When I call “dinner” supper in our house, my hubby teases me. I’m not sure what we named it when we were children. I’ve been the ‘mostly’ in charge of having dinner on the table for many years. This is a chore that I don’t usually like. Fortunately, my husband has developed an interest for cooking. . I wanted to share with how to Break the Dinner Boredom Cycle.
There’s so many reasons that cooking becomes more of a “have to do” or chore than a pleasure to cook for our families. I don’t know how many times over the years I’ve either forgotten to take dinner out or we simply weren’t home because we were out and about running errands in which case Chic Fil-A OR Chipotle are always our favorite options to grab and go. It’s either that or maybe the same ole food items just seem unappealing or the last thing in the world we want to eat. After all, how many times can a person eat chicken and rice during the week?
One of the first steps toward learning to enjoy supper preparation is to mentally and physically (perhaps on our calendars) block off the time necessary. Dinner may often feel like a burden or we dislike having to cook it because we haven’t planned enough time for it. So, believing that dinner would suddenly appear out of nowhere, or losing track of time, and then supper being a surprise, are all things that slow us down in the kitchen, but it’s really just poor time management on our side. It has nothing to do with meals, but rather with how we think about time and our responsibility.
*The Fondest Memories Made Are When Gathered Around the Table*
8 Ways to Break the Dinner Boredom Cycle
Meal plan for one week at a time. I find that when I meal plan for an extended amount of time it becomes really easy to go with the easiest meal options (sometimes I’m a lazy cook) only leaving the meals that are more time consuming to prep or prepare which isn’t always convenient. Not only does meal preparing save me time and money, but it has also changed my family’s eating habits by ensuring that we always have nutritious food on hand. Meal planning takes the guess work out of what’s for dinner each night.
Meal prepping can sometimes be a bit of a time consuming task. The good thing about meal planning however is your meals are already literally prepared before heading in to the week. In our home we meal prep greek yogurt and granola for breakfast, hard boiled eggs for a snack, wash and chop veggies and make shredded chicken ahead of time.
You don’t have to make a series of properly portioned dinners with accompanying side dishes. I enjoy preparing various components of my meals and mixing and matching them. For example, I’ll slow cook chicken, shred it, then use it in salads, tacos, rice bowls, and other dishes.
Changing your cooking process may also drastically affect the flavour of a dish. When my sheet pan is full of roasted veggies, I’ll vary things up and grill them on a grill pan or stir-fry them instead. Instead of always following the box guidelines, consider toasting your grains first by heating them in a dry pan until they begin to emit a nutty aroma, then adding water and simmering until done.
Cook in Bulk
My favorite meat to prep is chicken, On Sunday I prep boneless, skinless chicken to use for different meals throughout the week. This chicken will be used to make several different meals throughout the week. Our favorite uses of chicken include: stir-fry, hot wing pizza, chicken noodle soup, fettuccini alfredo, chicken pot pie, buffalo chicken dip, etc. Because the chicken is already prepped making side dishes to enjoy can be done pretty quick. I’ve also done this with ground turkey making meatballs, spaghetti, tacos, nachos super easy and fast.
Include the Family
I find that when I do not want to cook my children are super eager to help in the kitchen. Whether its prepping veggies, stirring in random ingredients, setting the timer, helping clean up breaks the monotony of cooking. One of the most fun aspects of cooking is getting to try new things and discover new recipes, and your kids are likely to have lots of suggestions. Inquire if your children have any suggestions on how to improve their favorite dishes. My children have always been pretty hands on when preparing meals.
Read also: Why Stay-at-Home Moms Also Need a Vacation
Take pleasure in your meal and keep an eye on the cleaning.
Create a place and culture in your house that values dining together if you have a family. While this may not be practical at every meal for many families, it does not imply that room cannot be made for certain family dinners. You may need to set some boundaries or be creative, but the more time you spend at the dinner table together, the better.
Recognize the value of taking time to sit and enjoy your food. Learn to embrace the task of tidying up afterward as well. It doesn’t have to be a pain if you approach it with the appropriate attitude.
Bring Back Meals from Your Childhood
It’s really easy to get in a rhythm of cooking the same foods day in and out. My family for instance always eat tacos on Tuesday and pizza whether homemade or store/restaurant bought on Thursdays. What foods were you raised on? Bring back your childhood favorites. Even better call mom and get her recipe and any tips she may have.
Pinterest is my go to resource for recipes and well, pretty much everything these days. Need a chicken and salsa dish? Type in chicken and salsa and prepare to be amazed. Cull through a number of recipe to find the perfect fit for you and your family. Even better yet create an album of dinner ideas that you can look back on when you’re in a pinch.
On Facebook, Instagram or really any social media platform reach out to your friends and family members for their favorite go to dinner meals. I love when my friends ask for meal ideas. Not only do I get to share my families favorite go to meals but, I also get some really great ideas from my friends friends! I call this winning!