Food in the time of COVID19

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Happy Easter everyone! Like many of you, we’ve been in lockdown – for five weeks now. Our baby son came down with a fever and (new) cough so we thought it responsible to keep him home and just as his symptoms ceased, the world around us went into lockdown. Luckily, for my husband and I, our jobs can be performed from home. However, this has also meant entertaining, educating and feeding two under-fives while meeting deadlines and keeping our sanity in check.

Food has always been my way of de-stressing when my world feels out of control. In the face of COVID19, the kitchen has become even more of a safe space for me. I’ve been trying to come up with nutritious meals for the family while supermarket deliveries are like hen’s teeth. A friend suggested sourcing fruit and veg from local greengrocers and this has been a real game changer for us. Other than the fact that we have a LOT of potatoes (37 to be precise) and I really don’t cook much with potatoes!

This post is a collection of recipes that I’ve found either online , in my cookbooks or have come up, with while looking at our week’s veg box. I use grains and other staples such as tinned beans, oil and nuts from my pantry as well as supermarket products where I have them. I hope that it gives you ideas if faced with the same ingredients.

Welcome back to my blog and hope you’ll visit again!

M

Recipe 1: Cauliflower and potatoes : Aloo Gobhi ki Tahiri

Looking at cauliflower and potatoes made me think of aloo-gobi, a popular vegetable dish from North India but I couldn’t be bothered making rotis (flatbread) from scratch to go with it, my kids were giving me their “Feed me now or I’ll eat you look” and I really wanted something quick.

I turned to my old Indian TV cooking guru, Sanjeev Kapoor (in book form of course!) and the man delivered – a one pot rice dish with loads of flavour using whole spices, cauliflower and potatoes. Win win!

Here is a link to his online recipe : https://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/recipe/Aloo-Gobhi-Ki-Tahiri-.html

I left the chilli/cayenne out for the kids and I highly recommend serving it with Indian lime or mango pickle and a nice dollop of yoghurt (Greek or natural).

Cauliflower and potato tahiri : Ingredients all together in a pot

Recipe 2 : Roasted veg

Nothing makes my kids happier than chomping on roasted sweet potato and parsnip. I tossed these in some vegetable oil and a light sprinkle of salt paprika. I had some fresh thyme from a previous grocery order so that went in too. Baked at 200 C for 25-30 mins or until a knife cuts through the flesh without much resistance. The parsnips are always going to be chewy relative the sweet potatoes but if you can manage getting those edges caramelised (cut them at an angle), they taste absolutely divine!

Sadly, I don’t have a single picture of roast veg and I will remedy this as soon as I can.

Recipe 3 : When the co-op gives you carrots, make a carrot cake!

In a wave of unexpected substitutions on an earlier Asda order, we found ourselves with a lot of nuts. With the veg box, we had carrots, from the fruit box we had oranges and a decent supply of eggs. While glancing through an old favourite book on cheeses, I came across a carrot cake recipe that seemed to contain aforementioned ingredients so my daughter and I set out to ready, steady, bake! I dropped the sugar from 250gms to 175gms and didn’t notice it at all. I also forgot one essential ingredient – vegetable oil but I had added one extra egg as my eggs were on the small side, and the end result was a rather light and fluffy carrot cake that I was pleasantly surprised with.

Carrot cake being made pretty by my little helper!

Recipe 4: Jacket potato and home-made baked beans

Like I said, I don’t cook much with potatoes but my children absolutely adore jacket potatoes (thanks daycare!). I really don’t see what the big deal is about as they are as basic as they come and they are patience-trying in terms of how long it takes to bake them but at the end of the day, I have two happy children so what the hell. Also, helps use up the goddamned potatoes!

To get jacket potatoes with a crispy skin (in my opinion the only part worth eating!), look no further than the Beebs as it works like a charm.

For the beans, I had to put in my own touch. We did have some canned baked beans but I also had a can of white kidney beans so I put that together with some garlic, onions, a zucchini, salt, pepper, a teaspoon of sugar and made my own baked beans. My husband and I liked the home-made beans, but my jacket-expert said that she preferred the canned variety. I just covered it up with more cheese and that sorted her out.

Giant jacket potato with home-made beans and cheese

Recipe 5: Mushroom, tomato and spinach omelette

We had a bag of spinach leaves from a previous supermarket delivery that needed using up so this along with the mushrooms and eggs made for a very nice and tasty lunch. My husband was the master of this recipe but I’ll try and find one that is most like it.

This recipe is most like this one from EasyPeasyFoodie with the addition of tomato. Also, my husband’s secret to omelettes is garlic granules – I didn’t believe it until he introduced me to it. Now I won’t make an omelette without garlic granules/powder. He also finished it off under the grill so it was thoroughly cooked for the 1-year old. Sadly, I have no picture of the omelette but it was super tasty.

Clearly, I haven’t used up all of the veg so more recipes will follow as I come up with ideas to use them.


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