Written by Clement Pedro - SA Chef & Blogger
After spending a few days in isolation, you would’ve probably noticed a few things.
How often you visit the fridge, how much time you spend on social media, how easily you can binge-watch a complete series on Netflix, your smartwatch giving you alarmingly low daily step counts, and how often you visit the fridge.
You might be spending most of your day working from home but the truth is that it's not as simple as popping out to get a quick bite during your lunch break, which would defeat the purpose of self-isolation. The only option is to step into our kitchens and get cooking, especially now that you’ve stocked up on almost every tinned item and longlife product, So here’s a quick guide to surviving and conquering your kitchen
Meal prepping is key: Cook once eat for days.
If you’re going to prepare rice, prepare enough to be used for a second dish. Cooked rice freezes easily and can be reheated in minutes in the microwave, ready for your next dish.
Today's rice effortlessly becomes tomorrow's egg fried rice with a few added ingredients, great seeing as you won’t need to empty the cupboard for another meal and you’ll only be spending 15 minutes in the kitchen.
Preparing whole dishes like lasagne and stews, even curries and then freezing them is an excellent way to have dinners ready to go, simply take them out the freezer giving them enough time to thaw before reheating on the stove or in the oven. And remember that extra rice you made? You’re welcome!
Fresh herbs keep longer when the stalks are submerged in some water and kept in the fridge, I use a simple drinking glass for this. An even better solution is to buy “still-growing” herbs which comes in small pots of soil and keeps growing as long as you remember to water them. These are easily available from stores like Woolies and can be purchased with your online shopping order.
Store your veggies correctly to help them last longer, potatoes and onions don’t need to be kept in the fridge but do need ventilation, so pop them in a veggie basket or any dish with enough holes to create ventilation. The same goes for garlic and most fruits.
If you’ve stocked up on tomatoes and you’re starting to see them pass their prime, simply roast them with some olive oil and salt before storing in a jar with garlic, topped with extra olive oil, these will last for at least a month in the fridge sealed tightly.
Veggies can be roasted before being frozen and kept in a ziplock bag, ready for your next pasta dish. Simply reheated and tossed with pesto through your favourite pasta, this makes the easiest and most satisfying dinner.
Not a kitchen hack, but definitely a great way to get dinner on the table. Support your local restaurants by ordering their prepared meals. Most restaurants have adapted their menu and are now offering fresh or frozen versions of their dishes ready for home delivery. This is a great answer to the oldest question in the world, “what’s for dinner?”
This is a great time to get familiar with your kitchen but also an important time to support businesses in your area by ordering from them, keeping their doors open during this time.
So follow these culinary steps, which will surely increase your daily steps, and have you conquering your kitchen in no time.
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