Chain restaurants make a reputation for themselves by offering a consistent set of foods that always turn out about the same way – no matter which location you visit. Consistency is good – especially when you’re spending your hard-earned money.
Why do we get in a rut?
For one thing, grocery shopping is a lot easier when you always make the same meals!
Naturally, you get good at making certain meals and it gets easier to make them as you practice.
I find that making the same meal repeatedly helps give me a little break from cooking. I can go through the motions, make a good meal, and not get stressed out about it. Low stress is good – especially on week nights after work.
Plus, if i make something new, there is the threat that it will either a) not turn out right, or b) not be approved of by may family. Those are major risks!
But isn’t there some benefit to having variety?
Variety is the spice of life
Actually, there are some benefits to adding variety to your menu. But how?
Adding “variety” to your menu is pretty vague, I admit. So what could you do to spice things up a bit? Well, for starters, you could make a conservative change. For example, you could have your typical burgers or meatloaf with asparagus instead of green beans. That would be a healthy, conservative change, wouldn’t it?
Or you could go as far as trying a whole new recipe! It doesn’t have to be risky. For example, you could try making a new salad for lunch (or even dinner). Salad isn’t too risky.
And just in case you’re feeling brave enough to try a new recipe, I’ve included one for you below. This is actually one of the recipes I’ve included in my new book. Let me know how you like it!
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons gluten-free strawberry jam
1 tablespoon diced onion
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups spinach or baby greens
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup shelled edamame
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup crumbed, gluten-free bacon
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender. Whirl for 30 seconds, or until thick and completely combined. Refrigerate for at least two hours to blend flavors. Toss with salad ingredients and serve immediately. Makes six servings.
What to do next
Adding variety to your menu doesn’t have to mean making a major overhaul all at one time. In fact, making small changes now and then is much easier. Take it a step at a time. Start with a change to your side dishes and move on to introducing whole new meals. You may just find some new favorites!
Until next time,
P.S. Look for an email announcement on Thursday about a special deal on my new book.