I think it happens to all of us – we get into a bit of a routine with meals, and eventually find ourselves in a dinner stand still. Let’s banish that and learn some tricks on how to get our of a dinner rut!
These dinner ruts, they happens to me too you guys! I get uninspired, meals come on repeat and find myself a little less than excited for the dinner cooking process. If I don’t make an effort to meal plan (check out my simplified meal planning template!) and creatively think about the meals we’ll be eating, it can be easy for me to slip into a burger salad with potato wedge and kefir ranch routine.
I’m not saying it’s a bad thing (cause dang it’s good!), but I know I like trying new recipes and adding variety to my families meal. It’s good to have a standby, but if you feel bored and need some inspiration at your dinner table, look to these tips to help you out!
How to get out of a dinner rut
Make sure to meal plan
This can be my biggest downfall. If I get lazy and don’t actually schedule in a time to give meal planning my attention, that’s where the dinner rut starts to creep in. If you aren’t already writing out a meal plan for the week, make sure to do that. Inspiration can be lack luster when the 4 o’clock hour rolls around, but if you take some time to meal plan at the beginning of the week, you won’t need to rely on magical inspiration when it’s getting close to dinner time.
Listen to episode #2 of Fit Mama Real Food Radio for more on a simplified meal planning template.
Search on Pinterest
Pinterest is one of my favorite places to find recipe inspiration! I have a board called recipes to try and anytime I need to inspo I hop onto that board, drool a little, and pick a recipe from there to add into my meal plan.
Another tip is searching for “ground beef recipes” or “chicken recipes” or whatever your main item may be, then scrolling through the endless amounts of recipes you will have access to. Use your eyes, find something that looks tasty and add it into the plan for the week! If you find a recipe where the ingredients aren’t 100% what you’d like to use, get comfortable making substitutions!
Ask a friend what they’re making for dinner
Think about a friend that makes yummy meals and send them a text asking what they are making for dinner that night, or what they made the night before. Chances are it’s something that you are not making that day. Bonus if they have a recipe to send you!
Check out your favorite Instagram food account
Just like Pinterest can inspire you with drool worthy photos, Instagram is my other go-to spot. If I ever want some uber inspiration, I look at the the whole30recipes IG page. I’m not specifically looking for whole30 recipes, but everything they share looks so tasty, fresh and I know it’s made with real food ingredients! If I find a recipe I want to try I can simply add a starch to it to balance out the meal. Easy peasy.
Look through a food magazine
Did you used to get food magazines (or still do)? I did! I had a huge stash of real simple and clean eating magazines I finally de-cluttered and relieved my house of. Before I did that, I peeked in them and took pictures of any recipes that piqued my interest. Magazines are another awesome spot to find recipes to try. – maybe you just peek in one at the checkout line and get inspired that way!
Check out your favorite restaurants menu
Recently I recreated a variation of a nw smoked salmon nachos from Barrel Mountain Brewing and turned it into smoked salmon corn cabbage bowls with avocado lime crema. I used the restaurants menu for some food inspiration! Most restaurants have their menus online, so just take a look at your favorite restaurants menu, find a meal that looks tasty and try google searching for the recipe. It may not be exactly the same, but it could be pretty close!
Scroll through your favorite bloggers recipes
Us bloggers love to share recipes too! I have an entire page of real food recipes you can always check out, and here are 5 other bloggers I go to for dinner inspiration: Fed and Fit, PreventionRD, How Sweet Eats, Gimme Some Oven and PaleOMG.
Think back to your favorite childhood meal
Growing up I would always ask for italian fried chicken for my birthday. It was the best! Nowadays, fried food doesn’t make me feel the best, but I can make a baked version! What’s your favorite childhood meal? Have you tried to recreate it before?
10 dinner recipes to try
Still stuck? Here are 10 recipes that are so dang good you’ve got to add them into your rotation!
- Skirt steak marinade with chimmichuri
- One skillet sweet and salty chicken thighs
- Crockpot pork carnitas
- Gyro loaded meatball fries with tzatziki sauce
- Buffalo chicken chopped salad
- Crockpot coconut green curry basil chicken
- BLT chppped salad with corn, feta and avocado
- 30 minute Thai turkey zucchini meatballs
- Hawaiian pulled pork skillet nachos with pineapple guacamole
- Fish tacos with feta slaw
What is your favorite way to find dinner inspiration? What are YOU making for dinner tonight?Heather