One of my worst habits, according to old roommates, is the fact that I overplay songs that I like. Seriously, Maroon 5’s ‘Never Gonna Leave This Bed‘ was on repeat in my apartment from 2011 to 2012. Sorry Justin. Unfortunately, this habit extends to food as well. As soon as I find a meal I enjoy, I make it over and over and over again, until I eventually fall into a food rut.
I talked about my food ruts in a WIAW post a couple months ago, but I basically just shared some new and interesting foods I’d been eating while on holiday at the time. Not surprisingly, as soon as I got back to Waterloo after that week in Toronto, I was back to my old meals. So today, I wanted to share some tips I think will help me avoid food ruts, or at least get over them without going on vacation.
1. Hit up a restaurant
Like I mentioned above, restaurants are great for trying new things without having to do all the thinking, cooking and planning yourself. Go to your favourite restaurant, or a totally new and random one, and order something you’ve never had before. Everything from the appetizer to the dessert, to the wine you choose, should completely new to you. It’s a great way to find new things that you’d have probably never been exposed to otherwise. Sure, you may end up absolutely hating something, but the potential for new and amazing discoveries is extremely high.
2. Try a new veggie or fruit
I did this a couple of years ago with beets and brussels sprouts. I’d never had either before and one day at the grocery I just decided to pick some up. I wasn’t exactly sure what to do with them, but once I got home, I found recipes online and discovered that I actually really enjoy both. My love of beets even resulted in this Beet & Walnut Red Velvet Loaf. If that isn’t getting out of a food rut, I don’t know what is.
3. Do a grocery list overhaul
Similar to trying new veggies and fruits, you should definitely try to keep your grocery list as fresh as possible. And by fresh I don’t mean mostly unprocessed foods, although that’s always great. What I mean is, you should continuously switch the things you get when you go to the grocery. For example, if I buy chicken this week, next week I’ll mix it up with turkey or fish or just skip the meat altogether and have a vegetarian week. Once you have different ingredients, it’s impossible to make the same things over and over every week i.e. no food rut.
4. Open a cookbook
I have an entire shelf of cookbooks and I don’t use them nearly enough. But, when I’m in desperate need of inspiration I turn to them because they’re great places to find new and exciting dishes. It’s even better when you have a variety of different themes to your cookbooks. For example, I have one filled with Caribbean dishes, another of Canadian favourites and a few others. Just grab one, open if up to a random page, pick up the ingredients you’ll need and get to work. And if you don’t have any cookbooks, open up Pinterest and get to searching.
5. Do a food swap
Food swaps are something I first heard about through the blogging world. Basically, you’re paired up with someone else and you have to send them a box filled with different foods and goodies you think they’ll enjoy. It’s great in theory, but I’ve never actually participated in one because I live all the way in Canada, and shipping food to and from the US would probs be a bitch. But, if you don’t want to get all hardcore about it, just do one with your friends. Most of the food swaps I’ve seen are centred around snack items and ingredients, but you can definitely swap actual cooked meals since you won’t be shipping anything.
What about you?
- What’s your worst food related habit?
- Do you fall into food ruts often?
- Any more tips for avoiding or getting out of food ruts?
Share in the comments below!
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