A New Recipe A Week Challenge

About eight weeks ago, I embarked on a new challenge to try a new recipe each week in order to feed my face, my family, and my soul. My goals for the challenge were to spend less money on food and more time in the kitchen doing what I love.

I’ve always loved to cook and secretly hope that one day someone other than my family calls me a MasterChef. After years of piling cookbooks onto my shelf and recipes onto my Pinterest board, I decided it was time to commit to making at least one new recipe a week. I started out my mission by making a spreadsheet of recipes I wanted to try so I could keep track of what I was making and how good they were. Then I would see what ingredients we had available and make a decision based on our flavor palettes for the week. Once the meals were made and enjoyed, I kept a record of how tasty they were so I would know whether or not I should make them again.

Through the last eight weeks, I’ve tried many recipes, sometimes more than two a week, including Hot for Food’s Vegan Pulled Pork, SkinnyTaste’s Jambalaya and Jerk Chicken Tacos, Cookie and Kate’s Roasted Cauliflower Salad, and more!

In addition to creating a list of things I will need to make again and having an extremely satisfied crowd of well-fed people, I’ve picked up a few lessons from this experiment.

Cooking leads to adventure in the kitchen
One of my favourite things about my mom is that she can throw together a 10/10 dinner with just about anything. This is something I have always wanted to achieve. During my experiment, I’ve realized that I can pick up flavour profiles from my favourite dishes which makes it easier to make up recipes and have them taste great. You can also travel the world through your spice rack, which gives you the opportunity to enjoy other cultures without leaving your kitchen.

As nice as it is to eat out, eating a good home-cooked meal can be way better.
After hmm-ing and haaa-ing one night over what to eat, my boyfriend and I decided to head out for dinner. We ended up getting fajitas from one of my favourite chain restaurants – a meal I have always loved but it turned out to be a little lack lustre. The meal was still great but not as good as the Margarita Chicken Fajitas from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook Cravings.

It feels great to know what is in your food
The great fajita debacle of 2018 also taught me how good it feels to know exactly what is in your dish. Making a meal at home gives you the opportunity to enjoy delicious dishes but with a more healthy approach – keeping everything #healthyishot approved. It also gives you the opportunity to add in something you like or take out something you hate (looking at you 1 cup of cilantro).

Cooking is my favourite thing to share
Picking new meals, going to the grocery store to get ingredients and putting together a dish has become a staple in our weeknight activities these days. Nothing is as exciting to me as working together to put together something delicious. I love being able to try something new, have it succeed and share it around the table with my loved ones.

Have you ever tried a challenge like this? Are you willing to?