Seasoned With Love: Beating Coronavirus Boredom from the Kitchen

Most of us would agree that these times kind of suck. Social distancing is in full effect, we haven’t seen our friends in what feels like ages, and being stuck at home day after day can get extremely boring. Without the ability to go out to our favorite restaurants and coffee shops, we may find ourselves falling into a repetitive and dull mealtime routine. Even worse, I for one, have most definitely found myself turning to boredom snacking and mindless eating if I am studying for a long period of time or am really stressed about something. To combat this, I have started to be mindful of how much I enjoy the time I spend in the kitchen, prepping yummy foods for my family and myself!  I really love learning new recipes from my family members, baking fun treats and preparing healthy meals - it's been a great way for me to learn new culinary skills and tricks!

 

Here are 5 simple ways to beat quarantine cuisine blues and mealtime boredom, while staying (virtually) connected with friends and family!

 

1. Get inspired

Repeating the same weekly meal time lineup can get boring af- and fast. Use this time at home to search for new recipes to add flavor and fun to your routine! Apps like Pinterest and Yummly are great places to start. Yummly is one of my personal favorites. It is free to download and gives users the option of creating recipe folders to save their delicious ideas, as well as upload their own! The recipes on this app are diverse and inclusive to those with dietary restrictions; there are plenty of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options and most of the recipes are followed by a detailed nutritional chart and breakdown of the ingredients involved. Also, you can enter ingredients you have on hand and the app will suggest thousands of recipes involving that combination, which helps cut down on food waste (especially if you’re trying to use up a perishable item) and could prove very handy in these times of less frequent grocery store trips.  

2. Keep it social(ly responsible)

Food actually plays a big role in our social wellbeing and happiness. Although we may not be able to physically get together right now, the social aspects of cooking and eating are still important and should not be neglected! Have a virtual cooking party with your friends, host a Zoom dinner for your family, or livestream a favorite recipe to your social media followers. Social media is a fantastic way to get inspired and stay connected. Ask your friends for their favorite recipes via a Facebook post or Instagram story sticker, and share photos of the finished product with them!  They will feel good about sharing something with you, and you will feel good about your fresh delicious food-a win/win situation! Who knows, you just might find your new favorite recipe...  

3. Start a virtual recipe exchange

The best recipes are those we share with our friends and family. Keep track of new recipes that friends and family exchange with you in a Google Drive, shared note, or virtual recipe book app like CookBook- an app that allows you to import recipes from the web or scan from physical documents such as family cookbooks or even handwritten instructions. There are tons of easy websites that allow you to convert online recipes to physical cookbooks as well, which could be a very fun, special keepsake for you and your loved ones when all of this madness ends. 

 

4. Get creative

Recipes are totally not limited to just food! Pinterest is full of fun crafts and activities to do from the kitchen to keep you and your family entertained. 

Quarantining with younger siblings? Google some fun science experiments to whip up in the kitchen. YouTube is a goldmine of DIY projects and fun activities such as candle making. 

21 or older? Check out makemeacocktail.com and enter the ingredients you have on hand to find fun new cocktail recipes (Bonus idea: get dressed up & FaceTime or Zoom some friends for a virtual night out!)  

5.Take some time for yourself

Baking can be an awesome way to destress. Preparing a good, balanced breakfast can set the tone for a productive and energized day. But as I mentioned above, recipes are not limited to food! Try making a DIY face or hair mask, lighting a homemade candle, and spending a relaxing night in. Make sure to prioritize your mental health in these stressful times- and remember, we’re all in this together!