The Inefficient Files: When being inefficient makes life more enjoyable.
A common tip to reduce menu planning and dinner time stress is to eat the same thing on the same night a couple times a week. I do not doubt this reduces stress, but it is a little constraining and boring for me. I used to reduce dinner time stress by not menu planning at all; when I lived in Los Angeles, the avocados were so good I lived on guacamole and chips several nights a week. However, this can also get a little boring and isn’t the healthiest of diets.
In the last couple of years, I’ve been trying to cook more often and have found menu planning very helpful. I don’t follow the tip of making the same thing each week though. I choose to be inefficient by taking extra time to peruse through my favorite cookbooks. It’s fun to find new recipes, look at the pictures, and dream my version will turn out the same (it rarely does, but it’s usually still edible). I’ll even admit to having a couple cookbooks I haven’t used yet, but I still pull them out to salivate over the food in the pictures.
I have dinner go-to’s, but I would have never found them without taking some extra time when menu planning. This will likely change when the Little Guy arrives, but hopefully I can get back to salivating over cookbooks once things even out a bit…with the Little Guy on my lap drooling over the cookbook too!