Eating the same food over and over again can get boring, quick. If you don’t have the time or the energy to spruce up a gourmet meal, you don’t have to worry! There are plenty of things you can do to turn the normal, everyday foods you eat into something new and exciting.
This noodle based dish is a staple in a lot of people’s diets, especially if you’re short on time or on a strict budget. You don’t have to eat it the same way every single time, though. There are plenty of ways to switch up ramen and even make it healthier. Some of the quickest and easiest ways to spice up your ramen is by adding condiments. Hot sauce, chili bean sauce, curry paste, and fish sauce are all popular options. Veggies are also a perfect, simple addition. You can toss in some frozen vegetables while it’s boiling and have a healthier dish when the noodles are cooked. To thicken your Ramen and make it heartier, try cracking an egg into the boiling broth for an egg-drop-soup flavor.
Salad is only as boring as you decide to make it. Just plain out lettuce and dressing just isn’t going to cut it anymore. A great and easy way to update your salad is by adding in some new and interesting grains. Quinoa and lentils aren’t just for the diet-crazed–they can be tasty too! Throwing in some new veggies is also a great way to make a salad look more “gourmet”. Add in some cherry tomatoes, pinto beans, chickpeas, or scallions. Try to grab whatever is currently in season so you’re choices are always changing.
Cereal tends to be a staple when it comes to breakfast, because it’s quick and easy. But cereal can be a lot more diverse than you realized. If you mix your favorite cereal, such as Cheerios, with honey, oats, and nuts, and bake it, you can have great cereal bars to grab on the go. If you love those natural flavors, try throwing in some fruits. Berries, bananas, and peaches all make great additions to a bowl of cereal.
If you are a pasta lover, but not into cooking or short on time, you might only be store bought pasta, or noodles with sauce dumped on them. However, there are some great ways to enhance your pasta easily. You can add in some sauteed vegetables, like onions, broccoli, tomatoes, or mushrooms. Adding some meat, like ground beef, sausage, turkey, or chicken, can add tons of new flavor. Herbs and spices are a great way to (literally) spice up pasta. A dash of thyme, basil, or oregano can add the much needed kick to that store-bought sauce. Experiment! You may just find that ketchup adds a pleasurable amount of sweetness or sour cream makes for a delicious creamy marinara. You’ll never know unless you try.
Your sandwiches are typically composed of bread, a meat, and maybe some mayonnaise or mustard. It’s easy, but it’s also simple and boring. Pre-cooked bacon is a great flavor-boost for any sandwich, a much needed upgrade. If you want a little bit of a zing, try out some new condiments, like chipotle mayo or French onion dip. If you have the time, throw some meat and veggies into a crock pot the night before, and put the contents on a toasted bun in the morning. You might try visiting a sandwich place like Pickleman’s for inspiration—even a dash of cracked pepper can add a kick to a sandwich that makes you enjoy it more.
If you feel like your meals are getting too common and routine, start being creative with what you have. Try going to a restaurant you haven’t been to before like Pickleman’s and see if you can find some inspiration. You may just discover a new delicious sauce or herb combination that becomes your new favorite!