Let’s be honest—we all get in dinner ruts sometimes.
We swing through a drive thru, pick something up on the way home, or opt to eat out. There are plenty of valid reasons. “I didn’t have time to go to the grocery store.” “I’m not good at cooking.” And, one I’m frequently guilty of, “I don’t want to eat any of the food already in my pantry.”
It happens. So where do you look when you’re in desperate need of some food inspiration? Here are a few places that will help.
Pinterest – I can always count on Pinterest for recipe ideas. Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Pinterest is always a good place to start. I have a Pin Board for easy weeknight dinners, which I like to scroll through whenever I’m in a dinner rut. Pin anything online that looks like it might be a good dinner option. Keep in mind that you can easily tweak recipes to fit your preferences.
Magazines – I love flipping through magazines with large, delicious photos. Most magazines test their recipes, so there’s less of a chance that they’ll fail on you. There is nothing worse than buying all the ingredients to make a recipe and then feeling like it was all wasted. Magazines also typically feature seasonal ingredients, which is a great way to switch up the recipes you keep on repeat.
Televisions shows – There are plenty of food-related shows on television these days that show you how to make tasty and simple recipes in your own kitchen. You don’t have to be fancy or a professional chef. You can use store-bought items as shortcuts, or go the completely from-scratch route. You can make meals in advance or store them in the freezer for future use. Whether it’s Ree Drummond, Rachel Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, or Ina Garten, one of the shows out there is bound to inspire you to get back in the kitchen.
Blogs – Personally, I am obsessed with food blogs. I subscribe to so many and scroll through all of the posts a couple times a week. What I like about food blogs is the personal element. Many bloggers are just regular people. They have jobs, families, and crazy schedules just like we do. If the recipes work for them, maybe they’ll work for you! Some of my favorites for dinner recipes are Gimme Some Oven, Real Food by Dad, Chelsea’s Messy Apron, and Damn Delicious.
Restaurants – There are tons of copycat recipes online these days. Many people go out to eat because it’s convenient and doesn’t require much effort. If you order something at a restaurant and then dream about how wonderful it was, or you find yourself craving meals from specific restaurants, try recreating your own version at home. You might be able to find a copycat online, or maybe something similar. Check Pinterest, or even sites like copykat.com.
Meal planning – If you find yourself wanting to cook at home, but have a hard time planning out what to buy and how much to spend, meal planning is for you. Meal planning and meal delivery companies, such as eMeals and Blue Apron, exist to help you with this process. Some will give you recipes and a shopping list, and some will actually deliver food to your front door. If you don’t want to pay for a service, you can just keep track of it yourself. Buy a meal planning notebook or download an app, and plan out what you want to make each week. Don’t forget to shop your pantry before shopping at the grocery store!
If you have been a victim of recipe ruts, how do you find foodspiration?