After a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen cooking a good meal. Chef Luke Keller of LK Culinary shares three tips for finding motivation to cook after work.
My clients ask me all the time how they can stay motivated to cook for themselves. Then they ask me how I stay motivated to cook for myself after being a professional chef for the last decade. The hard truth is that your motivation to get in the kitchen will rise and fall over time. In the same amount of time most people can gather ingredients and prep their workspace, they can drive to a restaurant and order exactly what they are trying to cook. And with the current rise of healthier and more local-driven fast casual restaurants, cooking at home is only becoming more challenging (just ask everyone who lives in New York City.) But I am not saying you can’t find motivation to cook at home. All you need to get motivated is a few tips and tricks.
Make Cooking A Habit
If you only cook when you feel motivated, you will always fall short of your goals. That is why I tell my clients discipline will always trump motivation. The biggest complaint I hear is time. It takes too long to cook, and that is very true.
Cook Eastern Dishes
You can cook a good stir fry in the same amount of time it takes to boil some rice. Asian sauces include a number of preservatives (think soy sauce and pepper pastes), so they will easily hold for a few days. Instead of trying to make a global dish every day, make multiple batches of a few different stir fry sauces, put them in jars in the fridge, and enjoy later.
Buy Prepped Ingredients
Spend a couple extra dollars at the grocery store and buy ingredients that are pre cut. Trust me; it is worth the time and mess saved. I have never done a cooking class where the student impressed me with their knife skills. There just is not enough repetition cooking at home to develop any real speed. If you can spend an extra few dollars at the grocery, do it. It saves you both time and hassle, and is worth every penny.
Staying motivated to cook for yourself is hard. But with discipline and a few cooking hacks, you will save time and maybe even find motivation to cook on nights when you don’t really feel like being in the kitchen. It is easy to make big plans when you at the grocery store on Sunday, but think about what kind of mood you will be in on Wednesday or Thursday after working all day. If you take these steps you can decrease the likelihood of ordering takeout from your favorite local restaurants!