COVID 19 – Coronial Cooking!

Lentil and butternut squash soup


Well, here it is – lockdown.  Scary, huh?  It feels like we’re in some kind of Stephen King movie.  COVID 19 is very real though.  I know four people who have been really ill with it and the mother of an old work colleague died over the weekend with it.  So be safe, stay home, hug your kids and let’s hope we don’t all go stir crazy.

We’ve been self-isolating pretty much for the last three weeks so it’s now more of the same.  Fortunately, I have a lot of dried foods and a pretty full freezer so we’re going to be ok.  I tend to buy in bulk when I can anyway so  we’ll remain well fed.  I am thinking now is the perfect time for a bit of a diet too.  I bought a bunch of those meal replacement shakes a couple of months ago thinking I’d go on a bit of a health spree.  As usual, it didn’t happen but it seems to me that with sofa time being the occupation of the moment and not even doing the short journey from car park to the office, exercise levels are at an all time low so if I’m not going to come out of this thing as fat as a house, I need to take some steps towards lowering my calorific input and at the same time preserving our food reserves.

I’ve been Googling away for recipes that might utilise the massive bag of protein whey we have sitting unopened on top of one of the kitchen worktops – the man about this house was going to do some weight lifting and get himself a beach body he says……yeah, right!  So far, I’ve found very little – lots of recipes that use one scoop hidden in amongst the usual suspects of ingredients but none where the protein powder is the key ingredient.  I have a feeling I shall do some experimenting with that over the coming weeks.

Social distancing is going to leave me with quite a lot of time on my hands so I have decided to come back to my passion in life – cooking and creating recipes.  I’m hoping I can pool together with a few foodie friends and share some recipes based on store cupboard favourites to help others eek out what they have and what is available.

Some of these recipes will be more difficult than others and I’m leaving the old recipes that were already on here in place too.  I’m also happy to answer any questions you might have on substitutions, techniques or any of it really.

I watched Jamie Oliver doing something similar to this on the TV last night but I’m sure there’s room for more – especially if you don’t keep things like pine nuts and sweet potatoes in your store cupboard!  I have to say though, I loved the look of the pea pesto.

At home, my recipes have had to take a different turn over recent years with both friends with type 2 diabetes and a man who has real issues with starchy carbs and not in a fad diet way.  You will see that I am using gram flour quite a lot – that’s basically ground up chickpeas and very low carb.  Now whilst it may not be a store cupboard item for many, unless you’re from India, it is available in most supermarkets and guess what – even when all the flour had sold out last weekend, there were bags of this stuff still on the shelves!  I would imagine that you can substitute plain flour for gram flour in any of my recipes but the same isn’t necessarily so the other way around.  Gram flour has no gluten in it so it doesn’t matter how much you try to make it get stretchy for bread dough it just doesn’t work – you will however be able to make a very nice paper weight!  The other warning with using gram flour is – DON’T TASTE THE RAW BATTER!  I know you’re going to – you’ll understand why I said that as soon as you do though.  It won’t do you any harm but it tastes terrible!

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