6 Food-Related Ways to Spice Up Any Quarantine

In these hard times of being stuck inside, don’t let the boredom in your life be food-related. 

  1. 1. Try Making Something to Satisfy Any Craving You May Have

    Pickle

    Okay, this sounds like a weird one, but hear me out. When life is normal, and we aren’t all trapped inside in order to avoid the pandemic surrounding us, we have scheduled and planned weeks. Normally, these include (hopefully) nutritious and sensible meals spaced throughout the day. However, as horrible as being stuck inside can be, it also gives us the opportunity to experiment and give into certain strange food cravings that we might not otherwise. For example, if you suddenly feel like hot Cheetos and pickles would be a good combo, then there’s no one around to tell you not to (one advantage of social distancing).

  2. 2. Use What You Can Find at The Store (Even if They're a Bit Strange)

    a woman stands in front of the health juice/kombucha shelves at a grocery store

    One of the more alarming things about the current pandemic for myself is walking into a grocery store and finding many of the shelves empty. However, after overcoming the initial shock of the situation, this can actually be put to our advantage excitement-wise. While normal staple ingredients such as frozen vegetables, canned beans, meat and strangely enough, toilet paper may be lacking, there are always some slightly less common foods that even desperate shoppers seem to be unwilling to touch. Many of these things include unusual and sadly overpriced vegan options. But with the help of an online recipe, they can be spiced up into something both delicious and outside of the realm of what you would normally make/eat.

  3. 3. Use Online Recipes

    White smartphone with hearts

    As mentioned in the earlier option, online recipes are a wonderful way of learning new dishes and ways of preparing food. Keep in mind, you can find almost anything on the internet. If your pantry is filled with a strange combo of ingredients you can’t imagine going together, I guarantee the internet still has a recipe for it. Perhaps the resulting dish will be interesting, if not particularly normal. Even though we are stuck inside, take advantage of the resources we still have access to. And as of now, the internet is always going to be one of them.

  4. 4. Don't Just Cook For Yourself, Cook For Others

    One of the bigger themes of this article is trying new things. An easy way to do this is to consider what other people in your life may want rather than just relying on your personal preference (as this will tend to stay the same). If you find yourself struggling with motivation, ask the closest family member (or human being depending on your living situation) what they feel like eating. Although this may initially seem risky, as it could result in having to make something you don’t like, it will also force you to make something outside your comfort zone. In addition to this, if you have returned to your family home, cooking for them could earn some major brownie points.

  5. 5. Buy a New Spice

    Zero waste market, spices, spice bins

    And finally, getting access to a new spice can really help guarantee a way of gaining new flavor, whether for cooking or eating. In this time of panic buying food, developed flavor and stocking up on the appropriate amount of oregano isn't the first thing on everybody's mind. Due to this, the spice aisle is one of the few that doesn't seem to be at all depleted. Take advantage and pick up whatever looks interesting or out of your comfort zone. If you happen to come across a spice that you've never heard of or find yourself unable to pronounce the name, grab it.

  6. 6. Use a Random Recipe Generator

    Flatbread Pizza

    Another way you can take advantage of the internet in these hard times is by using a "random recipe generator." There are many you can choose from, and all will do about the same thing. However, here is one that includes sharing any preferences or dietary restrictions you may have, as "lobster bisque" is probably not the most affordable or realistic option if it were to come up. Simply input information, spin the wheel, and see what pops up! If you aren't pleased with it, you can always spin again… and again… and again. This is until you find something both acceptable and delicious that hopefully will improve your days in quarantine just a bit.

Although these times are difficult without a doubt, I’ve found that making small changes and branching out can actually help a bit with the seemingly endless boredom. Good luck to you all and your cooking endeavors!