I have been in a pretty serious food rut since I moved to Brandon from Toronto over the summer. I am not sure why this cooking rut has occurred but I was in the thick of it for many months. I had no desire to explore new recipes and as a consequent new vegan cookbooks arrived in my mail and were simply placed on the shelf and my food blog was all but dormant over the fall. I think the worst of my cooking rut is behind me now but here are a few ideas in case you are experiencing a cooking rut as well!
Some cooking ruts are so deep that the best thing for them is simple acceptance: Take a break from the kitchen. Buy a few frozen pizzas or plow through that pile of freezer meals. Return to your tried-and-true family favourites. Give the kitchen to your significant other for a few nights.
I think the surest way to get over a cooking rut is to get inspired. There are few ways to fight a cooking rut with inspiration: Buy (or loan) a new cookbook. Try a new restaurant. Cook with a friend. Host a potluck or a dinner party. Browse food recipes on sites like Tastespotting.
Sometimes you just need a new approach: Start a new blog series. Tired of making Italian food? Start a blog series that focuses on Ethiopian or Mexican food. Make a few simple meals and spend the extra time deep-cleaning or organizing your kitchen. Browse restaurant menus online and try to replicate the meal you would have if you actually ate there. Try meal planning. Try not meal planning.
As your cooking rut won’t last forever, plan for when the rut is over: Order a food or cooking magazine subscription. Join a CSA. Ferment something - starting a vegetable ferment only takes a few minutes but the waiting time provides plenty of opportunity to discover recipes that use the fermented vegetable. Plan a five course meal in excruciating detail.
What are your tried and true methods of getting over a cooking rut?