Cooking fatigue‘ has set in…many are tired of cooking at home, cooking for no one/themselves/family. A survey of 2,000 Americans conducted for SunBasket found that the average respondent had prepared the same dish 28 times since the pandemic began. The survey identified some familiar sources of cooking fatigue – time, prep work needed, clean-up and planning. A program associate with Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Warren County suggests getting help from others especially with clean-up tasks; use convenience foods such as frozen veggies, canned beans and use leftovers. Finally, have some fun with meals. Can’t travel? Prepare recipes from other parts of the world. Consider redefining what a ‘meal’ is – try a ‘build your own’ baked potato bar. And, here’s a blast from the past… quarantine recipe chain emails are back.
Some unique ideas such as using leftover pasta in stir-fries instead of rice. Lots of great ideas here including leftover cookie crumbs on top of ice cream (Greek yogurt, too!) and pour leftover chili over leftover rice so it doesn’t dry out in the fridge. And Love Food Hate Waste has a recipe search using specific leftovers as well as filters including dietary considerations, difficulty and prep time. Who better than the Academy of Culinary Nutrition to have great ideas for leftovers such as crumbling a burger over a salad and folding tomato paste into scrambled eggs. Spend Smart Eat Smart (Iowa State University Extension and Outreach) is a great resource…searching using the term ‘leftovers’ I found this hot pumpkin drink using pumpkin purée and it suggests ways to use leftover pumpkin puree.
You don’t have to pay for online cooking videos (and other resources)
- Share Our Strength offers a weekly Facebook Cooking Matters live cooking class and there is a YouTube channel with recipe demos.
- One free online cooking class is Kitchn Cooking School (20 basic lessons).
- Publix Aprons Cooking School videos is series of videos with Publix’s chef.
- Spend Smart Eat Smart videos (Iowa State University Extension and Outreach) has videos in many categories including ‘easy recipes.’
- Food Hero (Oregon State University) has videos, Spanish language materials and 30 minutes or less/5 ingredients or less recipes.
- MyPlate Kitchen (USDA) includes videos and recipes w/nutrition information and cost. Build your own personalized cookbook, save and download.
- Video Recipes (Cornell Cooperative Extension – Clinton County).
- Healthy Meals for Oklahoma Families on the Go! videos includes Spanish language videos.
- Create series – English/Spanish handouts (Utah State University Extension) provides guidance on how to pull together 12 different dishes as well as English/Spanish videos.
- Brighter Bites on-line cookbook offers unique recipes including super duper sweet potato dip, Texas corn and blueberry salad, sautéed Brussels sprouts with apples and pecans and more!
RDs recommend healthy cookbooks
Cookbook sales increased 15% in 2020 compared to 2019 according to this publishing company article. With e-books/e-magazines and other digital resources now available through public libraries, finding recipes is easier than ever. Here is one cookbook recommendation list, 25 healthy cookbooks from RDs includes budget-aware choices, search online to find other lists. And you can always see what new cookbooks are on the horizon by searching ‘new cookbook releases.’