I may be all about cooking, but I rarely try new recipes.
Maybe it sounds silly, but if it’s a busy week, who wants to spend time on something you might like?
Yet making the same thing over and over again can get boring fast.
So here’s my lazy version of changing up your menu:
When you want to sass things up, make one of these small tweaks to your trusted dishes and they’ll taste exciting and awesome again.
5 Ways to Switch Up Your Home-Cooked Meals Without Finding a New Recipe
1. Change the oil.
Using that trusty extra virgin olive oil for just about everything? Try macadamia oil or coconut oil for soups (make sure you buy “unrefined”) and roasted veggies.
Swap coconut oil for olive oil in this roasted butternut squash soup and you won’t be sorry – it’s an entirely new taste.
Or toss one head of cauliflower cut into bite-sized pieces with 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and roast in a baking dish at 400 for about 20 minutes. Ridiculously good.
And the Salad Dressing Formula? It’s amazing with hazelnut or walnut oil in place of olive oil.
2. Change the acid.
What the heck is “acid”? Things that are sour like vinegar or citrus that help “brighten up” a dish or sauce.
For a dressing, use lime juice instead of vinegar (it’s really good with hazelnut oil!). Or swap red wine vinegar with sherry or champagne vinegar.
3. Change the aromatic.
Many basic recipes, like soups, stir-fries, or even sauces, start with an aromatic vegetable like garlic or onions. When I get bored I switch these up — saute shallots or ginger instead of onions in a soup.
Or try leeks — they are in the same family as onions but have a gentler flavor (AND they naturally help you de-bloat so hang on to those after Thanksgiving!).
You can saute leeks (like this) before adding more veggies to a frittata or just cook them until soft and enjoy on top of quinoa or a fried egg – they taste like candy!
4. Try a new herb.
I don’t know what it is about fresh herbs, but they really transform a dish from “eh” to “special”. If I have guests and serve them something as plain as a piece of toast but sprinkle fresh parsley on it, it gets “oohs” and “aahs”. I guess it just shows you’ve taken extra care.
So tell yourself you’re special by fancying up your next dish with a fresh herb. Eggs with chives, tarragon with roasted or rotisserie chicken, dill or cilantro with fish? Give it a shot.
5. Change your nuts!
A salad without a little crunch is kinda lame. So is a hearty oatmeal or stir-fry. Toasted seeds or nuts gives you a play on textures and makes the dish much more satisfying.
There are so many nuts out there — try a new one!
Toasted almonds or hazelnuts are my staples, so lately I’ve been adding sunflower seeds to my salads and oatmeal and they’re great!
So get crazy and pick up a new oil, aromatic, or herb to sass up your cooking repertoire!
Upcoming Event: Free Webinar
Speaking of de-bloating, I’m hosting a free webinar “A Detox for People Who Like Food”, on Tuesday, November 19th with integrative nutritionist and detox expert, Jessica Drummon. Click here to get on the list and join us.
Have you tried something new in your cooking routine recently? Share it in the comments below!