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We all have our favorite meals. Those favorite old recipes that we know that the whole family will enjoy. Easy recipes that we can make with our eyes closed. These are the meals that we put on our meal plans for those nights when we’re too busy to cook anything complicated, or when we just can’t think of anything different. While having favorites is excellent, and it certainly makes life easier, there is a danger that we will become over-reliant on them. So many of us are guilty of eating the same few meals on rotation because we’ve gotten used to playing it safe and keeping things simple.
But this can get boring. Over time, we can stop enjoying our favorites. We certainly stop getting excited about them, and as our diet becomes too familiar, we forget how to push ourselves, how to try new things and how to be more adventurous in the kitchen.
It’s vital that we challenge our taste buds and culinary skills. That we try new things, and that we don’t get bored. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to come up with completely new ideas all of the time, or even that we need to spend hours searching for new recipes and finding new ingredients. Often, the best way to add some excitement to our diet is with fresh twists on those old family favorites.
Here are some ideas to help you.
Add New Sides
If your family is a big fan of the classic meat and two veg, that’s great. These meals are quick, filling and filled with nutrients. But they can get boring after a while. So, spice things up with new sides. Whether you are eating a piece of meat or something like a burger, the side orders make a big part of the meal. Try this sautéed cabbage recipe, and other more interesting vegetable options to spice things up a little.
Introducing meat-free Mondays is a great way to push yourself to try new recipes and ingredients. You can still enjoy burgers, pizzas and pasta dishes that you love. You just have to be a bit more creative with what you put in them. Swap beef burgers for spicy bean burgers and enjoy a vegetarian bolognese. With the Lent seasons coming up really quick, this is a good time to try out all of the difference vegetarian options for your favorite old recipes.
Add Some Spice
It’s incredible how much a pinch of chilli flakes can change a meal. Adding salt and pepper can also make a difference. Start experimenting with different herbs and spices, such as Chinese five spice and Cuban seasoning for an easy change. My go-to is always garlic salt but just adding plain old salt and pepper can make a big difference if you aren’t already doing this.
Eat More Fish
Swapping the meat in a dish for fish such as salmon or tuna is a great way to get more healthy fats and omega-three into your diet. It will also totally change the taste of a meal.
Cook from Scratch
Cooking from scratch is the best way to put your own spin on your favorite old recipes. Think of all those meals that you love, but buy ready-made or only eat out. Start cooking them from scratch and you’ve got plenty of opportunities to make changes.