By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach
My mother was a stay-at-home mum who dedicated herself to raising my sister and I, keeping the house clean, and feeding her husband when he came home at night. She was a great cook but I can remember on so many occasions, her saying that she spent hours in the kitchen and the food was eaten in minutes. Now that I'm grown up and know how boring it can be to cook every night I realise we didn't show enough appreciation for her effort. After my father passed away and we'd left home, Mum's evening meal was a bread roll with marmalade and a glass of milk which I imagine felt quite liberating but sadly didn't do her health much good.
So I'm not going to write one of these happy-clappy articles which make me sound like Martha Stewart and encourage you to forage around the State for enticing provisions. I'm going to assume that you, like me, are busy, you need to knock off the job in less than 45 minutes each night, however you recognise how important it is to properly nourish your family.
So here are my practical tips on how to beat being bored of cooking
1. You guessed it, eat seasonally. Check the weekly Market Fresh Report and pick up vegetables and fruits you don't always buy.
2. Make breakfast the same every day but serve it with a variety of fruit. We eat muesli with yoghurt but it's always different because the fruit served on top varies.
3. Try doing something a little bit differently; brush pears in oil and pan fry until golden to serve with pancakes, or bake bananas in baking paper with honey and flaked almonds.
4. Swap your protein around. Protein is important for cellular renewal, hormone production, satiety and much more. If you always buy chicken, beef and canned tuna, buy turkey, lamb and canned mackerel. Also try a fresh fish you've never cooked with before.
5. Pull out the winter appliances like the slow cooker and pressure cooker. If you have neither of these check out gumtree and see if you can snap a bargain. A slow-cooked casserole will save you hours of time and if you make extra you can freeze meals for another day.
6. Swap recipes with friends. My Mum had this gorgeous recipe book stuffed full with letter and magazine cut outs from friends. I know there are thousands of books, magazines and there are the recipes om The Fresh Food Club website but there's something about sharing with a friend that's so much more engaging.
7. Treat yourself to some new plates or napkins or a new knife or anything to make the process of cooking and serving food a little different.
8. Cook with yourself in mind first. As selfish as that may sound if you cook something you really enjoy eating you'll get much more satisfaction from the process.
9. Buy one new ingredient every couple of weeks or so. It could be a jar of kimchi to serve as a condiment, black rice or bean pasta instead of your usual brand, it doesn't matter. Just troll the shoves, pick up something new and promise yourself you'll use it.
10. And finally if you're a Mum, instead of getting a present, this Sunday insist that your Mother's Day gift will be everyone cooks for you !
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