Quarantine is tough. Whether you’re struggling with working from home, childcare or boredom, I think we’re all turning to the same comforts – alcohol, coffee and snacks anyone?
On the bright side, it really is the ideal time to perfect those cooking skills and start exploring how to cook your own food or building on the skills you already have.
Here’s my top 10 isolation recipe ideas to get you started…
Soup is a pretty broad ‘recipe’ but you really can go any way with it depending what you have in. Stick in any veg that are getting towards the end of their life. Tinned or frozen vegetables also work really well.
If you want something hearty add some rice, pasta shapes, potatoes or beans to the mix.
If you can get your hands on some eggs then omelette or frittata is another great base for whatever ingredients you have in your home.
Add vegetables, meat substitutes or cheese then pack in some flavour with things like olives, sundried tomatoes or chilli.
Risotto is one of the most humble but satisfying comfort foods but it does take a bit of time. You can make risotto with rice, potato or orzo so if rice is in short supply there are other options.
You can go a number of different ways with flavours. Add tinned tomatoes, pesto, any vegetables (fresh or frozen), herbs, chilli and then finish with your choice of cheese and maybe a flavoured or quality olive oil.
Did anyone else cry when the pasta shelves were bare week after week? Pasta is definitely one of the essential food groups for our family.
If you’ve managed to get your hands on some you can make it go further by using half your normal amount and adding extra veggies or beans. Why not try something new to make the most of that precious carby goodness?
We always eat a lot of beans and lentils but they are a little more difficult to get now that panic buying is a thing!
If you have extra lentils why not turn them into a comforting dal? It’s a really versatile recipe and can even be made in a slow cooker. Keep it simple with garlic, ginger and curry powder or add extra herbs, spices, tomatoes or coconut milk to tweak to your liking.
Salad leaves don’t last long and towards the end of the week you might find yourself having to be a bit more creative if you fancy a salad. Lentils are a great base and then you can pretty much add whatever other vegetables, herbs and flavourings you have to hand.
Another simple and flexible way to use up any beans, lentils or soya products is veggie chilli.
Frozen pastry is a great long-lasting time saver and can be kept in the fridge or freezer until needed. It’s a great way to use up any leftover vegetables or cheese. Serve hot alongside some salad and then enjoy for lunch the next day too.
Baking is a great way to fill time or have fun with kids. It can be as elaborate or a simple as you want. For something simple and at least half way nutritious you can make simple cookies from peanut butter and oats.
I would definitely recommend adding a pack of tortilla wraps to your weekly shop because they are so flexible. Burritos, pizzas, tostadas, quesadillas, sandwich wraps etc.
Also, don’t forget your freezer for new and interesting wrap fillings. My favourites are Quorn spicy nuggets, Fry’s ‘scampi’ or breaded mushrooms.
What are your go-to isolation meals? Let me know in the comments below 🙂