5 Ways to Find New Meal Inspiration!
Jamie Staley, CPT, Pn1
Do you ever feel like you are eating the same meals over and over again?
I think we all have at one point or another!
So what can you do? Aside from hiring a personal chef (what a dream), here are five ways to find new inspiration and get excited about answering the question of what’s for dinner!
#1: Consult Pinterest
There’s a reason this is my top suggestion. Pinterest has recipes for every occasion, taste, dietary restriction, picky eater, holiday, and situation you can possibly think of.
Create a food board and break it up into sub-sections so it’s easy to refer back. Mine are: lunch/meal prep, sauces/dressings/marinades, breakfast, soup/crockpot, dinners + sides, snacks/dips/apps, sweets, and info (charts, infographics, etc.).
You could also make sub-sections for each holiday, one for kids meals, weeknight dinners, etc. Make them your own!
#2: Copy your favorite restaurant
Look over the menus of your favorite restaurants and choose some dishes to recreate at home! It may not taste exactly the same, but you can gather some fresh ideas and modify them to your liking. Also, by creating these dishes at home, you are more than likely going to have a better portion size and can make some healthy swaps.
This can work especially well with salads, as most of the ingredients are listed on the menu (usually) and they are easy to copy at home.
#3: Consider a meal delivery service (for a short time)
After I had my daughter, my husband and I used Home Chef for about two months and it was magical.
The best part about it is long after you have stopped using them, you still have all the recipe cards that come with your meals with measurements and instructions. We also discovered that we still had access to their recipe index online and printed new ones to try!
#4: Host a recipe exchange
If you’re looking for a fun night with friends, host a gathering where everyone makes one of their favorite recipes (you can pick a category or leave it open to anything). This is a fun excuse to get people together and you may pick up a new favorite recipe or two. Bonus points if those friends bring printed copies of the recipes to share!
No time for this type of thing? Make a post on Facebook or Instagram and ask your friends to leave a favorite recipe in the comments section. You would be surprised by how many you can get!
#5: Magazines, cooking shows and websites
Don’t forget about the ways of our ancestors with the printed word. Next time you are in a long line at the grocery store or waiting at the doctor’s office, pick up a magazine and browse!
Cooking shows can be a bit tricky if you are in a cut or trying to cut down on the fat or sugar, but some shows can give you inspiration for healthy eats! If you don’t think you can stomach watching someone making delicious dishes that don’t fit your current goals, you can always look at the website for that show to see if they have a recipe index.
Some places have a giant recipe indexes that might surprise you! One of them is Aldi’s recipe index right on their website organized by category using Aldi ingredients (click here to view).
Here are some of my favorite resources to get you started: