cuz i am always in limbo ready to move, ha. Plus I own next to nothing. I have one plate and fork…

    and on Twilight note…loved the books, only saw the first movie.
    those two are a real-life couple . i like them cuz they seem awkward ( i know that all too well).

  11. I don’t know if I’d call myself creative in the kitchen, but I definitely branch out and try new recipes all the time!

  12. I think I’m creatiive in the kitchen?!?! I at least try to be. And google is my favorite cookbook!! 🙂

  13. Great post! I have gotten way more creative since I started reading blogs and posting up my food!

  14. I never cook so I am not creative either haha. My hubs is chef so kitchen is his territory 🙂

  15. i am creative in phases. i’ll be really good and try all sorts of new stuff for awhile and then fall back on old favorites for a while. great tips! i’ll have to remember this post during a not so creative phase.

  16. I can’t wait to get into my new apartment with roomt o cook and be creative with all my own stuff. Heaven. I’ll be creative then 🙂

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