February 1, 2023

Cooking burnout? Here are some ‘good enough’ strategies

5 min read


It’s been two long years in the kitchen. Whether you were a passionate home cook or hesitant, the epidemic has burned everyone out of the cooking process. It also makes us realize how much work it takes to cook every day.

“It’s time to dump her and move on.”Good coffee: a cookbook

Cookbook author Lian Brown suggests eating habits to smooth out the time spent in the kitchen.

“When we’re already having a hard time, we look for ways to criticize ourselves,” Brown said. Cooking at home is “nothing like a restaurant chef or someone on Instagram trying to create content so that the algorithm pays attention to them.” Unless your family is paying you for cooking, the pressure doesn’t have to be that big.

Instead of blaming ourselves for what a “good cook” should think, Brown encourages us to think about what is “good enough” and some mental cooking process (and Yes, rearrange your perspective on work. Changes and strategies.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

“We think about cooking in the kitchen, cutting things, making things,” Brown said. “But you can’t be there until you do all these other things” – like deciding what to eat, buying ingredients and making sure the kitchen has the right tools.

“Feeding yourself is a valuable skill,” he said. “We devalue it in the capitalist world and in our own homes and have expectations of it.”

While there is no easy solution to smoothing out the multifaceted process of cooking, Brown insists on recognizing the work and stress that comes with each meal. “If you feel overwhelmed by the common sense that there is a lot to deal with when you enter the kitchen, know this: you are not alone,” she said.


Fixing the pain points that come with the cooking process is always a matter of time and money, and the budget is always for grocery delivery, pre-cut or partially prepared food or meal kits. Does not allow purchase.

The work begins with the identification of the points “where you may be stuck”, as Brown notes – “the purchase of dishes and groceries and the arrangement of the fridge.” Make small changes in these areas.

“Ask for help, make it fair, set some good habits and do what is best for you,” he said.

With all the steps that go into the process of cooking and serving food, it is easy to lose weight from decision fatigue. If you’ve got it, you can’t live with it Meal planBrown suggests an easy way: eating routine.

The idea of ​​a normal eating routine is very applicable. You can choose from two or three dishes to go for a walk during the week, whether it’s a snack between breakfast smoothies and overnight oats or a back and forth between chicken salads, hummus and browns. Cabbage cheese beaten sandwich For a baggy lunch. You can also choose a specific day of the week for special meals, such as Taco Tuesday or Sunday Chicken Soup.

Tip: Cabbage Cheese Pita Sandwich

Brown Cabbage Cheese Pita Sandwich is a great addition to your regular lunch plan.

“It’s all about finding a meal planning strategy that works for you,” Brown said. “Normalize the parts that are heavier for you.”

Brown is admittedly not a morning man, so she sticks to simple breakfast meals and leaves the brain power to make more complex meals later in the day.

Make a routine “something you can look forward to, like cleaning a refrigerated pizza night or omelet night.” Bonus: Once the meal routine is set, there is no discussion with the children about what to eat.

Another way that fatigue of judgment can turn your ugly head back is the idea that every meal has to accomplish a number of things. Food should be delicious, healthy, easy, fast and prepared on time to meet the schedule of more than one family member but we should also give time to communicate during the meal – get used to it?

Brown said that when these unrealistic expectations become too high, “it’s okay to simplify.” “Choose one or two things you want to accomplish with your meal.” If your goal is to have dinner at the table in a way that allows you to cook as much as you can with your children, then just pay attention to these two things.

Have “assembly only” food storage on hand so you can cook with less effort and less pressure. Snackboards are an ideal vehicle for serving food full of simple ingredients, and no, they don’t have to look like that on Instagram.

With standards such as cheese and crackers, dips and spreads, Brown suggests:

  • Dates – plain or filled with cheese, nut butter or salami
  • Pickled vegetables and olives
  • A mixture of sweet and salty breakfast

Instead of being embarrassed about serving unconventional food, celebrate the ability to make decisions based on the situation, according to Brown. “We should be proud of the kindness we do to ourselves when we do that,” he said, “instead of thinking you have to be a superhero.”

The biggest cause of embarrassment in the home kitchen can be embarrassing. We’ve all been there, refraining from refrigerating the container for the fifth day in a row, but it feels like we have to do something about it.

The key to overcoming the embarrassment that survives, according to Brown, is to “accept your natural tendency to hate certain foods in certain situations.” She suggests doing a “leftover analysis” on which food and snacks are left in the fridge, while others are eaten with more enthusiasm.

Does the consistency of leftover rice or chicken bother you? Do you like old Thai food or pizza all day long? Do you get sick from eating soup in the middle of the week? Take note of your tendencies, then start practicing your cooking little by little.

Plan to eat leftover food as if it were fresh food (like “assembly only” foods). And freeze soups or other foods, such as browns Fast white bean, chorizo ​​and hearty greens stewThat you get tired quickly so you will have a ready meal under the line.

Tip: Fast white bean, chorizo ​​and hearty greens stew

Fast white beans, chorizo ​​and hearty greens stew can make a great meal.

For foods that are unpleasant in taste or texture, try to reduce these specific dishes so that you are not forced to eat them as leftovers. “Be polite; it will take time to get used to it,” Brown warned.

When all else fails, get ideas from others. When Brown needs a pick-me-up, she makes a plate of cheese for herself and says of the habit, “I feel like I’ve got myself on a date, and it’s going great. Is.”

Find your own cheese platter and make it a crime-free ritual that can serve as an emotional reset button for the week. Just – no more instructions.

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