How To Get Out Of A Cooking Rut – HexClad Cookware
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How To Get Out Of A Cooking Rut

by HexClad Cookware

How To Get Out Of A Cooking Rut

No matter what time of year it is, there comes a point in the season where you’re just…sick of it. Maybe you have the same three dinner recipes on rotation, or meal prep is starting to feel a bit like a chore, or you’ve been hitting the takeout too hard. We get it. Whatever the reason is you’re feeling like you’re in a rut, there’s good news: It’s workable!

Whether you’re looking to infuse your regular rotation with some exciting dishes, to refresh your meal prep and big batch cooking approach, or frankly, just getting back into the kitchen at all, we’re here to help. Check out these ideas to help get you out of a cooking rut:

If you’re looking to get more creative with your weekly recipe rotation…

This can be one the most difficult ruts to get out of: the ‘oh, we always have the same thing’ rut that fritzes the mind. Our best advice? Get creative outside your comfort zone, experimenting with new flavors and ingredients. Here are some ideas for infusing your regular recipes with newness:

  • Mix up your flavor combinations: Taking a proverbial spin around the globe can revive your same old dishes. For instance, Kimchi and Tofu Soup is so much more exciting than yet another bowl of minestrone. Or, if you’re always cooking with Italian spices, head a little bit east and infuse your meal prep with Persian influences. Follow Zoya Biglary’s lead and swap in kebab seasoning for the standard Italian mix in your lasagna, go hard on herbs (it’s amazing what a handful of mint, parsley, and dill can do to your regular salad dressing), and stir up a batch of saffron compound butter to zhuzh up your morning eggs and toast. 
  • Consider cottage cheese: No, we’re not kidding. The retro dairy-aisle staple is back, and, thanks to the fact that it’s low in fat but packed with protein, it’s winning cooks over from breakfast to dinner. If you’re sick of the same old scrambled eggs, a dollop of cottage cheese not only makes them creamier, it adds protein, too. Or, whiz it into a pasta sauce for a lighter take on penne alla vodka

If you’re looking to refresh your meal prep and big batch cooking approach…

Not to generalize too much, but people who tend to do meal prep and lean on big batch cooking are often quite regimented. That discipline pays dividends: when other people are hitting the takeout apps, you’re likely tucking into a perfectly assembled grain bowl. But, well, routine can get a little bland. Here are some ideas to spice up your meal prep and batch cooking routine, as well as some ideas for making it easier:

  • Explore your Dutch oven: When it comes to meal prep, this sturdy pot usually gets put to work for braises and stews, or is put to work for boiling grains and steaming veggies. But it can do so much more than that. Instead of doing the same old, why not try it for a succulent rotisserie-spiced chicken or bake off a loaf of sourdough to supplement the week’s other dishes?
  • Go hands-off: If you’re relying too much on the stovetop, which requires monitoring, let the oven do the work. Your HexClad Hybrid Roasting Pan is good for more than just the Thanksgiving turkey. Put it to work for big batch frittata, roasted vegetables, and a gigantic casserole that will get the family through the week. It’s even ideal for a big batch of your famous granola.

If you’re looking to get back into a regular cooking routine…

If the delivery driver asks how your mom was after her recent surgery, it might be a sign that you’ve been hitting the takeout app too hard. No shade, of course, but if you’re feeling like you’re ready to revisit your stove as something more than pots and pans storage, we’re here for you. Does doing the dishes sound too daunting? Repeat after us: One. Pot. Meals. One! Pot! Meals!

Here are some simple ideas for getting back into the kitchen:

  • One-Pot Pastas: The thing most people don’t tell you about restaurant-quality pasta is that it takes quite a bit more prep than simply boiling noodles and dumping in a jar of marinara. But, all is not lost for the lazy or intimidated home cook. Rather than build a sauce in one pan, cooking veggies in another, and stirring it all together with pasta cooked in a third pot, try a one-pot pasta instead. We love this recipe for One Pot Ricotta Pasta with Corn, Lemon, & Basil, which combines juicy corn kernels with a decadent ricotta and parmesan sauce. 
  • A Hearty Chili: Perhaps your problem isn’t that you don’t like cooking, but the sheer sisyphean effort involved with cooking day in and day out. “Will it always be like this?” you might be thinking. The solution? A big chili that not only lasts for days, but freezes well. Use your 5.5-quart Hybrid Deep Sauté Pan to make a Weeknight Chili that comes together in less than an hour and makes 8 to 10 servings. Freeze half and you’ve got dinners for nearly two weeks. P.S. Don’t forget to go hard on the toppings, because let’s be honest, that’s the best part about chili.
  • Lean on the bean: Many of the heartiest, healthiest home-cooked meals have a secret: they’re based on legumes. We’re talking beans and lentils, the fiber- and protein-packed plants that make vegan one pot meals and vegetarian one pot meals so delicious, filling, and inexpensive. If part of your motivation to get out of your cooking rut is about saving money, then beans are the answer. We love this recipe for Brothy Tuscan Cannellini Beans & Greens, which makes great use of your Deep Sauté Pan and has a delectable sauce for dunking a hunk of your homemade sourdough in, too. (Hey, if you’re gonna start cooking again, why not go all in?)

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