You know the scene: You’re standing in front of the open refrigerator or with every cupboard door open. Then it hits you. You’re in a food rut. You don’t know what’s for dinner, and you start thinking about which carry out is the most convenient.
I’ve been there, so I know from which I speak.
Previously when I have gotten in this rut, my first course of action was to jump on the computer and find a good recipe or two to try. Or I’ll look for a recipe using a different cooking method – I used the countertop grill/panini maker for a while, or the crockpot comes out from hiding.
Another way I have found to get out of a rut is to – (gasp) – get out of my comfort zone and try a new food. A new cut of meat. A new fruit or vegetable. A new spice. This means you have to go to that scary place and actually look at those items that you’ve intentionally looked past in the market because you didn’t know how to pronounce it or didn’t know what to do with it when you got it home. The Internet is wonderful for this.
I’m not very adventurous, so I started with items that I have heard friends talk about. Kale. This curly leafy green completely intimidated me, but I found a recipe to make kale chips. Loved them! They were light, a little crispy, and I could eat a giant bowl of them with no guilt. Plus, changing the spice added changes the experience every time.
Next I moved to jicama. I hadn’t heard much about it, but researched it and it seemed right up my alley. Looks like a potato, has the consistency of an apple, but actually is classified as a legume from the yam family. Jicama fries! Yes! Slice these bad boys into fry sticks, coat with a little olive oil and sprinkle with some garlic powder, paprika and cayenne for a little kick. (Eat quickly because otherwise the spices get gooey from the drawing out the water in the jicama.) Winning! And if you season it with kid-friendly spices, they may eat it, too.
I also tried a lychee, and while it was delicate, fragrant and tasty, I couldn’t figure out what to do with it beyond peel and eat it. I haven’t given up on it. The one fruit I did give up on is cherimoya. That fruit involved too much work for the payback, in my opinion. I bought one before I researched it. There are seeds. Large seeds. And I read something about the seeds being poisonous if crushed open. The edible flesh is delicious, creamy, sweet and unique, but the fear of handling it incorrectly has deterred me from trying again soon.
Trying something new can produce winners and can be lessons learned on what you don’t like. If you find something new that you like, see if there’s another food item similar to test out. Sometimes baby steps can get you out of a rut and be just the tweak in your culinary repertoire that you need.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.primeparentsclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/LoriCombat.jpg
[author_info]About the Author
Lori Rypka is the Prime Parents Club Fitness Contributor, a mom of two wonderful kids first, a writer, wife, friend, personal trainer and marathon runner in training second. She enjoys helping others in their personal journeys toward living healthier lives. The biggest tool in her tool box: humor. Who says dieting can’t be fun? You can find Lori at http://www.fumbledintofitness.com/, or on Twitter as @LoriRypka.