Between the LONG cooking rut I’ve been in (we’re talking a year + here, folks) and the changes we have been making to the way we eat (more on that later), I’m in pretty desperate need of a recipe stash overhaul. Trying new recipes just feels like so much more work though. It takes time to sit down and hunt for new recipes – recipes that meet our health goals, don’t contain crazy ingredients I’ll never use again if the recipe flops, and that come from reliable sources or with enough reviews to feel confident it’s worth trying. Then, when it comes time to cook it takes work to actually read a recipe and use ingredients I may not be familiar with. With a 2 year old (currently in a super clingy stage) and a 4 month old (What?! How did that happen?), anything described as “more work” is just. not. happening. So, I stick to my staples that I always keep on hand (which saves brain power when it’s time to grocery shop, too) that I can throw together while thinking about a bazillion other things. Thus the rut.
I’ve come up with a solution to break away from my easy-peasy roasted chicken, breaded pork chops, and grilled salmon. A few weeks ago, I decided that I’m going to start trying one new recipe every week. It has to be in line with our new eating habits, and it has to be different than what I would normally cook – a different method, new ingredient or combination of flavors, etc. I was a little wary because, well, I just don’t trust recipes. I NEVER follow one exactly, and changing up a recipe is hard to do when you aren’t familiar with all the components. I was dreading all the “work” I mentioned above.
Let me tell you, the first recipe I tried was so great, I ended up trying three more that week! 3 of 4 were definitely-make-this-again successes, and the fourth I was able to get Little Miss to finish off with some major tweaking.
So what were these new recipes?
Chocolate Chunk Paleo Cookies
These are AWESOME. Maybe my enthusiasm is partially due to the fact that I hadn’t had a “real” cookie in almost 3 months, but my husband wolfed these down, too. Only problem? I think the recipe says it is 10 servings. I say it is 2. Oops.
Easy Sweet Potatoes and Eggs
Super yummy, super easy. Breakfast for dinner is always a win!
Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Cacciatore
Requires a bit of thinking ahead to plan the timing, but overall was pretty easy. Very tasty, even with my changes –
noodles, mushrooms, tumeric, red pepper flakes, & parmesan
All purpose flour with Gluten Free flour
Chicken thighs with a whole, cut up chicken
Green peppers with orange peppers
Carrot Cake Pudding
This was easy enough, but I wasn’t a fan of the flavor at all. I don’t know if it’s my super strong vanilla, or the spices, or maybe a funky batch of carrots, but there was a bitter after-taste that I couldn’t get past. I mashed up a banana to mix in & Little Miss was content to finish it off. I’m thinking about trying it again, but maybe replacing half the carrots with sweet potato or pumpkin.
I’m looking forward to trying (and sharing!) many more new recipes. I hope you’ll share some of your own as well.