cultural foods If you’re like most people, you tend to like routine. It helps you feel structured and in control, perhaps even stress free. But what about those days where you’re just sick of making dinner!!

In many families, one person takes on the responsibility of ensuring dinner is served, but this can also be true for the single person who prepares their own meals every day. Eventually, you may get what I might call “food fatigue”.

Cooking can be a fantastic way to de-stress at the end of the day, but it may also be a burden depending on your energy level and interest level.  Every day stress can contribute to that end of day feeling of just wanting someone else to serve YOU! Isn’t that why we like to go out to dinner?

Perhaps all you need is something new and exciting to bring some spark back into your monotonous food routine. I know what you’re thinking, “oh great, now I have to force myself to be creative when I’m already drained”. Not so fast!! What if I told you that you could bring food creativity back into your routine without drama?

What do we do when we are spent and sick of every day stuff?  Besides making time for meditation, relaxation and exercise, sometimes we go on vacation!! So, let’s take a food vacation! It’s time to get out and see the world. Welcome “International Food Exploration” time. Take a trip around the world in your kitchen!! Explore different recipes from different regions and cultures from around the globe. This is a great way to start exploring the use of herbs, beans, grains, fruits and vegetables that you’ve never tried before.

This quest doesn’t have to be exhausting. Choose a new recipe from a different culture each week. Yes, that’s 1 time a week. Only once. One of my tips for trying something new is to pre-plan when you want to do this. Make sure it’s a time where you aren’t running around after your kids or after a meeting that ran over. Try to do this in a relaxed environment so you can enjoy it!  Pre-planning also helps when it comes to shopping. Also, don’t plan on making this new recipe the main course, because you might not like it!! Reduce the recipe in half and use it as an extra side to an already favorite meal or snack.

This is another great way to get children involved in cooking. Children can help chop, measure, stir, etc. You know your child’s development and ability so go with it. Encourage them to get involved with your supervision. Every child should be learning cooking skills from their families! You can also explore the region’s history and discuss it with your child. What a great way to teach them about different cultures, right? This is another great way to encourage those picky eaters to over come their fears. That may even include YOU!

Lastly, keep it simple. Don’t bit off more than you can chew. If you already like green beans, look for a recipe with cultural flare, or simply try adding an herb or spice! You may be surprised at how ordinary foods become extraordinary sensations!