A few months ago, my podcast received a listener question about cooking. The listener wanted to know how to love cooking—something she really didn’t enjoy. Her question resonated with a lot of our listeners, and I knew right away it would resonate with our Project Inspired readers, too.
Cooking matters for several reasons: It’s a means to minister to others, it saves you money versus eating out and it helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, many young men and women are no longer taught this domestic skill. This leaves them struggling to learn on their own while also managing work, school and personal responsibilities.
As someone who taught myself to cook at a later age, I know the learning curve can be steep—but you can also learn to love cooking and the benefits it gives your life!
View It as an Art Form
Start by changing your view of cooking. If you relegate it only to old ladies or those who seem “naturally gifted” toward it, you’ll never fully invest in it. See it instead for what it is: an art form with plenty of room for creativity! You get to decide what meals to make, what ingredients to use and how to alter recipes. Pinterest makes it possible to try all kinds of ethnic recipes or adjust recipes to fit the diet your body demands (such as Paleo, which is what we do). Cooking is as individual as you are.
Plan Your Meals
It’s important to plan out your meals when beginning to cook. Read the recipes, write down the ingredients and shop accordingly. Don’t try very complicated meals at first; stick with simple ones. Meal planning is especially important if you’re trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle. If you’re fine with eating the same thing each weekday, you can repeat a recipe several times. This may be easiest as you’re just beginning!
Try New Ingredients
One of my favorite things to do is try new ingredients. I like to find new cuts of meat (or new meats in general!), vegetables I’ve never used or fruits I’ve never seen before. This is how cooking becomes an art form! If you notice a foreign food in the grocery store, look up a recipe that uses it so you can buy it next time you’re there.
Practice Favorite Recipes
Once you’ve found some recipes you love, repeat them throughout the month. You want to get better at the recipes you like, and that only happens by making them frequently. Pretty soon you won’t need the recipe at all; you’ll be able to estimate ingredients, adjust what you like and dislike, and make it individual to your tastes.
Watch Cooking Shows
Finally, a great way to learn about flavors, textures and how to use certain ingredients is to watch cooking shows. The Food Network offers a lot of great shows that will teach you some basics about cooking simply by observation. I’d often watch these shows while working out at the gym, then use what I learned when I made my meals.
Cooking doesn’t have to be a burden. Learning to love cooking blesses your life and the lives of those who enjoy your hospitality. Start looking on Pinterest today for two or three new recipes to try!