7 Tips For When You Just Don’t Know What To Cook

What to do when you just don’t know what to cook? Or you just can’t get yourself motivated to cook something and everything just seems kinda boring? Here are 7 tips for when you just don’t know what to cook and need some inspiration and motivation!

What to do when you don’t know what to cook

Tip 1: Check your fridge, freezer and pantry

Checking what you have in your fridge, freezer and pantry is a good starting point when you don’t know what to cook. When I feel unmotivated, I like to check what vegetables or other food items I have that I really need to use up. Then I come up with a recipe around that.

This is also a great way to reduce waste and avoid throwing out food because it’s spoiled.

Tip 2: Look at a seasonal calendar

What is a seasonal calendar? A seasonal calendar shows you for each month of the year, which fruits and vegetables are currently in season. In season means a crop can be grown and harvested locally, usually open land (without heated greenhouses).

If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and you keep cooking the same things over and over again, seasonal calendars can be a great help! Find one for the current month and pick a new fruit or vegetable that you haven’t tried.

This is a great way to try out new things and also enjoy local, seasonal produce which tends to be cheaper and doesn’t have to be shipped around the globe.

Tip 3: Think of your favorite restaurant

Think back to the last time you went to a really good restaurant and had a really good meal. Why don’t you try to recreate that dish? I personally love going to restaurants and looking at the menu because it gives me so many ideas what I could cook!

Tip 4: Think back to your last vacation or your favorite travel destination

We often attach so many memories to food – especially when we travel. Trying out local dishes and new restaurants is one of the things I enjoy most about traveling.

Think back to your favorite vacation and then think about a meal that you enjoyed on that trip. Or maybe, you have a travel destination on your bucket list and want to cook something that you are looking forward to. It can also be a great way to escape the stress of everyday life.

Tip 5: Try out a new cuisine

Trying out new cuisines has been a game changer for my cooking! Before, I was kinda stuck with the same ingredients and spices. Trying new cuisines introduced me to so many spices, ingredients and ways of preparing foods that I didn’t know before!

I really encourage you to check out Helen from @ethiopianfoodie for delicious vegan Ethiopian recipes and Carlo from @vecaliciously for vegan Italian recipes. They both also have amazing cookbooks!

Tip 6: Keep it simple

You don’t have to re-invent cooking every time you make something. Sometimes, simple is best.

What I like to do is have a few simple, basic recipes and then I can tweak them a little bit each time and add something different. Adding different spices or different toppings like fresh herbs and nuts and seeds can really change a recipe and make it more exciting.

Check out my guide “how to easily make balanced & healthy vegan meals” for more tips!

Tip 7: Don’t stress yourself

It’s totally normal to not feel like cooking sometimes. I mean, I really, really enjoy cooking and it’s also part of my job of running a food blog – but there are days when I just don’t feel like cooking or don’t know what to cook at all. And that is okay.

What helps me is having some ready-to-eat frozen meals on hand. Curries or chili work really great for that. And also, sometimes I just make a really simple meal like whole grain bread and hummus/peanut butter. Or I’ll have breakfast for dinner.

What do you do when you don’t know what to cook?

Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!

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