In a world of pizza rolls and UberEats, cooking in college can seem like a burden. As a busy student, the task of chopping, cooking and cleaning seems much more difficult than a few clicks on your iPhone and a 20-minute wait to order dinner. The results are quite contradictory to this mindset: cooking can be stress relieving, healthier for you and less expensive than buying pre-made food.
Understand the Basics
Cooking for the first time can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know the foundations of cooking, like terms and techniques. Understanding these terms in recipes is essential to broaden your abilities, so rather than choosing a different recipe because you don’t know how to do something, look it up on YouTube! “Brothers Green Eats,” gives the basics of cooking for people that barely venture past the microwave or toaster oven.
Have a Purpose
Cooking has been proven to be a natural stress reliever because it serves as a creative outlet and yields rewarding results. Cooking as a daily habit may seem like a chore at first, but by setting aside enough time each night, it can become a relaxing part of your nighttime routine. Like any habit, incorporating cooking into your day takes time and patience. Defining your reasons for cooking will keep you motivated. Whether it’s because you know what is going into your food, to take time for yourself, to commit to eating less take out or to save money — by remembering your purpose for cooking, you are much more likely to commit to it.
Finding something you are excited to make is the basis of being motivated to start cooking. If you continuously use the same recipes, look on Pinterest, Instagram or VALLEY for recipe inspiration or try recreating your favorite meals from scratch.
The rise of social media makes it nearly impossible to not find a meal matching your specific criteria. Gluten-free? Try baking your mom’s tried and true banana bread with oat flour instead of regular flour. Watching your dairy? Experiment with making cream sauces and cheeses with non-dairy milk. Trying meatless Monday? Marinate portobello mushrooms or chickpeas in place of meat. If you are in a rut and cannot seem to come up with any ideas, many food delivery services like Hello Fresh and Home Chef send you ingredients and simple recipes to follow at a reasonable price.