With Coronovirus leading to a lot of people having to self isolate, be in lockdown or be thinking that this is coming up for them soon I wanted to share some meals that are easy to make from tinned, frozen and store cupboard foods.
Panic buying food is really not the answer here. Instead of emptying the shelves of pasta and toilet roll you want to plan. If you have a kitchen full of food you cannot create a meal from or if you only have pasta and chopped tomatoes you are going to get bored pretty fast. Having a plan of meals you can make means you can have variety, have the right ingredients in the house and hopefully have more enjoyment from your food. This should also leave more food on the shelves for everyone else too as you will only be buying what you need.
- Buy a selection of frozen and tinned veggies, they are so easy to cook with and nutritious. They are not lesser quality than fresh alternatives.
- Keep some tinned beans handy.
- Stock cubes and a few herbs and spices make things tasty.
- Onions and garlic can last a while so have those handy or you can buy them frozen.
- Ginger keeps in the freezer and you can grate it from frozen.
- Flour and yoghurt makes a super simple flat bread but you can omit the yoghurt and just use water for more of a chappati.
- Nuts and dried fruit are great for snacks and making flapjacks with!
- Make up a soup and freeze it in portions for lunches.
- Batch cook a couple of meals you like in advance so you have something yummy to pull out of the freezer instead of getting a take away!
To help you out here are some of my top meal ideas:
Easy Beany Chilli
1 medium onion, chopped, 1 tsp garlic paste, 2 tins mixed beans, 1 tin chopped toms, 200ml water, 1 tbsp tomato purée, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp dried herbs, 1 tbsp cocoa powder (or a little dark chocolate), 1 vegetable stock cube.
Pop it all in a pan and simmer. Serve with rice.
Dhal and flat bread
You cannot beat a good dhal!
Saute 1 onion in 1tsp oil. Add 1 tsp cumin, coriander, turmeric and ginger. Stir to release the aromas. Add 1/2 cup lentils per person and cover with water. Bring to the boil, simmer. Add some frozen veg (spinach, peas and butternut squash work well but whatever you have). Then when the water has absorbed a little add in the veggies. Grate in 50g creamed coconut block or use 1/2 tin coconut milk and then freeze the rest. Stir and leave to simmer for 15 mins and it should be ready. Add seasoning and chilli to taste.
Serve with naan if you have it or make your own flatbread from flour, yoghurt and water.
Egg fried rice (veggie or chicken)
Cook up some rice and leave it to cool. In a wok, heat some oil, add onion, garlic, grated ginger, chinese 5 spice and whatever frozen veg you want. Choose your protein (chicken, tofu or edamame beans -you can get them frozen). Cook then add in the rice and beat 2 eggs in. Mix together and keep it moving in the pan on a gentle heat.
Jacket potato with tuna
Jacket potatoes are always a winner in our house. When I was growing up I remember a winter we practically ate them everyday. However I still love them!
Add tuna, cheese and beans, just beans, leftovers from meals such a chilli, tinned sardines, cottage cheese…. whatever you have!
For me this is a simple one as we have chickens…. if you have eggs you can add any veg into this but I suggest defrosting it first.
400g frozen salmon
150ml white wine
200g Risotto rice (or use normal rice)
160g frozen peas
160g frozen mixed veggies
Dried mixed herbs
50g parmesan or other cheese
Leave the salmon out in the morning to defrost.
Place in a wide bottomed pan with 100ml milk. Simmer for 10mins so the fish cooks and then break it up.
Add the rice, frozen peas and veggies, white wine, milk and water. Stir regularly and allow the rice to absorb the liquid.
Add the lemon juice, herbs and season well.
Stir through the grated Parmesan.
One of my classic recipes. If you make a double batch you will be happy! I serve this on pasta, on jacket potatoes, in a shephards pie or a lasagne.
I used fresh veg in this recipe but you can totally used frozen!
I hope that gives you some ideas on nutritious meals you can make. Stay safe and keep eating well.