Wherever you are in the world, no matter what your version of quarantine is like, I hope you’re staying safe and keeping your spirits up. Whether it’s a full blown lockdown or a social distancing situation, there’s joy to be found in the everyday.
The COVID-19 pandemic has unearthed a few new things for me:
- ‘WFH’ for one, as in, Work From Home – so many people are doing it now we had to come up with an acronym for it.
- The term ‘social distancing’ – the introvert in me isn’t upset about this one bit.
- The concept of buying food in bulk – not hoarding amounts, just enough to last you two weeks or so.
- A new appreciation for pantry food – hence ‘The Pandemic Pantry’.
One thing that has been keeping me sane in this madness is cooking. It seems to be the only thing that is a constant in my life – sad… cook, happy… cook, worried the world is going to end and society will collapse…. cook!
Cooking seems to be a tiny taste of normalcy in an otherwise abnormal world at the moment.
Here’s what I’ve been cooking in my currently self-appointed quarantine:
Are no-cook recipes still recipes? They seem to be more akin to assembly instructions to me but definitions aside, this little recipe is a great one to whip up the night before when you want a little bit of extra shut-eye in the morning. Extra sleep plus a mega oat-chia-flax fibre boost in the morning? #winning.
This pasta dish is far from fancy. Every single ingredient is either a pantry item or something that can last in your fridge for yonks so it’s a handy one to have if you don’t feel like going to the shops to face the droves of people. There are two things that make this dish stand out – caramelised onions and caramelised tomato paste. Give this sauce time to cook, It’s worth every minute – you have my word.
Not to toot my own horn, but this is a goodie. It’s warming and comforting but also nourishing and comes together in about 30 minutes. It also happens to be vegan! Whole pumpkins last in your pantry forever (almost) and canned chickpeas are pretty damn pantry friendly. Add ginger, canned coconut milk and turmeric and you have a golden curry that will warm even the coldest of days. I used fresh kale for this recipe because we had some growing in the garden but you can use fresh or frozen kale or spinach, either do the trick!
This was my pantry version of guacamole, which basically means guacamole without the avocado. It’s lighter, less creamy and it’s also cheaper – Maybe us millennials will be able to buy houses if we replace avocado on toast with peas on toast?
Like the headnote says, this recipe is one you make when you feel like a fancy dessert but have absolutely no fresh ingredients on hand. I made the pastry dough from scratch but you could use store-bought puff pastry if that’s how you want to get down – there’s no shame in store-bought! I found it to be a great way to use up the canned apricots I bought – I never usually buy canned fruit but the COVID made me do it.
I don’t know when this will all end but until then we all have to adjust to a new normal and try to find pleasure in the little things.
I’ll keep adding to this list of pantry-friendly recipes. I hope you try some and enjoy them as much as I do.