So now the entire country is in lockdown with only a handful of takeaways delivering us a selection of largely unhealthy and often expensive food, there has never been a better time to get in the kitchen and get creative – even if it is with tinned food!
Understandably, at a time like this, food and shopping are at the forefront of everyone’s mind. For some this is a daunting prospect and the thought of making home cooked meals is their idea of hell. For others this is an opportunity to spend all day in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes. Cooking can be a really uplifting positive experience and regardless of ability there are new exciting tips and techniques to discover.
Here are their top vegan cooking tips to get you through the Coronavirus!
Try not to panic-buy
Of course it’s very difficult not to get drawn into the fear of scarcity, but there is enough to go around if we all just buy what we need. There are so many amazing vegan recipes which can be made using the most basic of ingredients. Try to support local veg shops and independents as they will be struggling the most during this time. Everyone has been heading to the supermarkets so these local shops have actually been much better stocked. Many zero waste shops also have plenty.
Keep your immune system tip top
Buy fresh fruit and veg wherever possible. Otherwise frozen veg, frozen fruit for smoothies and tinned fruit and veg are a good option. Try to use brown or wholemeal versions of bread, pasta, rice, couscous, flour… but don’t worry if this isn’t possible right now.
Fermented foods contain lots of beneficial bacteria which help boost immunity. Things like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and water kefir are all really good. You can make your own sauerkraut. It’s really cheap and easy and it will last for around 6 months if kept in the fridge.
Variety and flavour
Many people are worried about getting variety and flavour when using more basic ingredients but having a good supply of dried herbs and spices will ensure that you can create depth of flavour and diversity.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
Adapt recipes and get creative with your ingredients. Many people are afraid to deviate from a list of ingredients or method but now is the time to switch, swap and not worry about getting a perfect result.
If the recipes call for fresh veg or herbs and you can’t get hold of them then adapt them with frozen and tinned or just stick to onion, garlic and root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and squash as they’ll last for months. You can also buy frozen herbs if you want to keep that as an option.
Miss out the non-essential ingredients as most of the recipes on our store cupboard list are easily adaptable. For example, if the recipe calls for a fresh red pepper and you can’t get hold of one then just leave it out or swap it for any veg that you have (fresh or frozen). If the recipe calls for fresh tomatoes then use tinned instead… simple swaps like that. If the recipe asks for lemon juice, just leave it out or use bottled.
You’ll be pleased to hear that lots of vegan desserts, cakes, breads and biscuits rely on store cupboard ingredients so you’ll become a whizz in no time.
Check-in with your neighbours (of course follow the safety guidelines)
Try to make sure that your neighbours have three easy recipes they can create during this time. For some people, not being able to find their weekly shopping items or being in self-isolation is very worrying. Being able to offer a bit of support and ingredient/recipe advice can be incredibly helpful and reassuring. For other ways to help your local community, visit COVID-19 UK Mutual Aid.
*contributed content from Viva!