I'm going to be honest here - I really (really) love cooking. I find it incredibly enjoyable, relaxing, and fulfilling. I mean, truly, I could spend hours in the kitchen (and I do on occasion). For me it's a way of expression, an opportunity to serve, and an act of love. My Amazon Wish List consists of new kitchen gadgets and I take leisurely walks through the kitchen section at TJ Maxx more frequently than I'd like to admit.
But I know that the majority of Americans don't share this same adoration. It's not common for one to enjoy slaving over a hot stove for hours, rinsing, chopping, sautéing, baking, whisking, roasting, seasoning, mixing, etc. I get it.
However, creating fresh, wholesome meals for yourself, your friends, and/or your family and sharing moments, laughs, and stories around the table over good food is an invaluable experience everyone deserves. Good food made with loving hands serves you well both mentally and physically.
Cooking doesn't have to be a drag. No, you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen to whip up something balanced and delicious, but cooking your own meals does facilitate a healthier lifestyle!
Here are 7 tips anyone can do to make cooking more enjoyable:
1. Set a tone
Make cooking an experience for YOU. Create an atmosphere that allows you to feel relaxed and happy. Maybe that means lighting candles, starting with a clean kitchen, changing into comfy clothes, pouring a glass of wine - Set your vibe before you start!
2. Jam to your favorite tunes
Make a kitchen playlist with all of your go-to feel-good bops and jam out while you cook! For inspo, check out my kitchen playlist here.
3. Make something you actually like
There's no need to go above and beyond to create a meal you've never had or you're not sure you'll even like. Stick to what you know at first. Consider what you know you love, what fits your time constraints, and go from there!
4. Cheat the system
Hate chopping and dicing or have a limited amount of time? Buy pre-cut, pre-sliced fruits and vegetables, purchase frozen / steamable sides, and have pre-cooked grains and pre-made sauces on hand to make your life easier!
5. Get some inspo
Search for new recipes, try a new ingredient, search for beautiful food presentations, and inspire your inner chef! Have fun with your food!
6. Set up your kitchen
Go ahead and get out all ingredients, gadgets, and utensils that you will need while cooking so that you are fully prepared and have everything ready, available, and on-hand.
7. Clean as you go
Let's face it, the worst part about cooking is cleaning. Make it easy on yourself and clean as you go. Keep the dishwasher open so you can place used dirty dishes in there as you finish using them, wipe the counter tops off as you move along, and minimize the amount of clean up and put up once you're done.
For delicious recipes and inspo, click here!