3 Life-Changing Reasons Creative Cooking Needs to be in Your Skill Set

Creative cooking is so much more than trusting in your ability to make delicious food!

Creative Cooking

Most people will generally agree that home cooked meals are preferable to eating out, but is it really worth it to try creative cooking?

Two years into our marriage, my husband cautiously made a request. He said, “Katherine, I really appreciate how much you do and how much effort you put into feeding our family, but would you mind if we had a little more variety?” For the past two years, I would make a huge batch of two dishes each Sunday that we would eat for lunch and dinner all week. Honestly, I was wanting more variety too, but I quickly got sick of cooking after trying to make something new every night. It was exhausting to be constantly googling “quick healthy meals” and rereading each step of a new recipe! But I discovered a secret…

I didn’t need to be constantly learning new recipes. I just needed to learn to be creative with a few! As I practiced each recipe, I gained confidence in making each unique and my own. I eventually realized that I was getting so many more benefits from creative cooking than just more variety. Gaining any new skill takes time and effort, so I am going share with you why this skill is so worth it!

This post is all about why you need to start creative cooking.

Creative Cooking

So what is creative cooking?

Creative cooking is the ability to put food together in new and delicious ways without a specific recipe with detailed instructions and ingredients. It has become so much more than a fun skill to me though. It has become a way to help me stop wasting food and start taking a little better care of the environment. Creative cooking helps me take care of my health by making it easier to toss together delicious homemade meals, but there is one unexpected benefit that has become the most important for me…

It is a place that I can explore my creativity and feel more like a unique human being in the craziness of motherhood. Let’s be real. Life is busy! There is so much to do in a day, that getting it can be hard to find time to explore and develop your unique creativity. Each meal is like a piece of art that where I can reconnect with the creativity that allows me to reconnect with myself and share my soul with my family. (And we eat it, so if it’s not great, then there is no evidence )

{Click HERE to learn more about the book I wrote to help you learn creative cooking!}

1. Creative cooking wastes less food

Want to save money and spend less time cooking, all while helping the environment? All you need to do is waste less food! I say that somewhat jokingly, but any one of those reasons alone would be reason enough to start creative cooking. When you remove the restrictions of a recipe you can use the foods in your home that are about to go bad or repurpose large batches of food.

For example, we had a delicious batch of nearly a gallon of pumpkin soup, but after the first three days, we were ready for something new! Instead of it sitting in the fridge going bad, we repurposed it. One night we added sausage, spinach, and red pepper flakes, and used it as a pasta sauce. The next night we added some leftover veggies and red curry paste and ate it over rice. It ended up being a great base for a week of quick meals instead of something we ended up wasting!

If you learn to cook creatively, all you need is 15 minutes to put the food in the fridge together in a new way, and you will never have to worry about getting “sick of” a dish again.

2. Creative cooking is a form of self-expression

Okay. I want you to think of a moment when someone gave you something that meant a lot to you. Even if it was just a hug when you really needed one, these moments often mean so much because they are proof that someone cared enough to pay attention and to act on what they saw.

Paying attention to how different a foods and flavors make you feel allows you to practice creating the feelings you want. There are different types of spicy heats. Vegetables have different cool, refreshing elements. A vinegar-filled pickle has a different acidic zing than lemon juice. You can harness all these feelings to create dishes that reflect the emotions you have or want to feel! Kind of like journaling or drawing, it can be a way that we express who we are in this moment. It’s a much healthier way of eating your emotions!

It is also a way that you can share your emotions or empathize with others. I think there is a reason the phrase “food is love” is so common! When someone pours their heart into a dish that is made for you, you can feel it. With practice, you will create experiences through your food that allow you to more personally care for yourself and others.

{Related Post: 10 Ways to Find More Happiness}

3. It is easier to control what goes into your body when you cook creatively

You know this, but I’m going to tell you again anyway: the first step to stop feeling like crap is to stop filling your mind and body with crap! It’s crazy how we are with our bodies 24/7, yet it is so easy for it to feel out of our control. We feel tired, overweight, or just generally like crap, yet we still stick to the habits that continue to fill our bodies with crap.

Creative cooking puts all the control back in your hands. You can control the types of ingredients you use, how much you use, and how frequently you use them. You can easily adjust what you make to your mood or even the weather. We just had an unexpected rainy day, so I switched out fried rice for a soup using almost the exact same ingredients.

As you get creative and pay attention to how foods make you feel, you will learn what energizes, calms, and inspires you. There is a special peace that comes when you feel in tune with your body in this way. You can not only listen to your body better, but you can respond without wasting extra money or time.

BONUS: You don’t have to become an expert in a variety of recipes!

The great thing about being creative is that you can still have a lot of variety in your diet without knowing a ton of recipes. I only use 15 recipes consistently, but they taste so different each time, because I play with them! Playing with one dish in many ways gives you the chance to get creative while in familiar territory.

One of my favorite recipes is fried rice. Do I love it the traditional way? Heck yes! But that isn’t the only way to eat it. I’ve made it with sausage, chicken, BBQ sauce, teriyaki sauce, or even leftover fajita peppers.

It is also nice if you want to help picky kids expand their palettes. For example, if your kid loves chicken nuggets, you can have him help you chop them up to put them on a quesadilla or in fried rice. It may not be a hit the first time, but, time and time again, I have seen curiosity eventually win!

This form of self-expression can help you nurture yourself more while wasting less time, money, and energy! Plus, I can almost guarantee that it takes less time than you think to get the practice you need to get these results.

If you don’t consider yourself naturally creative, that’s totally fine! I used to be there too. That’s why I created recipe templates to give me some guidance as I learned to be creative. If you want to learn more, click HERE to learn more about my Recipe Templates for Creative Cooking.

This post was all about the benefits of creative cooking.

Other Posts You May Like

– 10 Ways to Find More Happiness

– Getting Into Creative Cooking

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