Lockdown list of useful ingredients

People keep asking me what do you buy during lockdown to avoid going to the supermarket especially when you are on a budget. If you have a freezer make the mot of it and portion up batch meals and cuts of meat and fish.

So here goes apart from the obvious teabags, rice, pasta – top of my list are:

OATS – can be used for breakfast porridge, overnight oats, flapjack and biscuits. You can even make your own oat milk.  Also useful as a filler in casseroles and bolognaise.  You can grind it down in a blender to supplement flour in cakes too if you a short.

Powdered milk – life saver when you can’t get to the shops and only need 1 tbsp of powder to each 100ml of water.  Great for hot chocolates, milkshakes, pancakes and Yorkshire puddings.  Also can use it to make white sauces for lasagne and macaroni cheese.

Flour – easy to make pancakes, pizza bases and flatbreads with water and oil.  Mix twice as much flour to natural yoghurt to make a dough for grilled fluffy naans. Roll out more for pizza dough or dry fry in a pan for flatbread.  Add spices to the mix to flavour it up.  1 mug of flour to 2 of yoghurt makes 4 portions

Natural yoghurt – look out for long dates can be used for breakfast or a pudding with honey, nuts and fresh/tinned fruit.

Lentils, beans, chickpeas and pulses –  dried or tinned are a great source of protein and easy to add casseroles, pasta dishes and blend into soups.  Don’t throw away the watery contents of beans and chickpeas (aquafaba) it acts like egg and makes a great egg replacer if you are short of one for pancakes, biscuits or cakes ( 4 tbsp aquafaba = 1 egg)

Tinned tomatoes and coconut milk – useful in so many dishes and sauces from dhal to katsu curry sauce with the addition of an onion and some spices.

Tinned fruit – can be used in smoothies, fried with sugar for pancake topping or added to porridge and yoghurt.

Popcorn easy to make yourself for a quick tasty snack.

Frozen / Seasonal vegetables and fruit – cauliflower and cabbage last well in a cool dark along with onions, squashes, potatoes, sweet potatoes.  Garlic and ginger store well and can also be frozen and grated. Apples and oranges keep for a long time in the fridge. Bananas and soft fruit freeze well and great for smoothies and crumbles.

Eggs – so versatile and have a reasonable shelf life. 

Nuts and seeds – great addition to porridge and yoghurt. Useful as protein replacement in stir fries, can be soaked to make milk or added to soups to make them creamy, this works particularly well with cashews.

Honey – useful for adding to porridge, yoghurt and pancakes and mixing with soy sauce and oil to make a marinade or sauce.

Herbs and spices, condiments, peanut butter – stock cubes, tomato puree, miso paste, herbs and spices are essential to jazz up the plainest of ingredients. Garam masala and smoked paprika re my favourite.

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