Befriend your freezer!
I’m not sure I’ve spent so much time rummaging around in the back of my freezer and using up random jars and tins in order to avoid an unnecessary and unscheduled trip to the shops. In speaking with clients and friends I know they’ve found the same- in fact one friend found some left over Annabelle Karmel baby recipes in their “back up” freezer – her baby is nearly 10years old!
Why not start a meal-planning now that you can continue on post-lock-down? Not only is this an efficient use of funds for those of us on a budget but it is also a great way to avoid waste and going forwards this could be a weekly habit prior to grabbing your bags for life and heading out the door!
Here’s my top tips for a kitchen audit:
Make 3 separate lists and re-order the cupboards, fridge and freezer so you can see at a glance what’s on offer.
• Consider what you would need to add to these ingredients to have them be a whole meal. Be prepared to be flexible; swapping that pepper for an aubergine – tinned salmon instead of fresh?
• Eat up the freezer – promise yourself you won’t buy more nosh until you eat up the stuff you have. Frozen veg such as mushrooms, peppers, leeks, peas, ginger, chilli and herbs are an excellent addition to any freezer and frozen vegetables are usually 'snap frozen' a fairly instant freezing process that preserves nutrients.
• Be prepared for an emergency ‘use-up’ meal occasionally. Nobody’s looking; It doesn’t need to look lovely!
Here’s one of our delicious store cupboard favourites!
Chickpea and spinach curry:
1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
2 onions, sliced (or swap with leeks)
½ cauliflower, chopped into small chunks (optional)
1 mild red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp mild or medium curry powder or madras
150ml hot veg stock
500ml coconut milk from tin or carton
2 x 410g cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp sea salt
200g baby leaf spinach, chopped (fresh or frozen)
1. Heat half the oil in a large pan, cook onions .
2. Add the chilli and curry powder and cook for a further minute.
3. Stir in the stock, coconut milk, cauliflower and chickpeas, simmer for 15 minutes to reduce the sauce
4. Stir in the spinach, season and serve with some brown rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice.
As seen in Pershore Times.