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Scavenging for Meal Ideas

January 10, 2013 by HealthyFamilies BC

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Today's blog is written by Shelagh Alam.

Shelagh is a UBC dietetic intern with Vancouver Coastal Health.  She loves all things food related, and has a particular weakness for freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Although previously not a fan of crows, she has started to gain a newfound appreciation of them.

Crows freak me out.

They’re constantly circling my apartment garbage bins scavenging for whatever food has been left out. When I go for a run on the seawall, they’re dropping and breaking mussels they’ve scavenged from the beach onto the concrete path. When I’m walking down the sidewalk, I see them scavenging the carcass of some poor squirrel who didn’t look both ways before he crossed the road. And if I happen to look the wrong way at them while they’re feasting, I get rewarded with an air-bombing campaign.

While they do freak me out, I have to admit that they’re resourceful. I may not like their food choices, but I admire their scavenging ability! This might sound like an odd quality to admire, but it’s a skill that comes in handy when looking for fresh food ideas.

When I get stuck in a rut of making the same old meals, I scavenge for new ideas.

Here are 5 tips to bring out your inner scavenger:

  • Break out your cookbooks or find some favourite recipe websites and set a goal of trying a new recipe each week.
  • Gradually work your way through a cookbook, making and rating every dish.
  • Hold a cookbook swap with friends and family to broaden your recipe base.
  • Host themed potluck nights with friends focusing on new or less-familiar cuisines or ingredients.
  • Keep an eye out for produce you are unfamiliar with when you are grocery shopping and see if you can find a way to incorporate it into one of your next meals.

There are many ways to keep your meals fresh and interesting. Some days it just takes a little scavenging around for a good idea.

How do you keep yourself inspired in the kitchen?

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