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10 Ways to Be a More Creative Cook

10 Ways to Be a More Creative Cook
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a kitchen newbie, cooking can be a great deal of fun, rather than a daily chore. Try these inspiring ideas the next time you work with wok and ladle. Bon appetit!
  • Make friends with individual flavors. For example, if you have always used a mix of herbs to top your pasta or pizza, try just one the next time. Get to know its full flavor, aroma and texture. This will help you put the herb to more creative use.
  • Use kosher salt instead of regular table salt—kosher salt brightens flavor and lends an interesting touch to food.
  • Cook with kids. They don’t have preconceived ideas of what a dish should look like, so they can kick start your imagination, too. I once asked my son to shape cookies, and he created the most amazing whirlies. From then on, we became regular partners in the kitchen.
  • Give yourself an occasional challenge. Take four ingredients, for instance: flour, sugar, butter, milk. Now try to create something from these without thinking cake/doughnut/pancake. Who knows what you might come up with!
  • Wherever possible, use something nourishing instead of fattening. For instance, I like to load my pizza with colorful veggies instead of full-fat cheese. The pizza tastes amazing, and it is good for me.
  • First learn a few recipes until you know them to perfection. Then bend the rules: add or substitute an ingredient. For instance, pancakes. Go beyond fluffy: fold poached pears into them and give them a luscious name to make them sound more appetizing!
  • Every weekend, try one new recipe.  And while you’re at it, don’t go strictly by the book: it’s always fun to play around with ingredients and ideas.
  • Alter your cooking techniques from time to time. For example, we in India have a standard recipe for potatoes and cauliflower, which is to stir fry them in a little oil, with spices such as turmeric and coriander. One day, I chose to roast them in olive oil with herbs and coarse salt, and suddenly, the everyday veggies took on an exciting new avatar.
  • Brighten up your kitchen. Stuck with boring counter tops and sink? How about attractive ruffles, herbs on the windowsill, your favorite cookbooks, a splash of fresh paint? The attractive decor will coax you to discover the chef within!
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ingredients, but do it in small quantities, so that even if a dish goes wrong, it’s only a mini disaster!


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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


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6:43PM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

Thanks for the tips.

10:23PM PDT on May 10, 2013

Thanks for sharing, great tips :) I've always found that marinading things and then cooking them always adds lots of flavour, and it's always so much fun creating your own marinades depending on what you're cooking.

9:40PM PDT on May 4, 2013

thanks for sharing

4:21PM PDT on May 3, 2013

Thank you for the inspiration. I get into a cooking rut from time to time and experimentation is fun.

3:36PM PDT on May 3, 2013

Wonderful! Thank you for the tips!

8:35PM PDT on Apr 30, 2013

I change recipes and try something new quite often but it all depends what is available at home as I do not go to grocery every day, thanks for new ideas!

12:18AM PDT on Apr 30, 2013

sick of cooking can somebody else do it please : )

2:43PM PDT on Apr 29, 2013

When I had a great meal somewhere, I try to cook the same of my own. Doesn´t work most of the time, but is a great inspiration.

11:36AM PDT on Apr 29, 2013

Thank you.

10:48AM PDT on Apr 29, 2013

I have been altering recipes and creating my own for decades.

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