Making the decision about what to cook can seem entirely random and without consequence, but it may be more important than you think. Cooking something specific now could leave you with a bunch of random ingredients which you will be unable to make into a meal at a later stage. Sometimes it can help me decide what to cook if I physically sort out all of the ingredients that I have into different groups. This makes sure that I can maximize the number of different meals I can make before I have to go to the store again. It is easier to substitute some ingredients in some dishes than it is to substitute others, so you should also bear this in mind when you are deciding what you should cook.
Whenever I need someone to help me decide what to cook, I leaf through a cookbook for inspiration. Sometimes I have to look in a couple of different recipe books to find something that I feel like cooking. I don’t always have all of the ingredients needed to make a particular meal, but doing this often gives me a couple of ideas about different flavors that I can combine to make something really delicious.
You should also consider what you are doing for the rest of the day. If you are going to be very active later on then you may want to make something rich in carbohydrates to give you lots of energy. If you are going to do something high-energy very soon after eating then you might want to eat something a bit lighter: a salad or a sandwich, perhaps.
Cooking can sometimes be time consuming, so you need to bear in mind any time constraints before you make a decision about what to cook. Once you start cooking something, it is very difficult to speed it up, so make sure that you cook something quick and easy if you only have a short space of time in which to cook and eat.
Another thing I sometimes do when I want someone to help me decide what to cook is to pick the ingredient in my fridge or cupboard with the shortest shelf life and make a meal using that food item as the main ingredient. If you have to make a random decision about what to eat then you might as well use up the things that are going to go bad first! Not only does it make the decision process much shorter, but you can also feel great about your decision as that food won’t go to waste!
If you are cooking for other people then going for classic and traditional dishes is often a safe bet. Foods that everyone will know and love will almost do all of the work for you as there are loads and loads of easy-to-follow recipes online. The simple classics are the best as it is hard to go wrong, but if you are feeling a bit braver then you could turn to more interesting ingredients for inspiration.