What to cook when you’re sick of cookingOctober 16, 2015
Feeling uninspired by your usual cooking habits? Wondering what to cook when you’re sick of cooking?
We asked the team at HelloFresh HQ to share their most common cooking ruts, and looked at some ways to turn that overdone ingredient or lacklustre meal into something to be excited about…
“Beef! I always end up cooking steak and it gets really boring”
– Erik, supply chain Swede
If steak is leaving you uninspired, why not try kangaroo steaks? Kangaroo is fantastic for a number of reasons; herds of kangaroo cause less damage to their environment that herds of beef or lamb, they’re hardy and overpopulated in many areas in Australia, and are a great source of lean meat. Banged in an oven with butter, cherry tomatoes and thyme, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a tastier supper.
“You know what? I think I have overdone sweet potato. I love it, but I cook with it too much.”
– Amy, product team perfectionist
Sweet potato really is the flavour of the month, isn’t it? If you need to break away from its soft sweet flesh, you may take a shine to celeriac. Celeriac is also a root vegetable, but has a milder and more versatile flavour than sweet potato, with a celery-like freshness. It’s perfect mashed or baked.
“For me, it’s pasta with tomato sauce. Every time.”
– Guillaume, logistics leviathan
For those of us who love pasta, it’s easy to fall into the boring old routine of a tin of tomatoes and a packet of spaghetti on a lazy weeknight. If you’re sick of pasta with tomatoes, but still want something that’s quick and simple, why not try Spaghetti aglio e olio?
200g spaghetti or spaghettini (which is finer)
A large pinch of dried crushed chilli
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of parsley, chopped
4 tablespoons of olive oil.
Nigel Slater recommends cooking the pasta is water that is as salty as seawater and draining only lightly so that the spaghetti retains some starchy water (this will help the other ingredients adhere to the pasta evenly).
The rest of the ingredients should be added to a pan over a low heat and cooked until the garlic is “pale gold”. Once that’s done, all that’s left to do is toss the spaghetti in the warm oil mixture and dig in!
“I always fall into the trap of meat and 3 veg. I just don’t know how to mix it up!”
– Josh, customer care cavalry
If your attempts to make a balanced meal end up in boring meat and veg territory, you only need to make a few changes to reinvigorate your dinner:
- Swap out one of your veg for something colourful. Why not skip the taters and opt for a sweet roasted capsicum? Or dump spinach for fresh purplish red radicchio?
- Use less meat, and show it a good time. Try splitting one steak between two people, finely slicing it and tossing it with veg and loads of fresh herbs. All the good stuff is still there, but it’s now mixed up for tastiness in every bite!
- Think about bold flavour and texture. Unleash your inner chef and think about the stuff that makes a good meal great. Instead of gravy, why not try a vibrant green chimichurri? Or grab a handful of dried shallots or toasted almonds and top everything off with a decent crunch.
“Rice. I am so sick of rice.”
– Emily-May, design mogul and voracious vegan
Small beads of white rice can be a lovely side, but it’s always good to mix it up. Two of our favourite alternatives are pearl barley, an ancient grain that’s lip-smackingly good, and cauliflower ‘rice’.
To make cauliflower rice, simply add raw cauliflower florets to a blender or food processor and blitz until they pieces resemble rice or couscous. You can enjoy it raw, or cook for a few minutes in butter or oil for a softer side dish.
“If I don’t cook chicken again this year it will be too soon.”
– Tom, head chef and sick to the hen’s teeth of chicken
Aren’t we all?! Chicken has somehow become a kind of ‘neutral’ in modern Australian cuisine – the thing to cook when you don’t know what to cook, or something to add to a meal just cos. As a country, we consume huge amounts of chicken, especially the breast. If you’re uninspired by yet another grilled fillet, why not embrace meat-free Mondays and go for a veggie option? A stuffed mushroom is just as tasty and filling as chicken, and imbues anything it’s cooked with its delectable flavour. Just make sure to fill it with lovely hearty ingredients like lentils, feta, breadcrumbs and parsley.