Whatever your past relationship with your kitchen, the lock down and social distancing rules have changed everything – you and the kitchen are now coupled up and you spend most of your day together. Your relationship is more involved and more “it’s complicated” than ever, and the act of preppin’ three meals a day, every day, is likely beginning to drag.
Gone are the times where your fridge is stocked with takeaway boxes and steppin’ out for that long lunch at ya fave burger bar or salad spot is just a mere memory.
However, the current situation is not the end of your foodie filled life. Wanna’ switch up your pallet? We’ve got you covered with some tips and tricks on some not-so-basic basics for your kitchen cupboards that will level up cooking at home.
(Disclaimer: Sourdough/banana bread recipe not included below).
Delivery slots with your fave supermarket have probably turned into gold dust by now so make a cupboard essentials list before going shopping – and try not to stray from it! YES, those Pringles would be a handy snack while your WFH but if they weren’t on the list, they ain’t goin’ in the basket.
Pasta: Say no more. You’ve got this.
Tinned beans/sauces: Butter beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, plum tomatoes can all be cooked in batches and and stirred into stews, salads, and more!
Rice: Jasmine, basmati, paella, risotto, sushi. Now is the time to master the art of cooking rice in its many varieties. Werkin’ on ya fitness? Whenever you think “rice”, swap it out for whole grains like quinoa, cous cous or bulgar wheat.
Ground grains: FLOUR. Wanna’ make the ultimate pancake breakfast? FLOUR. Need something to scoop up those soups, curries or sauces? FLOUR. Baking breads and wraps will be ideal for mopping up those leftovers.
Potatoes: The King of carbs. Just a reminder what you can do with this comfortin’ carb; boil, mash, roast, bake, sauté, wedge or our fave, cook up as chips.
Of course, you don’t need to rush to buy all of these base ingredients straightaway, They’re the building blocks of main meals or stepped up sides. Stocking a wide selection and steppin’ back to look at how these will pair up with fresh items you have on hand will get you some variation.
First things first. Don’t hold back when it comes to throwin’ in those fresh flavours. Food that’s bright and fragrant isn’t just tasty, it’s insta worthy too – greens, yellows and reds bring a buzz to what we eat! Make your kitchen a place of inspo and give yourself loadsa opportunity to have fun.
There’s a handful of fresh ingredients should be used regularly and with no restraints. Citrus fruits, fresh herbs, fresh chillies, ginger and garlic are top of the list. The following essentials are flavour bombs to have on hand. These will make sure the recipes you come across while scrollin’, can be instantly achievable without having to venture outside again.
A dash, splash, pinch or spoonful of these seasonings can make ALL the difference. With them to hand, so many style of foods are easily reached; missing that take out? Time to fill that hole.
Salty things: sea salt, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce.
Oils & Vinegar: extra virgin olive oil, rapeseed oil, toasted sesame oil, red, white, balsamic and apple vinegar. These all add that zingy kick to a crunchy slaw!
Sweet ‘n’ sharp: caster sugar, palm sugar, honey, maple syrup, pomegranate (keeps the skin feelin’ fresh) and tamarind paste.
Pastes: tahini (a humous obsessives essential!), miso, chilli paste, Thai-style curry pastes and harissa.
Dried herbs: oregano, thyme, basil and rosemary – the OGs.
Dried spices: If your cupboard is not already full, start with just a handful of single spices – cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel seeds, chilli powder and bold turmeric.
Crunch: pine/walnut/monkey nuts, chia/sesame/pumpkin seeds. Toss ‘em in.
Hot sauces: We get it; you have your faves already. But don’t forget the sriracha and chipotle to switch things up!
By now, your socially distanced food shops will be less frequent than before lockdown but a lot bigger. On the one hand great, you’re staying in more. On the other, where’s it all gonna’ go?
Packin’ the fridge shouldn’t be that difficult now that those take away boxes have gone! While you might be tempted to shove things in, try a lil’ order. That way, fresh foods will last longer. And keep on top of how long ingredients will last when you put them in the fridge and make rough plans of what things you will use up over the next week or so.