I was going to make similar suggestions to URBANREDNECK. I go to library or even on line and get cookbooks. Trying foods from a different ethnicity. Sometimes trying farmer's markets and getting ideas from vendors. They have given me some of easiest and best recipes.
whenever i get in a rut i try to think about some of my favorite restaurant foods.
for example, we really love fresh rolls at a vietnamese place, and chicken shawarma at a lebanese place, so i'll find recipes to make healthier versions at home!
sometimes we'll just spread it out of the course of the week, eg: monday = mexican, tuesday = vietnamese, wed = italian, thurs = japanese or chinese, friday = indian. that can help change up the flavors and keep things interesting!
i also try to make twists on things we like. chicken salad is easy to prep in advance, but i've made versions with greek yogurt/curry powder/jicama/currants (hubby's fave), avocado/sundried tomato/basil, etc. so it's a familiar dish reworked in a new way.
i also will buy what's on sale, or a new fruit or vegetable i haven't tried (or haven't tried in a while).
good luck! we all get stuck in ruts sometimes!
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When I hit that point, I generally start looking at trying a few things:
- I check out vegetarian and vegan cookbooks and blogs, so that I can get some recipes that don't need meat (but which I can add meat to if I want)
- I check out keto and low carb cookbooks and blogs for different preparations and combinations that I might not have thought of
- I check out some cookbooks and blogs from a different food culture, to get some different food combinations (most recently, I picked up some great recipes from Armenia and Turkey, prior to that I added some German favourites, and I always find something new when I look at any of the Asian countries)
Most importantly, for me anyways, is that I change my focus on what is the "main" of the meal, so that I look more to the sides and sauces for the flavours. That's where different vegetable and fruit and starch mixes, with different sauces, and from different traditions end up making the big difference: even if fish is still fish, and chicken is still chicken, they are just the "side protein" and the star of the meal is everything else.
Oh - and I also make a point of mixing up my protein choices and I don't stick with the low calorie options. Boneless / skinless chicken breast may be the lowest in calories, but it is also the lowest in flavour and nutrition (compare the vitamins and minerals in the breast to what is in the thigh!). During a typical week, I'll serve beef at least twice, pork loin at least twice and ham a few times, chicken three or four times, turkey at least twice (I cook huge turkeys, then slice and freeze the cooked meat), fish three or four times (an assortment of salmon, cod, halibut, trout, walleye), and have a few different soups / stews / stirfry that are primarily vegetarian but which I can add some meat to if I want / need the extra nutrients.
Just for something to start with, maybe think about using the German rouladen recipe as a "base" to riff off of (something like this: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp? recipe=409775 ) It basically takes a flattened piece of meat, coats it with a sauce and spices and a stronger flavoured meat, and wraps it around a pickled veggie. While it is great with the traditional beef / mustard / pickle / bacon, it is also delicious with chicken thigh / cream cheese / sauerkraut / ham - and any other idea that you can come up with!
For lunches, start looking at some different quinoa "salads" with a mix of greens and vegetables and fruits (and use Greek yoghurt as the base for the dressing for even more protein). Or, think about using one of the keto "wrap" ideas (something like the fathead dough) and filling it with a similar salad.
Good luck, and I hope this triggers your imagination on a direction to check out!
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I'm getting bored with the foods I've been making for dinner and packing for my lunch. I need to change it up but not sure what else to try. There are only so many ways you can cook fish without it all tasting the same. Same goes with chicken.
Shari Washington State PST
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