Here are 6 steps to help you get dinner started. After all, sometimes getting started is the hardest part.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook, but sometimes I am just too tired or busy…or the kitchen is a mess, not to mention the rest of the house…I know I am not alone here, right? Usually, however, it’s kind of like going out for a run or walk, it’s just getting started. Once I’m on my way, whether chopping veggies, sautéing onions, or measuring flour, it’s actually quite enjoyable. And it definitely feels good to cook for others.
So, if you are like me and sometimes have trouble just getting started, here are some steps to get you going…this is assuming you’ve already planned what to make and shopped for the needed ingredients (perhaps the most difficult part of it all).*
- De-clutter the kitchen counter and sink. Put on some music and take 10 minutes to clean. You will be amazed by the new cooking energy a clean counter and sink brings. It will also make it much easier to cook. (Not to mention more sanitary.)
- Make sure you are not hungry or thirsty. Seriously, this may sound like procrastination, but it’s important! Otherwise, you will rush through the cooking process and be irritable! I like to sip on a glass of sparkling water and eat a snack like almonds or hummus and crackers. (Certain evenings call for a glass of wine too.)
- Throw on an apron and tie your hair back. Not only will you keep your clothes clean and hair out of the food, but you will also feel more professional. (And maybe it’s just me, but putting my hair in a ponytail always gives me a little energy lift.)
- Get out your recipe.* You can pull it up on your phone or tablet, but I am a big fan of printing it out. This way I don’t have to keep touching a screen, and, if it turns out good, I put the printout into my recipe binder.
- Get out the needed ingredients, measuring tools, and prep bowls. It’s better to have everything laid out than scrambling to find them in the middle of a recipe.
- Just do it! Perhaps I am complicating a simple thing here? The bottom line is: just do it! Just start cooking…and the rest will follow.
*No recipe or plan in place? Scan your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry to see what you have, and then get creative. Pull out all those veggies that are looking tired in your refrigerator and sauté or roast them. Cook up some pasta, quinoa, or brown rice. Add in some beans, lentils, egg, or leftover chicken for protein. Sautéed veggies and pasta, curried lentils and rice, black bean salad, veggie frittata, black bean and cheese quesadillas, veggie stir fry, lentil soup…you can make some good meals out of veggies and pantry staples!