I think I can officially admit that I'm in a kitchen slump. I think I may have developed some dairy intolerance as of late, so my appetite hasn't been too awesome this past week. Now that I have switched my morning latte to an Americano, things seem to be improving.
My inspiration and desire to be in the kitchen, however, has not. I'm convinced everyone has these ruts when it comes to their meal planning and food habits. You get into the same old meal routine, and although it may have been exciting at one point, now it's pretty drab. I would consider food and cooking to be one of my main pleasures in life, and even I don't want to do it right now.
Whenever I find myself in these situations, the first thing (and most important thing for me) is to allow it. I try not to beat myself up over it. I spend a LOT of time in the kitchen, so I am able to accept that I need a break from it now and then. Second, I surround myself with inspiring things that are attractive to me without being aggressive about it. Yesterday I leisurely flipped through some Bon Appetit magazines from previous months, and subscribed to a years worth of issues to look forward to. Once I felt ready to put the magazines away, I did. And while it's important to still achieve a meal on the table, forcing it will only increase the burn out.
One final technique I have is to make simple switches; something that is slightly more exciting, but uncomplicated and certainly not time consuming. This baked oatmeal is a great example, as it comes together quickly, is nutritious, and pretty awesome to eat in the morning. It's definitely free-style friendly, so add and subtract what you'd like (Heidi Swanson produced the original recipe, and included bananas in her version).
Next time you're feeling a little lame in the kitchen, remember it happens to everyone. Yes it's frustrating, and yes it may mean some less than wise choices, but trust that it'll pass.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted and chopped
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 tbsp flax seed (whole or ground)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
- 11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1/4 cup maple or agave syrup
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 11/2 cups blueberries, or other berry of choice
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and half of the walnuts. In a separate bowl, whisk egg and add milk, butter, maple syrup and vanilla.
Lightly grease a baking dish and spread half of blueberries along bottom. Pour dry ingredient mixture overtop of berries, then pour wet ingredients overtop. Shake pan slightly to distribute ingredients evenly. Top with remaining berries and walnuts
Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes, or until set but not too dry. Serve drizzled with milk and extra maple syrup, if desired.
Source: Supernatural Everyday, Heidi Swanson