Motivation to Cook

Getting the motivation to cook can be very hard. It isn’t easy to gather the ambition or energy after getting off of work to cook. Sometimes even the basics can be overwhelming after a long day. You might have to talk yourself into wanting to cook something. There are times however you find yourself ambitious to try a new recipe or cook a recipe earlier than you planned. I found myself this week following the second path.

Wednesday night, I was planning out what I was going to cook on Thursday so that I would have a lunch for Friday. That night I was worn out and didn’t really have much energy so I figured that Thursday I would take the stir-fry veggie mix out of the freezer, cook it, mix it with rice, and drizzle teriyaki sauce over the top. It generally is one of the easiest things I know how to make and it is also meatless which means that I can somewhat stop cooking when I feel like it. Low energy meant that I planned for a low energy evening the following day. That is not what happened.

Thursday after work I was driving home and had a craving for pasta. This craving started to encourage the idea that I was going to make my sausage and seafood pasta that I had been planning on making during the weekend. Normally I have a lot more time and energy on the weekend so I devote more resources to cooking then rather than during the work week. However, my plan changed when all I could think about when driving home was how good that meal would taste. That was surprising since not only did I weirdly have more energy but also was changing my meal structure. I try to keep a loose meal plan for a week so that I know that I have food for all my meals and don’t try getting fast food. Regardless, my meal plan changed because I knew that for me at least, it is best to take advantage of any motivation to cook that I may have. That motivation may not be there tomorrow.

So I ended up cooking the pasta and trying something that I had never done before: baking onions. Now, I call it baking since I didn’t use my broiler setting but I was trying to mimic roasting them. I have had roasted onions before in Spain and knew that I really enjoyed them then. So I drizzled to the point that it may have been unintentional pouring of oil over the top and seasoned them with salt and pepper. While they could have been left in the oven for longer, they still tasted pretty good and reminded me of my addiction to roasted onions. I have no idea why I love them so much but they are so good. Back to the motivation, out of nowhere I had the motivation to cook what amounts to a big recipe and something that I have never tried.

To give a bit more context towards the pasta, I cooked Italian sausage in a tiny bit of butter and what remained of my cherry wine. Yes, you read that right, wine made of cherries. They cooked, I added pieces of green bell peppers, and constructed my sauce. For me, I like to make my marinara sauce from canned tomatoes and tomato sauce or paste. I create it from cans and herbs because to me it is more fun that way and it seems cheaper, even if it isn’t. I still like the sauces in a jar but I like tossing in oregano and basil and thinking “that looks like the right amount” just a bit more. So for me it is a bit of fun to make pasta but it does require a fair bit of motivation to convince myself that yes I want to make something from scratch. Therefore, I knew that if I had the motivation now to cook this, I had to take advantage of it and as it turned out, was a very good idea.

On Friday night, after eating my pasta leftovers at lunch, I realized that I really didn’t want to cook at all, not even my easy teriyaki stir-fry. So I pretty much ended up getting food from Arby’s and bringing it home. Thankfully I have budgeted for this to happen but I was hoping to avoid it for a bit longer in the month. Motivation to cook can come and go with me. I know that when I have the motivation to try something new or make a big recipe, especially from scratch, that I should use it then and not waste it. There are plenty of days where I really don’t want to cook. I have to plan for those days because otherwise I will spend way more money than I want to on convenience or fast food. Are there times that you know that you are motivated and should take advantage of it? Do you have recipes that require a lot of motivation? Please answer below with your comments and thanks for reading.

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