As people begin to fully embrace a healthy and productive lifestyle, they find that good exercise and proper nutrition are essential to peak performance. While it can be easy to commit to a simple workout or routine physical activity, there are those who just don’t enjoy home cooking. You can probably imagine that guy or girl whose go-to kitchen skills involve blending up some form of smoothie; if that’s all you have in your arsenal, it can be hard to maintain good nutrition when challenges arise. Here are some reasons you should keep learning new recipes, even if cooking isn’t your passion.
Adjusting to circumstances
For many beginners, cooking can be daunting. But, truth is, it’s actually pretty straightforward. Sure, there are complex dishes requiring multiple obscure ingredients or advanced techniques, but these often come with the appropriate warnings about the difficulty involved. Novice-friendly recipes tend to require only basic skills and equipment; all you have to do is go out, buy the ingredients, and execute the instructions. Yet anyone who’s done regular grocery shopping over the years will know that certain food products, especially seasonal ones, aren’t always available. Some ingredients have reasonable substitutes, though; you can buy fruit puree as a quality alternative when particular produce is out of season, for example. But when lack of availability simply rules out your go-to dish, having a few different recipes up your sleeve will really come in handy. Diversify your skills and knowledge, and you’ll have some reliable options should any unexpected situation come up.
Maintaining variety and interest
Newcomers to the kitchen can often start with recipes that are easy to learn, require minimal fuss, and are difficult to mess up, in addition to being healthy and tasting great. But ensuring one’s good health is really a lifelong commitment; you may be able to whip up a good 15-minute pasta or some variations of stir fry, but can you sustain interest in those same recipes over several months, or years? Things can get even more challenging when you’re cooking for a partner or kids. Adhering to a healthy diet doesn’t have to become boring—that’s one sure way to fall back into the habit of ordering fast food or takeout. Use variety and creativity; even with limited time, try to learn a new recipe each weekend, and see if it’s well-received by friends and family. The recipes don’t all have to work out, but expanding your repertoire over time will help ensure that you continue to eat healthily (and enthusiastically!) over the years.
Having too many options at your disposal can lead to confusion and muddled decisions. That said, such issues tend to apply mostly to people who are serious about developing cooking into a craft. If you’re cooking not so much out of passion, but simply because you want better control over what you eat each day, then you probably won’t be weighed down by an array of options. You won’t know 10 different ways to cook a chicken and 20 different gadgets with which to do it, but you might be able to cook one type of dish with limited time, and another when you have hours to spare. Having more recipes under your belt will simply give you a list of distinct options to choose from; meal planning can easily come down to simple factors such as what you most feel like eating today, or which dish fits within your time and budget.
Even if your interest in cooking stays mostly functional, these benefits to learning new recipes will pay off as you commit to a life of good nutrition.