We've all been there. You've gotten into a pretty good routine, you're cooking at home, and then one day you open the fridge and realize you couldn't possibly talk yourself into eating anything you have. Your tried-and-true recipes, as delicious as they were the first few times you made them, no longer make your stomach growl with anticipation. You are officially stuck - in a food rut.
This does not mean you have to stoop to fast food drive through, or to ordering delivery from the sketchy take-out place down the street. Once you have a few tactics in mind, it's actually pretty easy to break free from a food rut, no matter how deep you may think it is.
How to break free from a food rut:
Get some visual inspiration. Go to the farmer's market and buy a vegetable you've never tried before (maybe one you've never SEEN before!). Be sure to ask the name, so when you get home you can look up a recipe for it, or ask the vendor if they have a favorite way to prepare it. You'll wonder where it's been all your life.
Think beyond the borders. Pick a new international cuisine and try it at a restaurant. If you love it, commit to learning to make one new recipe. My favorite is Ethiopian (I'm working on a tutorial), but it's more to tackle than Indian, Thai, Mexican or Chinese.
Let someone else come up with the ideas. Spend 30 minutes on Google looking for new blogs (search things like "Paleo recipes" or "vegan blogs") and subscribe to 2-3 recipe newsletters. After that first, brief investment of your time, inspiration will just magically appear in your inbox. A few of my favorites include: Love and Lemons, Cookie and Kate, and Oh She Glows. I use Evernote (free version) and have the web clipper extension installed on Chrome. When I see a recipe I want to try, I simple clip it to a notebook and browse through my collection when I'm looking to try something new.
Spice it up. Using a new spice or an old spice in a non-traditional way can completely change a dish. I make a spinach coconut sauce with curry and cilantro some days, and other days I make the exact same sauce with berbere and black pepper. It's incredibly easy, and it can be a revelation. If your spice rack lacks diversity, pick up a new bottle that sounds (or smells!) interesting.
Take a break from the kitchen. Look up restaurant reviews in your city and pick one you haven't tried before (a new spot that serves local fare, perhaps?). When you eat out, choose an item on the menu you could realistically recreate at home. If you love your order, you'll be inspired to try making it on your own.
One last thing: if you find yourself completely lacking an appetite, rather than just being sick of the usuals, there could be lots of other things going on that are too varied to put in a post. If that sounds like you and you want to talk, you can always get in touch here.