Such strange times we are in at the moment- corona virus is dominating all of our lives in ways we never could have predicted a few months ago. We are all in limbo, waiting to see what’s going to happen, and dealing with the anxiety of the unknown. It’s very easy to be misled by social media at this time, not all outlets provide reputable and reliable information, and it’s always worth checking your source before taking advice. Some of the most reliable sources to find up-to-date information are:
The NHS: Find all the latest guidance and information on the NHS website
Gov.uk: Find guidance here for individuals, businesses, travel-advice and up to date information
CBBC Newsround: Let your kids learn about Corona Virus in a factual and appropriate way by watching this
One of the positive things that I feel I can do at the moment is get some nutritious meals prepared for the freezer, so that if my husband and I are both poorly at the same time we can feed everyone and do our best to keep our immune systems strong with good food. Also just thinking about the types of meals that we can cook using both tinned/jarred ingredients, and longer-life veg.
I absolutely don’t condone panic buying and selfishly emptying the supermarket shelves, but our lives during self-isolation will be made much easier with a bit of preparation and forethought.
Some of the things that I always have in for easy meals, but are particularly useful now when considering potentially a period of self-isolation are:
- Butternut squash: These last for absolutely ages, and you can make a brilliant curry or soup when you are ready to use them. This Slow-cooker butternut squash and ginger soup is so easy and very comforting
- Sweet potatoes: Again, so versatile- bake them, fry them, make them into chips, bulk out curries, use in hummus- these have a great shelf-life. I use these for Asparagus and cheddar quiche with sweet potato crust, Slow-cooker sweet potato and red lentil curry, Sweet potato falafel
- Chickpeas: I always have tins of these in. I use them to make curries such as Easy chana masala (chickpea curry), and Hummus .Also brilliant for making falafel (see the sweet potato falafel recipe above!
- Eggs: Brilliant breakfast, lunch or dinner, great shelf-life. Love a quiche for easy lunches such as Asparagus and garlic mushroom quiche with a sweet potato crust
- Onions: Have a brilliant shelf-life. Provide a base for most soups and curries, but also make lovely snacks such as The best healthy baked onion bhajis
- Tinned tomatoes: Of course last for absolutely ages, but also so versatile, I use in Authentic Italian style spaghetti bolognese, Tomato, basil & orzo soup, Black bean, butternut squash & coconut curry and lots of delicious chicken dishes such as Oven-baked chicken cacciatore and Chicken pizzaiola.
- Tinned black beans and pinto beans: These are great for a tasty way to bulk out meals and curries. I use them in my Slow-cooker Mexican casserole, Mexican lime & chicken rice and Enchilada bake.
- Lemons: Keep them in the fridge and they last much longer- they add great flavour to pasta dishes such as Lemon & thyme chicken penne and are also great in stews such as Lemony chicken and cannellini bean stew and Chicken and lemon casserole.
One of things that I wouldn’t do without in my kitchen is my slow-cooker, it’s a great way to prepare a low-maintenance tasty and nutritious meal, and even if you are feeling under the weather you can just pick one of the meals listed below which are just quick and hassle-free to put together. If you don’t have a slow-cooker, the good news is they are great value to buy, Amazon has a fantastic selection, if I were buying a new one I’d probably go for something along the lines of this one (affiliate link):
Slow-cooker meals that are unbelievably easy to throw together!
1. Amazing 5 ingredient salsa chicken This is a tasty Mexican-style dish that is full of flavour, and it couldn’t be easier to make! Perfect served with rice, cauliflower rice, over baked sweet potatoes or in a wrap or tortilla boat
2. Slow -cooker Chinese pulled pork This one’s a winner with the whole family- it’s rich, dark and tasty and a really verstaile meat dish- serve in lettuce wraps, alongside rice or just with crunchy chopped peppers, beansprouts and spring onions!
3. Campfire stew: Smoky and satisfying bean and ham stew- the perfect comfort food that can feed everyone in the family!
5. Slow-cooker pork and apple stew: Simple and tasty, a little like pork in cider- perfect comfort food!
Nutritious soups that are easy to whip up!
- Pea and mint soup with green chilli cheese toasties: Pea and mint soup is the perfect quick soup that doesn’t require much forethought- you just use frozen peas, and only need to cook it for 15 minutes before it’s ready
2. No fuss traybake tomato and basil soup: I love a traybake soup as you don’t need to worry about pre-frying certain ingredients and keeping an eye on it, just throw everything into a baking tray and leave it roasting in the oven for a super-tasty soup. This one is also brilliant as it uses tinned tomatoes from the cupboard, and if you don’t have fresh basil, just use dried. If you want to bulk it out a bit just add some pasta such as orzo to make it extra filling.
3. Simple carrot soup: Carrots make a fantastic soup- not only do they keep really well in the fridge for anyone stuck at home for a couple of weeks, they make a delicious base for many soups- this simple soup is just the easiest to make but really comforting, and popular with kids too!
4. Easy mushroom soup: Another tasty basic soup which only requires simple ingredients.
5. Lentil and bacon soup: A hearty, tasty and filling soup that the whole family will love.
Nutritious and tasty meals perfect for batch-cooking and freezing
- Sweet potato and coconut curry: Packed full of healthy ingredients, this is ideal for making in a big batch and portioning up into the freezer for when you need a quick, satisfying and warming meal
2. Vegan lentil bolognese: lentils are a fantastic ingredient. Cheap to buy, they are full of fibre and make a great-tasting filling meal. This lentil bolognese is perfect served with pasta, and it also freezes well for a quick and filling meal.
3. Tender beef and ale stew: a delicious comforting bowl of beef and ale stew is nourishing, hearty and you can serve it with all sorts- mashed potato, baked potato (or sweet potato), brown rice, cous-cous, quinoa, cauliflower rice… whatever you have in!
4. Healthy Beef Madras: This is a rich and satisfying curry, with tender beef and a lovely thick lentil sauce- perfect for freezing!
I hope that some of these ideas are helpful!