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How to make everyday cooking less boring

Sun, 15 May, 2022

Even those of us who enjoy cooking every day (I mean me), sometimes get bored. Ugh, the same chicken fillets again, but they’re easy to cook so they pretty much always sit in the freezer on standby. And I’ll cook them the way we like best: either a stir fry or creamy chicken. On one hand it’s lazy, laid-back cooking: I could shred the vegetables and mix the stir-fry sauce in my sleep. No challenge, no effort required. But the result is boring: same again? Same again!

The immediate solution to that is to introduce small changes to the same old, same old. Varying the vegetables in the stir fry is the easiest way and frankly, it usually happens courtesy of the fridge contents. Another method to bring in variety is to swap the main recipe ingredient: instead of chow mein, I could follow the sticky pork stir fry recipe but use my chicken. Sometimes the outcome is: should have stuck to the original! but it’s a risk worth taking.

You could extend that approach: why not try a completely different dish that doesn’t fall under the ‘chicken’ label? Chilli con carne for instance will be ready much quicker if you use chicken instead of beef. And you can even use those perpetual chicken fillets for it rather than mince: just dice them reasonably small. It might surprise you how good a dish that will make.

The same goes for another staple: salmon. How tedious, grilled salmon fillets every time, because they are quick and easy. How about using the cod and potato bake recipe and swap cod for salmon? Or steam your salmon on top of braised leek instead of halibut? It obviously also works the other way: if all you ever seem to cook is cod, look up some salmon recipes to go off-piste a little. You can easily poach cod in a shakshuka or cook it with blue cheese en papillote, in a foil parcel.

If it’s pasta that you seem to be always cooking, explore new avenues for it. You can adapt quite a few recipes for rice to work with pasta: fideua is a paella but with noodles, and crispy rice with chorizo and mushrooms with be delicious when made with small pasta shapes instead of rice. And don’t forget pasta fritta: it can easily be given the flavours of fried rice.

I know: experiments do sometimes end in everyone going hungry and/or disgruntled. But it’s worth trying for those other times that add a stonkingly successful new dish to your repertoire. Just make sure there are always the makings of cheese on toast at hand, just in case!

Happy experimenting!

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About me

Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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