Let's Get Cooking: How to Find Recipes You Can Make This Semester

This year, one of my goals was to actually cook instead of relying on prepackaged meals. One of my motivations was the nutrition class I’m currently enrolled in, but I also want to be able to eat something good that will keep me energized and healthy. Last semester I was kind of intimidated by cooking because I was nervous I wouldn’t have time or enough money, but I found a bunch of places that had affordable and doable recipes.  

The first thing I found was this amazing app called Mealime. This app allows you to put in your food preferences, budget, and any foods you want to avoid. You can then build a meal plan from thousands of recipes that all take 30 minutes or less. Once you’ve picked your recipes, the app then generates a grocery list for you and tells you what kitchen equipment you will need. There are different meal categories such as breakfast, quick lunches, under $5, and sheet pan recipes. Some successful recipes I have tried from this were shrimp tostadas, burrito bowls, soba noodles with fresh veggies, and teriyaki stir fry. This is a great app to help you find easy recipes that are catered to your likes, and the app is free.

Another great resource is Pinterest. This may seem like a given, but you can search for anything, and it will give you many different recipes from many different blogs. If you like a recipe, or if it even looks interesting, you can save it and Pinterest will recommend similar recipes you would also like. If you do like a recipe from a blog, you can look at other recipes from the same blog and see if there are any other recipes that interest you. If you like recipes others have tried, you can follow them on Pinterest, find recipes they have loved, and follow what they try in the future. Many people already know about Pinterest, but some people don’t know how many great recipes are on there!

If you miss your mom’s home cooking, a great thing to do is copy her recipes. My mom has a box of her recipes, so I simply take pictures of them and make an album on my phone. If you’re new to cooking, you can ask your mom to teach you some recipes you love. Go home for a weekend and ask to help cook so you can learn straight from the source. Another great thing about learning from your parents is that they have struggled with money so they will have tips on how to save money as well, potentially including finding sales or knowing what foods freeze well versus which foods you need to buy fresh.

Cooking is something we should all do, but it can be intimidating. Using these great resources, you can find wonderful, easy recipes to help you eat healthy in the new year.

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