Food and drink have become a part of our culture, with sharing new foods and drink with friends and family becoming almost ritualistic. We go out to local restaurants or travel across seas so that we can indulge in the finest foods we’ve heard about, either from social media or from friends. Nowadays eating is more than nourishing our bodies, it’s about sharing a meal and sharing culture, all at once.

Social eating has become almost as cultural as the foods we eat, yet eating out, although easy and fun, isn’t as intimate as eating in. Inviting friends and family to your home, so that you can relish in a good home cooked meal can be more special than ordering with wait staff, but many of us no longer have the knowledge or time to cook the foods of the world. How can the everyday person find the time and energy to make good masala dosa, delicious paella or humble bowl of hummus?

Finding the Time to Cook

Americans work an average of 47 hours a week, with many workers extending these already lengthy hours. It’s not surprising that many people resort to microwave meals or takeout after a long day’s work. Therefore, finding the time to cook a healthy and nutritious meal can be painstaking enough, without furthering the attempts to make a meal you’re not familiar with. Yet foodies of the world won’t want to compensate for their love of food. So, what can you do?

Dedicate Time to Prep at the Weekend

If you love cooking and eating good food, then making time at the weekend to prepare food for the weekday shouldn’t be a huge undertaking. Make time on a Sunday, where you can prepare food to be either cooked that very same day and then freeze for convenience later on, or prepare your vegetables or meat and store them so that they can be cooked fresh at the beginning of the week. An hour on a Sunday is all you may need.

Find Simple to Follow Recipes

Good food doesn’t have to be difficult to make; you just need to find a recipe you can understand and follow. While a curry may seem like one step too many, there will be a simplified recipe out there for you to take advantage of; what’s more, Russian cuisine, such as a delicious beef stroganoff recipe from Hellofresh.com, is easily attainable for you to serve you and your family during the week. With such simple recipes, you could even invite friends over on a weeknight!

Be on the Lookout for Inspiration

It’s easy to become fatigued with such long work hours and raising a family, but remaining inspired is important. Authentic food doesn’t have to take an age to cook and perfect, even if you’re unfamiliar with the ingredients and processes. Here are three ways to keep your love for food and cooking alive.

Find Somewhere New to Eat

Rather than visit your regular haunt, be sure to spice things up and find a new café or restaurant to try. Perhaps you’ve never been to an authentic Middle-Eastern restaurant but have always loved the cuisine; if so, then search Google and find a highly-rated one near you. Go there with your partner or with your family, and see if the new tastes inspire your taste buds to recreate the recipe at home.

Go Abroad

By going abroad, you not only get to try new foods in their homeland, but you also get a vacation. Decide who you wish to go with and what foods are your favorite. If you’ve always wanted to try Thai food in its natural habitat, then book a flight to Thailand and enroll in a cookery course. There are many exciting destinations ideal for foodies.

Challenge Yourself

Getting caught in the cycle of eating the same foods can tire anyone’s palette and taste buds, so be sure to challenge yourself when you have the time to do so. Rather than resort to your tried and tested lasagne, find something that’s unusual, and that will test your culinary skills. Consider trying molecular gastronomy, such as transparent ravioli or an all-clear canape.