Cooking with fresh food at home is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being. However, in our busy modern lives, it can be hard to find the motivation and energy to use our kitchens all the time. This is especially true when we are constantly tempted by options that are more convenient (but not so healthy, and definitely less frugal).
With that said, you shouldn’t give up on getting into the kitchen and cooking healthy meals . Here are a few tips to get back in the kitchen and avoid the temptation to rely on takeaway dinners.
1. Start with simple recipes that get you back in the groove
When you lose your funk for home cooking, it can be hard to get it back if you try to make elaborate dishes straight away. Set little goals to make simple dishes that don’t feel like a massive mental effort to make.
There are plenty of easy recipes that are healthy that you can research online. Start assembling a list of meals you’d like to cook and slowly work your way up in complexity until you get your confidence back.
You could try to focus on making meals that share essential ingredients like rice or lentils (yep, I love lentils). This means you won’t have to do as much grocery shopping to cook throughout the week.
2. Spring clean and declutter your kitchen
If your kitchen feels disorganised, it can be hard to find the motivation to start using it. Devote some time to do a spring clean. Wipe down and disinfect surfaces. Put on some good music (there are plenty of Spotify cleaning motivation lists), and celebrate the joy of cleaning. I’ve got some handy household hacks that will help you do this cheaply and easily.
Once your kitchen is spotless and sparkling, it’s time to start organising. Clean out your utensils drawer and give away any duplicates or items you never use (I discovered I had four can openers). Stack your saucepans and rearrange them the way you like. Make sure there is a space for things you use regularly so that it’s easy to keep them neat and tidy next time you put them away.
3. Get friends and family involved
If you are struggling with motivation to get back in the kitchen, then sometimes involving other people is an excellent place to get started. Cooking with loved ones is a great bonding experience and will obviously speed up the process. My kids love helping me in the kitchen. Well, often they like eating the end results, but they still like to be involved to some degree.
Perhaps you could find a friend and encourage each other to do some cooking. You can both share tips and make the activity a fun self-improvement goal for the both for you. Or maybe you could batch cook together. Batch cooking can be a useful way to socialise and meal prep when you have young kids.
4. Invest in time-savers
If you are looking for ways to make cooking at home more convenient for you, then consider investing in things that save you time and effort. These days there’s no shortage of fantastic things that you can fill your kitchen with to make cooking that little bit easier.
Consider buying a slow cooker so that you can easily make meals like a hearty beef and potato stew with minimal effort, allowing them to cook while you’re out of the house. You could also consider subscribing to a meal-kit delivery service that delivers ingredients fresh to your front door, allowing you to avoid time-consuming and often stressful grocery trips.
5. Watching some cooking shows or buying a cookbook
If all else fails, consuming some cooking-related media might be what you need to reignite your spark for home cooking. Seeing how much fun celebrity chefs are having or getting some inspiration from a best-selling cookbook can have you racing back to the kitchen to see what you’ve been missing. I recently found a Masterchef Junior Cookbook in a local op shop, and was so surprised to find my eldest son reading it in bed before he went to sleep (actually, reading over the covers with a torch – he was really into it).
Have you ever suffered from feeling like you are too busy and tired and unmotivated to cook? What got you back into the kitchen?