Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Solving the What to Cook Dilemma

We all have those days where the seemingly simple task of deciding what to cook for dinner seems more arduous than climbing Mount Everest. There is usually no use in throwing the decision out to the jury (your family), as this invariably gets met by a response of 'anything' or 'I don't know'. Or if I ask Noodle, we will be eating crumbed chicken seven days a week. 

Yes, these may be first world problems faced by us lucky folk who get food on our tables and a choice of what food at that, but the decision of what to cook each day remains an enigma for many.  

Here are my suggested techniques for how to handle those days. (I use a combination of the below).


You could come up with a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly menu. This can save you a lot of hassle and can also save you some money if you shop strictly according to your own set menu. You can find some very creative menu planner ideas online. Put some thought into what goes on which days, for example if you know that there is always leftovers on roast chicken day, the next day it could be reinvented in chicken pasta. If that seems too boring and predictable, then try one of the below.


Come up with a  bunch of meal ideas, stick them on little bits of paper,  throw them in a hat and pick one. The kids will enjoy doing this for you! If you don't feel like the meal that came out, just throw it back in and pick another. You can split it into two bags, one for days when you are happy to cook up a storm and another with quick meals for days when you lack either the time or the inclination to cook.


Facebook recipe groups, foodie blogs or free daily subscriptions like Knorr 'What's for Dinner' could all provide much needed inspiration.There is also a site called myfridgefood.com that will come up with recipes based on the ingredients that you have.


Yes, I am one of those people with a mobile app for everything and one of my favourites is MyCookBook. You can save all of your recipes here and have them available on all of your devices or on their website. You can also categorise recipes as you see fit and use clever search features, so if you have decided on, for example, a lamb dish for the day, you can search for one that meets that criteria.


Give the jury three choices and make them pick. I often Watsapp hubby A with a list of options, eg. a) burger and chips b) chicken curry and rice c) other (please specify).

multiple choice food

Grab a Mr Delivery or similar menu catalogue, scroll through it, see what appeals to you that day and then COOK IT. 

If you have followed all the ideas which I have just listed and still lack inspiration then maybe  it is time to look at that menu again, pick up the phone and place an order.

Do you have any fresh ideas on how to decide what to cook? Please comment below!