Today, it’s time to talk about food ruts. Are you currently in a food rut? If so, don’t worry… they happen to the best of us.
I tend to get a bit annoyed whenever I find myself in a food rut so today, I’m collaborating with my friends at Sun Basket to bring you some meal inspiration along with five tips for how to get out of a food rut! (Trust me, you will definitely get inspired by some of their delicious meals!)
Some of you are probably familiar with Sun Basket’s meals since I’ve talked about them before, but in case you’re not, here’s the scoop: Sun Basket is a healthy meal kit service that delivers sustainably-sourced organic ingredients and easy, delicious recipes for cooking at home. I love their healthy options and that you can choose from paleo, gluten-free, and vegetarian meals! Plus, they even have breakfast!
Now, let’s help you break that food rut!
Tip #1: Try a different type of cuisine or a new spice
Bored with your food? Try a different type of cuisine! It may be a bit of a surprise to some people, but I was a pretty picky eater as a child and young adult. Somewhere in my early twenties, I began to expand my food horizons and it made a world of difference! I’ve recently been getting out of my food ruts by trying more Filipino and (healthy) Southern-style dishes since these are two cuisines I’m not very familiar with.
I’ve also found that simply trying a new or different type of spice can get me out of a food rut! In one of my recent Sun Basket meals, their steak stir-fry with spring vegetables came with a container of sambal oelek, which I had never used before. Oh man, it was de-licious! This simple hot sauce added so much flavor to the dish and made me feel inspired to use more heat in my cooking to mix things up!
Tip #2: Try a new food
If you’re nervous about trying a different type of cuisine or you’re not a fan of unfamiliar spices, sometimes a simple place to start is by trying a new food. As a food blogger, this is an area where I am constantly challenging myself since I need to create new content to share on my blog. It can also be a bit exhausting to always have to brainstorm new foods to try so this is definitely one of the reasons why I love ordering meal kits from Sun Basket. When I order my three meals for the week, I typically take this approach:
- Get 1 meal that I know I will love
- Get 1 meal that has an ingredient that’s new to me
- Get 1 meal that feels indulgent, although still healthy (this is super helpful on Friday or Saturday nights when I want something comfort food-y and I’m trying to talk myself out of ordering take-out 😉 )
In my last Sun Basket order, I opted to try albacore tuna steaks for the first time. To be honest, I was a little nervous for some reason. Even though I love tuna salad and I’ve trained my palate to appreciate seafood over the years, the thought of a tuna “steak” made me uncomfortable for some reason. But, you know what? Discomfort is sometimes the thing we need to break a food rut!
Sure enough, I followed the simple instructions they provided and absolutely loved it! This is definitely one of the meals I’ll be getting from them again and I would not have known how much I enjoyed it if I hadn’t branched out of my comfort zone!
Note: This post is in collaboration with Sun Basket, but all opinions here are my own.
Tip #3: Try a recipe variation
Sometimes all it takes to break a food rut is trying a variation of a recipe you already know and love. I do this a lot by switching up vegetables in dishes or incorporating leftover ingredients that need to get used up.
It’s also fun to use an unfamiliar recipe for a familiar type of dish. For example, I’ve been really digging stir-fries lately so I got one in a recent Sun Basket delivery and got to try out a new ingredient in the stir-fry sauce: coconut vinegar! I can’t tell you enough how obsessed with coconut vinegar I am now! This definitely reinforced the idea that even though I’ve made hundreds of stir-fries in my life, there are always new ways to switch things up and break up a food rut.
Tip #4: Plate the food differently
We definitely eat with our eyes first and sometimes breaking up a food rut can be as simple as plating and styling your food a little differently. Since I spend a lot of time photographing food, I’ll be honest… when it comes to plating my actual dinner, I typically just plop things on a plate. Most of the time, it isn’t very appealing.
However, it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive to make a meal look appetizing! Some of my favorite ways to add a bit of flair include:
- Using different plates or bowls
- Adding some color contrast (e.g. make sure that the entree and sides are different colors to add visual interest)
- Finishing a dish with a drizzle of olive oil
- Garnishing with fresh herbs to add flavor and color
This is also one of the reasons why I really love my Sun Basket delivery. Since each meal comes with a pretty photo of the final plated dish and they always include fun garnishes, it makes me actually want to eat my dinner – even when I’m not photographing it! 😉
Tip #5: Take a break + let someone else do the meal planning
Since I’m the primary person who does all of the grocery shopping, meal planning, prep, and cooking in my household, I tend to get a bit burned out on thinking about food. I’ve blogged about this burnout before and sometimes the best way that I can practice self-care and get out of a food rut is to take a break from all the meal planning.
Since a gal still has to eat, this was one of my main reasons for opting into a meal kit delivery service like Sun Basket. I don’t get a box every week, but on the weeks that I do, I’ll tell you that it makes a huge difference! Just knowing that I’ll get a box of farm fresh, organic ingredients that I didn’t have to shop for and that someone else has already done all the meal planning and picked a recipe? Ooh, girl! That’s my version of heaven! If you need a bit of help getting out of a food rut – or just want help with getting healthy meals on the table in general – you can find out more about Sun Basket here.
What are your favorite ways to break a food rut? Share a comment below!