getting chef-y with it

I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the same sentence from my clients thousands of times (but whose counting…). I know I “should” eat healthier/cook more/include more balanced meals BUT…*include various answers here*. And I get it, there are any number of reasons why changing eating habits can be challenging. So in the next couple of posts we will address the most common reasons I hear why people find it such a challenge to move toward

Reason Number One- “Cooking New Foods is Intimidating”

I’m sure this sentiment resonates with a lot of people. And let me be clear, I have NO (read N-O) issues with keeping meal choices consistent or having a weekly rotation, especially if you’re someone who doesn’t necessarily love to cook. I’ve basically eaten the same couple of things for breakfast everyday for as long as I can remember because why think more than you have to in the morning?
Even those of us who spend a lot of time in the kitchen tend to have pretty regular repeats when it comes to meal choices (Im pretty sure there are recipes I make so often that I could make them with my eyes closed). But sometimes it’s nice to try something new. The salmon recipe pictured was something I’ve never tried before and I’ll probably make it again and again (had over to the recipe section for the recipe to Sushi-style salmon).
I find too many people have been burned (no pun intended) by slaving over a new recipe only to have their whole family call for take out.

I think the biggest mistake people make when trying to incorporate new recipes or foods into their family’s repertoire is the most common mistake people make when undertaking any new health goal, and that’s trying to change everything at once. Do this and you’re pretty much setting yourself up for failure. Most people like consistency, so as a rule of thumb when changing up the diner routine, remember to keep one of these three things consistent

1. The original food item: If your family likes chicken start with that and find a method of cooking you’ve never tried before, a new sauce or even something new to pair it with (think Brussel sprouts instead of salad or faro instead of rice). It can be easier to try something that tastes different when you recognize the original item.

2. The cooking method: If barbecue is a staple in your house try subbing fish instead of meat, or try vegetarian tacos instead of meat filled. Instead of a roast chicken try a turkey breast or thigh. If your kids LOVE French fries try making baked French Fries out of other root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, turnip etc).

3. ALL OTHER DINNERS: Trying something new doesn’t have to- any shouldn’t- happen every night of the week. On a night where the whole family is racing between ballet and baseball, and one spouse works late…..probably not the best time to be trying out a new recipe. Pick 1-2 nights, possibly on the weekend, where there is time to read over and troubleshoot a new recipe, and where you have time to start well in advance of the “what’s for dinner” question. Talk about the recipes before with your family, and how everyone is going to be trying something new. That way no one is surprised when they sit down at the dinner table. Best of all is to pick a time where all family members are home and can participate in the cooking. A great way to get kids excited about a new recipe is to have them participate in making it!
Making it a family affair means even if the recipe gets placed in the “never making it again” pile, you’ve had some family time along the way!